Compare and Contrast Modern Conservatism and Modern Liberalism

Modern conservatism is an ideology that believes that the government is the main reason for the current problems that society faces, especially through its tax policies and regulation of the free market. Modern Liberalism, on the other hand, is an ideology that requires all persons to be equally free regardless of the race, class or any other background.

In America, these ideologies have influenced its history of politics. Both ideologies are all aimed at the welfare of the people in the society. The conservatives are not opposed to any social improvement, which is also the same as the liberalists. They both want to see the welfare of the society though they do differ in some specific aspects.

The liberalists and the conservatives

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Both liberalists and conservatives understand that change must be recognized and reconciled in any vigorous society. Change is necessary to the body social; the conservative observes that if the body is not renewed, it eventually dies. The situations of the age and nation are the main determinants of the change required in as well as the sort of change needed. The modern liberalism is actually committed to the idea of relativity in history. It perceives the content of the individual and freedom of change with time just like in individual development from infancy to maturity. It observes that time signifies change with respect to the social policies that vary with change in conditions that the individuals are living.

The liberalism has been trying to accommodate religious groups from the past, especially those that deeply object-specific public policies e.g. the Quakers or Sikhs. They have raised and educated children, which is actually by meeting the rights to education. The conservatism has also been doing the same through there efforts of providing such children rights as part of their parental responsibility.

This ownership of the private property has been central to modern liberalism in American politics, which has combined the endorsement of civil and personal liberties to private ownership. The argument was that whether personal liberty can flourish without private property remains an open question. Both sides desire an economy that can be able to generate more wealth though they differ in government intervention or involvement in controlling economic matters.

Despite having the similarities, both ideologies differ in many aspects; currently, the conservatives in America believe that there is an enduring moral order that human nature and moral truths do not change. They have a strong sense of right and wrong which is controlled by the personal convictions that they have about justice and honor. Their perceptions can be considered more rigid and concretized by what according to them is virtuous, correct and dutiful.

The liberalists are in complete disagreement with this line of thinking and follow an entirely different point of view. In contrast, the liberalists ignore the norms and moral order as they seek freedom to do whatever they feel like. Their democracy is a personal life which is controlled by faith in the intelligent judgment and action as long as proper conditions have been furnished.

Conservatives argue that we are unlikely, we moderns, to make any brave new discoveries in morals or politics or taste. They endure a moral order according to the spiritual teachings and order (Larmore 57). The modern liberalism makes its choices of freedom to do something on the basis of private judgment and private rationality. They accept temporal order even when it is contrary to the moral order and material needs as much as they desire to have.

Variety is always observed by the conservatives who do not tolerate uniformity. They just need the natural differences of various individuals and institutions in society to exist. The liberalists prefer egalitarianism of the radical systems in society. These liberalists want equality in the social classes and material wealth which is all about communism or leveling.

Given that, the conservatives closely link freedom and property, they consider economic leveling as poor economic progress. They just want everyone to eat his or her fruit of labor. Those who work hard should not be denied their earned wealth and therefore support differences in the social classes.

The conservative makes their decisions only after sufficient reflection, whereby they consider the effects of their choice. The liberalists make choices of freedom without sufficient consideration of the possible consequences (Larmore 57). Liberalism believes that no matter how much the consequences are different from one person to the other, amicable cooperation e.g. through sport and competition, is actually a priceless addition to life. This has been opposed by the conservatism that prefers checking on the consequences before undertaking any action.

The conservatives prefer a voluntary community as opposed to the involuntary collectivism. They want the decisions to be decentralized and hence be made by the locals instead of being centralized. No force should be used whatsoever. The liberalists on the other hand advocate the involuntary collectivism enforced by a central administration in an effort to attain the communism in their social welfare.


Nevertheless, every person is entitled to his or her own opinion, whatever he or she does, should not affect the rights of the other. The change should be advocated by both liberalism and conservatism to accommodate the changing circumstances that are within the society. In whatever control is exercised by the government, it should not interfere with the rights of the individuals of whom it is supposed to protect.

The Republicans are more concerned with morality and capitalism which is not the same with the democrats. It is not easy to reconcile the two sides it shall, therefore, continue to influence the politics of the United States. 


Larmore, Charles (2007). The Morals of Modernity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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