Liberalism is the ideology of liberty and equality, conservatism is the ideology of authority, hierarchy, tradition, and order.

Liberalism is a political philosophy based on the principles of liberty and equality that grew out of the Age of Enlightenment.

If you don’t want the King or Church taking your life, liberty, and property, if instead you believe you have “the right” of “consent”… you might be a liberal.

Likewise, conservatism is the opposition philosophy of liberalism. It is the check that balances liberalism.

both liberalism and conservatism come in classical and social forms and speak to issues of state, social issues, and economics. In terms of economics there are also classical and social forms of liberal and conservative economics.

There are a number of different forms of liberalism and conservatism which each denote differing ideologies, but they generally all share core principles (like all liberal ideologies share basic liberal and left-wing planks and all conservative ideologies generally share basic conservative and right-wing planks).

With the above said:

  • Liberalism is generally understood as an ideology containing the principles of democracy, republicanism, separation of powers, popular sovereignty, free speech, free trade, freedom of religion, and other general ideologies that favor human rights and the liberties and the well being of individuals and groups.
  • Conservatism is the ideology of governmental, cultural, and economic order, tradition, hierarchy, and authority that seeks to keep to the old ways and use authority to ensure order.
  • Somewhat confusingly, in the social forms, social conservatism tends to want to conserve back to some classical liberal values and social liberalism tends to embrace the authority of the state to ensure social welfare. Thus their left-right ideologies are somewhat mixed in the social form.

Factoids tagged with "Liberalism and Conservatism"

The Civil War was About Slavery Fact

The Civil war was about slavery, but it wasn’t “just about slavery”. Sectionalism, Protectionism, and States’ Rights were also factors.

Philosophy Requires Liberty Fact

To advance culture philosophically (not just technologically or economically) liberty is required. The major philosophical works came from liberal nations.

Pinball Used to Be Illegal Fact

Between the 1940s and the 1970s pinball used to illegal in parts of the United States. It was thought of as a gambling “game of chance” and was caught up in the post-prohibition push-back against gambling.

The Greeks Founded the Basis of Utilitarianism and Consequentialism Fact

Although we can consider Jeremy Bentham the founder of modern Utilitarianism, and his successor John Stuart Mill the one who popularized it, early Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Aristippus and Epicurus presented the original Utilitarian / Consequentialist / Greatest Happiness theories.

There is a Gender Pay Gap Fact

The gender pay gap is real, and so is the gender earnings gap. Even after all reasonable differences are factored out, an unexplained pay gap between men and women exists across the board.

John Locke is the Father of Liberalism Fact

John Locke can be considered the father of liberalism. His theories on life, liberty, property, consent, and the social contract form the foundation of classical liberalism.

Athens had a Democracy Fact

Classical Athens had a type of Direct Democracy that included direct voting on laws and election by lottery, but participation was limited to adult male citizens who owned land.

America is a Christian Nation Myth

America is not “a Christian nation” in terms of having a national religion. Despite a majority of Americans being Christian, the Bill of Rights ensures religious liberty for all.

The United States of America is a Democracy Fact

The United States is a Constitutional Federal Republic (a federation of states with a Representative Democracy). Despite a strong democratic tradition, the U.S. is not a “Direct Democracy” (where people vote on laws directly*).

Blog Posts tagged with "Liberalism and Conservatism"

Political Ideology Simplified

Most political positions can be described using a limited set of political terms related to classical and social liberalism and conservatism.

What is Social Conservatism?

Social Conservatism is the ideology of social hierarchy and tradition that mixes liberal and conservative views. It comes in political and economic forms.

What is Classical Conservatism?

Classical Conservatism is the ideology of authority, hierarchy, order, and tradition (like classical aristocracy). It comes in political and economic forms.

What is Social Liberalism?

Social liberalism is the ideology of collective liberties and rights that favors social welfare and justice. It comes in a political and economic form.

What is Classical Liberalism?

Classical liberalism is the ideology of liberties, rights, individualism, reason, and tolerance that comes in a political and economic form.

Neoliberalism Explained

Neoliberalism is an economically-minded evolution of classical liberalism focused on deregulation, trade, and the private market. It is a “middle way” or “third way” between liberalism and conservatism.

What is the Difference Between Logic and Reason?

Reason and logic are two closely related forms of thinking involving the comparison of terms that can be studied in terms of mathematics or philosophy and can be considered together as well as apart.

Modern, Historic, and General Social Class Systems

All nations have some sort of class system or class structure, generally based on wealth, birth, or status. We explain modern and historic social class systems and the general logic behind them to see to what extent they are natural and what extent they are convention.

The Importance of Individualism

We discuss the importance of individualism and the complexities involved in balancing the spirit of Individualism with collective responsibility.

What is Conservatism?

Conservatism is the ideology of governmental, cultural, and economic order, tradition, hierarchy, and authority that generally comes in classical, social, and economic forms.

Types of American Progressivism

We explain the different types of American progressivism from the founders, to the Reform movements, to Bryan and the Roosevelts, to the progressives and populists of today.

What is Reason?

Reason is the application of “pure logic”, empirical evidence, experiment, and skepticism to find truths, facts, and theories (AKA “critical thinking”).

Civil Religion

“Civil Religion” is “the religion” of the state. It doesn’t describe the theology of the state, but rather the shared identity built around national symbolism and customs.

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

Separation of Powers describes the way in which government is divided into different branches (ex. in the U.S., the legislative, executive, and judicial). Checks and balances describe the powers each branch has to “check” the other branches and ensure a balance of power.

Political Duopolies

We explain political duopolies by looking at the political duopoly in the United States of America and other historic duopolies.

What is the General Will?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s concept of the General Will roughly means “that which is in the best interest of the people” or “the public good”, and not just popular consensus.

Hume’s Fork Explained

“Hume’s fork” describes how we refer to Kant’s critique of Hume, who separated knowledge into two types: facts based on ideas and facts based on experience.

The Origin of the Political Terms Left and Right

The modern usage of the political terms left and right comes from the French Revolution of 1789 when supporters of the king stood to the president’s right, and supporters of the revolution to his left.

Is America an Oligarchy?

The United States is a Federal Republic with democratic values that some claim contains a growing oligarchy (or corporatocracy). We look at those claims.

What Does “Politically Correct” Mean?

Political Correctness (politically correct or PC), describes how much tolerance, sensitivity, censorship, and freedom of expression “is correct” in a given setting.

Wealth and Income Inequality

We explain economic inequality from a historical perspective, and then consider the effects of wealth inequality and income inequality in America today.

Book Reviews tagged with "Liberalism and Conservatism"