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Liberalism and Conservatism - what are they really?
03-28-2016, 11:31 PM
Post: #1
I don't get it. Liberalism by wiki's definition means, "a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality." while Conservatism means "a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization." -- How could anyone *not* want equality and liberty and fairness? Going back to "the way things were" means oppression of women, slaves, and god knows what else. I don't know how anyone could really be 'conservative' in their viewpoints? What does it even mean anyway? I don't even know how the term, "liberal" can be an insult. That's like saying "haha you want equality! stupid liberal" like what.
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03-28-2016, 11:41 PM
Post: #2
Just words.. Democrat , Republican... It's all bullshit..
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03-28-2016, 11:42 PM
Post: #3
(03-28-2016 11:41 PM)A LEADER Wrote:  Just words.. Democrat , Republican... It's all bullshit..

Hah - xD Well all right, all right; that's fair Wink
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03-28-2016, 11:52 PM
Post: #4
Fey . Its Just another way to keep us divided . Us against Us....
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03-28-2016, 11:55 PM
Post: #5
(03-28-2016 11:52 PM)A LEADER Wrote:  Fey . Its Just another way to keep us divided . Us against Us....

Well I know *that* - I just was asking about the definitions of them, and what it's held as in others' eyes Tounge
I don't take either side, if I had to say. And I would consider myself the least politically active person I know.
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03-29-2016, 01:40 AM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2016 01:45 AM by PRBH.)
Post: #6
In very general terms, liberals dislike their own people and like the rest of the world, while conservatives like their own people and dislike the rest of the world.
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03-29-2016, 01:41 AM
Post: #7
(03-29-2016 01:40 AM)PRBH Wrote:  In general liberals dislike their own people and conservatives dislike others.

That's certainly interesting~
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03-29-2016, 05:32 AM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2016 09:52 PM by PRBH.)
Post: #8
Other differences:

Liberals hate the present and want to bring about a future where, in their opinion, everything will be alright.

Conservatives hate the present and want to bring back a past where, in their opinion, everything was alright.
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03-29-2016, 07:24 AM
Post: #9
Neither liberals nor Neocons want freedom for all.
Government is immoral and is based upon force in order to legitimize itself.
Therefore, no government can claim to protect "freedom" or preserve "liberty" because the very definition and nature of government is to govern meaning liberty is restricted.

Liberals want welfare capitalism and NeoCons want Jesus to be president but ironically their political and social policies do not reflect that of Jesus Christs teachings...

Do Ut Des
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11-29-2016, 11:33 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2016 12:08 AM by Ontical.)
Post: #10
I think it's important to distinguish between liberal/conservative economics that pertain to how tax, management of property and trade works, then liberal/conservative politics that pertain to civil rights, law and social ideals etc, although the two can interweve with each other.

Case in point - neoliberalism.

Certain conservatives and liberals in the UK and for that matter, republicans and democrats in the USA practice neoliberal economics. Neoliberalism is very similar to classical liberalism, except it accomodates the new financialised world we live in today. Liberalism comes from the political economy philosophers like John Locke, Jean Jaques Roussaeu, David Hume and Adam Smith and it emerged with capitalism, offering a form of economics that could undermine the Feudal structures of the middle ages.

Basic particulars

Classical liberals/neo-liberals enforce negative rights in exchange for lower taxes[1], arguing that trade is not something the state should interfere with too much and that a more social liberal view of 'high tax and positive rights' would be too draining on the economy to sustain (known as the slim state[2]). They also advocate protection of private property from the state (one of the only functions of the state it does agree with), which is to be extended to military intervention overseas. The difference between classical and neo-liberalism is financialisation. As taxes are low or they were too high for certain demographics and they are forced or choose to leave the jurisdiction, this forces governments into debt in order to compensate, once the state can no longer acquire taxes from it's citizens and can not pay back the loans to the banks that lend the money, the state is acquired by private interests.[3]

Debt Markets

Neoliberal economics run states like a firm, instead of based on principles like solidarity (positive rights to vote, education for all, healthcare and pensions), it instead operates to nationalise the debt and for the occupants of the state to repay that debt. It also advocates de-regulation of finance and trade agreements.[4] Debt, unlike taxes, can be sold and traded on the stock market. The private interests usually impose what is called 'austerity'[5], which involves massive cut backs on funding public services. They open up the market in the state to private interests outside of the border of the state, selling off land and property that is then re-built under the guise of improvement and opportunity, but in reality it's to boost the value of property in the area that can be sold to foreign interests. The effect of this is that no one on a lower-middle class wage can possibly afford to live in the area, they may be able to rent at best from a landlord with no social housing avaiable.[6]

Left or Right?

There are a number of other problems that I wont go into here, such as the privatisation of health care for the public as well as schools, outsourcing of trade and the crushing of labour unions[7]. The main thing to understand, is that 'liberalism' actually seems more like what we conventionally understand to be conservative, this is why Hillary Clinton was no longer trusted in the recent election[8], as she was pretty much in the same ideological view of Reagan. Neo-liberalism in it's current form started in the 70's under Thatcher and Reagan (Reaganomics), they were inspired by General Pinochet in Chile who had his 'Chicago boys' at his side, who helped him transform the state into a neo-liberal state.[9]

Intersectionality

Neo-liberalism boasts at being the cutting edge of progress, declaring an end to prejudice and hardship, claiming that everything is up for grabs, that inequality is a virtue and everyone gets what they deserve. The way they deal with economic problems is through austerity, making it practically impossible for low wage workers to resist their ruthless form of capitalism. It creates foundations for conceptions of inequality.
[10]

Social Liberalism, Socialism

Social liberalism seeks to at least offer welfare through higher taxation (high tax/positive rights), but given how many governments have conflicting interests with neo-liberals, I seriously doubt whether anything would change, the same goes for Marxist socialism. Somehow the leaders are supposed to be immune from corruption, but in reality they end up exploiting the masses like the worst of capitalists. Case in point, Lenin and Stalin.

