existential effects of rampant liberalism on the crucified nation, and a further convergence with the Andean religious world. 44 For the 'Devil' is the producer of raw metal which is changed into means of circulation in the mint. And protectionism continued strong among a majority of the population well after the silver-barons' political victory in 1872. In 1875 we can even hear the dance-groups (comparsas) chanting during the bull-running at the Sucre Carnival:
Comes the bull with the black horns, Death to the free extraction of silver! 45
In this heated moment, it almost appears as though 'Ahriman' himself, in the form of the black-horned bull, is about to burst into the streets and market-places.
The devil's presence is also signalled by the rampant trade in silver bullion in the last decades of the century -- overflowing from the mines in greater quantities than ever before, only to by-pass the Potosi mint and flow in torrents along the new roads and railways towards the ports of exportation. In 1980, sacrificial battles in the silver- mining city of Colquechaca, staged traditionally by the indian communities, were enlarged by the mining work-force who, furious at the disappearance of their salaries overseas, organised riots against the foreign export houses. Amidst this cosmological crisis, the indians clung to the idealised memory of the old tributary state, with its imagined orderly circulation of state-minted coins: under siege from the devils of liberalism, it was this memory which, at the end of the century, provided a psychological trampoline for the great uprising of Aymara and Quechua communities during the Bolivian Civil War (cf. Platt 1987b, 1991).
The referential and poetic aspects of metaphor run through this account of the liberalprotectionist debate and its consequences for Andean forms of exchange. The frustrations of late twentieth-century capitalism have shifted interest from politico-economic structures to the analysis of the discursive strategies by which these structures are empowered. The frontiers between 'economic science' and 'native models' can thus be interrogated and subverted -- a belated academic response, no doubt, to the needs of the people on the receiving end who have long queried the authority of 'the economists'. It becomes possible to recognise the way in which economic policies are themselves embedded in and controlled through discourse: the rampant triumphalism of the New Right, like the liberalism of nineteenth-century Bolivia and its associated historiography, is only one example of this. More generally, neo-liberal economics can be confronted with many other discourses which do not pretend that economic and social policy can be deduced simply from the 'natural human propensity to exchange'.
In nineteenth-century Bolivia, the protectionist camp converged with an Andean counter-discourse of tributary justice and the socio-political correlates of exchange under divine protection. If the discourse of free trade overwhelmed the protectionist alternative, this was not because it was more efficient or beneficial, but because it managed to leave its rival behind in the invocation of scriptural authority and in the manipulation of parliamentary politics in order to attract foreign capital and reinvest in an internationalised mining industry. Protectionist monetary policy did not
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Publication information: Book title: Contesting Markets:Analyses of Ideology, Discourse and Practice. Contributors: Roy Dilly - Editor. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 150.