Second, I am skeptical of intellectual constructions that argue that some historical ideas necessarily lead to certain outcomes one disagrees with. For example, in most of Western Europe unlike in the United States, the conservative intellectual tradition is favorable to a strong state. Ideas that Americans would call communitarian are strongly intertwined with nationalism in Europe, putting the "national community" above the individual. Read conservative European philosophers of ideas or historians, and you will find accounts, just as persuasive as Leonard's, that "progressive" ideas are the necessary consequence of economic liberalism run amok, and that all the ills of the modern world go back to 19th century classical liberals substituting the markets and individual whims for political will.


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