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What does "liberal" and "conservative" really mean?

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posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 02:18 AM
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I've always thought a liberal was someone who believed all people are equal regardless of who they are, what they're done, or what they were born into, while a conservative is someone who believes a person's worth is based on their "merit", whether it's moral, racial, monetary, etc.

I'm not necessarily saying liberals are better; some misanthropic liberals believe all people are equally bad, for example.

The Left-Right paradigm is really false though.

[edit on 16-9-2009 by Donnie Darko]




posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 02:54 AM
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reply to post by Donnie Darko
 



See I think you are very wrong, I think most people can observed as being one of the other to a great deal of accuracy if such a test were devised. Maybe there would be a drift
along certain things, but I think if people answered 100 properly chosen yes or no - Right or Left ideology could be determined very accurately.

I would go so far as to say I think it is based on natural occurrence, just like the ancients
believed in balancing "forces", I believe the same is inherent in mankind.

If you look at any nation you can almost see a perfect halving of "Lib"/"Con" populations.

I have seen many examples of where the strong opinions of people will be split based upon this idea in regards to non "political" things. I see it here on ATS all the time...

In just the Human sphere if OPINION

Torture-

Libs----"This man lives his life hoping to KILL as many Americans as possible, but there is no reason we should stoop to his levels of inhumanity."


Cons---"This man lives his life hoping to KILL as many Americans as possible, why should I care what is done to him?"

I see the above all the time, wether or not the topic is Terrorists, Prisoners, Criminals
OR POVERTY

When you dig deep and understand these peoples political views (thru posting activity)
you see it is NOT JUST POLITICS, but real belief, conviction.

LOOK AT poverty - observe the common thread

Libs--- "Many people are poor because they are unlucky, unfortunate and the system is screwed up, just because they are messed up does not mean we should not help them."

Cons---" Many people are poor because they are lazy, made bad choices and didn't try hard enough, just because they are messed up doesn't mean you should expect ME to help."

These mentalities and their physiological source can be applied to many things and I think you will find that people will divide into two groups consistently.

you see, one group considerers the other person first and the other defers to SELF first.

Check this

American Conservatives - Freedom is defined by the amount of liberty an Individual possesses

American Liberal - Freedom is defined the the amount of liberty everyone possesses

This last one creates a whole bunch of friction - because they both have the same goal,
but advocating one or the other has very different practical implications in the pursuit of
either/or...

I have always wanted to make a mega thread on this observation of mine -

I think everyone trying to discredit this occurrence is trying to discredit Mother nature.

Great thread, but I see very little evidence to disprove Lib/Con existence -
on the contrary I see a whole lot to prove it -

The fighting here is based upon it to a large degree and yes it is used to distract - but that does not mean it does not exist.





[edit on 16-9-2009 by mental modulator]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by mental modulator]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by mental modulator]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:30 AM
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I was raised as a little tike to believe that:

A conservative was someone who pulled their bootstraps up, rolls up their sleeves, worked hard, never gave up and thru his/her christian values helps those in need who helps themselves.

A Liberal was someone who always has excuses for everything (it isn't fair), feels intitled to services that they haven't earned yet (Intitlement ACORN, SEIU), lets others bring them down (helping those who are self disstructive) and leaves to go home as work still needs to be done (9-5'ers).

Now that I have lived life, learned a few things along the way I have learned a while back that neither party walks the talk and was created by TPTB to let us believe we have a choice. It's human nature to want to choice one side or the other and TPTB know how to keep us distracted!

I have always believed that their is nothing wrong with conservative values with a liberal heart which turned me into a Constitutional Libritarian and a proud American who is ashamed with what our country has become because of TPTB.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:37 AM
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reply to post by mental modulator
 


brilliant. nailed it.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 09:24 AM
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There are multiple problems with the left/right/lib/con paradigm, not the least of which are:

It is a very inaccurate approximation of the human condition... kind of like approximating a circle with four straight lines joined into a closed plane figure.

It allows, and even encourages sloppy, lazy non-thought.

For example:

"You like guns? Oh, you must be a conservative."

"You think each individual woman has the final say about what goes on in her body? Oh, you must be a liberal."

"You think the 'War on Drugs' is a stupid waste of resources? Oh, you must use drugs."

To further demonstrate, let's invent a third class, called the "Hey, Wait a minute" group... or hwam. This is still an inaccurate approximation of real humans; kind of like approximating a circle with five lines instead of four.

