QED

No Choice but to Give China the Business

My Bose Wave audio system, which I bought six or seven years ago, was made in Ireland. Bose is an American company. I read that it has been bought by Apple. Whatever, Bose manufactures none of its audio system components in America. It used to say that its manufacturing was spread around a number of countries. True enough at the time, but I believe their products are now all or mostly made in China.

Anyway, a CD has stuck in my Bose and I can’t get it out, despite sticking screwdrivers, knives and things into the slot. I could take it to be repaired, I suppose, but it seems timely to upgrade. There’s the rub. Can I buy anything that isn’t made in China?

When I was growing up “made in Japan” was cheap, tawdry stuff, or so we thought. “Made in China” took over that mantle. These days, made in China no longer has that reputation when it comes to high-end electronics. Companies are at pains to explain that the design, engineering and quality control is in the guiding hands of home base in Europe or the US.

Accordingly, I have no overriding unwillingness, on the basis of quality, to buy Chinese. If, among others, Bose (USA), Sony (Japan), Yamaha (Japan), Jamo (Denmark), Marantz (US/Japan), Ruark (England) and Klipsch (US) put their names and reputations on the line, that should be good enough for me. Still, I thought, do none of them manufacture in their home countries?

This excited my interest from the Klipsch website dated 2014: “Paul W Klipsch designed and hand-built the legendary Klipschorn in a tiny tin shed in Hope, Arkansas. He was an American audio pioneer and a true eccentric. Since 1946, Klipsch has continued to proudly build speakers in the heart of America.” 

I will buy a pair of these speakers to start with, I decided. They are available here and I had them lined up. Thought I would check. Lo and behold they are now “made in China”. And this applies to all of the audio products of the companies mentioned above.

It is clear that I either buy Chinese or do without. I am not a do-without-on-principle kind of guy. Life is too short. So, I will eventually buy Chinese. And why not, you might ask?

Well, I do have an abiding concern about the wholesale outsourcing of manufacturing to China – the loss of skills and occupational diversity it brings and its national security implications. And now, to boot, the Wuhan virus has added to my Sino (manufacturing-specific) phobia.

This is a short extract from a BBC article on May 8 (“Coronavirus: What did China do about early outbreak?”):

The Wuhan Public Security Bureau detains eight people [on 1 January] for spreading rumours about the virus, reporting it on a Chinese news programme, Xinwen Lianbo, a show watched by millions.

The article goes on to note that it took until January 30, two days after China’s WHO toady Tedros Ghebreyesus met Xi Jinping, for the WHO to declare a “global public health emergency.

The timeline (and it is fleshed out fully in the BBC article) is quite shocking on its face. Allowing people to travel internationally out of Wuhan, knowing that they may have been carrying a deadly pathogen, would be a dastardly act. One, if true, that would “live in infamy,” don’t you think?

There has been a lot of focus on where the virus came from: a lab or a wet market in Wuhan, or from another source in China. Important as this is to know, to me it is less significant than finding out whether China hid knowledge of the virus and its infectious nature while, at the same time, allowing people to travel abroad out of Wuhan, carrying the potential of death and mayhem with them.

Gross face-saving incompetence could account for it, I suppose. Communist regimes are not noted for their accountability or competence. Anything much more sinister than that would be tantamount to an act of war, wouldn’t it? Just asking. At Pearl Harbour the Japanese forces killed 2,403 Americans. So far over 80,000 Americans are reported to have died of the virus.

As we know, illness and death from the virus is only part of it; the other part can’t be blamed on China. That part is the destructive and glaring overreaction by most governments.

I have been searching for a reason why governments would prevent able-bodied people, facing no measurable risk from the virus, from going about their affairs. A shot in the dark. Perhaps the feminisation of societies accounts for it to some degree.

There is a view that Western societies in particular are becoming more feminised. I recall two past articles in Quadrant. Patrick McCauley in the September 2008 issue wrote entertainingly that for some years, “Australian Rules football has been in the hands of feminine social engineers who wish to establish equity and social justice in the football community”. Michael Evans, writing in the January-February 2010 issue on stoicism and the military, commented that, “radical feminism” is one of a number of developments since the 1960s representing the “greatest challenge to the Western profession of arms”. Both articles are well worth reading by the way.

