Ross Douthat has a lot to chew on here. I have never liked the beehive as it was always the symbol of Communists. The analogy seems inapt. However, all of this touches on a key beef of mine. I do not believe any kind of conservatism is sustainable without social conservatism. Assaults on tradition give us the French Revolution or at least Woodstock. The self-denial and ability to delay gratification required for free economies to work are unsustainable when "what I want right now" is the measuring stick of all things. No one will fight and die for a society based on me. They will always claim the other guy should do it.
The Contract based model of societal organization for all things is destroying society right now because in marriage one cannot bind ones future self. Further, the relentless attack on unchosen relationships threaten to separate parent from child and generation from generation. The Supreme Court has ruled that grandparents have no "rights" to see their grandchildren. The judicially enforced rules on family and procreation since Griswald in 1964 have been uniformally hostile to family formation or legislative efforts to support it.
The Left uses "equal rights" laws to destroy the choices of private organizations, shatter marriage and family and upset the wisdom of ages on matters of sexuality. The libertarians and many "conservatives" seem willing to join them there.
The result is an atomized individual, stripped of family, Church, parentage, fraternal organization, history, patriotism or anything but the immediate Id driven desire he might have. Such a person is ripe for control by the State.
Atomized individuals simply have never been able and will never be able to resist the state or the zeitgeist. Civilization requires we do both. Burke said that he who does not look back to his ancestors will not look forward to posterity. That is what modern Europe and those who ape it in America are creating. As a result they have no posterity which means, no future.
Finally, Douhot says he would have been a liberal in the 1950's. I can not join him there as I do not know what important differences on social conservatism Harry Truman had from Dwight D. Eisenhower. Free Market economics is always the default position of the conservative, but the family ought not to be on the auction block.
Update: Not surprisingly Burke said it better than I did. A new book is being discussed in the Corner and here is a post that quotes Burke on unchosen relationships:
The whole thread is interesting and I may pick up the book.