An emerging strand of anti- or post-liberal thought has set off an important debate on America’s political right. These critics often charge that classical liberalism, which a number of us have considered foundational to American conservative thinking, fetishizes individual autonomy. That leads, the argument goes, to personal atomization, social aimlessness, and cultural decadence. Many of these critics would prefer a political system that prioritizes solidarity, stability, and a particular vision of the common good over individual freedom.
I think the more extreme of these post-liberal arguments risk undermining the invaluable philosophical progress made over centuries in elevating citizens above the state. …
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