15 Questions - Developed by: John - Updated on: - Developed on: - 10.934 taken
Two great strains of thought tend to dominate American politics today.
Liberalism, the product of countless Enlightenment thinkers from Locke to Jefferson to Bakunin, takes many forms, but all center around two main themes: human liberty, and its place in balancing out the private and public spheres of economics and politics (see Daniel Bell's "The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism," which addresses this question beautifully).
Conservatism, championed by Edmund Burke and working under the influence of Hobbes, Mill, and others, attempts to answer these questions with the idea that things should stay as they are, or at least, advance extremely slowly. Less concerned with demonstrable results and public discourse, conservatives tend to favor regression and an idolization of a stagnant, stable society.
In 2006 America, however, things are a little different. The terms "liberal" and "conservative" have lost their true places in public discourse. To that end, this test exists in the time-frame of 2006: I use these terms as those of our generation understand them, instead of their original meanings. "Liberals" are associated with the leftmost wing of politics, "conservatives" with the rightmost. I'm sure you more or less understand things as they are now anyway.