The Behringer era


#1

Disturbing news from China where Behringer workers have been striking over poor working conditions.
I wasn’t that happy with their cloning of old synths but then this latest piece of news really makes me feel like a boycott is necessary.
You can read more about it over at reddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizers/

As far as I know Elektron gear is assembled in Sweden. I’m not going to be buying anymore gear assembled in China no matter how cheap it is.

Original link in Chinese is here: https://m.midifan.com/news_body.php?id=28353


Is behringer really so much worse?
The Behringer Issues thread
#2

#3

A better argument would be to boycott everything made in China. At the risk of pissing some off, I’m frankly not rich enough to go down that route. None of this is new unfortunately. The conditions that those working in China on Apple devices (for example) are abysmal.


#4

Are you typing this on a Macintosh?


#5

i‘m sure not every part in elektrons is produced in sweden!

i think it‘s better to boycott the food and pharma industry instead!


#6

You really think Elektron gear is completely made in Sweden? It’s mostly just marketing talk.

I’m willing to bet the components are from China - some are probably from same factories that Behringer uses.


#7

It does say assembled in the post


#8

Wouldn’t be great if we could get a ready to assembly synth kits for even less as an option?


#9

There are a million other reasons not to buy Behringer too, unfortunately though for many people cheapness is the main selling point.


#10

Also it is true that many manufacturers use Behringer’s knock off chips, Cool Audio. So it can be hard to avoid.


#11

We had this discussion on another topic : Behringer D Synth

And @psyclone001 was right about this. Behringer should probably be boycotted. The decision is even simpler as those products aren’t necessary for your survival.

But then again you should probably boycott almost everything.

I would like to state again that “there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism”: your jeans are probably the product of cheap labor, and so is your t-shirt and so is almost everything around you (desk, computer, screens, smarphone, pens, mugs, just to mention some of the objects surrounding me). Everyone feels like their purchasing power has rised since the 50s but this is mostly become nobody buys quality things anymore.

I tried for a while to only spend my money on ethical products: not only this is hard because there are not much left, most of what’s left is a scam. For example, I’ve learned that those Made in U.S.A. New Balance I bought (thrice the price of regular ones!) contain a significant number of parts sourced in other countries. Those (french brand) jeans I bought were made in (E.U.) Portugal, but, to my dismay I’ve heard that the working conditions there were quite poor and that the inflated price was mostly due to the inflated margin. Same thing goes for coffee, chocolate, etc.

People want to feel better by making consumption choices that do not harm people, but they’re lied to constantly.

This doesn’t mean we should be relativistic about those issues, but some Redditors on the aforementioned topic are right I.M.H.O:

  • “Support legislation and systemic change. Vote. Hit the actual problem, which isn’t Behringer, but the ugly intersection of capitalism and globalism. Buying or not buying Behringer isn’t going to do anything to impact this problem, because people value price above morals. And it’s nonsensical to to wear clothes created under similar conditions and type on laptops made in similar conditions and fill your life with products made in similar conditions but draw the line at … synths?” - PolyBen
  • “don’t waste too much of your energy worrying about whether or not it’s morally justifiable to buy a deepmind or whatever. Despite their gross callousness, the takes in this thread to the effect of “yea but every company does it” are rooted in truth. Complicity in exploitation is inescapable as a consumer. You have to square up with that fact. But the ‘politics of consumption’ are a diversion of your actual power. You’ve been socialized to consume. To express yourself via consumption, to identify and individualize yourself by your consumption, and even to do politics via consumption. It all accomplishes nothing but to keep you sealed in your own personal bubble, and to keep the value produced by workers like you flowing into the pockets of men like Uli B. In a case like this, there’s really nothing much you can do to directly help those workers. But there’s plenty you can do in your own sphere of influence. If shit like this gets you fucked up, then fight against the same dynamics as they appear in your own life. Unionize your workplace. Join a mutual aid network. Do whatever you can to build institutions that will fill the gaps the state and private charity never will. Workers have never achieved concessions to their own labor interest through any other way than mass coordination. If you want to help chinese workers, start by helping yourself.” - freelance_shill

As for myself, well, I haven’t done much work this morning, this is how I fight the system. From the inside.


#12

Erm…nope…my family and i need Ibuprofen and antibiotics. And food ist necessary too. But one could try and buy more food that are produced regional. For a German in Germany there is no need to buy those Lidl Bio potatoes that are from Israel…


#13

Boycott the air! Those fat cats at big oxygen are laughing all the way to the bank


#14

Yawn


#15

Possibly partially true, but for the most part under capitalism the vast majority of poor people in civilised countries do not starve to death. Of course this is just another generalisation and there are many and complex factors to consider, which short statements have no hope of describing, no matter how convenient.


#16

I remember like it was yesterday, when the Foxconn suicides became public. So many deaths. So many voices, telling they will boycott every product from Foxconn and Apple.
Most of them didn’t boycott.
A few weeks later and the consumer will forget or oppress the knowledge about this.

It’s like people who buy only the cheapest meet and then wonder why those animals had a horrible live.

I‘m pretty sure it’s not even possible to be on this page without using anything that wasn’t build in a Chinese factory.


#17

Right. This becomes a deep rabbit hole very quickly. Everyone reading this right now is dependent on daily use of rare earth elements, many of which are mined and produced in a single country. That said, I fully support efforts at local sourcing as long as one is aware that there are numerous problems just as with “green” and “fair trade” products.

Do we know whether the contractors installed the air quality controls systems correctly and are they properly spec’d? Might facility management be at fault?


#18

This is the official statement from Uli himself

Hello everyone,

since the media has picked up on the factory labor strike last year and in the spirit of transparency, I believe it is important to address and correct some of the misconceptions.

First of all, the factory has passed all environmental tests executed by a government certified lab as part of the occupancy permit process. Over 3,000 air samples were taken from all areas of the factory, all results published and made available to our factory people.

When we moved into our new factory, the environmental tests had not yet been completed and a few weeks after our move, one of our engineering colleagues was unfortunately diagnosed with leukemia. While it is easier for us Westerners to understand that cancer won’t develop within a few weeks, panic spread among the people who believed that the person’s illness had to do with the new environment.

During the environmental testing period, our people were allowed to stay at home with full pay and after the results were published, operations resumed. Neither was there any formaldehyde or other hazardous chemicals found as suggested by the media. Luckily our colleague is recovering and will hopefully soon return.

If you ever have a chance, come visit us in Zhongshan and see for yourself that we do treat our people well, something I am very proud of. We are also implementing many environmentally-friendly projects such as electric buses, wastwater and dust collection and recycling systems, etc.

Many foreigners and also myself live and work in the factory - hence we all breathe the same air.

Uli


#19

At least he did respond.


#20

very well said… and well copy/pasted :smiley: