Wikipedia refers to the company store economic model as the "truck system." The line in the title of this note is, of course, taken from the song "Sixteen Tons," composed by Merle Travis and popularized by Tennessee Ernie Ford. The song title refers to the tonnage of coal mined daily by a coal miner living in a camp owned and operated by the mine owner. The miners are, in effect, indentured servants or slaves because they have no possibility of working their way out of the system. This is because they are paid in scrip, rather than money, which can only be redeemed in the camp.
I have heard the redistributional model of today's progressives described as a "plantation model," especially in the context of the huge majority of America's black voters who feel beholden to the Democratic Party. It seems to me, however, that the truck system model is closer to the truth. This is the ultimate reality of any socialist system in which the market place, where true competition takes place, is replaced by a centrally managed system, where individual initiative is as common as random acts of kindness, because there is no particular incentive for either beyond the remnant of character that has yet to be snuffed out by an over controlling state.
In order for such a system to survive, it must control not only the means of economic exchange, it must also control the means of the exchange of ideas. Thus the truck system model must be augmented by a system of apartheid in academia, the news and entertainment (oh, soon that description will be redundant) industry and government. The lockdown by progressives in these areas is all but complete in the western world. When it is, the truck system will not be dislodged. It will only fade away through its inherent inviability.
It took another thousand years for the Roman Empire to fade away in the East after its fate was already sealed in the West. Even the most foolishly designed system can have staying power. The U.S.S.R. disintegrated in 1989, but the people in power in Russia come from the remnant of that centrally planned system. The few real entrepreneurs in that society were hounded out by the government in the 90s. Now Russia is fading away because the people are seeking escape in a bottle of vodka. They are not even reproducing themselves. Eventually, they, too, will be overrun by the Saracens from the south. Soon after, Europe will follow. Then, finally, the U.S. The Chinese, too, are in self-destruct mode. The real question is, who will survive?
All of this lies in a future none of us will live to see. The questions each of us needs to ask ourselves are these:
- Do we want to sell our souls to the company store?
- Who is the ultimate owner of the company store?