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Men, money and machines : the making of a modern society in highland New Guinea Parker, Michael Stewart 1979

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MEN, MONEY AND MACHINES: THE MAKING OF A MODERN SOCIETY IN HIGHLAND NEW GUINEA MICHAEL STEWART PARKER B.A., The University of Cape Town, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1979 (c) Michael Stewart Barker, 1979 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r a n a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l m a k e i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may b e g r a n t e d b y t h e H e a d o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r b y h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t b e a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t o f A ^ T V M L O p G ^ T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 D a t e t O O T * O & . £ A \ y i ° \ - i i -ABSTRACT The Siane are a Highland New Guinea tribe who represent, i n their modest way, many of the issues and arguments surrounding the unequal meeting of village and kinship encapsulated societies with the imperium of the world money-economy. The thesis i s directed to the question of identifying change, and those volatile elements within the contact situation which precipitate movement i n otherwise static traditional economies; and to understanding i n what sense change can be something that i s planned for. R.E. Salisbury, from whose book From Stone to Steel i t develops, argues with an economist's sense of axiom that the Siane are free to decide the lineaments of their future society, i n as much as the act of choice i s the matrix within which economic and social organization takes form; and he searches for the structuring' of Siane choices i n terms of the competition of ends and means. His postulations of a certain order of development founder, however, on their own test case. This i s the attempt to ascertain the economic potential of the steel axe - which reveals an unexpected preference for investing not i n the increment of material wealth, but i n a ceremonious trade i n shell "valuables". Closer attention to this phenomenon discloses a highly politicized network of debtn- integrating Siane socially and economically; and the analytic point made concerns the logical primary of the notion of exchange as the systematizing factor i n society. In particular, the "codifications" of the medium by which exchange activity takes effect aresshown to d i f f e r empirically i n respect to the degree that choice i s a value of a transaction. It - i i i -i s the substitution of one medium (native valuables) by another (modern money) that i n Siane begins the processes of cultural and social change and holds out the possibility of sustained economic growth, though this raises problems both about specifying the nature of money i n relation to different social systems, and about the sort of pattern which at this incipient stage might be discernible i n the fluxions of recent events. Much of the reasoning i s pursued with reference to the literature i n transactional and symbolic analysis; while the themes of money, i t s impact on subsistence systems, and the moralities subsumed by money exchanges, are especially those of Burridge and Belshaw. A subsidiary theme, included as the more cogent test case, i s the Cargo Cult: for i n New Guinea the presence of a Cult confirms a process of cultural re-evaluation. The features of cargoism give scope to theorists of a contrary persuasion -Lawrence, Worsley, White and Steward are discussed - who interpret social history deterministically, or who would see man as a tool of his own technology. The Siane material shows, though, that the manner i n which a material resource feeds into, or can influence, economic organization i s restricted by conventions that govern the relations of people. Beyond this, the criticism of their respective standpoints flows from the same inspiration with which Victor Hugo once wrote: "There i s one thing stronger than a l l the armies i n the world and that i s an idea whose time has come". In Siane the watershed was reached i n two ideas - i v ~ conjointly, both finding their locus i n the symbolic properties of modern money. These axe the conception of a fa c t o r i a l as opposed to binary expression of social value, and the realization by individuals that the power of self-determination they can activate varies relative to this variation of social condition. Though Salisbury denies evidence of Gargoism, the conclusion suggests the ine v i t a b i l i t y that Siane i s riven by millenarian stirrings. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i - i v I. THE SIANE AND THE GENERAL THEME OF CHANGE 1 1. Introduction 1 2. The Fascination of the Primitive 4 3. Future New Guinea : Quo Vadis? 