Liberals are fools on the hill. Liberals are fainthearted weaklings unable to cope with adversity. Liberals are bleeding hearts bringing human kind to a stagnant catatonic end. Or liberals are the only hope for preventing human kind from degeneration into oblivion. Conservative behavior is the dragged-anchor keeping the human species from realizing its problem-solving potentials. Or conservatism is the bedrock upon which all successful societies must rest.
“Utilizing government, an indispensable component of all societies, a discovery perhaps for the first time, will show the real differences between conservatives and liberals. There are few concepts in current use that rival “conservative” and “liberal” as champions of ambiguity. Despite their common use in the press, among legislators, and academics, rare indeed is the person for whom these terms have clear and unambiguous meaning. To those who would argue that these disagreements are inconsequential, are mere semantic quibbles, our reply is two-fold. First, without access to a completely unambiguous vocabulary or other symbolic system, it is no more possible to think and communicate clearly about social problems than it is to solve problems in biology or chemistry. Second, current misuse of these concepts demonstrably affects a peoples’ quality of life through enacting, or failing to enact, legislation. In short, it is not with impunity that these terms are ill-defined.” (Dr. R. Dewey, professor emeritus, UNH 1999.)
Conservative and liberal are attitudes that are observed from behavior. To try and guess what another person believes, feels or imagines is not applicable, realistic or productive. This is also not an accusatory essay but rather a reflective look at how the attitude manifests itself.
The initial project looked for a complicated government group-way success for both conservative and liberal. That is, a custom in the form of mores and institutions that was representative of conservatism and liberalism. The next step was to analyze and compare the two.
What we found was a complete surprise. Going back as far as the Samarian culture, circa 6500 BC, not one conservative norm (rule) or behavior ever prevailed. The longest continual conservative behaviors were slavery and one-person/family rule. All of history can not be recalled but a smattering of historical events will be enough to demonstrate the findings.
The American Revolution: a liberal cause that barely made it. The liberals won against great odds, defeating the strongest country in the world. They reintroduced democracy, something that had not occurred for some two thousand three hundred years. The last time was a Greek democratic republic. Washington, Jefferson and their band of renegades accomplished a remarkable feat. To overthrow a Kingship and form a democracy in the 18th century seemed impossible. The following is just one significant liberal revolutionary act out of many.
The supreme American military leader (George) stopped his officers from taking control of the newly formed government. He then ceremonially presented his sword to Congress thereby institutionalizing an army run by civilians. George’s behavior was true liberalism. In violent revolutions, before and after the American Revolution, the head military honcho usually takes over. Intoxication of power and the perception of civilians as weak, result in the phenomena of military rule.
Another big liberal issue (in the U.S.A.) was the defeat of the Conservative South. By this victory Blacks were freed, given citizenship, and the right to vote. The main issue resolved was that States do not have autonomy to go their own ways against prevailing mores or federal laws. States do not have the right to pick and choose; only what they want. President Lincoln crushed the rebellion for States Rights and maintained a strong United States central government.
Liberals won women’s right to vote. President F.D. Roosevelt in his New Deal got Social Security for the American people. President L.B. Johnson got his Civil Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid. Liberals enact laws for: environmental conservation, saved endangered species, instituted sex education and the right to organize, to mention just a few.
Many more events were researched then are presented. The results were the same in every instance. The essay started as a neutral curiosity. With the accumulation of factual events this essay is taking a position. A doctor has a duty to say “your sick and here is what to do.” A Social Scientist has a duty to say “society; there are ills and here is how to fix them.” This essay is now an advocacy for humankind’s advancement.
The idea should be clear. Liberal issues win and basically stay won. At times, a conservative resurgent will negate a liberal win. These setbacks last only a short time before the liberal laws are re-enacted for good. Democracy took an unusual long time to make its universal comeback but it is here to stay. There were many steps on the road back, the Magna Carta being the first significant.
The conservatives too have battled for what they believe. However instead of fighting for something better they are usually fighting against something. They try to stop some relatively new behavior or return to a past behavior. In 1917 the conservatives got their Prohibition amendment. The main reason for the amendment was to make it difficult for the “wine immigrants” (Italians mainly) to stay in the USA and discourage more of the “those kind” (Irish) from coming to America. The conservatives wanted no foreigners. The behind close doors agenda was if the new unwashed Italian immigrants can’t get to their wine then they will go home at best or least will not want to come here. Deregulation is another classic example of trying to go backwards. A historic example of deregulation is the concession shops on Ellis Island. Those shops initially were run privately with no regulation. Within a short time do to corruption, graft, kickbacks and cheating, the feds stepped in and took over. Of course a more recent example of deregulation is the California energy the Enron debacle and the melt down of our economy in 2007.
