The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning

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9780965502962: The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning

THE BANK TELLER explores the desire within each of us to overcome our isolation and to see and be seen by the other in a relation of authentic connectedness. Peter Gabel asserts that this desire for “mutual recognition” is the very foundation of our social being, and is as fundamental in the spiritual realm as the need for food and shelter is in the material realm. He shows how the fear of humiliation blocks our capacity to become fully present to each other and leads us to collectively reproduce an alienated and artificial society that isolates us from one another and from the capacity to fully experience the natural world. In a series of strikingly original essays, Gabel shows how “the opening up of desire” requires a fundamental challenge to our existing social institutions and a new political strategy that invents new forms of work, friendship, and community.

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About the Author:

PETER GABEL is president of New College of California, associate editor of Tikkun magazine, and co-founder with Michael Lerner of the Politics of Meaning. He is part of a wider community of friends and coworkers who strive to remain true to the insights and ideals of the 1960s that first united them. Peter lives with his partner, Lisa Jaicks, and their son, Sam, in San Francisco.

Review:

The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning, by Peter Gabel. Law Professor, Law Dean and college President, Peter Gabel gets down to fundamentals about the politics of meaning. This is not a muckraking expose but rather a relentless push on readers to examine their isolation and alienation from one another, their neighborhood, workplace, and community without which a functioning democracy cannot evolve. --Ralph Nader's 2007 Top Ten Holiday Reading List for Activists

Peter Gabel's powerful and profound analysis of the psychodynamics of contemporary Western societies is a major breakthrough in contemporary thought. Gabel demonstrates the way that we each participate in a fear-based withdrawal from each other into social roles that keep us trapped in isolation and loneliness while yearning for real contact and yet denying to ourselves and others that yearning for fear of being humiliated and rejected. Gabel shows that the desire to transcend these crippling dynamics is omni-present, and helps progressives and liberals understand how to address this need for authentic recognition, a need that till now has been largely ignored by the Left while it was being seized upon and manipulated by the Religious Right. This book and the thinking behind it has had a major influence on my own thinking, and I hope everyone who cares about saving America from its own self-destruction will carefully read The Bank Teller. --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, chair of The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) and author of 11 books, most recently the national best-selller The Left Hand of God.

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Gabel, Peter
Published by Acada Books, San Francicso U. S. A. (2000)
ISBN 10: 0965502961 ISBN 13: 9780965502962
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Book Description Acada Books, San Francicso U. S. A., 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Marfree, acidfree Fine in Fine DJ ; no names, not marked-in, underscored, clearance or discard. Mails from NYC usually within 12 hours.; 1 x 9.1 x 5.9 Inches; 242 pages; A compelling and provocative case, April 29, 2003Online Rev:Were the 60's a special time in history for nascent communal meaning and purpose, or were we just young and foolishly optimistic about our generation's ability to change the world? Reading this brilliant series of essays brought back to me, a 56 year old lawyer, the spirit and intellectual joy of times I had long since forgotten about. But heck, I'm not giving up now after taking this stimulating course by Peter Gabel offering a rich, resonating, carefully crafted, and highly persuasive political philosophy revealed in ever increasing fullness with every turned page. There is much here for anyone interested in benefitting from what has clearly been a lifetime of scholarly commitment by the author to the pursuit of truth regarding the fundamentals of being and human interaction.This remarkable body of work will generously reward the time taken to read and reflect upon it. Although the author makes no apologies as he directly challenges the conventional political and social mores of today, he makes a strong and well corroborated argument for the ultimate triumph of hope, leading to the emergence of caring interpersonal recognition and confirmation as the twin bedrocks of a new and everlastingly meaningful society. Bookseller Inventory # 23587

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Peter Gabel
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Book Description Acada Books, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0965502961

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Peter Gabel
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Book Description Acada Books, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition edition. 256 pages. 9.25x6.50x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0965502961

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