Talk:Liberal conservatism

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In the interest of parsimony and brevity[edit]

The first paragraph of this article says nothing about the nature of liberal conservatism. It is pedantic and round-about rather than direct and to-the-point. The round-about business is for later in the article--some of just want a brief paragraph synopsis---just like the way newspapers and good magazines structure their articles: only about 5% of your audience reads the whole thing and we're all busy people...I think. So I'm not lectured enough on the subject and don't feel like doing the RS work, but if someone feels like undertaking the project, the intro needs some work. (talk) 03:47, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Economic and Social Spheres?[edit]

The article says the following: "In this way it contrasted itself with classical liberalism, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres."

Can someone explain to me how the economic sphere differs to the social sphere? For example, in the issue of freedom of sex, how can we distinguish between the economic and social issues? --Knowledge-is-power (talk) 02:08, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I have some doubts that this is a common usage (although I believe that there have been political parties with both "liberal" and "conservative" in the name of a single party). Can you provide citations for the use/history of this terminology and in exactly what respects "liberal conservatives" are, respectively, liberal and conservative? -- Jmabel 16:41, Jul 19, 2004 (UTC)

To me, it seems that this article should be moved to New Right. Djadek 10:53, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I disagree. I believe the more popular term is Fiscal Conservative. I propose a move. 17:56, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Liberal-Conservatives usually espouse strongly free-market liberal economic policy, mixed conservative/liberal social policy & strongly nationalist foreign policy. I believe they usually also define themselves as anti-Socialist & anti-Communist : they form as the main opposition of Social-Democrats where/when they appear. -- 05:59, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

The phrase was used in the FTmagazine (April 30, 2005) so the page should stay. -- Joolz 20:35, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is a very loose usage of "liberal", which should be more carefully explained. The term is a hijacking of the word "liberal" for use to describe adherents of a free market. Most "liberals" are not gungho for the free market. Joolz, that a neologism has been used once or twice doesn't necessarily make it encyclopaedic. It doesn't mean either that the discussion here is accurate, which is more to the point. If another article describes the idea more closely, a redirect is a good idea. Grace Note 03:25, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I do not know what gungho means, but outside the USA most liberals clearly favour a more or less free market. WIkipeida is not an American encyclopedia but is a global encyclopedia. See for an extensive discussion on liberalism the main article liberalism. Electionworld 11:25, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Grace Note, "liberal conservative" has no currency in the U.S., but it is a meaningful term in (for example) central European politics. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:22, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
And in Australian poltics. Increasingly, in fact. I can think of no better an example of a liberal-conservative than John Howard.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 10:13, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I must express how deeply incorrect that analysis is, and how ironic it is; it is actually that definition of "liberal" that is the hijacking. In the U.S., "liberal" seems to have the connotation of meaning economically Socialist, which is very strange, when the free market is indeed, as others have stated here, very important in Liberalism. --Palpatine 06:27, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Sounds kinda like libertarianism to me --gnomelock 06:16, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

A lot like, in terms of economics; liberal conservatives tend to be a bit more socially conservative than libertarians: for example, they don't typically believe in drug legalization, legal prostitution, etc. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:38, August 31, 2005 (UTC)

Liberal doesnt have the connotation of meaning "socialist" in the US unless you are part of the far right propaganda machine. Liberal in the instance is referring to classic liberalism and not modern liberalism. Classic liberalism is economic and social freedom. Modern liberalism is economic and social justice. So another way of putting it is economic freedom conservatives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

American Conservatism[edit]

"conservatism" in a america mostly means neoconservatism, whereas this article seems to be talking about paleoconservatism. this doesn't really work for american "conservatives" and republican party members to be called liberal. Bob A

Neoconservatism is hardly dominant even within the Republican Party. But I have a different disagreement: the article currently says "In the United States, this tradition refers mostly notably to the notion of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which would currently read as a form of anti-statist liberalism." In fact, in the United States, this term is almost completely unknown: while these politics may be common in Anglo-Saxon countries, the term is mostly continental European and Latin American. - Jmabel | Talk 04:51, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I've used scare quotes for the American situation. Intangible 00:01, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
In America, when you say Liberal you usually mean the Democratic Party, and when you say Conservative you usually mean the Republican Party. The Person Who Is Strange 15:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