The following is a potpourri of some other hard fought wars by conservatives to “affirm, save, maintain, guard, retain and uphold” (synonyms for conservative) behavior and laws against the onslaught of the liberals Please keep in mind when one behaves as a conservative that person is a conservative for and during that act. A liberal is one behaving in a liberal manner. So a statement “he is a Conservative” is referring not to a whole personality but rather a Conservative behavior.
At the turn of the century conservatives opposed the telephone and the wireless saying they give too much information. They opposed the airplane saying if God had intended us to fly he would have given us wings. They opposed using electric lights saying it is fussing with nature. They negated anesthesia for mothers at childbirth because the Bible says females must suffer at childbirth. The Conservatives were against heart transplants saying it was unnatural. Conservatives in the 50’s blocked putting fluoride in public drinking water calling it a communist plot. They opposed giving all the people an education. In the early 1900’s Blacks were permitted to learn only English and math. The conservatives said “no liberal arts, it puts ideas in their head.” Conservatives were against, and some still are, the teaching of biological evolution. Conservatives supported segregation under the guise of states rights.
At the beginning of the century conservatives curtailed immigration of the “European Mix”, now conservatives curtail the “Color Mix”, the work of foreign peoples is defiling the American system." This was said in both 1920 and 1996. We see the same attitude just different circumstance. Conservatives opposed going from a decentralized agrarian culture to a centralized capitalistic industrial system. Conservatives have decried Mozart, Swing and Rock-n-Roll.
Conservatives said the automobile would ruin family values. Early conservative laws designed to stop people from buying a car: “An automobile when in town must have a person walk in front to warn people the automobile is coming.” “A vehicle left unattended for more than two hours must have a horse tethered to said vehicle.”
They passed laws against the abbreviated bathing attire in the early 20th century and every inch of less fabric since. They fought birth control (another instance of “undermines family values”). Conservatives opposed child labor laws. Through human history Conservatives have banned or burned books, later to accept these books as Classics.
Conservatives today would not ban Lady Chatterley’s Lover, but when it was first published they did. Their intent was to keep it out of public’s reach and out of libraries. It was said to be decadent, would undermine family values, would corrupt the young, and is an insult to decent citizens. Did the books get to the public and libraries? Yes. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is now even used in high school book reports with no dire consequences as warned.
The issues, conservatives holding sway as the confrontations continue, have dire consequences, e.g. like limiting the Black’s right to vote. In Louisiana 1895 there were 130,000 registered Black voters. By 1920 conservative legislation forced 118,800 from the voting rolls leaving only 1,200 registered Black voters. In response to rectification of this notorious act, churches were bombed, and set on fire. Young men and woman were murdered. There was a murder trial in May of 2002 for a bombing in 1965.
All are examples, among thousands, where the Conservative’s lost. Civil rights, woman’s freedom, etc… are wins now universally accepted as part of human progress. Therefore what the conservatives lost were detriments to human progress. Put another way; what was lost was wrong. Conservatives are always wrong.
The aforementioned were just some of the liberal’s issues that the conservatives fought. What are the established norms and behaviors that liberals wanted changed? The following are examples of “the tyranny of Liberals” resulting from their “crippled moral sense” using the “central federal government to take away the freedom of individuals” (said by the conservative spokes person and author in Are you a Conservative or a Liberal).
The liberals changed the 84-hour workweek. Liberals opposed children working in the factories tied to their looms. Liberals did not follow blind nationalism, absolute obedience and Aryan myths in Germany during the thirties. The liberals pushed the Federal Government to end pollution, to fix unsafe autos, to do away with the poll tax, to abolish the literacy test, and much more. But you get the idea. Whether supportive new ways of doing things or challenging archaic, established and harmful behaviors, the liberals win and the consequences make for a better world. For every act there is a result, a consequence.
