Appalling. I would encourage you to read some accounts of the slave trade.
Applicants line up for Foxconn jobs. They're not taken in chains from the countryside.
On behalf of Marshall McLuhan, I will ask you again to consider that uneven paths of development in the world are a result of uneven adoption of communications technologies. The West industrialized before the East because of the phonetic alphabet and the invention of the portable printed book.
Your bleeding-heart remonstrances are wasted on tectonic shifts in global economic co-evolution.
So the fact that very poor people from rural areas China stand in line to work in factories in urban China mean that they have true economic and political freedom? It's like poor southern slaves standing in line at the neighboring plantation because that plantation will beat them slightly less or give them a little extra food at the end of the day. The poor chinese worker cant freely leave china and regardless where they work they are kept poor and powerless under a corrupt government/corporate infrastructure. The fact is that their working conditions are indeed slave-like and regardless of where these poor people work in china they still are far from being free. Where and how a product is made (and by who) is probably more important than where it was designed.
When it comes to Mcluhan, his focus that it was the 'method' in which people communicate and entertain themselves was more influential on the masses in general than the actual 'content' of the communication or entertainment. So that the actual act of reading (long form books) changes a person's neurology more than the actual content on the printed page. A 'reading brain' is a more contemplative one and more capable of complex thoughts which eventually led to the rise of Western Culture and modern-day science. On the other hand, Mcluhan clearly pointed out that TV and mass-media were going to re-tribalize human society and make them less individualistic, less intelligent and more prone to group-think.
Edited by Commodification - 6/27/13 at 1:07pm