Military Intervention

After all, no one wants to pay high taxes right? This is why military intervention comes into play and why liberals and conservatives don't seem to differ much when it comes to war overseas. A state can justify a rise in tax for war, but not for social projects like building hospitals, funding pensions etc. The welfare state was created using money from oil in Iran (in Britain anyway) and that money helped to build the National Health Service.[11]

Global Division of Labour

Even though we call a state socialist, it has a combined link with capitalism. Cheap oil is a dream of the past, growth is impossible as China gets more and more powerful and this is why we see the problems we see today since the 2008 crash. It wasn't just the bankers and speculators that were the problem, it's about a fundamental shift in power to China and India. They have workers on $1.76 [12] per hour,while workers in Germany with all compensation costs like holiday pay and sickness etc, earn around $40.00 per hour! [13]

Protectionism and Outsourcing

The new forms of conservatism seem to be looking at more protectionist solutions, i.e.high import tarrifs from foriegn trade in order to preserve domestic industry and trade[14]. The problem is that of collective action, if you set your tarrifs high and expect others to let you export free of charge or at low tarrifs, think again! Protectionism didn't work because everyone will do the same thing. The end result is trade death and the economy stops. Protectionism also has the problem of outsourcing to deal with. Manufacturing in the West has declined, but risen dramatically in the East through outsourcing. The West has a growing market of finance, in 2012, around 7,000,000 people worked in finance in the UK, while another 7,000,000 worked in the services industry, for example, baristas, food, dog-walking, strippers and cleaning. Manufacturing in the Uk was around 4,000,000 in 1997 but is now less than 2,000,000. There is nothing to protect as the wealthy make their fortunes by outsourcing to China and India.[15]

Liberalism and Conservatism in the Social and General Sense

Social issues concerning rights that are labelled as conservative or liberal, are perhaps easier to point out in the general definitions. Conservatives tend to be more about preserving tradtions and liberals tend to advocate equal opportunities for all, regardless of background, creed etc. Pressure politics is all we have left that even closely resembles democracy, but the problem is that while one group pushes and agenda to push through legislation in their favour for one particular cause, they leave other causes out to rot. For example, a pressure group seeking to get more funding for cancer research is more likely to have precendence over say, mental health.[16]

Police State or Government

As regards Nomads' comment, I personally see a difference between policing and governing - a state that is retrictive tends to be a police state,which we definitely live in today. Where as a government is set up to manage the affairs of millions of people in a variety of forms like democracy. I personally am an anarchist, so I don't like anything that leads to domination of any kind. The way in which economics and politics overlap is due to the management of property. Civil rights come after the protection of property and capital.


Anyway, I have lots more information on this topic. I thought I would share it here as I was surpised at the actual economic meaning of liberal, which differs vastly from the usual meaning. In this day in age, no one can tell left from right anymore.

Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_...re_beliefs - paragraph 8 - For society to guarantee positive rights requires taxation over and above the minimum needed to enforce negative rights.
[2] Classical liberals argued for what they called a "slim state", limited to the following functions:

A Decentralized Federal Government to protect individual rights and to provide services otherwise could not be provided in a free market.
A common National Defense to provide protection against foreign invaders.
A Constitutional Democratic-Republican Government that guarantees and protects every individual's God-given rights.
Laws to provide protection for citizens from wrongs committed against them by other citizens, which included protection of private property, enforcement of contracts and common law.
Federal public works that included a stable currency, standard weights and measures, and support of roads, canals, harbors, railways, communications and postal.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of...cal_crisis
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of...eagall_Act
[5] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10162176
[6] http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns_...ing_crisis
[7] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/priv...iative.asp
[8] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre...ricas-fate
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism#Origins During the military rule under Augusto Pinochet (1973–1990) in Chile, opposition scholars took up the expression to describe the economic reforms implemented there and its proponents (the "Chicago Boys").
[10] http://www.palgraveconnect.com/pc/doifin...95279.0007
[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Irani...'%C3%A9tat
[12] http://www.bls.gov/fls/china.htm
[13] http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ichcc.pdf
[14] http://www.nationalreview.com/article/43...et-economy
[15] http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/economicou...2015-05-28 Note: the figures I have used come from Graham Turner and the Office for national statistics.
[16] Pressure politics: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/p...ntrush.pdf - see page 3 - it is relatively easy to attract media attention for an emotional campaign demanding that patients suffering from a potentially terminal illness, such as breast cancer, should be given an unproven treatment. Funds then have to be found from elsewhere in the NHS budget, possibly from conditions that attract less sympathy, such as mental health. Moreover, it would appear that campaigns by patient groups can be used by pharmaceutical companies who wish to promote sales of a particular drug.

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