We publish here the first chapter of Tikkun editor-at-large Peter Gabel’s brilliant new book, The Desire for Mutual Recognition: Social Movements and the Dissolution of the False Self (Routledge Press 2018). Peter’s book proposes a visionary new social theory that places the conflict between the desire for a loving world and the legacy of fear of the other that has conditioned us at the heart of social and historical dynamics. The excerpt here should be read as an introduction to a work that ultimately addresses the foundations of law, the economy, politics, and the nature of social movements, including the tendency of social movements to undermine themselves. The social-spiritual activism that Peter ultimately argues for is one expression of Tikkun’s thirty-year effort to integrate the spiritual and political dimensions of our common existence.

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