September 9, 2015
Some people have perfect pitch. Weil had ‘perfect paradox’ — a natural eye and ear for it
Is the monarchy anything to do with the unrivaled record of the Britannic inheritance? Working for the Free French in London during the war, Simone Weil found herself pondering why, among the European powers, only England had maintained ‘a centuries-old tradition of liberty’. She was struck by the paradox of the Westminster system — that ultimate power is vested in one who cannot wield it in any practical sense. Endowing the sovereignty of the nation in an absentee monarch — as Australia does — is an even more exquisite refinement of the Weil theory: vesting power in its literal rather than merely political absence.