Somehow, somewhere our democratic institutions will need to be reinvented, if only to lay down the rules and fix the limits within which economic rationality ought to be permitted to function and to run roughshod over our lives. (VC 100)

Kwinter's distinction between democratic self-determination and economic rationality echoes the complaints of the early Frankfurt School writers, and his terminology comes close to Habermas's distinction between lifeworld and system, that is, between our realm of discourse, with its communicative procedures and their consensual rationality, and the workings of autonomous economic and other feedback systems that put pressure on our ways of life to conform to a narrower means-end rationality of maximizing systemic function.