“Kudos to Apple, for undoubtedly putting pressure on Foxconn to clean up its act”?
"Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." (Janet Malcolm)Pulease. Whatever Apple et. al. do is public relations spin. “Think different”? They think the same. Remember Nike? Does anyone really think those working conditions have improved much since we learned that an African-American sports-hero descendant of slaves was exposed by muckrakers as profiting off virtual slave labor? Toss the peasants a bit of chump change, tighten security, plug up the leaks, and when the brouhaha is over it will be nefarious business in secret as usual. The Madison Avenue propagandists move on to stamp-put the next brush fire and all is forgotten until the next worker manages a public way around the suicide nets.
Come on. This is Kabiki Theater. When Apple announced that a nonprofit organization would monitor working conditions at Foxconn the subterfuge is not so much to protect workers but make us feel good about buying Apple stock. If Apple was serious about workers’ rights this story would never have to be told in the first place. Supplier Codes of Conduct are apparently just confected words and public relations devices that are worth little to the dignity of workers. The very fact we know as much as we do is clear and convincing evidence that Apple’s inspections are a staged travesty. By this standard of investigative integrity the police should advance publish their stings in the morning paper.Of course, I don’t delude myself into thinking that American workers slaughtering my chickens are much better off than Chinese workers on an Apple production line. This is the way capitalism works. And it’s rank bigotry to point the finger at just Apple which, like Nike, got caught denying what it had an admitted duty to know. Apple is “not the only electronics company doing business within a troubling supply system. Bleak working conditions have been documented at factories manufacturing products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba and others.”
“Think different”? No, all corporations think the same. If they were really serious about their Code of Conduct they’d be demanding unfettered, unannounced, random inspections with no notice just the way the INS and OSHA were able to bust American employers before being disemboweled by The Man Who Sold the World.
Transparency? Don’t kid yourself. Last night’s Nightline travesty (with an admitted conflict-of-interest) was as depressing as hell no matter how well they dared to white-wash it. Keep in mind that, depressing as this phoney ‘investigation’ was, this corporate media-choreographed travesty was the best they could come up with. One can only imagine what the unvarnished truth really is. It was in insult to anyone’s intelligence to even think workers would speak candidly. Can anyone actually believe the workers trusted that so-called anonymous input would assure protection? Give me a break. I hope few Americans are that stupid. Packed like sardines into company dorms, minimum 12 hour work days, and further extorted by the company store this is far worse than the infamous Pullman plant and a closed totalitarian government was, is, and remains, the most effective protection. “Think different”? Don’t kid yourself. This is how unfettered capitalism works and if the Nightline ‘investigation’ was the best spin the corporate-whores could come up with it was not a defense but an admission of guilt.But let’s be honest, most consumers care about the slave labor that gives them cheap goods as much as many abolitionists cared about the blood, sweat and tears that were the source of their cotton finery or the tobacco they smoked, or, for that matter, about as concerned as decent Brits were as they spooned plantation sugar into their colonialist tea. We are what fuels the fire. “When people read about bad Chinese factories in the paper, they might have a moment of outrage. But then they go to Amazon and are as ruthless as ever about paying the lowest prices.” This is how capitalism works.
It will be relatively easy for Madison Avenue to manufacture consent and nullify the muckrakers at the NYT by issuing Upton Sinclair's infamous ‘Brass Checks.’ For the wizards of Madison Avenue pulling the wool over our eyes is as easy as taking candy from a baby. Just listening to the cheers from the mob in response to the intellectual rubbish tossed over by Republican presidential candidates is proof enough of that. We can all rest assured there are plenty of sycophant ‘journalists’ one step away from the unemployment lines who are willing to shill for Apple et. al. and pander to Madison Avenue. It will soon all be forgotten.I write from personal experience here. I had a friend and client who was an investment banker selected by Nixon’s State Department to be part of the team to travel to China to open it to American manufacturers desperate to escape labor unions, environmental laws and, of course, get tax benefits to boot. What better place for capitalists to operate than totalitarian big government which controls unorganized peasant slave labor? Suffice to say, the investment bankers were foaming at the mouth. Imagine it. Talk about 'big government! What a perfect solution to pesky labor unions, environmental laws, OSHA, and all those government regulations. As a matter of good form or political correctness the most liberal amongst them chime the politically correct platitudes about China being an “unfair trading partner” but they suck up the profits of blood, sweat and tears just the same. Hey, business is business right? This only demonstrates that political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a fetid turd by the clean end.
What American capitalists got and needed from Red China was a slave-wage labor force that Big Government could keep under its boot and beneath the wheel. American workers, this is your competition. This is your free trade. Fuck you and your labor unions, your OSHA, and your environmental laws. They don’t care. They don’t have to. They bought the world. Crush labor, pollute the environment, while keeping political control beyond the reach of the People and, oh yes, keep as much of profits off-shore as they can. I’ll not go on. It was an investment bankers wet dream. Don’t ask about ‘fair trade’. Couple this with 30 years of deregulation and dismantling the New Deal along with a Wall Street lawlessness and an unfettered greed that crashed the world economy and then ask: So exactly who is accusing whom of anarchy?
This is the way capitalism really works. Kudos to the NYT but when the shills and propagandists who call themselves journalists are done it will all blow away.
But please, let’s not slam just Apple Inc. for playing the same despicable game better than others. Indeed, this black propaganda may be their punishment for doing so. Stop and ask yourself this: Since Dell, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba and others are all producing their goods at the same techno-plantations why is Apple singled out? Expose just the festering rot at Apple’s corporate core? What a clever way for the Madison Avenue whores to engage in corporate espionage by clever subterfuge. Searching for the truth? Before this edit one of the commentators here mentioned T.S. Eliot’s famous line from “Burnt Norton” that “human kind cannot bear very much reality.” To paraphrase from “Little Gidding” (another of the Four Quartets). What the Apple expose revels is a ‘pig-sty beneath a flashy facade’. Apple is not different but the same.
Thanks to taxpayer bail outs GM is back on top. Why? How? The lion’s share of GM profits (assured by your taxpayer dollars!) were made by selling cars to Chinese that were made in China by workers paid slave wages and who have no right to organize. Can’t afforded a new Buick? Why should GM care when they can (thanks to your American taxpayer subsides) make them cheaper in China and sell them to Chinese workers who earn far less than you? So fuck you! This is the way unfettered capitalism really works. A 'pig-sty beneath a flashy facade'.
Suffice to say that Lenin’s proverbial rope by which the infamous capitalists will hang themselves may be stamped “Made in Red China” and, no doubt, sold to Americans on credit extended by Shylock Chin Yang.“Workers of the World Unite!”
Francois ArouetCopyright © 2012