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Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals

liberal_politicsConservatives vs Liberals

When looking at politics people’s leanings can generally be divided into conservative or liberal. There is a political spectrum with the extreme left being associated with socialist or communist leanings and the extreme right with fascism and conservatism. This axis is thought to have come from the seating plan of the 18th century French parliament.

In most democratic societies today the main political parties are located firmly in the center of the political spectrum, with only slight divergence to the left or the right. In the United States the Democrats are known as liberals and the Republicans as conservatives; in England the liberal party is called Labor and the conservative party is called the Tories.

Traditionally liberal political parties tend to put into place policies that favor sharing out resources as equally as possible among its citizens. They tend to believe that individuals have a responsibility toward the collective whole or society in which they live. A liberal government will typically employ policies that create welfare states and offer government funded free health care, unemployment benefits, old age or disabled pensions, paid maternity leave and so on.

On the other hand, conservatives normally subscribe to the view that individuals should be held personally responsible for their own life and well-being and they believe strongly in individual freedoms. As a consequence of their love for individualism a conservative party traditionally produces policies that favor the individual, rather than sharing out resources among the community.

Some political analysts say that liberals tend to focus their energies on monitoring abuse of power such as the monied upper class taking advantage of the poor or business owners taking advantage of the environment and culling forests for fiscal gain. Conservatives it is often said concern themselves with protecting traditional family values and are concerned with such things as delinquency, defense and crime.

In truth there is not as much difference between most popular political parties as there once was. The Democrats and Labor tend to be a slightly left of center party and the Republicans and Tories are a slightly right of center party. There is also some contention these days among political scientists as to the difference between liberal and conservative and even whether these terms are becoming outdated.

Summary
1.Liberals and conservatives are distinguished along the political spectrum.
2.Liberals are said to lean towards the left, which is associated with communism.
3.Conservatives are said to lean towards the right, which is associated with fascism.
4.The United States liberal party is called the Democrats and the conservative party the Republicans.
5.These days the difference between liberal and conservative parties is less stark than in the past.


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7 Comments

  1. Mussolini, maybe the most famous fascist, was first socialist, ie a leftist. Hitler was certainly NOT a rightwinger – he lead a “people’s” movement to change the statist quo and business aligned with him to avoid destruction. This commonly promoted misconception of conservatism allied with fascism is shamefully inaccurate.

    • That’s absolutely not true. Fascism is considered by scholars to be on the far right of the left-right spectrum. “Fascism is a form of extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties” – http://www.publiceye.org/eyes/whatfasc.html

    • No, this article is completely accurate. Mussolini only switched back and forth in his proposed ideologies to appeal to the masses, not because of a moral conviction. Either way, he did SWITCH to far right for most of his reign. And as for Hitler, his political policies were built on anti-communist and anti-socialist ideals.

  2. I’ve followed American politics for fifty years as both a Democrat and a Republican.

    In the 1950′s, when a bill came up for a vote in Congress, the “no” votes had lots of both Democrats and Republicans, and the “yes” votes also had lots of both Democrats and Republicans. Over the years, I’ve seen a larger percentage of Democrats on one side of the vote, and a larger percentage of Republicans on the other side. Today, it’s almost all Democrats on one side of the vote and almost all Republicans on the other.

    The difference between Conservatives and Liberals has definitely INCREASED over the years — not decreased.

  3. Author clearly has no idea what the word ‘liberal’ means anywhere else besides America , nor any idea about British Politics.

    Both American political parties are more or less ‘liberal’ (belief in free capitalist market economy, personal freedoms etc..), seems more like a progressive liberal party vs conservative liberal party,
    as opposed to most other western nation such as UK Australia etc.., where the political spectrum is more ‘social democracy’ (labour) vs ‘liberal-conservatives’ (Tory)

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