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States, Markets, and Dis-embedded Individuals

"Our main political choices come down to which depersonalized mechanism [the state or the market] will purportedly advance our freedom and security. The space of the market, which collects our billions upon billions of choices to provide for our wants and needs without demanding from us any specific thought or intention about the wants and needs of others, or the liberal state, which establishes depersonalized procedures and mechanisms for the wants and needs of others that remain insufficiently addressed by the market…

Claiming to liberate the individual from embedded cultures, traditions, places, and relationships, liberalism has homogenized the world in its image… Having successfully dis-embedded us from relationships that once made claims upon us, but also informed our conception of self-hood, our sense of ourselves as citizens sharing a common fate and as economic actors sharing a common world, liberalism has left the individual exposed to the tools of liberation.

Neither progressivism’s faith that liberalism will be realized when we move forward toward the realization of liberalism’s promise nor conservatism’s tale that American greatness will be restored when we reclaim the governing philosophy of our constitution offers any real alternative to liberalism’s advance… Conservatism rightly observes that progressivism’s destination is a dead end and progressivism rightly decries conservatism’s nostalgia for a time that cannot be restored.

Conservatives and progressives alike have advanced liberalism’s project and neither as constituted today can provide the new way forward that must be discerned outside our rutted path…

Moving beyond liberalism is not to discard some of liberalism’s main commitments, especially those deepest longings of the West—political liberty and human dignity—but to reject the false turn it made in its imposition of an ideological remaking of the world in the image of a false anthropology."

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