Liberalism and Conservatism — How Societies Evolve.

7 min readOct 23, 2020

When we think about liberalism and conservatism, we often think about the political ideologies that they are associated with. I would like to take a step back and try to deconstruct these concepts into the fundamental forces that create them. Understanding these forces and their role in building societies can help explain why existing structures are the way they are.

Let’s start with some definitions (from

Liberalism — Favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

Conservatism — The disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.

What does this mean?

At the most fundamental level, conservatism is a force fighting to keep the existing system, while liberalism is a force pushing for changes to the system.

Order and Chaos

You might think liberalism and conservatism are unique to human societies; however, the forces that create them are the same forces that make up every system in the universe; order and chaos. Conservatism = Order = maintaining the existing pattern. Liberalism = Chaos = changing the existing pattern.