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The Difference Between a Leftist and a Liberal

by Logan

Political viewpoint is known to be divided into two wings: left-wing and right-wing.

In this article, we are going to discuss the differences between a leftist and a liberal. Let me get you straight into the conversation by letting you know that anyone who is a leftist or a liberal belongs to the left-wing. This wing of politics is more about progressive reforms and economical and social equality.

The main difference between a leftist and a liberal is that a leftist promotes a centralized governance as means to progress meanwhile liberals believe in the individual freedom of being able to do whatever one thinks is right. They both belong on the left-wing of American politics.

People often consider themselves to be leftist but are more of a liberal and vice versa. Here, I am going to explain the different sides of American politics.

Stick around to know what is leftism and what is liberalism.

What is a leftist?

the US capitol rotunda

Given by its name, a leftist belongs to the left spectrum of politics. A leftist belief in a powerful government. Their core belief is in as much centralization as possible.

According to a leftist, a government that holds all the power can bring equality among the masses.

If you will ask a leftist, he/she will encourage free healthcare and education for everyone. A leftist also thinks that senior citizens must be fully taken care of with the state’s collected funds through taxes.

A leftist believes in making public sectors stronger and corporate farming popular. Why? Well, a leftist’s core purpose is to make the government stronger. With more strength in the public sector and more business in the country, the government can generate more funds for the country’s progress.

Leftist ideology

A leftist thinks more about the progressive reforms of the states and the masses.

Leftists talks more about equality, freedom, rights of all kinds, internationalization, nationalization, and reforms.

Most of the leftists do not talk much about religion or follow any faith.

A person who belongs to the leftist group of ideology believes in working together as a whole rather than generating finances individually. As stated before, leftist dreams of giving everything and anything to their people equally.

What are the political views of a leftist?

The political view of a leftist is that they want the government to be in as much control as possible. For them, the more the government is involved in economical operations, the more the masses can benefit from it.

A leftist encourages its government to apply more taxes on the wealthy of the country so that the underprivileged or people who are not earning enough can benefit from the public fund.

They think that according to this way of governance, wealth can be distributed among people equally.

Also, the thought of centralized governance, nationalization of industries, and corporate farming can bring more employment for people and could ensure a better standard of living for the masses as a whole.

The concept of leftism was introduced in the 19th century. Since then the advocates of this wing of the political spectrum were in opposition to social hierarchy.

What does being liberal mean?

If a person is a liberal it means that person is looking out for individual freedom to speak in general.

people marching with a sign "all power to the people"

By the people on the right-wing, liberals are thought to be just on the left side of the left-wing of the political spectrum, Whereas, people of the left side consider Liberals to be on the central-left side.

It is an understanding that the more you move towards the end of any side of the spectrum, the extreme part of the side will be exposed to you.

The definition of a liberal differs from country to country. It may mean something else in China, Canada, Europe, or America. But generally, social-liberalism or modern, progressive, new, left-liberalism is followed everywhere.

Liberal’s ideology

Liberals look out for what good can they bring to the people in common while protecting the civil and human rights of all.

The liberals have a conservative approach to the economical dealings in the country. They are a supporter of decentralization and minimum governance, unlike the leftist. The main focus of a liberal is to protect individual rights only. The policies that they make and support revolve around people’s rights mostly.

Look at this video for understanding the liberal’s ideology.

Liberalism Ideology

What are the political views of a liberal?

As mentioned earlier, a liberal’s view revolves around the protection of human rights.

For a liberal, the human rights of the citizens can be threatened by another citizen and the government as well. But the freedom given to the individual and power to the government must be kept in balance.

For liberals, the political view is all about giving space to the people to do what they want to do. A cause of concern arises here about the violations the citizens can make in the process.

It is so important for the liberals to make wise policies that would the people to enjoy their freedom without invading someone’s space.

In the context of modern liberalism, it is the government’s main duty to remove all the hurdles that are threatening an individual to live freely. These hurdles may be labeled as discrimination, poverty, inflation, crime rate, illness or disease, poverty, or unemployment,

Is a leftist the same as a liberal?

scrabble tiles spelling out government

Certainly not. While both, a leftist and a liberal belong to the same wing of politics (the left one). They represent a different ideology from each other.

Here is a chart of the difference between a leftist and a liberal for your better understanding.

LeftistLiberal
IdeologyThey believe that whatever is done must be done in unity. So that everyone can gain from it.They believe in giving freedom to people. So that they can do whatever they want but not with violation of another individual.
ReligionThey do not practice religion.Some of them do practice religion while others don’t.
CultureThey are a big advocate of logic. If they find illogical traditions, they refuse them.They do not care if the tradition anyone is following is logical or illogical. As far as it’s not a threat to the country liberals are fine with it.
EducationThey believe that education must be given free. They believe in scholarships that are given on merit.
FreedomThey believe in the government’s freedomThey believe in people’s freedom.
Governance StructureFor them, centralization and maximum governance is the key to a successful government. For them, decentralization and minimum governance are the better way to go.
Response towards Criticism They do not respond well to criticism.They take criticism well.
Social SecurityThey believe that the government should help the senior citizens entirely through government funds.They believe that insurance policies must be introduced to help the senior citizens on time.
Health PoliciesThey believe in providing complete support on health affairs.They believe in charging nominal costs through insurance.
IndustriesThey believe that businesses should be owned by the government. They encourage start-ups and entrepreneurship.
AgricultureThey encourage corporate farming.They facilitate private farmers.

Since leftists and liberals are very different from each other, let me summarize their differences by simply checking out the list below;

Leftists

  • They are sided with the left-wing politics
  • They do more of left-wing movements
  • They support democracy and equalitarianism.
  • Their environmental movement focuses mostly on civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and feminism.

Liberals

  • They believe in moral and political philosophy.
  • They support independence
  • They prioritize a government that depends on the consent of the people.
  • They support marketization, free trade, freedom in religion, and more
  • Most of them can be both on the right and on the left side of politics.

Ending Note

Leftists are people who think centralized governance can give more advantages to the country as a whole whereas, liberals think that countries can progress more if the masses are given the freedom to do whatever they need think should be done.

There are people who support leftists as a good way of governance but there are also people who are not a huge fan of their ideology. And same goes for liberals.

But as far as I have met people, they generally find liberals better than the leftist. But then again, that is just what I have come across.

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