(Robin 2012) Outsourcing conservatism

Robin, Corey. Outsourcing conservatism: Arizona’s new contraception law shows how the private sphere often leads the way for reactionary policies. Salon. 2012 Mar 14. Available from: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/15/outsourcing_conservatism/singleton/. Accessed 2012 Mar 14. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/66AkGDKT2.

Robin applies his theoretical framework of “the private life of power” in analyzing recent U.S. legislation giving employers wide latitude to deny health insurance coverage for contraception to female employees, and to question them about their use of contraception. He shows that conservatism in the USA has a long history of framing its demands in libertarian terms and insisting on limitations of the power of government, when the effect of its policies in practice has been to strengthen the hand of bosses, husbands, and fathers in exerting non-governmental, private control over their subordinates. Weakening governmental restraints on private power often leads to the victimization of subordinates in arbitrary and irresponsible ways that the law would never tolerate if they were carried out by the government. Libertarian “rights” rhetoric was even used to justify governmental non-interference with the creation of private all-white segregation academies in the South after public schools there began to be integrated; indeed, this was the historical origin of the power of the Christian New Right, as was acknowledged by its founder, Richard Viguerie.



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