Conservatives stopping progress is not the least of the negative consequences. Short-lived issues won by Conservatives have evil and mean results. Prohibition accelerated organized crime to a higher influence. The Vietnam War, Watergate, McCarthyism, and J. E. Hoover’s reign entrenched a suspicion of a U.S. Government that can’t be trusted. Jim Crowism instilled the ever-present distrust of the white person by groups of color and bred a hatred that has lasted generations. The USA’s Civil War (yes, we know the South lost but just the fact that those conservative traitors kept fighting for 4 years is a win of sorts) is still being felt today. “Conservatives of Japan overthrew the Liberal government in 1931 and proceeded on a campaign of terror for the next 16 years” (The History Channel). President Coolidge’s laissez faire approach by government, lead to the Great Depression. President Reagan’s laissez faire approach by government lead to Savings & Loan failures -- the worst crash on Wall Street since the Great Depression and a debt in the Trillions. Not since the Warren Harding Administration were there as many convicted and indicted administration officials as under Reagan. Liberal legislation not passed in the 1990’s, against the onslaught of deregulation, seeded distrust for big business. Whether small or big, conservative wins bring an ill wind. As an update we will add Eron and the 2007/8 Wall Street devastation. Whether small or big, conservative wins bring an ill wind
No present conservative wants to give up or go back to what the conservatives in the past were fighting for or against. So if it were possible to go back in time conservatives say they would support the Liberal cause (i.e. USA Revolution). Therefore Conservatives become Liberals when they are looking backward through history. This is not to be confused with reactionaries who want to go back, not just look back Conservatives try and get away with saying, “if they (past liberals) were here today they would be conservatives.” Different times and issues realign the conservative liberal conflict. Jefferson is spinning in his grave over how the conservatives have bastardized the second amendment.
Some Conservatives are still fighting Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, social welfare, women in the military, women airline pilots, women CEO’s, and gays in the military. At least they stopped fighting Blacks in the military. All mentioned are Liberal wins here to stay.
The founding fathers of the USA were political Liberals. They were rebels against kingship. Conservatives of today say; “well I too would have been a rebel” in the Revolution. Not with a conservative attitude you wouldn’t have been a rebel. The conservative behavior toward change, of don’t change, and to preserve what we have are not heroic revolutionary behaviors. “Keep the king” was the conservative cry. The Tories were the conservatives who fought against democracy. The Tories said “no democracy, for it takes power away from the elite and gives it to the masses”. Even today conservative legislation is in that same vein: elitism and exclusionary.
Some conservatives refer to those revolutionists as “Classic Liberals.” We believe they are trying to say past liberal behavior was good. What we don’t know and what is unclear is why conservatives try to get away with labeling yesterday’s liberalism with the word “Classic.” There is no classic liberalism. To say there was this glorious and noble behavior in the past but no longer exists is mythically romantic with no basis in fact. “Classic liberalism” is an invented label for non-existent behavior. There is only liberal behavior. Consider this. By saying “classic liberalism” was right, the conservatives imply that liberalism of that time was right. So, the Tories were wrong. Logically you can’t have two conflicting truths. So at the time of the Revolution conservatism, by the present conservatives’ admission, was wrong. Moreover if “classic liberalism” was so great why aren’t the conservatives trying to bring about “that kind” of liberalism today? Instead they exalt behavior that they agree was evil and wrong at one time: conservatism. Washington and the boys were political liberals. Times and issues may change but conservative/liberal attitudes are the same regardless of time or place.
A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in 1891. In 1883 liberal and socialists pushed through a federal law to display the U.S.flag in public schools. A liberal with socialist leanings wrote the words displayed on the Statue of Liberty. America the Beautiful was written by a female professor lesbian liberal with socialists’ sympathies. This land Is Your Land was written by a liberal with communistic sympathies. Would a conservative call this “Classic Socialism?”
Among several arguments that conservatives use, to defeat a liberal cause, is to say that it “undermines family values.” Conservatives have used that phrase in trying to disallow: women the right to vote, the car, the movie, the radio, the telephone, the TV, cubism and pantonality. Of course the aforementioned is but a sampling of the last 100 years, or so. The underlying point is if we were to return along the historic path thousands more examples of trying to disallow and use family values as an excuse would emerge. Keep in mind that not even the most arch conservative of today would do away with the car, the movie, etc.
