Rebuilding our moral consensus
by Arthur C. Brooks
Everyone at AEI knows that we were built on the concept of “a competition of ideas.” But that competition also requires something to come first: a clear moral consensus.
Think of an atom. The outer field of electrons is full of chaotic activity. Electrons are rapidly orbiting and moving in a constant buzz. What contains that chaos and gives it structure? The fact that the whole chaotic cloud orbits one central nucleus.
National debates over politics and policy need a shared center of gravity like the atom. The electrons are like specific policy arguments or particular ideas— constantly moving and hard to pin down. From a distance, the swirling debates can look like barely-contained chaos. But it is the nucleus, our shared moral consensus, that lends it all shape and purpose.