A terrific restatement by Mr. Richardson of the traditionalist versus the classic liberal position. As Mr. Richardson shows, not only is the classic liberal position of negative rights and restrictions on state power inadequate in itself to a proper understanding of the human, but it leads inevitably over time to a system of positive rights and unlimited state power directed at making everyone equal.
The basic flaw of classical liberalism is that it has no sense of the "larger wholes" which form us, of which we are a part, and in which, to a significant and indispensable degree, we find ourselves. Rights being the only operative principle of classical liberalism, the rights inevitably keep growing and demanding more and more, and instead of just wanting to be left alone want to be made equal.
While there are various self-described classical liberals in the U.S. today (two examples being S.T. Karnick and Ilana Mercer) who argue that classical liberalism is not anti-national but affirms national identity and national sovereignty, the fact is that classical liberalism does not contain within itself the means to stop its own tendency to move leftward. ONLY traditionalism can do that. ONLY traditionalism can contain the inherent ills of liberalism and thus assure that what is good about liberalism does not turn into its own opposite.
I would add this. The American Founding is often described as the quintessence of classical, Lockean liberalism. But this is not correct. Americans in the Founding period believed in a uniquely American amalgam of Lockean liberalism and traditionalism: in Protestant Christianity, in traditional morality, in distinctive English-American ways of life, in English-American ways of governance, in a powerful and jealous sense of nationhood, and in a powerful sense of identity with their respective individual states of the Union, which they guarded against the power of the national government.
They spoke and believed in the Lockean principles of the universal and natural rights of man, but they understood them and applied them within the context of a specific political and cultural order that was not universal but particular and contained many inequalities. Their liberalism was a part of a cultural order that was not itself liberal—which happens to be my formula for non-destructive liberalism. But, because they failed to produce a sufficient articulation of the non-liberal aspects of their political society, the liberal parts kept expanding and over time drove out the traditional parts.
Liberalism has not always attempted to go it alone as a ruling principle of society. We live in exceptionally radical times because our society is now being ordered along the lines of a single political theory. In the past, there was room for an aristocratic ideal, for the influence of religion, for a serious commitment to family, community and nation and for an ideal of manhood and womanhood. It was the continuing presence of these other goods which allowed the "liberal West" to hold together. By itself, liberalism undercuts the existence of that group of people holding to it.