(not poking at you, MM, just using your examples to build on)


Originally posted by mental modulator
Torture-

Libs----"This man lives his life hoping to KILL as many Americans as possible, but there is no reason we should stoop to his levels of inhumanity."


Cons---"This man lives his life hoping to KILL as many Americans as possible, why should I care what is done to him?"


Hwams - "Why does this guy want to kill as many Americans as possible? Does he also want to kill as many Norwegians as possible? If he is an Afghan, Iraqi or Central American, does he want to kill Americans because he saw his family killed by an American missile attack during his sister's wedding, or was his family tortured to death either by an American or someone trained by an American? If this guy comes here and tries to harm me or mine, we'll discuss it over 200 grains of jacketed lead-alloy hollow point at 1000fps, and then put his head on a pike by the front gate, but in the meantime, I will not be party to his torture in my name."



Libs--- "Many people are poor because they are unlucky, unfortunate and the system is screwed up, just because they are messed up does not mean we should not help them."

Cons---" Many people are poor because they are lazy, made bad choices and didn't try hard enough, just because they are messed up doesn't mean you should expect ME to help."


Hwam - "Some people are poor because they are unlucky, some are poor because they are lazy, some are poor because they got hit by a truck on their way to work, are paralyzed and the trucking company, who's driver caused the accident, would rather spend money on lawyers to get out of their responsibility than they would to just face it. What kind of culture do you want to live in? Shall the more than zero deadbeats be able to milk the system, while those who are not are protected from ending life in a box under a bridge unable to move, or shall every single deadbeat be barred, even if the man who missed no days of work for 30 years is now living in a box under a bridge while the trucking company owner parties?"

The illusion of left/right/lib/con is useful only to those that wish to divide in order to conquer. Sadly, it has been bought into by far too many, and has led to the forseeable end... right where we as a nation are, right now.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 09:54 AM
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Can I just say... ^ "What he said" ^

That was an excellent demonstration of the problem of the left/right thinking. For this country to get anywhere, we're going to have to come together based on our similarities and stop focusing on our differences. We 're going to have to realize that we're all in the same boat, and stop trying to put each person in the appropriate boat. "Us vs Them" is a road straight to failure.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 10:20 AM
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Very interesting to see what peoples points of view are on being a liberal or conservative. I grew up in an house so conservative it turned me off but I was always told conservatives were "morally conservative" AKA lots of morals where as liberals were "morally liberal" few morals. Of course I don't see it that way. I look at in more of a human rights issue. I see conservatives as being tyrants in almost a slaver type way, where as I see the liberals being more concerned with the environment and animal rights. IMO no matter what side you are on human rights gets put on the back burner.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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Conservative: You can better take care of you and your family. It takes a mother and father to raise a kid.

Liberal: Government knows best and can better take care of you. It takes a village to raise a kid.

Conservative: It's a jungle out there, and the more you do for yourself the better off you will be.

Liberal: It's a rainforest out there, don't worry though, the government will be there for you.

Conservative: Animals should not be abused and should be treated humanely before I consume them.

Liberal: Animals should be taken advantage of to stop oil drilling, stop expansion, and cause drought in the most fertile area of the nation.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 11:37 AM
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BTW, a few great answers in this thread. Thanks guys, my overview was only meant to be VERY simplistic.

Left and Right is really a false duality anyway. Most of my views align with the "Left", but lately the "Left" have actually got on my nerves more than the "Right".



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Liberalism is not left-wing. Liberalism is centre politics. A belief in rights and individuality. A liberal is someone who believes in freedom, and that includes the freedom to be poor. In the US, this seems to have semantically changed into Libertarianism. The Libertarian belief is closer to the classical idea of Liberalism that began in France and later Britain in the 1700s.

The idea that liberal is left is an American misinterpretation.

A socialist is NOT a liberal. Ghandi and Stalin were both reputedly left-wing. Ghandi was a libertarian leftist, a belief in the special qualities of the individual. Stalin was an authoritarian leftist who believed the ultimately the state was more important than the individual.

Both were supposedly socialist (Stalin is up for debate, but initially he proclaimed socialism) but only Ghandi could accurately be described as a Liberal.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 01:11 PM
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I agree. Left-wing is not liberal, it's certainly not free, which is the definition of liberal.

Right-wing is not conservative either. You can hardly call the radical right "traditional".



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