fairly rare that we find ourselves in total agreement with a representative of any organised religion, but this week the UK's Chief Rabbi has hit the nail on the head by blasting the shallow cargo cult created by Apple's Steve Jobs.
Lord Sacks, who represents Britain's 300,000 Jews, named and shamed Jobs for creating a selfish consumer culture that has only brought unhappiness. Jobs was probably singled out for likening his iPad tablets to the tablets of stone bearing the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses, which is always going to get up the noses of religious types. But Sacks said that Jobs' culture only made people aware of what they did not have, rather than feeling grateful for what they did, and warned a self-obessed culture where people only worried about themselves could not last long.
Speaking at an interfaith reception attended by the Queen this week, Lord Sacks said people are looking for better values other than the values of a consumer society.
“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 that when you are an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about 'i’, you don’t do terribly well. Sacks did not mention that when Jobs diead that there was an outpouring of grief as his cargo cult no longer believed that their gadget addiction would be filled. Perhaps he should have highlighted it as proof of how humanity has lost its sense of perspective.
The Chief Rabbi, who is due to step down from his post in 2013, said that the answer to the consumer society is the world of faith, which the Jews call the world of Shabbat, where you can't shop and you can't spend and you spend your time with things that really matter. (Like religion? sub.ed.)