Over the past few years, there have been many comments and discussions about what makes someone more liberal or conservative. Some say it is determined by your political beliefs, while others believe it is influenced by how you feel about different things such as politics, social issues, and life in general.
There are also those who think that it has nothing to do with anything beyond race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Others claim it is simply a matter of upbringing and experiences.
Regardless, most agree that being more liberal means having a open mind and understanding concepts like equality, diversity, and tolerance. Being more conservative means having solid values that emphasize respect for individuals and institutions along with economic stability and growth.
This article will go into greater detail on some traits associated with conservatives and liberals. However, before we get started, let’s take a look at something important!
The term ‘conservative’ comes from the Latin word conservare, which means to keep safe, secure, and well-protected. In ancient Rome, these people were called caeciliani (Latin for ‘lamp lighters’), due to their tendency to preserve the status quo.
In modern times, however, this safety net can become very limiting. That is why there are examples of thinkers who strive towards progress and innovation. These people are referred to as progressives.
Do I hold my values close to my chest?
Sometimes people may perceive you as very liberal or very conservative depending on how outspoken you are about your beliefs.
If you’re not too concerned with what other people think, then you can consider yourself more neutral.
However, if you do have an opinion that really matters to you, then it’s better to be in one camp or the other than sitting on the fence.
That could potentially hurt your social relationships — not to mention your personal well-being.
Am I the kind of person my values reflect
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you are more influenced by your morals or your lifestyle. Are people who speak highly of humanitarianism also socially conscious because they believe in helping others, or do they spend their time buying expensive brand name clothing and gadgets?
People who talk about how moral they are often seem very concerned with looking good and having money, so we cannot always determine what part of their life is influenced by that value as much as the other one.
It is important to understand that being morally strong does not mean only talking about social issues and politics; it means living according to your beliefs outside of just that. For example, someone who believes in animal rights should probably give up meat for a month to see how they feel without it.
I would like to bring attention to another tricky element when determining whether someone is politically liberal or conservative- self identification. This term seems to change constantly depending on what side of an argument someone is on at any given moment, making it difficult to ascertain what ideology someone actually has.
Do I look at things through my values lens
Sometimes people may refer to you as more of an “extremist” or a “fanatic” because they perceive your beliefs as overly strong and passionate.
This can make you feel bad about yourself. It might even cause you to question if this is really what you believe in.
Am I liberal or conservative?
The term “liberal” has gotten quite vague over time. Originally, it referred to people who lived a moral life with strong ties in community. They were socially conscious and wanted to improve the lives of others through social programs and actions.
Today, however, the word is mostly used as a political descriptor. “Liberalism” is often interpreted to be about freedom for corporations and wealthy individuals. It is also sometimes called “democratic socialism.” This is not true democracy because only a few are able to have power.
Some use the term more broadly to refer to anyone who does not belong to the Republican Party. Others describe themselves as liberals but show no interest in politics at all!
In fact, there are many things that are typically considered part of the left side of the political spectrum that are actually right-wing policies! For example, some argue that capitalism is inherently racist and sexist, so trying to fix that system by having bigger government intervention and control is a good thing.
This idea is known as democratic socialist. Thankfully, there are other ways to describe yourself! Being politically neutral or independent is one way to identify as a liberal. Another is someone who believes in equality, individual rights, and free speech. These are usually described as leftist values.
Do I see things as black and white or is there more to it?
There are two main ways we perceive shades of colors – in terms of colors themselves, and how those colors relate to each other.
When talking about colors, people who identify as either very liberal or very conservative may not actually have much variance between them.
People that describe themselves as being “liberal” tend to share similarities with liberals at the policy level (policy issues).
They believe in equality, social justice, and helping others. These individuals may be politically active and vocal about their beliefs.
Individuals who call themselves “conservative” also agree with these policies but go one step further by emphasizing individual responsibility over societal help.
These individuals are typically focused on ensuring that everyone has enough money to live a comfortable life, and protecting and promoting institutions like religion, family, and business that play an important part in our society.
There are some theories which claim that conservatives are really just selfish people who want to enjoy what they already have while ignoring the needs of others. This isn’t entirely false, but it misses the point.
Conservatives recognize that giving someone else your resources might make them happier than providing for yourself, but it won’t necessarily make you happy.
This theory fails to take into account human nature. We need to feel that we have done everything possible to ensure ourselves and our loved ones survive outside of relationships.
What are the opposing values?
The opposite of liberal is not conservative, it’s totalitarian. A total dictator or leader who has complete control over all aspects of life. Totalitarian systems are often characterized as having no freedom for their citizens to express themselves, criticize leadership, or even believe in things that differ from what the government wants them to think.
Totalitarians sometimes use fear as a tool to keep people under their thumb. They create an environment where there is little hope for success outside of being part of the team. Systems like this usually start with something very basic — you are going to work here, so now you must agree with us!
It was hard for people to identify examples of totalitarian regimes in modern times, but some past empires come close. For instance, the Roman Empire was clearly more liberal than contemporary governments, especially Western ones.
The Nazis were definitely a type of totalitarian system. Even though they were called ‘conservative’ at first, they quickly crossed the line into oppressive dictatorship. In fact, many scholars say that Hitler took power by using liberalism as a smokescreen.
Topic and bullet point can be modified to fit your given topic. Use density and bullet point length to help find the right balance.
What are the similarities?
There’s no denying that both liberals and conservatives value individual liberty, but they differ in what kind of liberties they consider important.
Liberals tend to value freedom of expression more than conservatives do. They believe we should let people say whatever hateful things they want as long as it doesn’t hurt other people.
Conservatives, by contrast, place greater importance on personal autonomy over equality. They believe individuals are worth more than groups of people, and thus strive for policies that protect individual rights such as education, employment, and health care.
There are also differences in how each side defines liberty. Liberals often use terms like freedom, empowerment, and self-determination, while conservatives emphasize concepts like wealth and property ownership.
These different definitions can lead to differing conclusions about which policies are most likely to promote liberty. For example, if someone wanted to limit your freedoms because they think you’re not investing enough in the stock market, then they would be limiting your personal autonomy.
However, if someone wants to take control of the stock market so they can reap the benefits for themselves, then they would be promoting individualism through their actions.
Am I happy with my values?
There is no easy way to describe your own personal political ideology. It will constantly change, depending on what you are learning about politics and the world around you.
That said, there are some key features of any ideological framework that we can identify as being consistent across different people. These features include beliefs in freedom, equality, and democracy; systems of justice that operate through impartiality rather than special privileges for individuals or groups; an ethical system that emphasizes respect for individual autonomy and human dignity; and societal structures that promote solidarity over competition.
If these qualities exist within the ideologies you recognize, then you probably fall in line with what many refer to as left-wing philosophies. On the other hand, if they are absent, then you may be considered more right-leaning. [emphasis mine]
There are several ways to determine how liberal or conservative you are. One of the most common strategies is to ask yourself whether you feel free, equal, and democratic. If you answered yes to all three of those questions, then you are likely on the left side of the spectrum.
On the contrary, if you felt that life was too difficult, that you were not allowed to speak your mind because it would hurt someone’s feelings, or that everyone else had a better chance at things than you did, then you are probably right-leaning.
Researchers have found that conservatives tend to rely more heavily on intuition when making decisions, while liberals prefer logical reasoning.