July 6, 2020 in Analysis
The Comparison Of The Liberalism And Conservatism With The Confucianism

The concept of the political ideology is very important in the modern world as well as it was in the past and will be in the future. Political ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals, principles, ideas of a social movement, social class, or a large group that explains how the society should be organized and offer some political and cultural projects of a certain social order. Political ideology is largely focused on the issues of the distribution of political power, and the question for what purpose it should be used. Some parties follow a certain ideology very clearly, while others may have a wide range of views, taken from different groups of ideologies, but do not follow any particular one of them. The political ideologies have two dimensions- the first explains how the society should be organized, and the second refers to the methods or ways of reaching such goals.

As the result, the political ideology plays a priceless role in a state development. Taking into the account the important place of this concept, it is essential to investigate some types of the ideologies in order to make the proper conclusions, which may be helpful in the future.  Thus, this investigation is dedicated to the comparison of such political ideologies as the Liberalism, Conservatism, and Confucianism. These political schools are different by their nature, origin, and ideas, so that, the results of the investigation will be objective and will reflect the tendencies among the political sciences.

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The Liberalism

The Liberalism is the philosophical and socio-political movement that proclaims the inviolability of the human rights and individual freedoms. The Liberalism proclaims the rights and freedoms of every human being as the highest values and establishes the legal basis of their social and economic order. Simultaneously, the church’s and state’s possibilities to influence on society are limited by the law and constitution. The most important freedoms in the modern liberalism are the freedom to speak out publicly, freedom of choice of religion, and the freedom to choose their representatives in free and fair elections.

Liberalism has arisen largely as a reaction to the abuse of power by the absolute monarchs and bishops of the Catholic Church. It rejected many of the previous theories of the state, for instance, the right of kings to rule and the role of religion as the only source of truth. Instead, the liberalism has offered to provide the natural rights, guarantees of civil rights, the establishment of the equality of all citizens before the law, the establishment of a free market economy, and ensuring the government accountability and transparency.

It is worth to mention that the liberalism is divided into the political, economic, cultural, and social liberalism. In the context of the political liberalism, it is worth to stress that it is the belief that the individuals are the basis of the law and society, and that public institutions exist to promote the empowerment of the individuals real power, without kowtowing to the elites. The key point of the political liberalism is the social contract, according to which the laws are published with the consent of the company for his benefit and protection of the social norms, and every citizen is subject to these laws. The exclusive accent is placed on the rule of law. The nowadays political liberalism also includes the provision of universal suffrage, despitely the race, gender, and economic status.

The Conservatism

Conservatism is an ideology which is committed to the traditional values and order. The main value of the Conservatism is accepted the preservation of the society’s traditions, its values and institutions. In the domestic politics, conservatives stress the value of the existing state and social order and reject any radical reforms, which are regarded by them as the extremism. In the foreign policy, the Conservatives are betting on the strengthening of security, allow for the use of military force, and try to maintain the traditional allies.

The founder of the conservative ideology is considered Edmund Berk. He had stated that the main values of the conservatism are the cult of traditions, national culture, morality, and patriotism; priority of the state’s interests over the interests of the individual; the strong hierarchical state; the authority of the Church, the family, and the school; the pragmatism, and healthy sense skepticism; the gradual and cautious process of social change; continuity in the development; historical unity of past, present and future; freedom and responsibility. These ideas have generated the concept of the classic conservatism, which recognizes the effective government and the limited capacity of the human mind in the knowledge about the society and the imperfection of human nature. Thus, only the powerful and authoritative government is able to successfully perform its functions. The conservatives claim that the normal society naturally reproduces the inequality, which, in turn, stimulates the competitiveness between people that contributes to the healthy development of the society. The equality should exist only in the field of the morality and virtue, and all people are obliged to do their duties because the functioning of the society is regulated not only by the laws but also by the customs and traditions. The conservatism rejects the revolutionary changes and focuses on the incremental changes in a society that allows them to the further adjustment and provides the stability.

The Confucianism

The Confucianism is the ethical and philosophical doctrine developed by Confucius (551-479 BC.) and developed by his followers, which became the part of the religious complex of China, Korea, Japan and some other countries. Confucianism is a worldview, social ethics, political ideology, scientific tradition, a way of life, philosophy, and a religion. Confucianism emerged as the ethical and socio-political doctrine at the time of deep social and political upheaval in China. The central problems, which are considered by the Confucianism, are the questions about the ordering relationship of rulers and subjects, moral qualities, which must have a ruler and slave, and others. Formally, Confucianism has never included the institution of the church; however, it has successfully performed the function of religion due to its significance, the degree of penetration into the soul and the education of the consciousness of people.