7 4. A Comparison : Japan and the "Westernization" of a Traditional Society 10 5. Linear Change, Progress, Materialism : The Western World-View 13 6. Society as a Mechanical System or a Moral Order? 17 7. Magic and Machines: Factors of Production 19 8. Primitive Thought-Worlds 26 9. The Administration of Change 28 10. Organization, Evaluation and Choice 33 11. System, Movement, Money 40 II. CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND THE HUMAN FACTOR IN PRODUCTION 43 1. Choice and Value: the Economist's Model 43 2. Productive Capital and the Developing Economy 52 3. Accounting 55 4. The Axe and the Failure of the Economic Revolution 57 Ceremony and the Distribution of Leisure Time 60 6. Social Capital and the Pseudo-Economy 62 7. Substantivism 66 8. Power as Command 74 III. THE ORGANIZATION OF SIANE ECONOMY 78 1. The Moral Design 78 2. The Clans and the Principle of Binary Opposition 80 3. Work and Residence: the Principle Confirmed 85 4. The Axe as Badge 87 5. Exchange Goods and the Exchange of Messages 92 6. Food 96 7. Luxuries 98: 8. Valuables 100 9. Politicized Economy 104 10. Management and the Modal Personality 108 IV MONEY AND THE INTEGRATION OF SOCIETY 119 1. The Valuables - Treasure or Money? 119 2. Arithmetic and Social Change 125 3. Purchasing Power as "Real" Wealth 130 4. Money as Promise: Credit Farming 137 5. Managers and the Making of Money 146 6. Money and the Native Theory of E v i l 153 7. Money and the Redemptive Process 159 8. Money Symbols and the Management of Meaning 165 - v i -Page V. SIANE ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE WORLD ECONOMY 174 1. Paper Revolutions 174 2. Pre-Contact Inflation 175 3. Contact and the New Money 187 4. Modern Cash and Traditional Demand 195 5. Big Men and the Future of Power 197 6. "Nothing Men" and the Consumer Society 203 7. Ideas and the Formulation of an Alternative Society 205 8. New Principles, New Organization 215 9. Reaction and the Colonial Context 226 10. Performance of Oppression? 239 VI. CONCLUDING THEME - CARGO 245 BIBLIOGRAPHY 258 -1-I. THE SIANE AND THE GENERAL THEME OF CHANGE 1. Introduction The Siane f i r s t encountered the modern world i n 1933t when parties of European explorers penetrated their Highland territory (c.f. Salisbury 1962 : 1,112-114). To that encounter they brought a culture that was neo-l i t h i c and entirely without knowledge of metals. The most important single item i n their inventory of cultural equipment was the hafted stone axe. By i t s use i n the heavy labour of f e l l i n g trees and clearing and fencing garden plots, the axe was indispensable to the economy of Siane. By a l l accounts, the European presence was traumatic and confus-ing, but i t was brief. Being white-faced, the explorers were taken for s p i r i t s returned from the land of the dead. They were followed by hundreds of natives, t r a i l i n g their pigs to be blessed for abundant f e r t i l i t y , or else picking up empty tins and discarded bits of paper i n the belief that, Midas-like, these would be transformed into valuables at the touch of the "ancestors". With their departure, the Siane were plunged back into isolation. By 1945f when next patrols set out to establish a permanent Government influence i n the area, the Siane were dissolving into uncontrol-lable warfare (op. c i t . 118). In the intervening time they had also come into the possession of steel axes, which they acquired from outside sources through a spiderwork of indigenous trade connections. Everywhere i n the native system of production the steel axe had supplanted i t s rude stone predecessor, and because of i t s vastly superior efficiency as a tool, i t directly or indirectly affected a l l other aspects of Siane l i f e . Otherwise, - 2 -no other immediate European influence - Government, missionary, trade s t o r e , miner, or planter - had broken the i s o l a t i o n of that twelve year lacuna. Hence there would appear to be every j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r Salisbury (op. c i t . 2 ) to assume the crux of h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n : that whatever the exo t i c o r i g i n s of the s t e e l axe, the use Siane made of i t , and the ensuing changes i n t h e i r s o c i e t y , can be interpreted unambiguously as having been motivated wholly from within the pr e - e x i s t i n g c u l t u r e . As i t happens, the case i s not unparallelledo Sharp (1964) records how, i n A u s t r a l i a , Y i r Yoront societ y a c t u a l l y collapsed follow-i n g upon an i n f l u x of s t e e l axes. But the Siane were not likewise reduced to a frac t u r e d vestige of t h e i r former v i t a l i t y . No archeo-l o g i c a l c u r i o s i t y , the great value of the Siane i s that t h