There is irrationality about the immigration issue. If at any time in the history of the USA the conservatives held sway the ancestral Germans, Irish, Russians, all Eastern Europeans, and any Mediterranean nationality would have been excluded from entering the USA. Yet there are Conservative German-Americans, Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans supporting an attitude that would have kept their ancestors out of North America.
It is said liberals want to destroy capitalism. Conservatives today treat capitalism as if they invented it. The liberals first purposed and implemented capitalism now the conservatives believe the liberals are out to destroy “their conservative baby.” The gall, the audacity, to actually imply that the liberals want to destroy something the liberals created! Regulate, modify, temper--yes, but not destroy. Conservatives are so afraid of change it blinds them to the difference between modify and destroy or the difference between regulate and takeover.
As we mentioned earlier when Lady Chatterley’s Lover first came out, conservatives wanted it banned. Conservatives will argue those weren’t conservatives. Who then were they? A Conservative at this point says they were just some backward and ignorant people but not conservatives. Let’s put the episode in the context of the period. There was a group who wanted this book available to the public and in libraries. There was another group who did not want the book available to the public and in libraries. One spokesperson for one of the groups said “the Liberals have gone too far in wanting this book in public view.” If a Conservative didn’t say that, then what would you call the group representative who did say those words? “The Eskimos?” (R. Widmark).
Conservatives in the USA blame liberals for institutionalizing “big government.” First of all what is “big government?” Is it the bureaucratic size or the intrusiveness? If it is size then reducing the population will reduce “big government.” It is simple arithmetic. More people demand bigger government. So, to reduce the size, have fewer babies. That part is simple. So what is the fuss? Conservatives don’t want abortion, birth control, conception control, effective sex education, Planned Parenthood or any family size regulation. So size must not be their “big government” issue. It must be they don’t like the intrusiveness.
There is a sub-element that makes a Government intrusive; regulation. Again it’s tied to the size of the population. The more cars on the road the more the government needs to tell you what you can and can’t do with your automobile. Government intrusiveness is not a whim, artificially forced, or a manipulation. Intrusive government exists because of the need to regulate the movements of mass populations. Thus we enact freedom-limiting regulations. Go to a movie with hardly anyone there; no ropes, ushers, or polls. Attend when it’s crowded and all three are in abundance; telling you where to stand, when to move, where to go. Your freedom is severely limited but there is no choice for without the regulation there would be chaos.
Another part of intrusiveness is protection. As the populace grows so do the numbers of deviants/”left behinds” (several conditions lead to a multitude of dysfunctional behaviors). These groups get a double whammy. They become a persecuted minority. While still small in primary or secondary groupings they are laughed at or pitied. As the population increases the village idiot becomes the urban menace. They also fall further behind due to sheer size. Now the state must pass laws hitherto not needed to protect society from these “left-behinds”. Thus government gets bigger by the additional departments and agencies such as Anti-Terrorist Department, or Regulator of donations. These laws also curtail the freedom of the law abiding. These intrusive laws help, and take care of the “left behinds:” the ignorant, the gullible, the weak, the impaired and the slow. Not only take care of but protect by preemptive laws against greed, cons, graft, conspiracies, etc. If this caretaker custom fails and laws are not propitious these persecuted “left behinds” fly airplanes into tall buildings.
Taking care of the have-nots is for the institution of Amelioration. For some rich conservatives to believe that doing their bit for charity is going to solve the over all problem or really helps those people, is out of touch with reality. These isolated handouts propagate the problem and stroke the conservative ego.
In an interview, the conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey said “I supported Joe McCarthy but see that it was wrong, I supported the Vietnam War but see that it was also wrong.” Liberals as far as can be ascertained do not look back and say they were wrong. Nor do the conservatives look back and say the liberals were wrong. This again proves the adage: conservatives embrace today what liberals achieved yesterday. Ronald Reagan applauded the song “The House I Live In” performed by Frank Sinatra written by one of the Hollywood songwriters Reagan helped smear during the McCarty witch-hunts. The conservatives (i.e. Lou Dobbs at CNN) finally in 2002, after years of fighting any government accounting regulations admitted that what the Liberals had been trying to get was needed. We all have heard the expression “The train is leaving the station. Are you on it or not?” In this case the train pulls into the station at the end of a run. The conservatives then get on expecting to leave.
