In her early writings, as we have seen, Weil drew heavily on Marx’s understanding that
socialism was to be above all the abolition of “the degrading division of labour into intellectual
and manual labour” (quoted in Reﬂections, 41)—a view that become the cornerstone of her thinking about oppression. Yet Weil also believed that this division was not merely a me-
chanical reﬂection of the categories of class provided for in Marx’s theory. For Weil the division between conception and execution ultimately was not reducible to class divisions, and the as-
sumption that it could be marginalized the force of Marx’s own insights on the all-pervasiveness
of the degradation with which capitalist society had infused human experience. She thought that
the dimensions of oppression could not be conﬂated but had to be considered systematically in turn, so that the questions that could illuminate the new historical situation could be formulated.