Because government has tremendous power, it attracts people who are eager to game the system, obtaining by force of law what they could never achieve through consensus.
That was the first major social sciences conference at which social scientists from all cultures wanted to reach a consensus on whether we can continue to pursue a national course in the social sciences or whether we need a cosmopolitan path that also connects us in a new way.
The unraveling of America’s long mid-century domestic consensus, which ran from about 1941 to 1966, had begun earlier, under Lyndon B. Johnson.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
In particular, Kissinger was a key player during a transformative period of the imperial presidency, in the 1960s and ’70s, when the Vietnam War undermined the traditional foundations on which it had stood since the early years of the Cold War: elite planning, bipartisan consensus, and public support.
President George H. W. Bush soon launched Operation Desert Shield, sending an enormous contingent of troops to Saudi Arabia. But once there, what exactly were they to do? Contain Iraq? Attack and liberate Kuwait? Drive on to Baghdad and depose Saddam? There was no clear consensus among foreign policy advisers or analysts.
The earth is ready, the time is ripe, for the authoritative expression of the feminine as well as the masculine interpretation of that common social consensus which is slowly writing justice in the State and fraternity in the social order.
Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
The problem is that no ethical system has ever achieved consensus. Ethical systems are completely unlike mathematics or science. This is a source of concern.
At a school in Massachusetts where I once worked, we managed early on through consensus. Which sounds wonderful, but it was just a very, very difficult way to sort of manage anything, because convincing everybody to do one particular thing, especially if it was hard, was almost impossible.