History shows us that liberal wins, while liberal behavior at the time, eventually (decades to centuries) turns into conservative behavior. Societies mature. This outdated behavior is the catalyst for renewed exchanges between the two. Conservatives say they have a sense of history but how can that be, they always pick the wrong side. Conservatives always loose, liberals always win, after the dust settles. How do you know when the dust settles? Simple, when the conservatives embrace what the liberals won.
Attitude is derived from the French word attitudine, meaning natural tendency. Attitude is a bearing indicating action and/or feeling. Attitude is a posture or position. Attitude is a persistent disposition to act in a particular way toward a person, group, object, situation or value. Attitude is a motivator.
This concept of attitude as an influence upon human behavior is important to understand. Being a reactionary, a conservative, a liberal, or a radical is having a particular set of attitudes. How a person approaches any task, issue or pleasure is in great part a manifestation of his or her attitude. Put another way, what is the proclivity of that person in any particular human endeavor? When something new comes along, in any particular socio-cultural situation how will that person or group respond? The attitude will greatly influence behavior toward any myriad of possible human actions. A person may in conjunction with one’s belief and knowledge behave liberally and conservatively alternately several times just on their way to work.
Put the species into historic perspective. What our ancient ancestors wanted, what they needed for survival and life fulfillment, what their innate potential for satisfying these desires and needs were, are no different than twenty-first century Homo Sapiens’ needs and desires. The range of emotions: love, hate, fear, and pride have not changed. What motivates has not changed. Attitudes have not changed. The innate cognitive capacities and emotions of the cave dwellers and the residents of modern high-rise condominiums are identical. What have changed is the means of satisfying those needs and desires. Paleolithic’s “were much like us-experiencing most of the same hopes, doubts, desires, pleasures, challenges, disappointments, and conflicts.” The Paleolithic Prescription.
Attitudes propagate certain behaviors that transcend time. The conservative’s attitude of Greece and Rome is the same as those of conservatives today. The liberal attitude is the same through man’s history. Within the context of the times there are no new attitudes. Of course there are different manifestations and meanings of attitudes but no new attitudes. Attitude should not be confused with situation. A past liberal issue by its very nature of being past may not be deemed a liberal behavior or norm today. Even The U. S. Constitution has amendments.
“For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves” (Sen. J. F. Kennedy, 9/60).
Past behavior in significant degrees predicts future behavior. People displaying any of these attitudes tend to respond in the same basic manner as they responded in the last similar circumstance. So, if we know a person’s political attitude we can pretty much predict their decisions. However this is not an absolute. Knowledge of all the consequences, individual biases, parochial or worldly knowledge and social pressure could and does modify the normal behavior regarding a particular topic. There is enough evidence to warrant a belief that knowledge curtails conservatism and begets liberalism. An article in the WSJ (29 April 2002) stated colleges are touting Jews for being number 2 on a list ranking the highest college academic accomplishments. Unitarians were first on the list. Both groups traditionally vote for liberal causes. In general the basic attitude of any given Society-Component will prevail. In another institutional group-way the person’s attitude could be different. For example a person could be a conservative in Government and a liberal in Economics and Art.
There are the four basic political behavioral attitudes within the Society-Component of Government. These four behavioral attitudes have been and are, always present to some degree.
The Reactionary says: “let’s go back”…”what is good for my father/grandfather is good for me.” The yesteryears were the good old days and we need to return. Syn: contrary, antagonistic, clashing, hindrance.
The Conservative says:“Let’s stay right where we are with maybe a few improvements but no drastic change.” “The system is OK, I like what I have, don’t take anything away from me.” “Don’t rock the boat.” Webster’s expands this by adding the tendency to accept an existing fact, order, situation or phenomenon and to be cautious toward or suspicious of change: extreme wariness and caution in outlook.” Simply: no change until I am ready. Syn: “diehard, tradition, defend, save, maintain, rescue, guard, keep, uphold, etc.”
The Liberal says: “We have come a long way, let’s keep going.” “There is a better way. Let’s discover and do it.” Liberal comes from the Latin word Liber “to be free”. Webster’s words; “one that is open minded or not strict in his observance of orthodox, tradition or established forms or ways…shows concern for individual or minority rights and freedoms Syn: “generous, bountiful, bounteous, openhanded, munificent, warm heartedness, willingness to aid, altruism, forgetfulness of self, etc.”