e i r s u r v i v a l provides a rare opportunity of following through the developing response of a society, sequestered from the f u l l impact of the world wide market system, to a sin g u l a r technological innovation. This i s Salisbury's view. Stanner, i n h i s foreword commentary, endorses i t , and r a i s e s with a s p e c i a l emphasis the theme of voluntarism implied and the connection i t has with p o l i c i e s f o r administered change: The main concern of the book i s a voluntary process of autonomous development. I t throws a h e l p f u l l i g h t on many p r a c t i c a l problems - of both p o l i c y and administra-t i o n - that a r i s e i n attempts to l i f t the material standards of native peoples by schemes f o r induced development and d i r e c t e d growth. Hence the force of a well-reasoned account of 'how a simple te c h n o l o g i c a l innovation can, given time and the f r e e play of both the human desire f o r power and the randomness of innova-t i o n , eventually produce a new organization of society and a new standard of l i f e ' -3-A f u l l understanding of Melanesian economic voluntar-ism may have profound importance f o r a l l those who wish the native peoples well i n t h e i r d i f f i c u l t struggle with modernity. (op. c i t . v i i - v i i i , emphasis i n the o r i g i n a l ) Stanner's enthusiasm i s e a s i l y shared i f only at the l e v e l where the very vagueness of h i s words glosses over t h e i r confusion. J u l i u s Nyerere says somewhere that the issue that confronts the people of the T h i r d World i s not whether they can choose to develop or not, but whether they can choose t h e i r development. Though t h i s i s a viewpoint d e r i v i n g from a very d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l experience, i t nevertheless focuses some of the basic questions f o r t h i s study. What i s "modernity" that natives must struggle with i t while Westerners take i t f o r granted? Does i t have a s i n g l e form or essence, or can i t be several? How exactly i s the point of t r a n s i t i o n to be i d e n t i f i e d , and cause and precondition r e l a t e d to e f f e c t ? What h i s t o r i c a l l y have been the r e a l forces of change operating on Melanesia, and how f a r have these been within the c o n t r o l of natives -i f above t h e i r comprehension? Do terms l i k e "voluntarism" and"autonomy" succeed i n conveying anything s u b s t a n t i a l about Melanesian economies when the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of economic processes i n non-market contexts has been the bone of inveterate t h e o r e t i c a l contention? So too, what kind of presumption i s the task - amounting at times to a moral concern - of administrations to bring t h e i r native charges into a c i v i l i z e d condition, with yet, as i t seems, exiguous knowledge of how "schemes f o r induced development and d i r e c t e d growth" engage i n a c t u a l i t y with the everyday l i v e s of those people to whose benefit they are pledged? The f o l l o w i n g chapters represent a ransacking of the Siane -im-material for answers to these issues, or at least for implications. In so far as there can be a singular thesis i n amongst such complexity i t i s that for men, evolution i s measured i n ideas. Thought i s man's primary technology. It i s by the resources of symbolism that people construct a world and their identities, visualize the pos s i b i l i t i e s of action, assess the past and organize for the future. 2. The Fascination of the Primitive If the hard rea l i t y of most cultures are forced into a conception gulfed by i t , then i t i s equally true contact situations i s that native of modernity, or else simply be en-by the same fact of contact that c i v i l i z a t i o n i s obliged to take account of radical alternatives to i t s e l f . The very primitiveness of the Siane bestirs an archetype i n the urbane imagination. About this Carpenter i s quite scathing: In the world of electronic technology, we humbly encounter the primitive as avant garde. Americans, Englishmen, Spaniards, Italians, Japanese flock to the Sepik, board palatial houseboats and, drink in hand, solemnly view savages on the hoof. This search for the primitive i s surely one of the most remarkable features of our age. It's as i f we feared we had carried too far our experi-ment i n rationalism, but wouldn't admit i t and so we called forth other cultures i n exotic and disguised forms to administer a l l those experiences suppressed among us. But those we have summoned are generally i l l - s u i t e d by tradition and temperament to play the role of alter ego for us. So we recast them accordingly, costuming them in the missing parts of our psyches and expecting them to