The Chief Rabbi in the U.K., Lord Sacks, is blaming Apple for creating today’s consumer society.
Sacks made comments last week in the Queen's presence at an interfaith reception comparing the iPad to a modern version of Moses’ stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed.
“The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune, i, i, i," he said. “When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'i’, you don’t do terribly well.” — Sacks
Sack’s point is well-intentioned. Being more selfless and less selfish would help everyone, but stating “The consumer society is in fact the most efficient mechanism ever devised for the creation and distribution of unhappiness” and then singling out demand for the new iPhone might be a little unfair. Sure Jobs and Apple have perfected a business model that works in tandem with a “must-have” culture, but the seeds for that culture were planted a long time ago. It’s the same reason people wait overnight for the latest game-consoles or camp out a week ahead of Black-Friday.
Sacks ultimately called on the devout to turn to faith as the answer to avoid the traps of materialism. People should thank God for the things they do have and “spend your time with things that do matter, with family.” I’ll agree with that much, family time is important. I’ll never understand the need to forgo Thanksgiving and family time to camp out and get a television.
Unless of course you’ve got a six-room pop-up tent, portable generator, propane turkey fryer and a giant portable table. Thanksgiving in a Best Buy parking lot. I can think of nothing more American.