The difference between liberals, and conservatives, is highlighted in the preface of Chris Boehm's Hierarchy in the Forest. In a book I truly love, he notes on the first page of the preface: 'We participate in this type of political leverage because we want to keep a say in our own governance, but, more basically, we exert it because we are suspicious of all governance and wish to limit the powers of those who lead and may try therefore to rule.'
He then highlights how this obviously leads to Democratic liberalism. For some reason, he thinks giving more power to the government to regulate diffuses power. But the power of Halliburton, Exxon, or Microsoft, is insignificant relative to the power of the state via its departments, laws, and regulations. I have alternatives for companies. The government, in various guises, is a monopoly.
Liberals think diffusing state power comes from regulation. Conservatives think diffusing power comes from taking authority away from the state. Same goal, different paths, based on assumptions about the facts.