satisfy our secret needs." (Carpenter 1976 : 94-95) The rejection of the other's humanity pervades even the sophis-ticated awareness of science. Anthropology, as an offspring of colonial-ism, Carpenter (op. c i t . I 6 8 - I 6 9 ) elsewhere recalls, reflects what - 5 -Levi-Strauss sees as "a state of a f f a i r s i n which one part of mankind t r e a t s the other as object". Perhaps i n m i t i g a t i o n of a bad conscience, the notion of "primitiveness" i s now discussed i n the d i s c i p l i n e with a studied detachment from moral or i n t e l l e c t u a l connotation ( c f . Douglas 1970 : 90-113)« I t i s ways of doing things, not people, which can be described as p r i m i t i v e or otherwise, so that the designation i s thus accepted p r i m a r i l y as a statement about i n s t i t u t i o n a l complexity or tech-n o l o g i c a l condition ( c f . Mair 1964 : 225 and Goldschmidt 1964 : 482). In t h i s l i g h t , the rudimentary stone axe stands, f i g u r a t i v e l y , almost as the epitome of the very beginnings of man's c o n t r o l over h i s material environment, the prelude to a vast evolutionary progression before the attainment of a l e v e l of c u l t u r a l complexity. However, the Siane i n d i c a t e that there i s something else to the perception of p r i m i t i v e -ness. T h e i r abrupt propulsion out of a stone-wielding pre-history, i n t o the l a t t e r - d a y realm of sophisticated machines and materials, accentuates the obvious f u r t h e r element, that " p r i m i t i v e " i s a comparative, not an absolute word. I t i s by the standards of modern society that Siane are described as p r i m i t i v e - a judgement: which also implies something about c i v i l i z a t i o n ' s own self-conception. That i s to say, i n other words, that the notion of " c i v i l i z a t i o n " l i e s somewhere here i n what i s e s s e n t i a l l y an exchange of meanings between two broad classes of humanity. Indeed Diamond (1963 a ! x-xi) maintains that no s o c i a l philosophy of any consequence can avoid casting i t s version of contemporary community, or i t s imperatives f o r a superior humanity, except over against c e r t a i n h i s t o r i c a l assumptions as to the character and the merits of p r i m i t i v e existence. This i s because, without the notion of c e r t a i n constants i n -6-human nature, "humanity must then be conceived to be i n f i n i t e l y adaptable and thus incapable of h i s t o r i c understanding or self-amendment" (Diamond i b i d , and c f . S t e i n 1963 : 194). Salisbury would presumably concur with the view. In an a r t i c l e ( S a l i s b u r y 1968 : 4 8 4 ) , he has stated that the i n t e r e s t i n the t e c h n o l o g i c a l , economic, and other circumstances which produce growth and developmental change i n s o c i e t i e s represents a return to many of the evolutionary prob-lems which have always been a fundamental concern of anthropology. This claim i s accurate, however, only with the q u a l i f i c a t i o n that i n the h i s t o r -i c a l context of the European i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s out of which anthro-pology eventually separated i t s e l f as a d i s t i n c t branch of enquiry, the c u r i o s i t y about the p r i m i t i v e was i n good measure a l o g i c a l p r o j e c t i o n of the more compelling preoccupation European minds "have had with the per-f e c t i o n of t h e i r own s o c i e t y . As Diamond describes i t , the comparison has generally contained the awareness that between c i v i l i z e d man and h i s p r i m i t i v e brethren, there l i e s an unfathomable distance: The o r i g i n and nature of the state i s a subject p e c u l i a r l y appropriate to c u l t u r a l anthropology, f o r states f i r s t a r i s e through the transformation and o b l i t e r a t i o n of t y p i c a l l y p r i m i t i v e i n s t i t u t i o n s . Thinkers of the most diverse backgrounds and intentions have, throughout h i s t o r y , grasped t h i s c a r d i n a l f a c t of state formation. Lao-tzu, Rousseau, Marx and Engels, Maine, Morgan, Maitland, Tonnies, and many contemporary students of societ y have understood that there i s a q u a l i t a t i v e d i s t i n c t i o n between the s t r u c -ture of p r i m i t i v e l i f e and c i v i l i z a t i o n . Moreover, they have, more or l e s s e x p l i c i t l y , sensed the contradictions inherent i n the t r a n s i t i o n from kin s h i p , or p r i m i t i v e , to c i v i l i z e d , or p o l i t i c a l , s o c i e t y . " (Diamond I963 : 1?0) This sense of i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y was frequently tested i n the form of Utopian speculation. In retrospect, Utopianism, whether invoking the -7-n o s t a l g i a of