The article currently lists the Republican Party as the U.S. party representing liberal conservatism. Based on the definition of "liberal conservatism" given in the article, would the term as applied to a U.S. party more aptly describe the Libertarian Party rather than the Republican Party? While the GOP has certain liberal fringes, these seem to be currently quashed by voting quorums and leadership. In fact, the Blue Dog Democrats may tend more to liberal conservatism than the GOP. I have not reviewed the micro parties in any detail, but am unsure if any warrant particular reference. I trying to avoid any political bias, just wondering from a technical, definitional perspective.--Rpclod (talk) 15:24, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

I have not changed the article, in particular the June 16 change in the political party list from U.S. Republican to U.S. Libertarian. I am not sufficiently knowledgable in political philosophy and history to fully comprehend the nuances of liberalism in conjunction with conservatism, especially as applied to the parties' seemingly fluid platforms. I would prefer that whoever makes such changes indicates on the discussion page why such change is appropriate, applying the relevant elements of liberal conservatism to the respective parties' platforms.--Rpclod (talk) 13:08, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

The liberal in liberal-conservative doesnt men modern or social liberalism it means classical or economic liberalism.

  • American conservatism in Europe is called liberal conservatism with it having classic liberal thought with regard to tradition.
  • American liberalism in Europe is called social democracy with it having welfare capitalism and regard for social equality.
american liberalism is not the same as social democracy 14:43, 13 May 2016 (UTC)~
nor is american conservatism the same as liberal conservatism
there are some overlaps and some similarities but they are not the same at all 14:49, 13 May 2016 (UTC)~

The liberalism in "liberal conservatism"[edit]

Shouldn't this also mention support for liberal democracy? - Jmabel | Talk 23:21, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

This article is obviously a joke. If Ann Coulter gave birth to the illegitimate child of Ted Kennedy, perhaps the offspring might adopt a political philosophy of liberal conservatism, but I doubt it. danshawen | Talk 19:00, 18 December 2006 (UTL)

Believe it or not, the U.S. is not the only country in the world. And, believe it or not, in many countries, there is nothing at all contradictory about "liberal" and "conservative". I suggest that you might consider reading the articles liberalism and conservatism. - Jmabel | Talk 06:03, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Please give examples of these countries. The Person Who Is Strange 15:08, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
David Cameron, the leader of the UK Conservative Party has regularly described himself as a "liberal conservative". Unlike the US, most countries in Europe have a true left-wing, aka socialism. Thus Liberalism and Conservatism have much in common which they do not share with Socialism, mainly revolving around an individualist outlook. The Enlightened 13:43, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Certainly Japan, for one. But I would say that "liberal conservative" would be pretty clear most places in Europe: free-market in terms of large enterprises, but possibly a bit less so at the level of small business; tending to favor the existing social hierarchy in broad terms, but not seeing it as the government's job to enforce it; favorable to a free press; in favor of public education (with a somewhat conservative agenda for what that education should be). Most European countries have parties like this, not too far from Christian Democrat but more secular and with a little less commitment to social spending. - Jmabel | Talk 06:03, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

What makes this term exceedingly confusing (and nearly meaningless imo) is that Liberalism and Conservatism as historical ideologies have precise meanings, mainly related to Early Modern European politics. Liberalism advocated for capitalist economic policy and electoral democracy, while Conservatism rejected revolutionary Liberalism and advocated for the continuation of traditional social structures (Church, Monarchy, etc.). I think this point is pretty much clear.

I agree with the above, that the problem arises with the 19th C. introduction of socialist ideologies, which are opposed not only to the traditional social structures but also the new liberal capitalist social structures. In the context of 20th C. anticommunism, the Conservative position came to adopt the Liberal position in economics. However, this does not mean that the free market economic position originating in Liberalism then becomes "Conservative"! (or does it?)

The problem of definition is quite widespread, as many parties that self identify as "Conservative" enthusiastically support liberal economic policies. This varies however, as certain Christian Democratic parties (which would be considered conservative) are known to support social spending policies (as stated above). Meanwhile, in Europe, minor parties that are considered "Classical Liberal" still exist and occupy a center position between the socialist and conservative parties.

