Road Trip

Americans love to drive. We do it every day, usually for no reason, and even as we increasingly complain about traffic and parking we actively divest from railway and bicycle infrastructure that would alleviate those very problems. For better or worse, to be American is to drive, and few things are more ingrained into the American Spirit than the road trip.

It’s just you and the wide open road. This vast expanse of Interstates and highways leaves the world at your fingertips. You can go to California. You can go to Alaska. You can cruise south and have a look at this border wall for yourself. When you press on the throttle you are a god, beholden to no man, woman or child, no one can stop you. No one except that dickhead driving slow in the left lane.

This is no mere inconvenience. The right-lane-is-for-driving-left-lane-is-for-passing rule is as clear and transparent as the meaning of a red octagon at an intersection. This is not simple, well-meaning ignorance, no, but neither is it an explicitly deliberate effort to undermine the system that allows for our very notion of Americanism. Left lane driving is a symptom, like a runaway financial class and unprecedented income inequality, of the final, gasping throes of a late-stage capitalist state.


Interestingly, the natural flow of driving on the right, passing on the left is a naturally socialist concept. We move forward together; and as a need arises for an individual to excel, she may take what she needs from the collectivized left lane. When her pass is completed, she is back in line and moving forward so that others may reap the benefits of our communal foresight. It provides a safe space for passing, and to make room for merging traffic.

It is only when drivers see that that can get marginally ahead by never merging back to the right that the system falls apart and the highway slows for everyone. Like our failing capitalist state, it is when individuals appropriate the means of efficient traffic movement for themselves that things fall apart.

Driving in the left lane represents the same failure to see the whole picture as advocating against single-payer healthcare and collective bargaining. It is selfishness and an inability to see that when we all move forward together, we do it more quickly, more efficiently, than everyman hustling to save a second.

So if you’re well-meaning person who drives in the right except for sometimes when you don’t, I encourage you to give the DSA a look, you might really like what they have to say. And if you’re a left lane driver then I suppose you represent a desperate bourgeoisie, clutching to the remnants of our late capitalist oligarchy and I beg of you simply to consider: where will you hide when the revolution comes?



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