Liberalism has always had two wings, the relatively egalitarian side and the more inegalitarian side, which in the United States may call itself “conservatism.” At the root they have very different outlooks on the polity and economy. These are so me deep contrasts:
As noted, more egalitarian, historically identified with smaller propertied or workers, often linked to unions, if less organically so that social democrats. Unlike some currents of social democracy, has no significant Marxist influence. See labor unions as too weak, now reaching only 7% of the private sector work force in the U.S.
Yet apparently values the liberal democratic regime more than capitalism. If forced to concede that only capitalism has sustained liberal democratic regimes, responds that many capitalist states have been autocratic, too.
Views ordinary people as potentially at their best as citizens, not as investors-consumers in the marketplace and holds that the polity is responsive to citizens more than is the marketplace responsive to consumers, and far more equally so sees democracy as a sort of self-regulating or self-corrective system, usually correcting its own excesses if left to itself but sees that effect impeded if capital intrudes too much into the polity, distorting decision-making by bribes or campaign contributions, e.g.
Wild swings of the business cycle are also threatening to democracy, as is economic stagnation hence more likely to favor measures to shield the political process from the weight of corporate pressures or of wealthy porno mexicano.
Less economically egalitarian, closer to big propertied and corporate/finance circles.
Of course abhors Marxism, and tends to confuse Communism, social democracy, and left liberalism as all the same thing. Labor unions regarded as “monopolies.”
Apparently values the “free market” far more than it does democracy, as evidence by willingness to see democracy fall if it threatens property (e.g., Chile 1973). Yet correct in saying that no thoroughly socialist society has sustained a democratic regime. Also correct in emphasizing that successful growth sustains democracy.
As in Joseph Schumpeter, expressly sees people as far wiser in their marketplace behavior than in their political behaviour and likes to regard markets and more responsive to people than is the political system, not noting that markets do not respond at all to those with no money, and often fail to provide jobs to all so that they can have at least some money regards markets as self-regulating, self-corrective, often blaming any economic problems on unwise left-liberal policies but sees self-corrective effect of markets ruined if the state, even a democratic state, “interferes” with market processes and wants to shield the market from such “intrusions,” usually emphasizing in this the coercive nature of the state (but forgetting coercion when the state protects their property), far from wanting to democratize business life, this viewpoint would try to “marketize” the political world, not only in making its administration more “business-like” but perhaps even in permitting the buying and selling of votes (James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock), more supply-side than demand-side in economic theory.