The Radical says: “Let’s throw everything out and start again.” “All is wrong.” “We need to start over right now.” “The workers have nothing to lose but their chains.” The radical acts without investigation or caring as to the consequence. Syn: Extreme, drastic.
Reactionary behavior is naive. You can’t go back. Overall, mankind is better off today than yesterday. Going forward is getting better; doing more things right than wrong. The species has always gone forward. Back implies doing worse. Shortsighted people tend to forget the bad and remember the good. Nostalgia breeds a poor interpretation of reality.
Radical behavior is just as naive. Advocates who desire the complete destruction of society: deny the existence of Group-needs, and how lasting change occurs. In short they deny the nature of man. Radicalism begets chaos and anarchy. No complex society can function without a State. If world anarchy occurred the species would cease to exist. There seems to be no reflection by a radical as to consequence.
To explain the essence of conservative and liberal attitudes a Semantic Behavioral Calculus (referred from now on as SBC) has been developed. SBC is a method of determining the whole meaning associated with a labeled human behavior. This particular test will illustrate conservative and liberal attitudes. The first part of this SBC lists most all the synonyms found in two unabridged dictionaries and three thesauruses for conservative and liberal (in doing your own test on other behaviors more dictionaries and thesauruses may be used).
(These synonyms are not arbitrary inventions. They are agreed labels attributed to human behavior and for good reason. All phenomena recognized by observation must have labels if we are to record, think or communicate conceptually. Words assigned to behavior are the accumulation of observations from hundreds, even thousands, of years. Human situations have not changed. Emoto (emotional motivation) responses to these situations have not changed. The words describing the response have not changed. We think in words and this thinking leads us to perceptions. Thus words shape attitudes resulting in certain behavior. To discard labels upon which consensus has been reached is to deny knowledge. It is as dangerous to arbitrarily discard a meaning, as it is to arbitrarily define phenomena. Sheer opinion, whether from a conservative or liberal viewpoint, is a sound basis neither for defining words nor for discarding words. So, if we grant a person permission to either omit or change a label then at what point do we stop tearing pages out of a dictionary? Concede to everyone’s opinion, no pages are left. Or conversely, a dictionary could have a million pages. Pushed to the ultimate, such action would render books meaningless).
A CONSERVATIVE (synonyms)
Conservatives who have seen this list, for the most part, accept the synonyms as being what they believe. There are some synonyms to which they all take exception. Fearful, Tory, unreflective, diehard and inflexible are synonyms that Conservatives believe do not accurately reflect Conservatism. Of course they do, but they don’t admit it.
A LIBERAL (synonyms)
The synonym dispassionate did not sit well with any Liberal who saw the list. Liberals are dispassionate. Synonyms for dispassionate are: objective, impartial, and without bias. If it makes liberals feel better two antonyms for dispassionate are agitated and emotional.
The SBC process is taken further by showing antonyms for the synonyms. Next we take all the previous synonyms for Conservative and Liberal and show antonyms for each synonym. Under each of the following headings are the respective antonyms. These antonyms are placed in the order in which the synonyms were presented so the analogist can check our work.
(Please keep in mind, we, as authors, choose from a myriad antonyms/synonyms. In most cases there are numerous choices of antonyms/synonyms for one word and not all are clear-cut. We pick what we believe best represents the behavior. In all fairness, we know that if conservatives were looking over our shoulder some choices would be kinder to conservatives. However some antonyms/synonyms depicting conservative behavior were so unkind or seemingly off track that we left them out (i.e. mindless). In some cases we were less flattering to liberalism. Some antonyms for a Conservative synonym had eight superlative descriptions for Liberalism. We could pick only one and we did not pick the most attractive. We are not presenting our whole findings of all the possible combinations of antonyms/synonyms. But if we did, the result would be exactly the same.
Please remember these words are describing hundreds even thousands of years of observed behavior. These synonyms/antonyms tell us a lot more than would just simple definitions. Patterns in the form of implications emerge. In short, we add connotations to denotations.)
Antonyms from the Liberal synonyms.
Antonyms from the Conservative synonyms.
