What is the difference between liberalism, conservatism, and radicalism? political science.

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Liberalism, as the term is generally used within political science (its common language use in the United States is somewhat different), is a political ideology that envisions relaxed government intervention in both the social and economic spheres. In party politics, liberal parties - such as Germany's Free Democrats and Finland's Centre Party - often congregate within the Liberal International.

Conservatism, as the term is generally used, is a political ideology that envisions relaxed government intervention in the economic sphere accompanied by proactive government support for the maintenance of certain traditional cultural values. In party politics, conservative parties - such as the United States' Republican Party and the United Kingdom's Conservative Party - often congregate within the International Democrat Union.

Radicalism is an ideology that supports a fundamental restructuring of the social and political order. Within international relations specifically, radicalism is often used interchangeably with Marxism, though in its most general sense it can include both left-radicalism (communism) and right-radicalism (fascism).

The differences between these three ideological approaches is, therefore, one of constants. Liberalism and conservatism support the basic continuity of the political and social order while radicalism calls for its complete upending.

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These designations of political philosophy are also described as "left" (Liberal) and "right" (Conservative) with the radical element making the liberal more extremely liberal and the conservative more extremely conservative.  If a liberal leans toward the right, or a conservative toward the left, there's a "middle of the road" Centrist designation as well.  However, that's looking at the political spectrum in one, linear dimension.  The case has been make that the spectrum is two dimensional, with an up and down component; "up" tending toward moral and economic freedom, "down" tending toward government control of morality and economics.  The radical element of "up" is Anarchy; that of "down" is Totalitarianism.  See more at the link:

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Conservatism is a general political theory that seeks to keep things the way they are. General beliefs support the "status quo"; cautiously consider or resist change; and rely upon traditional values. Conservative ideology has been called "the right" or "right–wing" segment of a theoretical political continuum. Historically, conservatism has been linked to the Republican party in the United States. In contrast to conservatism, liberalism generally supports reform, change and attaches great importance to safeguarding individual rights and freedom of the individual in society. The Democratic Party in the United States is usually considered more liberal that the Republican Party. Radicalism--political and social movements and ideologies that aim at fundamental change in the structure of society--has also been a persistent feature of U.S. history. Radicalism can result from either conservatism or liberalism. The distinction between a "radical" conservative or a "radical" liberal is usually based on how far a person will go to implement their ideology. Radicals are much more convinced about the correctness of their views and often work outside the usual pathways of govenment.However, sometimes today's radicalism becomes tomorrow's liberalism or conservatism--as in the case of the American Revolution, civil rights, and opposition to the Vietnam War.

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