From a book review of Conserving America? by Patrick Deneen- review by Micah Medowcroft- Trump Didn’t Kill Conservatism in The Wall Street Journal:
In our republic, argues Mr. Deneen, a conception of men “not as parts of wholes, but as wholes apart” has dissolved the ties and relationships that are the traditional essence of society. What began in the Constitution as a mandate for government to protect rights and individual freedoms has evolved—reflecting our desire for ever-increasing autonomy and self-definition—into a mission to sever us from our natural contexts of place and family. Alienation and an increasingly expanding state are our destiny, Mr. Deneen fears, “unless we recover a different, older, and better definition and language of liberty.” We must, argues Mr. Deneen, cultivate the virtues needed to find freedom within the limits of human nature and the natural world. That means returning self-government to local communities when possible. It may also mean, he suggests, a greater sensitivity to preserving the environment than classical liberalism typically permits.