Left and Right

The Right Can Win in States

While I am not personally “on the right,” this is the advice I have been giving the right for 20 years. During the 1990s, I came to the realization that the right was destined to lose on the cultural front, and that the totalitarian sectors of cultural left were being co-opted by the state, the capitalist class, and the empire as a means of not only suppressing the right-wing opposition but ensuring a genuine left-wing opposition did not develop.

By David Hines, The American Conservative

In the wake of the PRO Act passing the House, conservative opinion has mostly aped the arguments we Californians heard this past fall in the campaign for our Proposition 22. Prop 22 exempted app-based services such as ridesharing and food delivery from Assembly Bill 5, which had sought to classify their workers (among many other freelancers and gig workers) as employees.

The first reason so many people are copying the Prop 22 campaign is that the Prop 22 campaign was successful. The second is that, as with Prop 22, the people behind the campaign are less the sort of people who work as freelancers and gig workers and more the sort of people who hire freelancers and gig workers. (This is also why Prop 22 is at best a limited success; California has a veto referendum, so the tech company backers of Prop 22 could as easily have made it a referendum on repealing AB5 in its entirety rather than just making a narrow exception, but instead they elected for a narrow carve-out to benefit themselves, the jerks.)

The third is that conservatives tend to focus on big concepts that people who like us already agree with. We like to talk about the importance of ideas, but we sort of suck at specific grunt work like, you know, reading legislation and explaining to our people what’s in it and why it sucks. We just sell people the stuff they already know how to buy. So conservatives are talking about freelancers right now, and will probably get around to right-to-work laws, since there’s a provision in the bill that would abolish right-to-work laws nationwide. The downside of this narrow focus is the risk that our lazy conservative Congresscritters might be inclined to deal with at best one or two issues and call it a day. This would be a grave mistake, because the PRO Act wouldn’t just modify collective bargaining in the workplace. It carves out real power for radical work by unions.


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