Principle of Charity
Liberalism vs Conservatism – Which Offers the Better Model for Society?
In this episode, we explore the two great movements of the political right - liberalism of the right and conservatism. They are such different political philosophies, yet they share the same bed, uneasily much of the time, in right wing politics.
By liberalism, we mean the political philosophy that champions individual rights and freedoms, private property and equality before the law. It’s linked with the rise of democracies and of capitalism, replacing social structures defined by hereditary, class and gender privilege as well as the divine right of kings.
Today, liberalism crosses over the left and the right of politics in most western countries. The left leaning or progressive liberals focus most heavily on the equality side, ensuring that people are not just treated equally under law but that the race itself is fair.
Liberalism of the right however, the one we’re focused on in this episode, is much more concerned with individual freedoms, individual responsibility, property rights and equality before the law. It wants to ensure that, wherever you start the journey of life, you are given the opportunity to succeed based on your merit and ambition.
The other great movement of the right, conservatism, is in one sense a stance, an attitude that is suspicious of change and asks us to proceed with caution, knowing that social order is easy to break and hard to build. But it’s also a political philosophy that values traditions, customs, a common moral code, authority, loyalty to community and country, focusing on duties rather than rights.
The purpose of this episode is to explore these two great movements of the political right, which clash and crash into each other, competing for dominance, as we look at which one offers the best model for society.
Our two guests are Tim Wilson MP and Gray Connolly.
Tim Wilson is a Federal Liberal Member in the Australian Parliament and is Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics. He was formerly Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. Tim is a strong advocate for protecting free speech and freedom of religion. His book The New Social Contract; Renewing the Liberal Vision for Australia, passionately champions liberal ideals of the right.
Gray Connolly is a Barrister, lectures in Australian Constitutional Law, and has advised the Australian Government on national security matters. He is a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navy and has served on deployments all over the world. Gray is a passionate conservative and a frequent conservative panellist for ABC radio and television, as well as publishing articles in various journals.
Both Tim and Gray sit firmly within the right rather than the Left of politics. But they advocate for very different models of society. Tim has said that conservatism offers little or nothing to young Australians. And Gray has dismissed liberalism as naïve. But they have great respect for each other in this fascinating conversation.
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Your hosts are Lloyd Vogelman and Emile Sherman.
Find Lloyd @LloydVogelman on Linked in
Find Emile @EmileSherman on Linked In and Twitter.
This Podcast is Produced by Jonah Primo and Bronwen Reid
Find Jonah @JonahPrimomusic on Instagram.