According to Jurgen Habermas

Habermas said: due to the 20th century expansion
Of state bureaucracy
The “lifeworld”
In which we live our personal and private lives
Has been increasingly colonised by an alien type of thinking
It has been colonised by “functional rationality”
The rationality used by governments and market-forces
In which decision making is shaped by issues of money and power
While in the lifeworld
Our families, our communities
We are more receptive to normative and moral considerations
We want our behaviour to be guided by “communicative rationality”

The consequences of this colonisation, he argues
Are, firstly, social conflict
Secondly, the formation of new social movements
Marcuse said: it is not the existence of this type of rationality
Which causes conflict
But the way that it is used
The attempts to spread this framework
For interaction and communication
Into our homes
And into every part of our society

This is something which should resonate
With both sides of the spectrum
Some people decry the bureaucratisation of our social order
The nanny state
And its expansion into our private lives
While some people focus on the negative aspects
Of the power that big business has over our democracy
Over our lifeworld
Such as the financialisation of food, water and energy
And, of course, their influence on the electoral process

It may feel like we are not trying to achieve the same things
But what is it that everybody really wants for their children?
A high-quality education system
A network of roads and rails on which to travel
A reasonable balance between work and recreation
It may feel like we are not trying to achieve the same things
But this is only because our needs and desires
Have been warped and distorted
Corrupted by issues of money and power
By those from both sides
Who claim either to represent us
Or to have our best interests at heart
But who colonise us instead

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