You surprise me. How can you post such erudite ideas about materialism vs a purposeful life and still be a birther? Don't you see the dichotomy there? Birthers live in an alternate reality. Your comments about being able to make an educated vote are a flimsy ruse. Truthfully, you wouldn't vote for Obama even if his parents were George Washington and Aretha Franklin. The birther underpinnings are a cheap excuse.
And on the other hand, you've quoted an obviously intelligent, perceptive individual.
What gives? You're straddling a fence, buddy. You either live in the intelligent world or you live in SPG-land with the other waterheads.
Which is it?
You've written this only because you like so many others have forgotten that it is only through the awareness of obligations initiating with a higher origin that rights become possible.
Simone Weil is in a unique position to vivify this question because she lived all its parts. She was an atheist and Marxist admired by Leon Trotsky and died a Christian mystic and intellectual influence on Pope Paul Vl. She was not a follower but instead verified her own philosophy by living it. Her life was a continual experiment in search of truth.
In The Need for Roots she elaborates on the necessary balance between obligations and rights necessary to sustain a free society that serves the soul of Man.
This isn't something we are capable of through our own volition but something that can be awakened in Man's psych with help from above in the form of "grace."
Obligations are our link to the spiritual while rights are what we personally strive for. it is obligations that make rights possible.
It might be a truism that true change in a society cannot occur unless there is a subjective change as well. There is an example of this in alcohol or drug treatment programs. Unless the person wants to change, all the counseling and the support groups will not make a person change.
For Weil, on the social level, this is true of societies as well. In her analysis of history and revolutions, she showed that every revolution ultimately replaced one form of oppression with another. For her, this showed that the reality of history is struggle for power. This is why she believed that for true change, a spiritual awakening must occur in individual conscience.
Take an example: why, with all the money thrown at poverty in the US, is there still poverty? For Weil, the answer to this question is that the programs and money were directed at the wrong problems. Because they were programs by those who had for those who did not have, the misrelation in power continued — in many ways, the rich instituted programs that would continue to benefit them and maintain their hold on power.
For the sake of the recognition of obligations, politics must be directed at helping society to awaken to them. But anyone reading the paper and listening to politicians catering to interest groups can see that this is impossible. We are at a stage where there is nothing but a demand for rights. there is no collective appreciation for the necessity of collectively awakening to our sense of obligations. To do so IMO would require providing the means for society to serve the needs of the soul described later in the book.
For Simone Weil, without this supernatural world, we are left to a human world where power and force hold sway. The struggle for power is the motor of human history, she believes. It is the human condition. It is the source of human suffering and injustice. In her analysis, there is no human answer to this struggle for power, nor is it possible to stop the struggle with any form of ideology, such as Marxism or capitalism or any other form of human-made political system.
Left to our own devices, the nature of our being assures a large country devolving into a society dominated by power and force when in need. Nothing else is possible for us.
Secularism strives to substitute its platitudes for the effects of the experience of grace. it is impossible because as we are, we collectively fall victim to power and force that can only be controlled through social slavery.
The eligibility issue is a perfect example of loss of the sense of obligation. The constitution includes obligations one of which are the requirements to be president. Those with the progressive agenda seek to ignore it for what they believe to be the pursuit of "rights." The Progressive agenda considers itself as God. It cannot accept its limitations so must follow the path to social slavery.
"Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace." Simone Weil
If Obama understood this he would feel a sense of obligation to the Constitution that preserves rights. He doesn't and places himself and secular idolatry above the Constitution by intentionally avoiding his obligation to it.
Supporting the Birther movement is the support of the recognition of our obligations to the Constitution that serves to support and sustain a free society. It is the support of a necessary obligation that serves to make "rights" possible.