a p r i s t i n e n o b i l i t y or f i e r c e l y a n t i c i p a t i n g the complete triumph of the r a t i o n a l state, thrived on images of the p r i m i t i v e that were often simply chimerical. This owed d i r e c t l y to the remoteness of a l i e n cultures i n an age of inadequate communications, which meant that i n method the p r i m i t i v e was accessible l a r g e l y by the t r a d i t i o n of voyages  imaginaires (cf. Souter 1974 : 9). Here, uniquely, New Guineans, and i n p a r t i c u l a r those i s o l a t e d t r i b e s l i k e Siane, have made t h e i r c o ntribution. For at the r e l a t i v e l y l a t e stage at which anthropology entered the f i e l d , equipped with i t s empirical perspectives and a s p e c i a l i s t language of debate, the p r i m i t i v e had become a r a p i d l y fading r e a l i t y . Long a f t e r A f r i c a had surrendered up i t s darkest mysteries to the various imperialisms of Europe, the uncertain i n t e r i o r of the i s l a n d of New Guinea remained, s t i l l , as Souter (1974) e n t i t l e s h i s book, the Last Unknown, a geographical and a conceptual t e r r a incognita, a f i n a l r e s e r v o i r of what Rousseau c a l l s "the almost imperceptible stages of man's beginnings" (cf. Levi-Strauss 1977 : 275-358, and Carpenter 1976 : 105). 3. Future New Guinea : Quo Vadis? So how, a f t e r a l l , have anthropologists broadly perceived the issues with respect to people l i k e the Siane? I t i s perhaps the f a c t of change that has forced i t s way into the foreground of attention. The meeting of cultures, when f i n a l l y i t came to New Guinea, brought changes that have been remarkably compressed i n time and unequally d i s t r i b u t e d . Colonization bestowed confused benefits - a ce n t r a l i z e d administration that evanesces among myriads of mountain pathways and jungle t r a i l s ; a parliament and "due process" of law to replace vendetta and sorcery; i n t e r n a t i o n a l - 8 -bus iness where before money meant b i r d - o f - p a r a d i s e plumes and dog ' s t e e t h ; a u n i v e r s i t y f o r a people on ly beg inn ing t o read and w r i t e ; commerce and i n d u s t r y and a f o r e t a s t e o f u rban ized l i v i n g ; a f l a g t o c e l e b r a t e a l i t t l e comprehended new-nat ion s t a t u s ; and the g e n t i l i t y o f c r i c k e t as a sur roga te f o r i n t e r - t r i b a l warfare and c a n n i b a l i s m . In t h i s c o n t e x t , Cargo movements, those b i z a r r e , e p i s o d i c and outwardly unproduct ive d i s r u p t i o n s o f the "normal" f a b r i c o f n a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s , have become the s i n g u l a r ha l lmark o f change i n New Guinea , and a symptom o f an emerging new o r d e r . Lawrence fo rmula tes a thought about whether, and i n what form, the o l d c u l t u r e s can cont inue i n the coming e r a : . . . the ques t i on w i l l be whether these / change^ / must t r ans form Papua New Guineans i n t o ye t another v e r s i o n o f t w e n t i e t h century i n d u s t r i a l man o r whether Papua New Guineans w i l l stamp the / c h a n g e s / w i t h t h e i r own i d i o s y n c r a t i c n e s c i o q u i d . ' (Lawrence 1977 '• x i v ) S a l i s b u r y (1962 : 2) i s cau t ious about advancing g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the Siane are a unique example o f a u n i d i m e n s i o n a l t e c h n o l o g -i c a l cause a c t i n g upon a compara t ive ly u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d l e v e l o f system, and he a f f i r m s the va lue o f e x t r a p o l a t i n g t o s i t u a t i o n s o c c u r r i n g elsewhere i n New Guinea o r i n the wor ld at l a r g e , where change may be a f a r more com-p l e x and v a r i e g a t e d phenomenon, but where t e c h n o l o g i c a l change w i l l almost i n v a r i a b l y be i n c l u d e d as one component. However, the r eve r se process t o t h i s - the more i n s i d i o u s because more o f t e n than not i t goes unno t i ced -i s t o p r e j u d i c e the s i m p l i c i t y o f something l i k e the Siane s tudy w i t h p r e -concept ions drawn from d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t s . A c r i t i c i s m Belshaw (1955 : v , 8 ) v o i c e s i s t ha t i n s p i t e of an i n c r e a s i n g l y b e t t e r unders tanding o f the r e l a t i o n s between s o c i a l , t e c h n i c a l , c u l t u r a l and economic change, the - 9 -tendency i s s t i l l , t a c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y , for writers to take one of the most basic questions as already answered. This i s the presumption that backward peoples are evolving, and wish to evolve, i n v i r t u e of a s s i m i l a t -ing c e