We have completed our SBC. Conservative and Liberal attitudes are becoming clearer. Words used over centuries lead us to an answer. Coupled with history these times tested labels show the attitude of Conservatives: fear, caution, distrust, defending, “stay put”, etc. Recalling the same history and tested labels shows the liberal implications of: advance, move, optimism, liberate, etc. These conclusions are not opinions. These conclusions emerge from compiled facts. Encarta, not included in the above references, antonyms every liberal reference with narrow minded. Thus open minded is a liberal synonym.
The basic attitude or foundation of the Conservative: the inordinate use of security (one of the four species needs). This inordinate need manifests into fearful behavior. Fear that what they have will be taken away. It is fear they will not get more, fear of the unknown and fear of the unexplained. We can make a very strong case for increased influence of Conservatism relating to being afraid. When you fear, reason, optimism, and forgiveness take a back seat. And when fear takes over anger sets in. Newsweek: “the basis for conservatism is anger.”
Here is a typical answer to the question: Why are you a Conservative? “Conservatives make me feel comfortable.” The Conservatives passing laws on: “3 and out”, first offenders jailed for 20 years, “get tough”, and executions makes a conservative feel comfortable. Oh yes, and keep all those bad people out of this country. To reiterate: fear leads to anger; anger (as we all know) impairs reason leading to passionate irrational behavior.
The “isms;” Fascism, Communism and Socialism are government behavioral types resulting from political attitudes. Fascism surfaces when extreme nationalism coupled with industrial capitalism displace Government. The Fascists’ thinking is, we are a superior nation and everyone should be just like us. Capitalism gets results, efficiently and quickly. Let the economic component be the government.
But the problem is that those people who don’t add to the state’s wealth/power or don’t fit the nationalistic ideal are left behind. In most cases they are left behind in a very cruel manner. Sounds like some present day republican laws. Fascism is known as The Corporate State (Random House Unabridged Dictionary). This Corporate State corrupts the social component of Government.
Communism is radical. Have a full fledge violent revolution, dispose of the old, make everyone toe the mark, and then get rid of government. Now that’s radical. Can you believe some Americans today advocate no government? Just like the Communists.
The part of doing away with government is more than radical it is obtuse. Government is, a coordinator, a harmonizer and an allower. It’s like the conductor in an orchestra. No matter how good the first cello, that cello will be off beat and out of sync real quick, if not for the Conductor. History has proven if a significant group empowers the state to do everything (the conductor can not play all the instruments and conduct) or decrees no government (no conductor); they fail. In fact, in the history of mankind there has never been a successful significant group or society with no government. Think about that. 6500 years of known history and not one society succeeded without government as an essential society-component. Military or police only, does not make government.
No society has ever existed without government and man has tried everything, many times. The human species cannot survive without government. Perhaps some don’t like the idea of the species always having some form of government? Would they also not like a person having two arms? It’s the natural aspect of the species. However, societies can survive for long periods before collapse, with government exhorting force over the other society’s components. Advocating no government is the same as believing cars run on square wheels.
Socialism is either an ignorant liberal attitude or a compassionate conservative attitude (both are oxymorons). We haven’t figured this one out. They care about everyone and want everyone to be treated fairly (that’s the liberal part) but don’t understand the nature of man so they want the state to solve all the problems (that’s the ignorant part). Government runs the economy rather than pass regulatory laws. This leads us to the argument that Socialists are Compassionate Conservatives. The Socialist/Conservatives want to take over Economics/Government. Both behaviors use one Society-Component to control another. This is an ethnocentric selfish behavior with reactive fear of the other system. Liberal behavior would acknowledge the juxtaposition and allow for the natural interaction of both society-components government and economics.
To help remember the difference between the two attitudes here are suggested acronyms: SERF (Selfish, Ethnocentric, Revengeful, Fearful) is a Conservative. PAL(Positive, Asking, Liberated) is a Liberal.
Webster’s Third: An antonym of conservative is understanding, an antonym of understanding is ignorant, and a synonym for ignorant is; “uncivilized peasants.” An uncivilized peasant is a serf.
A SERF is Selfish of his/her possessions and wants more. A SERF is ignorant of what is outside their comfortable sphere. If you aren’t like me then you are wrong is pure Ethnocentrism. A SERF relies on Revenge for social justice. Above all, a SERF is Fearful. A SERF fears: change, differences, gods, the unexplained, the imagined and other humans
The Southerner’s in the mid 1800’s lost control of Congress and did not like it (Selfish). They wanted to preserve their way of life (Ethnocentric). Losing the war is reason for some of Southerner’s behavior toward the black (revenge). They were apprehensive as to what might happen if change occurred (fearful).
