There has always been unease about modernity, both on the left and the right. The sickness, the rebels have always said, is mistaking artifice for authenticity, and the solution, the have always said, is to get back to what is stoically essential. Marcus Aurelius would have recognized the ills outlined in Patel’s The Value of Nothing, because the alienation from the land was eroding the character of his empire, so too would Emerson and Muir, the transcendentalist ideal being rooted in very earthy realities. This unease, is not new.