A CASE STUDY THROUGH HISTORY AND POLITICAL IDEOLOGY Classic liberalism vs. Modern conservatism

Defining the terms. Classic liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties under the rule of law, and emphasizes economic freedoms found in economic liberalism which is also called free market capitalism. The core of classical liberalism is the idea that in an environment of laissez-faire governance, a natural order of cooperation in exchanging goods and services emerges which satisfies human goals and desires.

Key basic ideas of classic liberalism: Personal choice, individual liberties, and self-government are crucial in developing society; reasoning, instead of authority and tradition, is best in understanding the sociopolitical aspects of the state. Classic liberals do not make important distinctions between individual freedom and economic freedom (which permits economic inequalities and other prejudices that persist with class systems).

Modern conservatism wants to preserve traditional morality and social mores, often by opposing what they consider radical policies or social engineering. The basic foundations of American conservatism can be boiled down to four fundamental concepts:

Conservatives universally advocate a return to limited government. Conservatives advocate free market capitalism, less regulation of economic activity, and fiscal responsibility, and they work to restore the rule of law. Conservatives adhere to order and tradition and God. The Constitution established the idea of continuity and stability of leadership, and provided an orderly process for choosing leaders, making laws, and administering the new republic.

Modern conservatism can be described as anti-communist. Communism is characterized as the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement with a goal to establish of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. Communism exerted their influence geopolitically and also attempted to subvert the American way of life internally. Communism represented everything abhorrent to Western values: radical, socialistic, and atheist. Modern conservatism retaliated against this with self-reliance instead of the welfare state, private property and entrepreneurship instead of central planning.
now let's discuss how this manifests in Today's political climate—

Classic liberalism supports individualism instead of collective community juxtaposed to the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” narrative often idealized by the Republican party or modern conservatives. The expression is meant to imply “improving oneself by one’s own efforts” and speaks to the idealized middle class of White suburbia in the 1950s.

Conservatives share a belief that the well-ordered society is one in which each group learns its place and fulfills its natural calling, even when this implies that groups do not exist on a level of natural equality. Consider an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail where he analyzes white liberals social conservative position in and attitude regarding the Civil Rights Movement:
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”.

These initial successes of liberal movements had, as the name itself implies, a fundamental purpose: to liberate people from oppression with liberal political thinking. However, the idea of liberating marginalized groups from oppression also meant dismantling the dominant culture’s privilege and power, capitalist and imperialist political structures, and ultimately decolonizing America’s social and political landscape. Classic liberalism does not necessarily disagree with these things, yet it advocates for free market which permits economic inequality.

Liberalism has occupied an important position in the moderate varieties of political ideologies. Some Democrats, often reflecting liberal conservatism’s beliefs, put aside progressive ideas and their best efforts to appeal to a larger voting base.

In my research’s findings and basic understanding of these two polarizing ideologies, Liberalism and conservatism do not measure the same things nor place emphasis (or rather focus in their philosophy) on the same issues. Liberalism, in this case classic liberalism and especially modern liberalism, places significance on civil rights and civil liberties and the nature of “self-alienable rights” apart from the authority of the government. The governments only legitimate and relevant purpose is to protect these rights in an evolving world; whereas, Conservatives consists of nothing more than a wish for the status quo and aversion to any change, no matter how salutary.

Which could explain why certain politicians depending on their party identification place focus on certain policy agendas and this may or may not depend on the specific ideology of conservatism or liberalism. Such as, classic liberal conservatives may describe themselves as a Democrat or Republican however they often are moderate in their political views, advocating neither typical left-wing politics nor right-wing politics. Example — Baltimore's Democratic mayor vetoes $15 minimum wage increase bill.

Classical liberals not only developed, but continue to develop the economic and political doctrines of limited state power, the free-market economy and the freedom of the individual person. Conservatives today respect the authority of God and values as conveyed in tradition, but permeate American politics with the authoritarianism of men and white, hegemonic institutions.

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