A feminine temperament is passive, cooperative, and expressive — the latter meaning socialising with others as an end in itself. A masculine temperament is aggressive, competitive, and instrumental — the latter meaning, purposely pursuing practical goals having weighed costs and consequences.[i] This division is not wholly based on sex. We all, men and women, have elements of both temperaments. It is a question of where the balance lies. I suggest that willingly, and often seemingly too eagerly, cowering in our homes at the behest of governments is hardly an aggressive, competitive or instrumental response.

If hiding in bunkers is an archetypal feminine thing to do in the face of a threat, then climbing back out, as we are finding, is incredibly difficult for the feminine temperament to contemplate — lest even one person die as a result. Trump likens fighting the virus as to war. No, it isn’t. Tens of thousands, and sometimes many more, of mainly young men willingly fight, and die, in war. A feminine temperament simply won’t do in such times. You’d lose. And, it won’t do whenever a serious threat is faced. If you want to see feminine temperaments in action look at Gladys Berejiklian and Daniel Andrews.

Back to my start. Bear in mind, my manufacturing Sinophobia, such as it is, has not at all been heightened by the virus having been made in China. New pathogens are always going to spring up and they have to start somewhere. It’s the coverup. That’s the problem.

But problem or not I want to play my CDs. So, I will have to swallow my disgust.

 

[i] J E Stets & P J Burke, “Femininity/Masculinity” in Encyclopedia of Sociology (Macmillan, 2000)

12 comments
  • Tony Tea

    If you want totally Australia designed and made, contact Arthur Rappos: https://www.stereo.net.au/brands/elektra-audio

  • lloveday

    If not buying “Made in China” is more important than upgrading, it should be easy to source a used audio system without a CD stuck in it. Cheaper too.

  • Salome

    Or if you don’t mind European, try Pro-Ject Audio. Turntables from the Czech Republic, other components from Slovakia. For speakers, try The Loudspeaker Kit–their LSK branded kits are Australian made.

  • Nezysquared

    No doubt we all face a long way back to a distributed supply chain with as little emphasis on China as possible but look hard enough and you’ll find something…Just takes some effort but if you’re serious about your Sinophobia that’s surely a price worth paying….

  • Occidental

    Feminisation of our society was a direct consequence of female emancipation. Its tentacles and effects are so far reaching that slowly inexorably it is turning western civilisation and by virtue of its influence, eventually oriental civilisation on its head. I am not necessarily making a value judgement, but simply observing that making allowance for half of humanity, to take part in economic and political society has far reaching consequences that will continue play out for centuries. One unfortunate aspect of it is that it must slowly move societies to the left, because women are by their nature socialists and prefer community interests to individual interests. If anyone doubts this, think, when relationships break down, and they do regularly, which of the parties seeks the assistance of the State. In modern society with nuclear rather than extended families, any dislocation or fracturing of a relationship becomes an invitation to the State to become the third party to the relationship. A second example a man living alone in a house and a woman living alone in a house. A storm strikes and removes the roof from both houses. Which of the two will seek the assistance of the State first. A third example is provided by the NDIS. No matter who conceived that monstrosity, from my experience it is almost universally supported by women. Even after explaining its most pernicious aspects female friends and relatives no matter how intelligent find its appeal hard to resist. Both sides of the political spectrum recognise this phenomenon and are tailoring there policies to appeal to what is in effect more than half the electorate.The space for the individual is slowly,but inexorably, being compressed.

  • ianl

    The iCensor image fronting this article reminds me of a piece of semi-verified information I ‘ve been given. If completely true, it has a large touch of irony to it.

    It has been noticed that the mobile phone “app” pushed with such heavy enthusiasm, even threats, last week by both Govts and the despicable MSM has quite suddenly been dropped from public notice. A sudden complete silence, in fact.
    My information is that the Apple IPhone operating system does not allow the bluetooth function to work as this “app” requires (apparently, only the Google Droidies work properly). So all the Iphony downloads won’t do what is needed – and Apple is in no hurry to change that, if at all. Further, the developers of the bluetooth “app” that Morrison et al hired for this knew that at the time.

