Where I Stand 23/02/16

With exiles who are ever thinking of their country – and those who forget it are lost – the heart is so irresistibly turned towards the homeland in distress that few emotional resources are left for friendship for the land they happen to be living in. Such friendship cannot really germinate and spring up in their hearts unless they do themselves a sort of violence.

Simone Weil

Weil despite offering this idea of the person in exile also claimed that a certain kind of attitude towards history also produces a psychological violence within the individual.  This violence is created when the obligations towards one another in a community are not recognized.  It is this failure to recognize our obligations towards each other that is at the heart of South Africa’s problems.  The idea that history is one of victories, of conquering, of enslavement, of ownership is the history that Weil objects to.  It is precisely this which particularly white South Africans will have to reject if we are not going to head towards what could be the beginnings of form of civil war.

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