Michael Lind praises Paul Starr’s new book, whose principal arguments are summarized here. My sense is that Starr overemphasizes the continuity between what he calls "constitutional liberalism" and "modern democratic liberalism." The latter is much less focused on individual rights and responsibilities and much more willing to use the power of the state on behalf of equality. If in America there is inevitably a tension between equality and liberty, Starr seems unaware of it or blithely willing to resolve the tension on behalf of equality.
Stated another way, like the liberalism of many of his colleagues, Starr’s liberalism is pragmatic and unwilling squarely to confront the "unnatural" expansion of state power required to accomplish the aims he holds dear.