Modern individualism is the cause of modern statism. The inability to keep Locke in the Locke box–and the resulting withering away all the various “intermediary institutions”–leave the lonely, shivering individual with no choice but to cling to dependency on an omnicompetent state.As I've explained (here, for one example), it's primarily on account of its valorization of the individual self that I am not a libertarian. And for those who don't find individualism problematic, Lawler's quote should give pause.
To be sure, Lawler is summarizing sociologist Robert Nisbet but there are plenty of others who agree. Indeed, for the proposition that many good parts of modernity ending up feeding the beast of state power, over a decade ago I published The Puritan Revolution and the Law of Contracts (download here). There I used Philip Gorski's "The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe" to support my argument that the successors to the Jacobean kings of England were only too happy to harvest the economic benefits of Puritanism's intense social practices for the aggrandizement of the state power of Great Britain.
Resistance of the borg of state power is not futile. But it must not be done with tools that simultaneously nourish Leviathan the while the battle against it goes on.