grounding from the praxis. Theories must have their normative value in the society.Hence, Habermas found it alarming to see the naivety that that is slowly forming in theUniversities of the 1960’s. He warns against the danger whereby theories becometechnical powers that robs the human person of his personality. The technocrats are nolonger after their interaction with people but rather only with the mastery of their craftand technology. He was alarmed by the growing tendency of people to do away withinteraction within a community of human beings.
In bringing about the reflection on the important events in the society, Habermasproposes for the practice of engaging the people into public discussions aboutcontemporary events. Habermas laments over the fact that the people have alreadybecome depoliticized. He observes that with the rise of the new brand of capitalism thatcompromises the antagonism of classes, the people have also become compromisingand a breed of apolitical citizens is beginning to be formed. He said, “with the decline of the open class antagonism, the contradiction has changed its form: it now appears asthe depoliticization of the masses...”
Habermas worries over the fact that the people are depoliticized because the means of manipulation will proliferate if the people would cease to be critical about what is goingon in the community. Hence, Habermas argues in the first essay of his book,
Towards aRational Society
, about the role of the Universities to stir up people, especially thestudents, into politics. Habermas sees the students as the hope in invigorating onceagain the political discussion about things so that things would be properly legitimatedbefore they can be accepted as norms. He even argues that the public has alreadybecome corrupted because they have already become uncritical. The public is no longerpolitical but it has been relegated to mean the people’s mere
of what hasbeen handed down. The mass media was blamed by Habermas for this. For him, themass media was utilized as a tool for manipulating the thinking of the people. Theminds of the people are in a sense colonized by the values introduced by the media. The public loses its capacity to scrutinize. Rather, the public is reduced to the merenumber of people who uncritically receives anything introduced on them. The passivityof the kind of public that was evolving was described by Habermas as the people“whose receptiveness is public but uncritical.”