I started reading this article a half-dozen times, but put it down repeatedly because I knew the meat of the article deserved time and consideration. I finally sat down with it, and it didn’t disappoint. Johnson uses Foxconn’s story to tell a much bigger story of consumption and humanity.
We squander millions of years’ worth of stored energy, stored life, from our planet to make not only things that are critical to our survival and comfort but also things that simply satisfy our innate primate desire to possess. It’s this guilt that we attempt to assuage with the hope that our consumerist culture is making life better—for ourselves, of course, but also in some lesser way for those who cannot afford to buy everything we purchase, consume, or own.
When I moved to Baltimore, I moved into a “transitional” (also called “undergoing gentrification”) neighborhood. The idea that my house, however modest, displaced someone who may have had access to fewer resources than I had sat like a weight on my conscience. This article applies that story, globally. However, Johnson manages not to be bleak, but hopeful.