A PAL has a Positive attitude. Man is good. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to be better. PALs have been executed, tortured, condemned and ostracized for Asking questions (from Socrates to Dewey). A PAL works “out of the box.” A PAL is not tied to what is. They are Liberated as well as liberators. A PAL is a friend. A PAL helps you. A PAL cheers you up. A PAL imagines the good not the conspiracy. A PAL is liberating. A PAL trusts and has faith in mankind. A PAL is good.
A solid delineation of the two attitudes exists: conservative and liberal. Conservative’s hinder progress. Liberal’s advance mans existence. Conservatives frown. Liberals smile. Conservatives stop. Liberals move. Conservatives restrict. Liberals liberate. Conservatives leave out. Liberals include. One side says: no, stop, can’t do, it’s bad. The bogeyman will get you. The other side says: there is enough evidence let’s go for it, let’s try, move, looks good, it will be OK, always a better way. The attitudes motivating behaviors just got clear concise meanings. The connotations became denotations.
Sometimes false labels exist. An aggrieved minority or members of that Minority may advocate or use liberal solutions to gain their acceptance and status. We can’t know all the time if that minority or member is really a liberal until they have enough power to use force. If force is used they really weren’t Liberals. Or they finally get into the country club and became a turncoat.
The good that conservatives can do in the Society-Component of government is to represent the timid and the weak. As mentioned, there are individuals and groups where change, or something new, gives some degree of trauma. All of us at one time have known people who are afraid to drive in traffic and if they do are hazardously cautious. These are timid/fearful attitude traits exhibited by conservatives. Those with these inadequacies are by definition handicapped and have to be coddled.
There is no way the liberals can fully identify and know who is not keeping up with society’s progress. Therefore someone needs to represent these citizens.
There are some things that need to be defended, saved, maintained, guarded, kept, and upheld (conservative synonyms). Use that conservative virtue. Let them save from the onslaught of radicals and reactionaries, the liberal’s accomplishments. Conservatives can save the Constitution of the United States, the right for every one of age to vote, child labor laws, or any of the thousand’s of Liberal wins. As long as there are “fundies” and anarchist, conservatives can help preserve liberal successes. To preserve is their nature. Put it to a good use. When there are no longer reactionaries and radicals the liberals won’t need the conservatives help for preservation of the society.
On any political issue there is a test for which proposal is conservative (wrong) and which is liberal (right). The Moral Behavioral Calculus (MBC) test is called SIIR (Standard-Inclusion-Implication-Result). Conservative: has a double standard, some individuals or groups are left out, the implication is bad, and historically bad consequences result. Liberal: has a single standard, all who want or should be are included/excluded, only good implications, and the same purposed behavior has had good historic results.
What are the consequences or results of these two attitudes? Conservatives tend to build cars with square wheels. The liberals beat the wheels into round spheres. The car drives off and conservative’s say. “See, cars run on square wheels.” Why do conservatives believe “square wheels” work? Simple, they imagine a model that doesn’t exist but one they wish did. Their pessimistic, distrustful, simplistic, ethnocentric and shortsighted attitudes lead them to believe in tooth fairies.
Conservatives are not evil or bad people. Their interpretation of their behavior is not deliberately thwarting or negative. They do not see the consequences of their behavior as obstreperous or recalcitrant. However history finds conservatives always on the short end of the stick. Not one of their picks ever made it into the win column. They always loose, what ever they are either fighting or promoting. They loose by the simple fact: the human species always seeks improvement. To improve, a new behavior occurs. Conservatives are wrong because they don’t want new behavior. That is, they are contrary or out of step with man’s nature. Conservatives win battles but not wars. Conservatives in a revengeful, ignorant and fearful state imagine that which is not.
History finds Liberals the chosen ones.
Conservatives embrace today what Liberals achieved yesterday.
What Liberals achieve today Conservatives embrace tomorrow.
Conservatives looking backward become Liberals.
A Liberal attitude breeds heroes.
Conservatism is the dropped anchor on the good ship Progress.
Keith A. Dewey
Copyright 2001- duplication and reproduction all or in part of Conservative/Liberal is only by author’s permission.