“While there may be occasional minor exceptions to the rule, for the most part the 4 part division encompasses the liberal-conservative freedom-order belief system.”

  1. Liberals believe in freedom in the civil-rights arena.
  2. Liberals believe in order in the economic arena.
  3. Conservatives believe in order in the civil-rights arena.
  4. Conservatives believe in freedom in the economic arena.

Important caveats:

  • For both ideologies, rights are more important than economics.
  • Economics is the realm in which both liberals and conservatives deviate from their basic orientations (on order).
  • Neither ideology sees a contradiction between its own stands on rights and economics.
    • Conservatives believe economics should be “free from” government order because capitalism is inherently self-correcting (self-regulating, self-ordering.) They still support order in this sense, but the order is enforced by private--rather than government--powers.
    • Liberals believe individuals need to be free of government order in the realm of civil rights AND free from the constraints of capitalistic order in economics (even if it requires government order to achieve that freedom.)
  • Major Contemporary Arguments (as of 2003)
  • Military Defense
  • Government Surveillance
  • Academic Freedom
  • Welfare Programs
  • Taxes

Ted Talks: David McCandless, “The Beauty of Data Visualization”


Ideology matrix

Ideology: the belief structure of the society. (Hahn, 14)

American Society has two primary political ideologies: liberalism and conservatism.

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