How would a critique of the New Deal from the perspective of a conservative differ from a critique from the perspective of a radical?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major difference between these two critiques would be that a conservative would think that the New Deal represented too great of a change while a radical would say that it did not change things enough.  This is because conservatives generally want things to stay more or less the same while radicals want extreme change.

Conservatives felt that the New Deal was an exercise in socialism.  People from those times did not think that the government should really be involved in helping people.  They felt people should be responsible for taking care of themselves.  Therefore, they felt that the government aid in the New Deal (as well as all the new regulations) was going to take the US down the road to socialism.

By contrast, radicals would have thought that the New Deal did not go far enough in this direction.  They would have wanted the government to do something much more extreme.  They would probably have liked the government to seriously undermine the entire capitalist system.  To them, the New Deal would have seemed like a small patch on a sinking ship.  They would have preferred a complete overhaul of the American system that would move towards doing away with capitalism.