The following quotations are from:

John Gaventa, Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley 

“In a rural area, particularly one from which minerals are to be extracted, acquisition of land is the first step in the process of economic development and the establishment of power. In a process of internal colonialism the entry into an area may be forced, i.e. involuntary on the part of the residents.” 53

“Today, ownership of the land and its resources is the basis of the distribution of wealth and power in the region. Significantly, although the land was perhaps acquired unjustly, its unequal distribution is often now accepted as a natural, ineradicable fact of the social situation… The powerlessness reflected in the first key encounter of their society with industrial society has often been internalized as their fault. The means by which corporate power turned itself to the shaping of its own legitimacy is the question to be pursued.” 55

“Yet beneath this legitimating, momentary Zeitgeist, there was quietly occurring the structuring of inequalities that was to have major long-term impact upon the political economy of the region, even up to the present. There were two key, interrelated factors in the process—the development of social stratification and the establishment of absentee, concentrated economic control of the resources and the means of their extraction.” 56-57

“Booms and their spirit do not last. To survive, the interests behind them must develop more stable forms of self-protection, such as control over the political apparatus and the shaping and instilling of supporting values.” 58

“Industrialization assuredly brought values very different from those of the previous culture in and around the Cumberland Gap. Four aspects of the new ideology show its significance for the mountaineers and miners.

                  The first element has already been seen in the notion of a ‘common purpose’ in the growth of Middlesboro—a notion which served to disguise the less obvious inequalities which were also emerging…

                  The second element of the ideology often went with the first: the benefits were attainable by all, but only hard work would provide them…

                  …into the hills came a new way, which, thirdly, justified itself as ‘progress’. Like the ideology of colonialism in the Third World, it proclaimed the virtues of ‘civilization’, and would not pause to task about the virtues of the culture there before…

                  Each of these notions is a common one in American capitalist ideology—an open system, hard work, leading to progress. Yet, there was another element of the ideology that was perhaps to have more impact upon the mountaineers. It was embodied in a way that all could see in the moving of the Yellow Creek and the tunnelling under Cumberland Mountain. Whereas the culture of the mountaineer had been founded and shaped by its relationship to nature—its isolation, its struggle for survival, its haromony with streams and mountains—this new civilization would not be so bound; indeed, it would conquer…

A creek has to be straightened to improve drainage—they spend on it a hundred thousand dollars… The mountain is in their way—that mighty wall of the Cumberland Mountains which has been in the way of the whole United States for over a hundred years—they remove this mountain; that is, they dig through it a great union tunnel three thousand seven hundred and fifty feet long, beginning in Kentucky, running und a corner of Virginia, and coming out in Tennessee…

…When the tunnel was completed, through the work of hundreds of men, hundreds of men, hundreds more cheered and Arthur himself reflected upon the new spirit: ‘I realized as never before how powerful and dominant is man and that his mind could sway and use the giant force of nature.’

                  In everything about the Middlesboro boom this new industrial, humanist ideology was symbolized. Where there had been a solidarity of family and farm there was now industrial solidarity, witnessed as together men swung their axes, laid rail, raised capital, or weighed coal. Although life had involved work before, it had not been so glorified—nor bought as a mass product. Where had been a sense of contentment, there was a progress that transformed. Where there had been a struggle to obtain a harmony with nature, this civilization would dominate nature and free the creating capacities of man. However, for the study of power it is not enough to say that this was a different ideology; one must look at the processes or mechanisms through which it was instilled.” 62

“It could be argued that the coercion seen so far represents the imposition that the only option available to the mountaineer was submissive acceptance (slave analogy). Alternatively, it could be said that any rational man would have chosen the rewards of industrial society, and that there could be no question sabout the nature of the consensus (free man analogy). Both approaches, I suggest, are too simple: while coercion helps to shape consensus, when used to an extreme it can have negative effects (e.g. resistance). While rationality is important, it is itself a socially bound concept. The power which should be expected is more subtle. It is one which shapes the outcome of ‘choice’ while allowing the chooser to believe that, in fact, a choice has been made.” 63

“The exaggerated attractiveness of the industrial order, on the one hand, carried with it the degradation of the culture and society of the mountaineers, on the other. Students of colonialism observe that degradation by the colonizer of the colonized usually takes the form of racialism. While the mountaineer was not exactly of another race, he could be portrayed as a breed whose lifestyle represented a deficient way of existence. For instance, while the new Middlesboro was said to represent ‘true social enjoyments’, ‘health’, a ‘fine climate, natural beauty’, and ‘good things’, the older culture was said to consist of ‘wilder mountaineers’, who were ‘usually not attractive’, but were ‘rather yellow and cadaverous looking, owing to their idle and shiftless ways, and the bad food upon which they subsist, and perhaps also to their considerable consumption of moonshine whiskey.” 65

“A third process of imposing values involved the more direct appropriation of local culture. Perhaps the best example of the process in Middlesboro was found in the replacement of names from the old order with those from the new. A striking pattern is found in the transformation of the Yellow Creek: while places of work, the mines (where labour was expropriated), retained Appalachian names, places of cultural development (town, school, countryside) were given names from foreign cultures.” 66

“The above processes were probably not conscious exercises of control; nevertheless, they did have important consequences for the development of the Company’s power and legitimacy. In addition, there were other, more direct means, by which values could be shaped, such as control of the socializing agencies of government, church and school.” 67