Taking into account the distinct historical development of these 3 mainstream ideological strands, terms like "Liberal Conservatism" (and "Conservative Liberalism") seem to be more like superficial heuristic devices than actual ideological descriptors. Part of the problem is that some people (mostly Americans) tend to think in terms of the two-party system (liberal/conservative) and are confused when certain "Conservative" policies are referred to as liberal or neo-liberal (even when the American GOP can be described as classical liberal in origin!). Even so, it can also be argued that the the absence of a conservative alternative to capitalism makes it necessary to re-evaluate what "Liberal" and "Conservative" mean in the context of 21st century politics, and whether mainstream center-right parties ought to be called liberal, or conservative, or both. Until further research is done though, it just seems like a confusing misnomer. (talk) 08:38, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

There are also parties like the D66 in the Netherlands and the Social Liberal party of Denmark that use the term "liberal" to describe themselves and support strong social spending. They are to the right of Socialist parties but are usually far more supportive of individual liberties. I think it would be a mistake to automatically equate them with American Liberalism though. The history of liberalism is confusing. (talk) 18:06, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Liberal conservatism shortened to just conservatism. American liberalism stands alone, in Europe it is referred to as social democracy.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 10:30, 13 October 2011 (talk)


The article is inconsistent about "Liberal Conservatism" or "Liberal conservatism". Unless there is a distinction (I don't believe there is) we should stick to one or the other, and the title of the article should be consistent with the body of the article. - Jmabel | Talk 06:24, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Came with the non-sensical criticism. Intangible 00:02, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Liberal conservative media[edit]

(Germany) Junge Freiheit Are there more examples, so we can add a section? 20:25, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

according to the german wiki-article version the Junge Freiheit lies inbetween conservatism and far-right extremism, so if that is true than it's definatily not liberal conservative (talk) 14:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Liberal conservatism vs. Neoconservatism[edit]

Before reading this article I was completely unfamiliar with the term "liberal conservatism" (as it sounds like an oxymoron in the US). The description makes it sound similar to neoconservatism. Has anything been written about the relationship between the two? How similar are they? I think if you could add something into the article comparing it with neoconservatism or whatever is most similar in the US, it would help American readers to understand what is meant by "liberal conservatism". Kaldari 06:34, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

There's not really much of a relationship. Neoconservatism is primarily a foreign-policy ideology, and liberal conservatism is primarily a domestic-policy ideology. Basically, liberal conservatism is economically liberal (in favor of market mechanisms, free trade, etc.) but socially at least moderately conservative (in favor of traditional values, society, and institutions). Neoconservatism is not defined by either of those two things, and indeed many neoconservatives are neither. --Delirium 04:22, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Hence the confusion, I guess, since in the US so-called "economic liberalism" is considered to be more a conservative ideology. What for example Britain would call "liberal conservatism", we call just conservatism. (talk) 19:49, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

editorializing moved from article Intangible 20:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)[edit]

At the 2006 Conservative Party Conference in Bournemouth, England, party leader David Cameron emphasised his credentials as a Liberal Conservative and stated that he was "not a neo-conservative". Indeed the term "liberal conservatism" is likely to be used in contrast with social conservatism.

Confusing wording[edit]

Does anyone else find the phrasing of the article somewhat a bit complicated? I had to re-read a few bits just to get my head around what it was trying to communicate to me (I'm not politically naive, I personally got an election article to FA status). Timeshift 04:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

No, I think this is a particularily confusing article because it's flatly stupid to call what pretty much is liberalism, that is, social and economic liberal policy, to be called "liberal conservativism." It makes [i]very little sense[/i] at all in the first place and as such the article will be extremely confusing to even people who are politically aware. This term is another example of people either being afraid to use the word "liberal." (talk) 14:06, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

The current intro reads "It contrasts with classical liberalism and especially aristocratic conservatism, rejecting the principle of equality as something in discordance with human nature, instead emphasizing the idea of natural inequality." The words "rejecting" and "discordance" effectively function as a double negative, meaning that the principle of equality is seen as being in accord with human nature; yet, the next clause claims that liberal conservatism emphasizes the idea of inequality. So, which is it? (talk) 06:42, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

I do think the article is confusing, but primarily for failing to sufficiently explain the difference between liberal conservatism and conservative liberalism. Can you please provide examples of how they differ on specific policies? Bwrs (talk) 09:35, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon cultures[edit]

Saying that liberal conservatism mainly is found within Anglo-Saxon cultures sounds a lot like original research to me and, frankly, suggests more about with which countries the contributor may be familiar. I will remove it unless some hard evidence can be brought forward to support it. MartinTremblay 05:01, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Confusing Article[edit]

This article is confusing because the subject isn't defined properly. Liberal Conservatism refers to the acceptance of liberalism, broadly defined, by people who support traditional institutions, like monarchy, aristocracy and church. The most obvious example is the UK Conservative Party. The fact that David Cameron likes the term and uses it as a slogan does not change its meaning. In fact his definition of "liberal conservatism" does not depart from the tradtional meaning. I will try to find a source to improve the article. The Four Deuces (talk) 00:34, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Liberal Conservatism and Libertarian Conservatism[edit]

