The return of company towns / by kevin murray

Back in the heyday of the industrial age, company towns as well as company scrip were created in small communities that essentially were built around one industry, such as coal mining, with those laboring at these mines, getting paid often in company scrip which could only be utilized to pay rent, and to buy all of their household goods from the company that effectively own all the land and ran all the stores.  This does mean that those laboring within those mines were stuck within a construct in which they could never ever escape from being exploited and thereby utilized up until the day that they passed away.  So too, within those company towns of which there was just one main corporate employer, it wasn't necessary that the company use company scrip to pay their employees, mainly because they were such an outsized influence upon that community that the justice, policing, and taxing within that community were always performed in accordance with the company desires.

 

While for the most part, company towns don't now exist, though there are still small communities in which one employer has an outsized influence upon that town; the new company town is almost exclusively one that for those that aren't paying a lot of attention to is located within the hi-technology sphere.  That is to say, there are hi-tech companies that make it their point to provide to their employees, food, entertainment, exercise facilities, healthcare, daycare, and even sleeping pods.  While to the uninitiated, this might seem to be an unmitigated joy, and it very well might be, for some people; it can, on the other hand, present to those working there, an insular existence, that distorts their view of the real world, by providing them an artificial world in which all of their needs are met, never seeming to recognize that the reason behind why the company is being so accommodating may not quite be as benign as such an appearance so seems.

 

There are cult like religions, of which, those that enter into it voluntarily, later, find out that it is extremely difficult to extricate themselves, should they become disengaged; so too, these hi-tech companies are, in their own way, selling their own cult like existence, and are especially gifted in getting those that are employed there, especially the impressionable young, to believe that they are invaluable and special.  The thing about cages and enclosures, is that some of these cages and enclosures may well be created to be very pleasant, but they are, at the end of day, still cages and enclosures, in which those that spend inordinate amounts of time with the same people, having the same mindset, with the same sort of goals, all for the betterment of the company and the company goals don't seem to recognize that they have become a very important cog into a machine, a machine which does not want to let them go, and because of that they have vacated their independence as well as their mind to that machine.

 

The thing is, when someone never takes a step outside to breathe in the outside air, as well as to take in the world as it really is, but are instead living within a pleasant construct that supposedly provides them with everything that they really need, they have effectively sold their soul to the company; so that they then have sold their very essence which is priceless, for a price.