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Conservatism prefers a minimal to non existent role for the state, and promotes free market economic policies, that is, that the government should not intervene to protect any interest, and that market forces will determine which company is successful. Conservatives believe that, with everybody competing in an open market place, services, goods and the economy as a whole will improve in its quality and efficiency.

Criticisms would be that there is no safety net for those who lose out in the capitalist system, those who do not own the means of production and can only sell their labour. Opportunities tend to stay within certain sects of society in a laissez faire approach. With the state taking a minimal role, conservatism tends to go hand in hand with private healthcare and education, which, for those of a lesser income, is hard to achieve.

Classic Liberalism, (around the turn of the 19th/20th century) was similar to this in many ways, believing in free trade, and demanding the end of protectionism. Some argued that the advent of liberalism in the late 19th and early 20th century was merely a front for the upwardly mobile merchant class, enshrining everyone's rights as 'free men', ultimately imprisoned however, by the adverse effects of a capitalist system. Liberalism, (at least, in the US and UK sense) changed in meaning through the inter war period, largely due to the crisis of boom and bust economics, leaving people doubting the free market. This change was what continental europeans might call social democracy. Liberalism came to mean a state that protected the rights of free men, and allowed free markets to operate, but also provided social security in the form of a welfare state. (perhaps most notably in the labour govt. of the UK after WW2). Protectionist attitudes towards national companies obviously limited the operation of the free market, (which, it is argued, must be universal for it to work in its purest sense), but also provided institutions such as the minimum wage and other previously denied rights for workers. This change also brought about the organisations of workers into trade unions, able to represent themselves more efficiently.

the answer to this question previous to mine was incredibly biased. No one system of government is perfect, and in every type of society in the real world (not the purely theoretical) somebody loses, and will seek to critique.

This defines these two political ideologies.

http://academic.regis.edu/jriley/libcons.htm

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Q: The differences between the criticisms of conservatism and liberalism?
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