Conservative vs Liberal: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Conservative ideology encompasses traditional values, limited government intervention, individual liberties, free-market capitalism and a strong national defence.
  2. Liberal ideology is political and philosophical, emphasizing individual rights, equality, and freedom.
  3. Conservatives believe in maintaining established institutions and traditions, while liberals embrace change and progress to achieve equality and social justice.

What is Conservative?

Conservative is rooted in the belief that established customs, and principles are essential for maintaining stability, order, and continuity in society. They tend to advocate for preserving and adhering to established social, political and economic norms rather than advocating for radical Change. Conservatives emphasize personal responsibility and believe individuals, families, and local communities should have more control over their affairs.

Conservatives support free market capitalism, believing that economic freedom and individual entrepreneurship lead to prosperity and innovation. They advocate for minimal government regulation and intervention in the economy, promoting free trade and private property rights. Conservatives value individual liberty and freedom of choice, emphasizing personal autonomy and limited interference in people’s lives. They believe in protecting individual rights such as freedom of speech, religion and the right to bear arms.

Conservatives focus on the importance of social order and stability, favouring the family, marriage, and religious institutions. They prioritize a strong military and national defence, emphasizing the importance of maintaining solid and capable armed forces to protect the country’s security and interests.

What is Liberal?

Liberals advocate for social progress, equality of opportunity and the expansion of civil liberties. One of the critical principles of liberalism is the protection of individual rights and freedom. Liberals argue that individuals should be free to make choices about their lives as long as they do not harm others. This includes the right to express one’s opinion, engage in peaceful assembly, and practice the religion of one’s choice.

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Equality is another core value for liberals. They believe everyone should have equal opportunities to succeed and prosper, regardless of background or circumstances. Liberalism also places importance on social progress. They advocate for the rights of marginalized groups, such as racial and ethnic minorities, women and the LGTBQ+ community. 

There are different variations and interpretations of liberal thought. For example- classical liberalism focuses more on limited government intervention and laissez-faire economics. On the other hand, modern liberalism, also known as social liberalism, places greater emphasis on social justice, equality and the role of government in addressing social issues.

Difference Between Conservative and Liberal

  1. Conservatives advocate for limited government intervention in the economy and society. At the same time, liberals support a more active role in the government, promoting policies to reduce economic inequalities and providing social welfare programs.
  2. Conservatives favour low taxes, deregulation, and free trade to stimulate economic growth and individual prosperity. At the same time, liberals support progressive taxation and government regulations to protect consumers and the environment.
  3. Conservatives believe in maintaining traditional social norms, while liberals embrace Change and progress to achieve equality and social justice.
  4. Conservatives argue that excessive environmental regulations can stifle economic development, whereas liberals prioritize ecological protection and sustainable practices.
  5. Conservatives focus on law and order and advocate for stricter punishments, whereas liberals support rehabilitation and criminal justice reform.

Comparison Between Liberals and Conservatives

ParametersConservativeLiberal
Role of governmentLimited government intervention The active part of the government
Economic PoliciesLow taxes, deregulation and free tradeProgressive taxation and government regulations
Environmental careExcessive environmental regulations can stifle economic development Prioritize ecological protection and sustainable practices 
Criminal justiceFocus on law and order, stricter punishmentsSupport rehabilitation and criminal justice reform
Approach to changeMaintaining traditional normsEmbracing Change and Equality
References
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pops.12534
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08913810701499635
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Last Updated : 06 September, 2023

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