Let's say, as a thought experiment, that right-liberals got what they wanted, so that in 50 years' time all that existed were deracinated individuals each pursuing their rational self-interest in the market.
Let's say that you were one of those individuals. Who would you then vote for? Would you vote for a right-liberal party emphasising small government, low taxes and equal opportunity, or would you vote for a left-liberal party emphasising the idea of high taxation in order to redistribute wealth from the upper middle-classes to the lower classes?
It seems to me that in the most ideal right-liberal conditions most people would vote for the left-liberal party. Why? Because it would be in their rational self-interest to do so. If all that I am told is that I must pursue the best material outcomes for myself, and I belong to the majority which will benefit from a redistributive state, then why wouldn't I vote for that state?
What right-liberals really have to think about is why someone from the majority social classes would vote against their own material self-interest and in favour of small government, low taxation and low welfare.
And the problem here for right-liberals is that the reasons people might do so are not supported by right-liberalism itself.
For instance, a working-class man might from a sense of masculine pride prefer to stand on his own two feet and support his family from his own labours rather than having things handed to him by a welfare state.
But this requires a culture of masculine honour, as well as a very strong sense of a masculine provider role, that the materialistic and individualistic ethos of right-liberalism cannot uphold. Right-liberalism does not reach deeply enough into men's souls to be able to draw on such motivations.
Similarly, if the middle-classes thought of themselves as belonging to a distinct, historic people and as having a duty to promote the highest existence of themselves as a people, then they might forego material self-interest to promote the overall well-being of their own tradition. They might then reject welfarism and statism as sapping the energy and spirit of their own people, and as disrupting intermediary forms of communal life, such as the family.
But right-liberalism is again too individualistic to allow people to form such motivations. Right-liberalism encourages us to identify with ourselves alone as individuals.
Is it really so surprising that nineteenth century right-liberalism was followed by twentieth century left-liberalism?