The political appointees are warned that the top level of the federal establishment is politically "well to the left of the American public" on issues ranging from the role of government to abortion rights. Many of those career executives, the conservative think tank says, can be expected to oppose budget cuts or program changes for philosophical reasons or to protect their turf.

The advice is contained in a special report, due Dec. 7, from the foundation that in 1981 supplied the Reagan administration with helpful hints for taking control of the machinery of government. Its second-term report is entitled "Mandate for Leadership II: Continuing the Conservative Revolution."

Political appointees, the report says, should be aware that the top 5,000 career executives -- paid from $59,000 to $69,000 a year -- come in four different varieties:

*Opponents: "unalterably opposed to the policies of the political executive."

*Reluctants: "Opposed, but. . . not immune to persuasion."

*Critics: " . . . will support the political executive as long as they feel their own views are being considered."

*Autistics: " . . . do not support the political executive because they consistently cannot hear -- or hear incorrectly -- what the political executive wants."

The chapter on dealing with career federal executives was written by Michael Sanera, a former Office of Personnel Management official who now teaches at Northern Arizona University.

The report has been widely circulated to top political officials in federal departments and agencies.

Sanera bases his conclusion that top career officials are more liberal than conservative on an article entitled "How Liberal Are Bureaucrats" that appeared in Regulation Magazine. The article was based on interviews by Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter with 200 members of the government's 5,000-member Senior Executive Service.

Half the SES members came from so-called traditional departments such as Agriculture, Treasury and Commerce, and half from so-called activist agencies such as the EPA, Consumer Product Safety Commission and Housing and Urban Development. The article said a majority of the executives said that since 1968 they voted for liberal Democratic presidential candidates; that 80 percent said they supported abortions; half felt the government should substantially redistribute income and one-third favored government-guaranteed jobs for the unemployed.

Executives who oppose administration programs, the report says, "can be expected to leak and generate a steady flow of material concerning 'victimization of the poor' and 'selling out to big corporations.' Operating in a network with Congress, the liberal media and the large population of left-wing 'public interest' groups, left-wing bureaucrat opponents will certainly be the noisiest and perhaps the most influential segment of the bureaucracy."

To manage uncooperative government executives, the report advises political appointees to use merit pay raises and bonuses to reward or punish; to transfer or isolate disloyal executives through reassignment or reorganization, and to bring in temporary political executives or contract out work to the private sector.