The Curse of the Company
Something bad happened to America in the Fifties. It created the Inhuman Society and the Inhuman Company. It’s hard to say which came first – whether the society created the company, or the company created the society. But in any case, they were there – and were the curse of my working life.
They were the curse of many lives – but they were such an overwhelming presence, everyone took them for granted – and were not aware of them. Like a fish swimming in water, takes water for granted.
But this was not easy for many people – who did not adapt so readily to this inhuman life. They knew something was wrong – but didn’t know what it was. And were scared to death to find out.
One of these people was my father, who could never work for anyone else. He had to be his own boss – and run his own company. He was a small businessman – which were common in the Forties. Every Main Street was lined with them – and they were easy to get into. Every family farm was also a small business – run by a family.
All these were eliminated by Companies, in the Fifties – in the short space of a decade, or so. I was shocked by this – but no one else seemed to notice.
This was the final phase of what was referred to as Industrialization – which is as good a label as any. It was characterized by the appearance of the Machine – that quickly took over. Those that served it, did very well – those that didn’t, disappeared.
Let me remind you that Abraham Lincoln was successful Railroad lawyer – and made a lot of money at that. Which allowed him to marry into a prominent family.
The Civil War, over which he presided – was the triumph of the Industrial North over the Agrarian South. And from which the Railroads profited handsomely – as they extended their Standard Gauge lines across the continent.
The Industrial Economy had two components – Transportation and Manufacturing. Both were run by Companies – that favored people who fit into this mechanized (and inhuman) environment.
People to whom violence was second-nature.