The Politics of Meaning
Restoring Hope and Possibility in An Age of CynicismBook - 1996
Drawing both on religious traditions and the insights of psychotherapy, Michael Lerner here proposes and provides a detailed plan for a "politics of meaning" that would reshape our economic and political lives in the twenty-first century.Lerner, the editor of Tikkun magazine and a practicing psychotherapist, shows how liberals and progressives can reconstitute themselves as the pro-family and pro-values force in American society. They must, he argues, he argues, accept as legitimate Americans; hunger for meaning in their lives, which until now has led many to embrace the political Right.The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have described Lerner as "the guru of the White House," and Rush Limbaugh has singled him out for lengthy attacks. Still, Lerner argues that even President Clinton and the Democrats have lost the nerve to pursue a true politics-of-meaning program.The author contends that we and our politician can no longer separate healing of the soul from healing of our political and social world. The selfishness and cynicism that is at the root of our spiritual and values crisis must itself be addressed to fix our "broken politics." Unfortunately, out competitive market rewards precisely those narrow-minded qualities that lead us to treat others as means to our own narrow ends.The most obvious manifestation of this crisis is in the growing difficulties many Americans face sustaining their families and loving relationships, and in the increased crime and violence in our society. But just as corrosive, the author argues, is Americans' growing willingness to accept as unchangeable, aspects of our economy and society that are in fact within our power to change--unemployment, environmental destruction, hunger, and homelessness.Michael Lerner's book will be essential reading for the closing years of the twentieth century. At a moment in American history when public life feels increasingly debased and irrelevant, Lerner's vision of a society based on caring for our soul and recognizing each other as infinitely precious offers a way of doing politics that no longer forces people to choose between their deepest spiritual longings and their desire to have impact on the world.
Publisher: Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley, c1996.
Branch Call Number: 306. 0973 LER
Characteristics: xi, 355 p. ; 24 cm.