Some of the most useful as well as the most heated debates in the literature on American slavery revolve around the relative importance of coercion and resistance. To Elkins, coercion was maximal and resistance minimal, leading to the formation of a slavish personality. This was the acquiescent slave. The overseer’s whip was the symbol of coercion in slave society. There is no such image in the industrial system. Coercive mechanisms are broken up into separate parts, each considerably less imposing than the whip. This dispersion makes their collective existence and gravity more difficult to discern. It has become conventional wisdom to say that early capitalism replaced the lord’s authority with the economic whip of the market. The threat of starvation drives people to work and keeps them there. Employees as a whole have no choice in deciding whether the profitability of the company for which they work will affect them.