Someone made me aware of this facebook post which I include because I agree that the whole unvarnished truth is much more interesting than the squeaky clean version, and I, unlike Jobs, am prounion and totally against exporting jobs overseas. But (sigh) I love my Mac.
The Beatification of Steve Jobs
by Rob Smart on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 9:24pm
Steve Jobs death is a tragedy. The premature end of a brilliant and innovative mind is a great loss to the world. People talk about his zen-like utterances, his taking LSD, his visionary qualities and replay his admittedly inspiring commence address over and over again. And it is indeed an amazing speech. Everybody should listen to it and take it to heart.
We have a tendency to idealize people who passed on who were close to us or otherwise important to us. We forget the less fortunate qualities and remember only the admirable and impressive qualities. We turn the coin over so that only the shiny side is visible and the tarnished side is concealed.
When Uncle John goes to his reward we call him a wonderful man and forget that he drank too much during holiday dinners and when frustrated kicked the dog across the living room. We only remember that he was a wonderful man.
Steve Jobs (and Steve Wozniak) were brilliant innovators, no doubt. It should be kept in mind however that though his company earned billions he chose to ship the jobs assembling those computers to cheap-labor countries. He was virulantly anti-union, especially teacher's unions. The Walt Disney company wanted to remove him from their board because he was so rabidly anti-union. The conditions in his Chinese factories were notoriously bad.
There are people in the streets of New York and other cities protesting against the destructive consequences of such corporate attitudes.
Yes, we should mourn the loss of a genius and innovator and celebrate his achievement. But we should also be circumspect and not lose sight of the whole man.
Such a note may seem premature. He just died yesterday. But I have seen such a gush of adulation that it seems necessary to sound a cautionary note. Our perfectly legimate sentiments in response to the tragic premature death of a great man should not cause us to lose perspective.
I catch a whiff of almost instantaneous, uncritical beatification underway. But saints are an imaginary construct. They do not exist in reality. Steve Jobs was a human being, a flawed one, like all the rest of us.