Ever since Burke conservatives have been arguing for the importance of the "little platoons" in society. Our lefty friends haven't taken a blind bit of notice as their socialist Big Push chewed up not just platoons but whole regiments of civil society.
Danny Kruger argues that conservatism is really the third leg of the revolutionary stool of Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! The left keeps trying to fold fraternity into liberty or equality but it won't work.
Tony Blair, he writes, wants to rebuild civil society with a new contract between citizen and state, a social justice based upon equality and emancipation.
Conservatives see social justice arising from "a system of naturally occurring and beneficial relationships... positive liberty through social membership." You cannot build civil society upon individual emancipation and egalitarian compulsion as the left believes.
All this is standard stuff, but Kruger consciously makes his argument on the left's ground, leavening appeals to Burke and Hayek with resort to Hegelian dialectic. He insists that the left can't get where it wants to go with the bare bones of liberty and equality.
You can't get genuine community with a radical individualism controlled by government statute and box-ticking bureaucracy. You need a middle ground of non-coercive authority and persuasion. Not just "I shall" or "You must" but "We should."
This is a good effort, another brick laid on the foundations put down by Edmund Burke two centuries ago. Some day, perhaps sooner than we think, we will wake up and discover that our conservative bricklayers have built a home in which most people, even our progressive friends, want to live.