Here are some quotes I found to be very helpful in explaining the differences between Liberalism and Conservatism:
“To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the
possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter
to utopian bliss. Familiar relationships and loyalties will be preferred to the allure of more profitable attachments; to acquire and to enlarge will
be less important than to keep, to cultivate and to enjoy; the grief of loss will be more acute than the excitement of novelty or promise. It is to be
equal to one's own fortune, to live at the level of one's own means, to be content with the want of greater perfection which belongs alike to oneself
and one's circumstances.” – Michael Oakeshott
“Liberalism is an attitude rather than a set of dogmas - an attitude that insists upon questioning all plausible and self-evident propositions,
seeking not to reject them but to find out what evidence there is to support them rather than their possible alternatives.” – Morris Raphael
“What do we call conservative, and what do we call liberal, in daily life? A conservative explains behavior spiritually, and personalizes
responsibility. In Aristotelian terms, the principle of motion is within us. A liberal, by contrast, explains behavior mechanically, and externalizes
responsibility: the principle of motion is outside us. Thus, in the typical policy debate, a liberal makes excuses for the human agent, and a
conservative places blame. The spark of the liberal argument -- He didn’t have the same opportunities you did -- meets the conservative conceptual
firewall: Lots of people start poor, but still find ways to make it.” – Mark Riebling
But it is important to note the difference between the Liberalism and Conservatism of today with the original forms of it. Present day Liberalism, in
the United States context, is similar to the Social Democratic movements developing from a combination of Classical Liberalism (capitalism) and
Socialism. It is the middle ground between the two. Present day Conservatism, in the US-CA-UK context, is similar to Classical Liberalism mixed with a
variant of Social, rather than national/cultural, Conservatism.
Margaret Thatcher explained it well: “The kind of Conservatism which he (Keith Joseph) and I...favoured would be best described as "liberal", in the
old-fashioned sense. And I mean the liberalism of Mr. Gladstone not of the latter day collectivists.” The ‘Conservatism’ of Thatcher is similar
to the ‘Conservative’ warriors across the West who rose to power during the 1980s. It was to reject the Conservatism of the past 180+ years in
favor of a Classical Liberal approach favoring markets over nation and individuals over community.
***My opinions below, feel free to ignore***
I consider myself a Conservative of the old, which is one who rejects the notions individualism, liberalism, modernity, and supposed ‘social
progresses’. It has a heavy belief in natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and organic unity, agrarianism, classicism and
high culture, and loyalty.
The one key difference between the Classical Liberalism masquerading as Conservatism and true Conservatism is the belief in defending Capitalism as
some sort of established institution of society. One can be a true Conservative and a Capitalist but cannot be anywhere near laissez-faire capitalism
and be a true Conservative. But it also requires one to think outside of a social democratic structure as well, where government does not micromanage
society but instead hands the power over to families, communities, and established institutions such as the church. The role of the state is not
rejected as evil either, the state can be a welcomed ally in confronting societal ills, but should know its place.
So I apologize this thread is skewed towards Conservatism, it is only that way because I am a Conservative. The part below the star signs *** is just
me giving my take of things.
edit on 8/18/2011 by Misoir because: (no reason given)