The main difference between liberal and conservative is that the liberal supports social change and government involvement in social aspects to ensure equality whereas the conservative is averse to social change and complete or government involvement in individual choices.
Liberal and conservative are two fundamental political ideologies governing in the world politics. They differ in varied aspects with regard to theoretical approaches, social practices as well as preferable government types.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Liberal
– Definition, Ideology
2. What is Conservative
– Definition, Ideology
3. What is the Difference Between Liberal and Conservative
– Comparison of Key Differences
Administration, Conservative, Liberal, International Politics, Governments
What is Liberal
Just as the word liberal suggests, liberal perspective is a more open and emphasise the equal opportunity for everyone in the country. This ideology gave birth to political theories such as Liberalism. Thus, it believes that it is the government’s duty to diminish the social injustices and to protect civil liberties and human rights of the citizens. Therefore, the government should ensure that everyone enjoys equal rights and liberties and that no one faces injustices and ill-treatment.
Similarly, the policies of liberals generally emphasize this need for the government to solve problems that impede this social equality. Thus, unlike conservatives, liberals believe in the direct involvement of the government through its actions to achieve equality for everyone by providing equal opportunities.
Moreover, liberal stance advocates altering the existing structures and not strictly be limited to the traditional values since they impede the social progression and development of the country or state. In other words, they strongly support social change and reforms for social progression. Therefore, liberals advocate government types such as democracy and socialism.
Therefore, in world politics, liberal ideology is recognized as the ‘left’ or ‘left-wing’. Thus, these two opposing ideologies share contrasting opinions regarding several social issues such as abortion, death penalty, healthcare, climatic issues, immigration, racism, same-sex marriages, economic and educational issues, etc.
What is Conservative
Conservative means to impede social change and thus, holding tightly on to traditional values. Similarly, with concern to world politics, conservative is a perspective that indicates the role of government is to provide people with the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. This ideology gave birth to the political philosophy of conservatism. Thus, it generally emphasizes empowerment of the individuals to solve problems, and not the complete involvement of the government for social or individual matters.
Thus, they perceive social aspects such as personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional social values, and strong national defense should not be influenced or interfered by any means by the government.
Conservative ideology strongly resists change, highlighting the preservation of traditional values and opinions. Therefore, in world politics, conservative ideology is recognized as the ‘right’ or ‘right-wing’.
Since conservatives adhere to preserve traditional values, they take necessary actions to adhere to these traditional values by controlling any progressions of them. Moreover, they usually support a capitalistic form of governments.
Difference Between Liberal and Conservative
Liberal refers to someone who supports the political perspective that emphasizes modern or liberal attitudes and believes that government should ensure equality among the citizens in the state. On the other hand, conservative refers to someone who supports the political perspective that emphasizes the preservation of traditional values and individual freedom with minimum or no government interference in the state. This is the basis for the difference between liberal and conservative.
One main difference between liberal and conservative is their political stance. Liberal parties are right-wing in whereas conservative parties are left-wing.
Another difference between liberal and conservative is the type of government they support. Liberals support democratic form of governments whereas conservatives support capitalist form of governments.
Attitude is an important difference between liberal and conservative. Generally, liberal attitudes support social progress and change, therefore they have more liberal or open attitudes whereas conservatives do not support social progression or change thus they have more conservative or customary attitudes on varied issues.
Liberal stance is that the government should interfere and control the economy to ensure equality and cooperate power among citizens. On the other hand, conservative supports free-market and capitalist economy. This is also one very important difference between liberal and conservative.
Moreover, they both have different stance on abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, same-sex marriage, etc.
Liberal stance is that woman has a right to decide on her choice, so abortion is accepted. On the contrary, conservative stance believes that abortion is immoral as it is technically the murder of another human being, thus does not support abortion.
Liberals support euthanasia depicting the fact that everyone has a right to die with dignity according to their choices and that government should not deprive this right. On the contrary, conservative does not approve euthanasia highlighting the fact that it is immoral and thus illegal and unethical.
Liberal stance on the death penalty is that: execution risks to kill innocent lives as well, therefore, the death penalty should be abolished whereas conservative stance emphasises that death penalty is the more appropriate punishment for crimes such as murder and terrorist acts.
Liberal supports same-sex marriages whereas conservative does not.
John Locke, Jhon Stuart Mill, and Thomas Hobbes are some pioneering personalities in liberal politics whereas Edmund Burek, Robert Peel, and Donald Trump are some pioneering personalities in conservative politics.
Liberal and conservative are the two opposing ideologies in the world politics. They have widely contrasting opinions on varied social and political aspects. However, the main difference between liberal and conservative is that liberal supports social change and government involvement in social aspects to ensure equality whereas conservative does not support social change and complete or government involvement to individual choices.
1. “Liberal.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Sept. 2018, Available here.
2. “Conservatism.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Sept. 2018, Available here.
3. Jr, William R Bowen. “What’s the Difference Between Liberalism and Conservatism?” Soapboxie, 1 May 2018, Available here.