  • Occidental

    I forgot to give my offering on the authors shopping conundrum. I solved a similar dilemma by going with Magnepan (USA made and cheap) for my speakers, (a good solution for a solo listening or a closely seated couple), and second hand Accuphase for amplification and DAC.

  • lloveday

    Q: “…when relationships break down, and they do regularly, which of the parties seeks the assistance of the State”.
    .
    A: The one who will receive the assistance of the State, not the one whom the state will persecute, discriminate against, accept any accusation against, reject any denial or counter-accusation from, reduce to penury and jail. The one has changed markedly in my lifetime and I don’t think it is “because women are by their nature socialists” but because of laws of the State.
    .
    When I was 10 I lived in a 24′ x 12′ iron garage and looked after 3 younger siblings while mother worked night shift at the telephone exchange, trapped rabbits before and after school and caught yabbies at weekends for food, while our father continued to live as befits a wealthy man (no whinge – I had a far better life being poor than I had when well-off) – no State assistance for a deserting wife or her children back then no matter how often she was beaten black and blue.
    .
    Contrast that with today where most marriages are unilaterally dissolved at the instigation of the wife, rather than “break down”. In the FCA all “break downs” must be referred to as “separated” rather than the more frequent case of the unilateral action of one party. The jerk cross-examining me in my 8 day custody trial said “You don’t like the word “separated” do you Mr Loveday”? My reply was “I have no dislike of the word, just your wrong use of it”, then immediately to her Honour I quoted verbatim the part of the Act which said (I paraphrase rather than look it up) “The parties may be said to have separated regardless of the actions of the parties….”, and “I understand what Mr Jerk is saying and will answer in terms of the Act, but he can’t make me misuse English, nor can the Act”.
    .
    When I’d approached the lawyer I’d head-hunted to conduct the trial (I was a litigant in person for the many hearings in the 22 months prior to trial) he initially refused to take the case as he said it would be a waste of money and we’d be laughed out of court (wives get the children and the house and fathers get to pay Child Support (aka Alimony); all else is nonsense, accept it), but when he agreed to accept my money and the anticipated scorn of the court, the first thing he asked me was “Have you been accused of abusing your daughter”. “No”. “Expect it”.
    .
    That deplorable situation has come about, in my opinion, because of the laws of Murphy and Keating, not “because women are by their nature socialists”.
    .
    PS, The jerk was paid for by the State, my lawyer by me. When we walked out of court after the 8th day with an Order for shared parenting, my lawyer punched on the shoulder and said “We won”. “Never in doubt” was my response.
    .
    Comment Norsaint?

  • Stephen Due

    “Communist regimes are not noted for their accountability or competence”. I assume it is not necessary to rehearse in this forum the horrors currently being perpetrated by the Chinese Communist regime – the iron fist of the surveillance state, the unknown number of political executions and disappearances, the re-education camps, the real racism (obliteration of non-Chinese racial characteristics in subject populations) and so on. This is Stalin on steroids. Appeasement in Australia is worrying to say the least. Evidently the abundant lessons of the last century have been forgotten in a single generation!

  • DG

    I’m very happy with my Krix speakers…made in Australia, still, I believe…SA from memory.

  • Lewis P Buckingham

    Now that China has shown the iron hand in the velvet glove I may recount a recent conversation.
    Faced with an 80% tariff on barley and the shut down of several beef exporters he made a suggestion.
    We actually hold the whip hand.
    If South Africa, Brazil and Australia cut off coal and iron ore to China it would shut her down.
    As a first step we could threaten to put a tariff on Lithium.
    We are the biggest world exporter to China.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_lithium_production
    That would slow down the iPhones and other smart devices made in China.
    The US could simply not pay the bonds held in US currency by China.
    https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-debt-to-china-how-much-does-it-own-3306355
    The Europeans would go to water in a trade war, but then, they don’t provide China with raw materials or cash.

  • padraic

    You are right, Peter, about the feminisation. Last week I heard a female on ABC radio suggest that oestrogens may have a place in treating Covid-19. Another feminist nasty fantasy.

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