The Politics of Meaning: Affirming Hope and Possibility in an Age of Cynicism

Michael Lerner, Author Basic Books $24 (355p) ISBN 978-0-201-47966-9
Tikkun editor Lerner charges that the right wing of the U.S. political spectrum champions an ethos of narrow self-interest while positioning itself as the force that cares about God, family and ethics. Chiding liberals and progressives for failing to address people's fundamental need for caring relationships, meaningful work and community, Lerner calls for a ""politics of meaning,"" a new movement that would dramatically downsize government--not by returning power to the states, as conservatives advocate--but through decentralized grassroots institutions, democratized workplaces where workers decide how and what to produce, job rotation, social audits of every proposed law or project, voluntary family-support networks in every community, and senior citizens' work corps. Lerner attacks the ""hate radio"" of Rush Limbaugh, and he counsels feminists and other critics of our male-dominated world to go easy on white males, who are themselves victims of a frantically competitive system. Often preachy or vague, this ambitious manifesto nevertheless offers fresh perspectives on multiculturalism, sexism, crime and violence, school curricula and the Clintons' defeated health insurance plan, which Lerner views as a sham attempt to curb the greed and profiteering built into the medical industry. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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FORMATS
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-201-15489-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56455-291-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56511-153-0
Paperback - 978-0-670-85495-0
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