Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics and Culture Paperback – October 16, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
PETER GABEL is former president of New College of California and was for thirty years a law professor at New College’s public-interest law school. He is Editor-at-Large of Tikkun magazine, a co-founder of the Critical Legal Studies movement in legal scholarship, and the author of many articles on law, politics, and social change. He lives in San Francisco with his partner Lisa Jaicks, a union organizer with Unite Here, and their son Sam, and he is president of the Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art, and Politics in Santa Rosa, California. His last book was “The Bank Teller and Other Essays on the Politics of Meaning.”
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
J.Alfred Smith Sr. Professor emeritus American Baptist Seminary of The West and Graduate Theological Union, Berkely CA
Sadly, injustice has continued to this day: The Injustice of our Suprieme Court that occured when it denied the right of the voters in Florida to have their vote counted (usng "States Rights to destroy our union) and installed G. W. Bush as our president. A president who started two unending wars and fueled the regressive atttude of so many of our citizens.
“ I am he as you are he as you are me / And we are all together” – The Beatles
As a lifelong activist, activist-educator and educator of activists, it wasn’t until I fully engaged, beginning with his early book The Bank Teller, with Peter Gabel’s theory of Overcoming Alienation and ‘Fear of the Other’ through Mutual Recognition and the development of what he calls ‘Social- spiritual Activism’ that I found the essential element that was missing in my and others’ approach.
I sent decades theorizing and practicing first Marxism alone, then when that wasn’t sufficient, combining Marx and Freud, later adding Foucault, feminist theory, race and post-colonial theorists, gender/queer theory and sexuality. This was followed by exploring the wholesale rejection of Marx and his ‘radical’ version of the enlightenment project, in favor of ecological post-modernism and/or a ‘powered-down’ green anarchism that would replicate Zapatismo-like autonomist zones. Each discourse made wonderful and necessary additions, but lacked a rootedness in something deeper and thus was insufficient to create a vision, let alone a ‘reality,’ that would point towards a better possible, viable, desirable future, if not for me, then at least for some generation to follow.
Following on The Bank Teller, Gabel’s Another Way of Seeing begins with an explanatory introduction on the limitations of liberalism (both the 17th century and the 21st century neo-liberalism version) as well as the ‘materialist-only’ left theories and the practices following from them (however for me with some too small mention of the apolitical, self-centered, individualist preoccupations of New Ageism even when they are sprinkled with mindfulness, yogic flexibility and quantum ambiguity),
Then, in its subsequent chapters, he presents the power of Mutual Recognition, focusing on the way, in varying contexts, its practice through a Social-Spiritual Activism can heal the legacy of social trauma and promote ‘spiritualized’ social policies in the dominant culture to increase our resilience in a brutalizing global, corporate capitalist world until we ‘create something nicer’ (Paris, May ’68).
This ‘something nicer’ than capitalism would be a ‘Parallel Universe’ of just, sacred, and sustainable alternatives prefiguring the world we want –including the creation of economic, legal, agricultural, medical and other communities that will support our then building a social movement of nonviolent attraction to this world that ‘we are for’ rather than simply rejecting and calling for the overthrow of the world that we don’t want.
This new Social-Spiritual Activism will require not only a politics of solidarity, but also a ‘politics of affection’ to move us en mass towards this more just, sacred and sustainable world. Reading Another Way of Seeing is to see the end of fear and alienation and thus of capitalism’s raison d’etre – its role as a defense against humiliation or annihilation by the demonized other, a defense constructed by the false promises of triumphant individualism, palliative faux communities of distraction, repressive desublimations and material wealth. Gabel argues instead for ‘seeing’ our being as communal, ecological and spiritual, rather than pooled up as isolated autonomous individuals. As the moat of fear drains between us, we will be able to move from another way of seeing to a politics of doing in which we act with other humans, with the more than human world and with the planet itself to create quelque chose de plus agreeable (pardon my French).