Apple: A company or a cult?


After listening to the Bucknell production of Mike Daisey’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs I was pleasantly surprised with Alex Lyras’ performance. The entire 90 minutes of the play I was captivated by the way he presented, just like when listening to Mike Daisey. Ever since we began talking about Apple and the conditions in Foxconn, I have been going back and forth on what stance I want to take. I keep asking myself is Foxconn a good alternative for the thousands of workers who are working there? As sad as it is to say, the conditions in Foxconn seem to be much better than in other parts of China. I am not trying to say I approve of some of the things Apple is doing, but if Foxconn is a better place for workers to work, I am all for it. Continuing, something in the play that was  interesting was when Steve Jobs answered questions about Foxconn. For how smart a man Steve Jobs is, I found his answers to be disappointing. By saying Apple is trying to “understand” what is going on is not an acceptable answer. I was hoping he would enlighten people with truths, but instead he tried pretending as if he does not know what is going on. The suicide statistic was surprising, but I wish he did not use this as a means of justification.

Next, one of the most intriguing things I heard in this play was “The Cult of Apple”. When I first heard this, I thought it was a too critical and harsh, but after thinking more thoroughly, I believe Apple is a cult. Dictionary.com defines a cult as “a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.” I feel that Apple and its products fit this description. People with Apple products are always talking about the different things Apple offers them. Consumers are addicted and in love with the products they offer that they will do anything to get more. On the other hand, the people who work and invest in Apple are part of the cult as well. They all work together and are obsessed with the benefits Apple brings them.

Concluding, there are still many questions regarding Apple. The way Steve Jobs’ power was described in the play was surreal in my opinion. People in Apple view him as a godly figure and it will be interesting to see what happens without him around. Not only does Apple need to make some crucial decisions in regards to the way they are handling their business abroad, but they also need to worry about innovation. Their technology is no longer leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors and the issues with their working conditions could become a deciding factor if consumers begin to leave their “cult”. I hope that Apple comes out and makes things more clear to the public so there is no questioning what is actually going on.

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4 responses to “Apple: A company or a cult?

  1. I think it is a good point that Foxconn is a better place to work in China than many other factories. While clearly it is still not good and need improvements, it is much better than other factories in China. Apple seems to be getting a lot of criticism for outsourcing to Foxconn, maybe because they are so popular and big, but if they are outsourcing in China it seems like they chose one of the better factories. Do you think it is fair to target Apple so much when other companies are doing the same or worse? Do you think people are trying to make an example out of Apple because it has such a big following it could cause change?

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  2. As I commented elsewhere, the suicide rate falls flat. All those people are in one place; it would be easy for Foxconn and Apple to implement some suicide crisis measures.

    It is not that the 400,00 workers are a disaggregated city population!

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  3. Is cult used literally or figuratively? While veneration is there, would you say cult also includes veneration to the point of altering one’s view of reality? Of forgoing healthy relationships with others? Or withdrawal from society?

    Playing more with cult, is it a cult about Apple products/ or the idea of Apple: of beautiful products that make life immeasurably richer, funner, shinier, easier and better-er [bad grammar on purpose!].

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