Liberalism, a political philosophy founded on the ideas of liberty and equality.
Liberty, having to do with things like personal choice and self-government. People govern themselves and allowed to make their own choices. Equality, the idea that everyone should be able to live in freedom and have the liberty over their own lives. Not that everyone should have the exact same amount of money and personal property. Liberalism, is not a collectivist ideology like socialism. Liberals believe that people are entitled to liberty. The word liberal comes from liberty. Sounds nothing like socialist, or collectivist, or socialize.
The Wikipedia definition of liberty-
Free-will and determinism. Again having to do with individual freedom and self-governance and self-ownership, which I covered last week and the week before on this blog. Nothing in here about big centralized government, where a big state would collect most of the economic resources in the country so everyone is economically equal and taken care of. Liberalism, is not about the liberty for people not to take personal responsibility over their own lives and be taken care of by big government. The opposite is true, because liberalism is not socialism.
The Wikipedia definition of conservatism-
A political philosophy based on conserving social institutions. Preserving tradition and a traditional way of doing things and a way of living. In other words conserving what already is and how things have always been done. Conservatism, is about moving slowly, but gradually. To take it one day at a time, so to speak and not be quick to react and to reform.
Now when it comes to conservatism, are you talking about conservatism in a cultural sense, a religious sense, or a political sense? You could even talk about conservatism in an athletic sense. Since this is about Liberal vs Conservative, I'm interested in conservatism in a political sense. When I hear the term Conservative Republican in America, I think of someone who is interested in conserving the republic. Our federal republic and federalist form of government. Conserving the U.S. Constitution, not trying to rewrite it or change it, certainly not dramatically, because they already approve of it. The whole notion of constitution amendments is anti-conservative. Because constitutional amendment are progressive and even drastic attempts to get one's policy objectives through government.
Now based on the actual definitions of liberalism and conservatism, I would have to say that Liberals believe in more freedom. More personal choice and autonomy, because we're less interested in tradition and the status-quo and tend not to take the view that we shouldn't be able to do certain things individually, because they haven't been done before. The whole U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, are the most liberal documents ever written. Because they are based on individual rights and liberty, self-governance and self-ownership. That people should be able to make their own personal choices and then live with consequences of those choices.