Truth is the first victim of the Company Store's dominance.When I read stuff like this I almost always mentally add that line at the end of Churchill's "Finest Hour" speech:
My view of the Status Quo as a neocolonial, neofeudal arrangement is succinctly captured by correspondent D.C.'s description of state-corporate capitalism: the Company Store. In the plantation model (i.e. any economic setting dominated by a primary corporate employer and/or the state), almost everyone works for the company, and is beholden to the company for their livelihood and security.
In exchange for this neofeudal (often described as paternal) security, employees must shop at the company store, which maintains a near-monopoly (i.e. competition is limited because the company owns the land and/or colludes with local government) as a means of extracting monopoly prices.
The company store extends credit to employees (in the modern version, student loans take the place of employee credit), and since prices are kept artificially high and wages are kept stagnant, the employees never manage to pay off their debts at the company store.
This describes the core dynamic in our state-corporate system. The state-corporate Status Quo suppresses competition (few other stores are allowed in town), usually by indirect means: high land leases, high fees for doing business in town, mountains of absurd regulations no small businesses can afford to meet, etc.
In state-corporate capitalism, small business thus poses a threat to the monopolistic partnership of the government and dominant corporations. Small businesses that try to meet all the regulations and pay all the fees and taxes are either marginalized or driven out of business by the high overhead.
But those that live in the nooks and crannies between the major players pose a threat to the guaranteed profits of the state-corporate Status Quo. As a result, despite the propaganda about how the state supports small business, the real agenda is to marginalize small business in every way possible so the small-business sector can never gain enough political weight to challenge the corporate interests and their partners, the state fiefdoms.
Here is D.C.'s gloves-off, truth-to-power commentary:
The decline of small businesses serves the same purpose as continuous, compound monetary inflation: Both keep everyone on "company property" buying at the "company store." Inflation means that people can't save in a medium that is not ready-to-be-seized (by the IRS, any Federal court, any creditor like a hospital, i.e. by any minion of the central state Corporation). If people could save honest money "under the mattress" without continuous erosion, then some of their wealth might remain fully private.
We can't have fully private wealth. The Company must always be able to take what the Company deems its fair share, or take whatever payments the Company Store levies (since people are largely compelled to purchase their medical services, for instance, from the CS and prices are not marked on the shelf...only assessed in arrears).....MORE
"...all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science..."