Matt Yglesias resigns from the presumed-progressive community — with prejudice

George Orwell (my emphasis):

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties.

… Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification.

Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers.

People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements.”

–George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language

Matt Yglesias (my emphasis):

Different Places Have Different Safety Rules and That’s OK

It’s very plausible that one reason American workplaces have gotten safer over the decades is that we now tend to outsource a lot of factory-explosion-risk to places like Bangladesh where 87 people just died in a building collapse. This kind of consideration leads Erik Loomis to the conclusion that we need a unified global standard for safety[.] …

I think that’s wrong. … The reason is that while having a safe job is good, money is also good [and] there are very good reasons for Bangladeshi people to make different choices in this regard than Americans.

–Matthew Yglesias,

Thus speaks a man with enough money to be able to choose a safe job. More to the point, thus speaks a man whose comfortable life is financed by people whose forced risk of death he exploits to his professional benefit.

If Matthew Yglesias were ever a liberal or a progressive — hint: despite his bio, no, he never was one — he has in this essay ripped the last shred of the last mask from his last face. The faux-progressive community (the world of presumed-progressives) has permanently lost one of its own.

How does he recover from this stunning Orwellian self-branding? Shorter Matt Yg:

My professional life is built on your forced suffering.
Silly of you to have made that choice.

Metropolis-metropolis-1927-15539876-1641-1152_SMALLERAs Orwell might have written, “Dying in a wage-slave factory: this is called making bad choices.” Matt Yglesias lives by selling their choiceless pain; it’s how he keeps in Wheaties. Looks like a two-fer, I think, at least for him — a well-financed meal, plus that tasty moral high ground for dessert.

David Atkins comments here. Erik Loomis replies here. All good reads, with one exception: Dear Mr. Loomis, Matt Yg is not the “left side of the political spectrum” — he’s an apologist to the left for the sins of our Barons and Betters, in the same sense that Rush Limbaugh is an apologist to the right for those same sins. Same soup; different sales pitch.

Our Barons and Betters are monsters, monomaniacs, slaves to hubris and greed, bringers of death and pain. Our Betters send men to Iraq. They force children into factories in China and women into slave-work in the Marianas. They employ death squads to murder union leaders in Colombia. They would roll across your body with a truck if there was a dollar in it for them and immunity from prosecution.

The actual left never wanted our Barons to begin with, but I don’t think we’ll be grouping Yglesias with that left again. Me, I have him in a different group.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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