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Galbraith did not invent the term:
The term is often credited to the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who used it in his 1958 book The Affluent Society:[1]

    It will be convenient to have a name for the ideas which are esteemed at any time for their acceptability, and it should be a term that emphasizes this predictability. I shall refer to these ideas henceforth as the conventional wisdom.[2]

The term in actuality is much older and dates at least to 1838.[3]

Conventional wisdom was used in a number of other works prior to Galbraith, occasionally in a positive[4] or neutral[5] sense, but more often pejoratively.[6]

It's perhaps not an exact translation of "pensée unique", because it carries connotations of a conspiracy of dunces, whereas "pensée unique" has more sinister, authoritarian mind-control overtones.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Dec 8th, 2010 at 07:49:04 AM EST
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