Confucius had developed the patriarchal and paternalistic concept of the state. The government is treated as a big family. The power of the emperor is likened to the father’s authority, and the relationship of the ruling and the subjects is likened to the family relationships, which the younger depend on the seniors. Confucius had portrayed the socio-political hierarchy which is based on the principle of the inequality of people. Thus, Confucius had advocated the aristocratic concept of the government, because the common people have been completely excluded from the participation in the government.

As an advocate of the non-violent methods of the government, Confucius had urged the rulers, officials, and citizens to build their relations on the basis of virtue. These principles are included into Confucius’s position upon the international relations and war. He stresses that the war is the irreversible process of life, however, the people should use the war, but not be used by it. The Political Ethics of Confucius as a whole aims to achieve the internal peace between the upper and lower ranks of the society and the stabilization of the government. He drew attention to the need to overcome the polarization of the wealth and poverty among the population. Regulation of the political relations of virtue is sharply contrasted with the management on the basis of laws. In general, a virtue in the interpretation of Confucius is the comprehensive set of ethical and legal norms and principles, which include the ritual rules, humanity, care about people, deference to the parents, devotion to the ruler, and the others. However, Confucius did not reject completely the value of the legislation, although, apparently, he paid only a supporting role to it.

The Comparison

To begin the comparison, it is important to stress the differences between the liberalism and conservatism. The ideology of the liberals has been strongly influenced by different spatial and time frames, thus, the liberalism is not a homogeneous structure of political thinking. Unlike the liberalism, the conservatism is more fundamental, traditional and consistent. Liberals tend to discard the past and live in the present. Unlike the Liberals, Conservatives believe that the past cannot be destroyed; it gives a feeling of identity and inner freedom. Liberals do not recognize the worship of the high society and argue that a person stands above the society. Conservatives are of the opinion that the only the state structure, which is built in the traditional doctrines, can guarantee respect for the rights and freedoms, as well as the safety of all citizens. As the result, the Liberals vote for the reforms, while the conservatives advocate the continuity, tradition, loyalty to existing legal, moral and religious foundations.

In this context, it is worth to compare the Confucianism as the main political idea of the East and the Liberalism and Conservatism as the main dimensions of the Western ideology, which are oppositely different. First, of all, the Confucianism usually is considered to be conservative because of its respect for the traditions and law. Many scientists and philosophers, analyzing the achievements of the modern China, believe that they are largely due to the fact that the country has not only succeeded in time to take the path of the modernization but although has preserved its specific cultural traditions. Thus, despite the many reforms, the conservatism, as respect for the traditions of the past, is still very popular in the country. Unlike the Western, the Chinese culture has always belonged to the category of conservative and static cultures. It was assumed that change can cause an onset of chaos. Thus, only the absence of changes gives the desired order and the stability of society. The basis of this type of social model is based on the fundamental philosophical grounds, the origins of which go into the depths of the history of ancient Chinese thought. As the result, the Confucianism appears as the ideology related to the Conservatism.

In the context of its liberal dimension, The Confucianism and Liberalism are originally unrelated. However, these two traditions, which are naturally mutually independent, meet each other in terms of human virtues and individual rights. Liberalism advocates for the autonomous civil society, while conservatism argues in favor of a benevolent state, and the society’s well-being and moral order. Despite this difference, these two ideologies insist on the need of a centralized state power. As the result, the Confucianism includes the conservative ideas as its basis, however, it collaborates with the Liberalism, especially in the modern world.


The investigation of the Liberalism, Conservatism, and Confucianism allows king the conclusions aimed at finding similarities and differences between them. Thus, it is worth to mention that both the Conservatism and Liberalism are the political ideologies of the West, however, they are oppositely different due to their perception of the relations between the state, society, and individual. The Confucianism, in turns, appears as the combination of these two ideologies. On the one side, Confucianism is the conservative by its nature. However, the modern world requires from it to own some liberal features, thus, these two concepts are although related. As the result, the conducted investigation has demonstrated the whole complicated and dynamic character of the relations between different political ideologies and their transformations.


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