Isn't liberal conservatism in the United States called Libertarian conservatism? --Novis-M (talk) 03:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't think so because libertarianism would not fit within this definition of conservatism. The Four Deuces (talk) 19:34, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. (talk) 10:34, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I have just edited the article to make clear that "liberal conservative" isn't used in the United States and would be considered an oxymoron. I think it just corresponds to "conservative" in the U.S., or more specifically to fiscal conservatism as opposed to social conservatism. Part of the definitional problem here is that the entire mainstream of U.S. politics is made up of "free market" advocates, although I realize there is some debate about that these days within the U.S. But from a European perspective, we in the U.S. are missing the entire left side of the mainstream. "Left" parties that in Europe (and Israel) often win elections or at least are part of coalition governments -- social democrats, socialists, labor, Greens -- are considered fringe parties in the U.S. I'm not talking about someone (like the President for example) who calls himself a progressive (or whatever he calls himself) and some other people call him a socialist, Marxist, etc.; I'm talking about people who call themselves socialists, etc. In Europe they win elections; here, they don't have a chance. Neutron (talk) 23:48, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

In the US liberal-conservative is referred to as free-market conservative or since it is the wide view of American conservatives its usually just referred to as conservatives. Libertarian conservative is also free market conservative who are also anti-statist on social issues.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:54, 11 July 2011


Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – is a christian party —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:52, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


Is the Liberal Party of Australia not a Liberal Conservative party? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:48, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Second Sentence[edit]

The sentence "As "conservatism" and "liberalism" have had different meanings over time and across countries, the term "liberal conservatism" has been used in quite different senses, and in some countries like the USA would be considered an oxymoron, even in the Continental Europe represents a particularly natural concept." is way too long and someone should fix it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:22, 5 November 2010 (UTC)


I see this is not a country-centric article but Ronald Reagan is a major figure in liberal-conservatism becoming the dominate ideology in the Republican Party. Before Reagan the Republican Party was largely progressive with Nixon and Ford and prior to that largely national conservative with Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:36, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

The article needs better sourcing and it seems to confuse conservatives who accept a degree of liberalism (e.g., English Tories), with liberals who have conservative attributes (e.g., Australian Liberals). TFD (talk) 13:51, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
No. This doesn't seem to fit. Reagan is certainly not to be considered as an example of liberal conservatism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
For reasons that I explained several sections up, more than a year ago, I do not think this term should be used in connection with any U.S. politician, regardless of how much it might fit a particular person from a non-American perspective. However much Wikipedia may prefer a "worldwide view", the term "liberal" just doesn't mean the same thing here that it means in most of the rest of the world. Neutron (talk) 01:18, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Liberal v moderate conservatism[edit]

User:DemitreusFrontwest has repeatedly moved this article (with no consensus) to "moderate conservatism", explaining that "moderate conservatism is more accurate because "liberal conservatism" can mean anything and differs in various regions". Before discussing DF's opinion, let me remind anyone that WP policies ask us to "avoid using edit summaries to carry on debates or negotiation over the content" and to seek consensus. This said, I agree that "liberal conservatism" may be misguiding in some geographical contexts (i.e. United States), but the term is consistently used in the other continents. An article on "liberal conservatism" is thus necessary, but there might be space also for a separate article on "moderate conservatism". --Checco (talk) 17:14, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Liberal conservatism[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Liberal conservatism's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Bergqvist1999":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 18:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Rejecting those three tenets of Burkean conservativism not lauding them?[edit]

This article contains the sentence:

However, from a different perspective, American conservatism, a "hybrid of conservatism and classical liberalism", has exalted three tenets of Burkean conservatism, namely the diffidence toward the power of the state, the preference of liberty over equality and patriotism, while rejecting the three remaining tenets, namely loyalty to traditional institutions and hierarchies, scepticism regarding progress and elitism.

This very much does not appear to be the case. Perhaps it was, and perhaps "American conservatism" is no longer "Liberal conservatism", but whatever the case, modern American conservatism (in the popular sphere) seems very much to define itself by those last three tenets, much less reject them (particularly "scepticism regarding progress ('progressives') and elitism", culminating in the 2016 election of Trump).
--RProgrammer (talk) 17:37, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

The sentence is based on an authoritative source—and I agree with it. We should not confuse the ideology of one President with American conservatism (is Trump a conservative, by the way?) and, more important, have a historical perspective rather than a "recentist" approach. --Checco (talk) 21:45, 20 March 2017 (UTC)