[Marxism] From a Bangladeshi friend on Matt Yglesias

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 26 06:46:03 MDT 2013


Dear Louis,

Yglesias's opinion is particularly awful not only because of its "moral" 
view but also because of bad journalism.

First, he appears not to know that there are already existing building 
standards in Bangladesh appropriate to the soil and geo-physical 
conditions of the country and for the metro area.  It is fairly clear 
that site owners failed to follow the standards because of trying to cut 
costs and pocket more profits.  Yes, different countries and regions 
should have different standards, but not for the reasons that he think 
because it is warranted by standard engineering and scientific knowledge 
and assessment of the type of vulnerability.

Second, he holds the notion that the life of a Bangaldeshi has less 
intrinsic valuable that of a Western person.  This is the old 
imperialist and racist view, not different from those propagated by the 
worst regimes of history and often the basis of great atrocities. 
Clearly even a "liberal" like Matt Yglesias has not learnt anything. 
That's a shame.  I am shocked but not surprised, frankly, at this form 
of crude and vulgar thinking, which presumably Western liberals had 
shunned after the civil rights movement in the U.S. and other such 
efforts in the capitalist countries.   Is he back to the view that just 
because a person is of different nationality, he or she does not feel 
pain or suffering? How low can one sink?  Has Yglesias lost any sense of 
decency?

Tanweer




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