Define- Conservative and Liberal

Discussion in 'Politics' started by RodISHI, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    What are the trends of a liberal Republican?



    What are the trends of a liberal Democrat?


    Define conservation in either party.
     
  2. The T
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    The T George S. Patton Party Supporting Member

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    You sure that you want to open this can of worms?
     
  3. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    Sometimes one needs a "can of worms" to catch the bigun's. People throw those words out here often enough that the least they should be able to do is define them for us uneducated one's understand fully what they are referring to.
     
  4. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    I'll jump in, to give my definitions, as I have always seen them and as expressed in an earlier topic called "Student of Ideologies:"

    For me, ideas about conservatism and liberalism in politics,.... begins in ancient Rome with the very beginnings of political parties, or factions, with the two proto-political "parties:" the Optimates and Populares. Prior to the first great representative republic, the Athenian Democracies handled political issues/elections/politics as revolving around the "politics of (heroic) personalities; or political "cults of personalities. In a representative republic (Rome like America) citizens elect other citizens to represent them in the assembly or other magistracies, so that there was a need for, and parties tended to evolve around popular issues.

    In Rome, those in the party of the Optimates were sternly “conservative,” above all protecting their status and authority. The Optimates were, by modern standards, what would be called Conservative-reactionaries with a few Conservative/liberals amongst them, who saw the need for expanding some rights and greater representation to the "plebeians".

    The Populares (party of the people or the plebeians) were bent on expanding their freedoms at the expense of that status and authority (of the Optimates/aristoctrats), while still defending most traditions, adding some of their own, to existing institutions, as much as they already existed. The Populares were by modern standards Liberal/conservatives

    It's interesting to compare these political philosophies then and now.
    My own opinion is that in part, of each of the two philosophies, liberalism (Democrats) and conservatism (Republicans), some of the best of those ancient proto-parties is still extant, and then as now, both are needed to have a viable civilization. It may be that the duration of the existence of those two variants of the philosophies over a period of more than two thousand years is partial proof of that.

    Then as now Conservatism is the belief that traditions and institutions are important for measuring the nobility of our actions, and that they should be changed, but slowly and with only the most rigorous debate. This strongly resembles the beginnings of these two political philosophies, and has grown more noble.

    Today in America’s political operating system, the Democratic Party is the primary vehicle of Liberalism as an operative political philosophy, and the Republican Party is the primary vehicle of Conservatism as an operative political philosophy:

    For liberals today as then, the belief in freedom and equality is still inherent in a demand for change, but today has little to do with individual autonomy. The “nobility” of their proposals for our society are only caricatures in today's world as compared to the ancient ones.

    As I see it, the conservative philosophy has been improved with its hybridization to liberal ideals, and the liberal philosophy has been degraded with its hybridization with conservative ideals, with this result: In today's society the conservative is the proponent of individual autonomy, and the liberal is the proponent of the individual as citizen subordinated to an overarching government. [/paraphrase

    To the degree that Democrats respect and support individualism and small businesses as the best expression of that individualism, in their quest to solve social problems they are LIBERAL with conservative tendencies.

    To the degree Republicans accept an expanded role for central government in the affairs of individuals to accomplish social goals or to solve social problems they are CONSERVATIVE with liberal tendencies.

    The two "system's" division into two main parties/philosophies as they operate today can be described as follows:

    The Democrat/liberal philosophy is the party of government and bureaucratic systems. To reach out to the ordinary Democrat, or “would be Democrats” liberals have become good at identifying social problems.
    However they are often not so good at finding efficacious solutions to them, a problematic feature of radical liberalism. Their identification and exploitation of these problems is sometimes only a device with which they can reach out to, and hold the allegiance of the ordinary Democrat or "would be Democrat." They do not necessarily want to find solutions to all of the problems they identify, perhaps preferring to keep them un-resolved as political issues to preserve party identification.

    The Republican/conservative philosophy is the party of individual self-actualization as small business operators, or “would be” operators of small businesses as a permutation of competition as a social and economic system based first of all on individual liberty.

    Modern conservatism grows out of 6 main beliefs:

    Established institutionsm,
    Liberty over equality,
    Suspicion of power,
    Exceptionalism,
    Individualism, and
    *Natural law

    *Natural law is an unwritten law, and is tied to suspicion of power. A belief that people will act on their own set of moral standards and conscience. The government will not set the standards for laws.

    Modern Liberalism believes in the opposite. That of the opposite - "positive law" and a benevolent government. Positive law is a written law with government oversight, and punishment is through the government for breaking such laws. Also that belief in a benevolent government, is the belief that the government will act fairly and in the best interest of the people.

    The conservative belief is one of liberty over equality; the right to a “freedom” even if others are sometimes effected negatively by it. (the resistance to zoning ordinances is an example)

    The liberal holds the belief, that equality trumps liberty, that everyone has the same rights regardless of race, sex, age (or birth).

    The conservative believes in individualism, the belief that every person must make those decisions that are best for him or herself, and such decisions cannot be made for them.

    The liberal believes in the the good of the community over the individual, and seeks to restrict freedoms if they are thought to be not in the community's best interest.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  5. nodoginnafight
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    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

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    Conservative - advocates maintaining the status quo
    Liberal - advocates incremental change
    Reactionary - advocates restoring discarded policies
    Radical - advocates rapid sweeping change
     
  6. Nosmo King
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    Nosmo King Gold Member

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    "Liberal"- Belief that the state is the only institution in society that both reaches across all social classes and circumstances and is most effective at bringing beneficial change to that society.

    "Conservative"- Belief that the state is an impediment to progress and is intrusive into ones personal life.

    The big disparity here is that the state, as Liberals see it, does not always bring about effective and beneficial changes. Sometimes state policies actually defeat the change intended. Conservatives, on the other hand, don't seem to give a whit about civil liberties, environmental protection, workplace safety issues or the needs of its poorest citizens. Conservatives further believe that the state, while intrusive, is the perfect instrument to lord their social agenda through. See reproductive rights, gay marriage and free speech issues.
     
  7. nodoginnafight
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    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

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    Nosmo - those things have absolutely nothing to do with "conservative" and "liberal"
     
  8. Nosmo King
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    Nosmo King Gold Member

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    If that's the case, the modern Conservative needs to refine his message. All I hear from the Conservatives is how the state is the problem.

    I believe that using the power of the state (the ONLY institution that spans everyone in society) is the most effective way to promote changes beneficial to that society. Conservatives believe, or so they have espoused, that the state is both an impediment and an all too intrusive institution which needs to be parred down to its lowest, least effective stage.
     

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