r t a i n fundamental Western techniques and points of view which are of such revolutionary nature as of necessity w i l l a l t e r the e n t i r e t i s s u e of native l i f e , to a state of society which'mirrors the e s s e n t i a l s of a f a m i l i a r Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . The "remaindered" elements of the old culture - a few traces i n language, music, architecture, art - are of no further consequence. It has to be said that Lawrence i s one of such w r i t e r s , r a i s i n g h i s question about the native nescio quid r e a l l y - o n l y to beg i t . He states (cf. Lawrence 1977 : x i i i - x i v ) h i s agreement with Worsley that the general outlines of native destiny i n Papua New Guinea are already s e t t l e d by the p r a c t i c a l s e c u l a r i z i n g development underway - the sort of thing implied i n the introduction of cash crops, trucking businesses, trade stores, market exchange, modern tools and productive techniques, l o c a l government councils. These, he holds, w i l l work cumulatively to superannuate the basic attitudes and epistemie p r i n c i p l e s presently upholding the coherence of the t r a d i t i o n a l pattern of r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men i n society, and between man and nature. He d i f f e r s from Worsley only i n the matter' of a time scale. Worsley sees t h i s a l l as taking place i n the near future, while Lawrence considers that i t w i l l be only a gradual consequence of development. Though at one point Lawrence declares h i s opposition to the .... timid conservative opinion that people's stated b e l i e f s have no instrumental r o l e i n t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s and do nothing more than symbolize t h e i r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s or subconscious ... (op. c i t . x i i ) -10-McSwain (1977 : xv) detects the hidden element i n h i s thinking. According to her a p p r a i s a l , Lawrence's approach comports with the generalized Marxist formula: that an i n t e l l e c t u a l system i s to be viewed as part of a super-structure, dependent on an underlying substructure of the productive economy, which i s the r e a l motive force i n a society. Thus as the sub-structure changes, so may i t be expected - with due allowance made for time lags - that the i n t e l l e c t u a l system must accommodate i t s e l f accordingly. In defence of h i s a p p l i c a t i o n of t h i s formula to New Guinea, Lawrence c i t e s the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n f l i c t of seventeenth century Europe, which resolved i t s e l f i n the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution, and the eventual ascendancy of secular science and technology. In the l i g h t of such a cogent h i s t o r i c a l precedent, the ferment of symbolism and s o c i a l order betrayed i n the t y p i c a l Cargo c u l t can only be taken as evidence of the i n -compatibility of the indigenous thought-world with i t s machine-age usurper, and the sign that the processes of change are operating inexorably, as Lawrence and Worsley have foreseen. 4. A Comparison: Japan and the "Westernization" of a T r a d i t i o n a l Society On the face of i t , Japan ought to furnish a spectacular and more recent v i n d i c a t i o n of Lawrence's t h e s i s , having undergone, e s p e c i a l l y since the end of the War, a massive onslaught of Western i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l influences. However, th i s i s not how Nakane in t e r p r e t s her own cu l t u r e . She explains her reasons for r e j e c t i n g what has become almost an orthodoxy on the subject. Her words echo Belshaw on taking the basic questions for granted: Most of the modern s o c i o l o g i c a l studies of contemporary Japan have been concerned p r i m a r i l y with i t s changing -11-aspects, pointing to the ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' and 'modern' elements as representing d i f f e r e n t or opposing q u a l i -t i e s . .... i t i s t h e i r thesis that any phenomena which seem pec u l i a r to Japan, not having been found i n Western society, can be l a b e l l e d as 'feudal' or 'pre-modern' elements, and are to be regarded as contra-d i c t o r y or obtrusive to modernization. Underneath such views, i t seems that there lurks a kind of c o r r e l a t i v e and s y l l o g i s t i c view of s o c i a l evolution: when i t i s completely modernized Japanese society w i l l or should become the same as that of the West. The proponents of such views are interested either i n up-rooting feudal elements or i n discovering and noting modern elements which are comparable to those of the West. (Nakane 1974 : xix) There are signs of a change, though. As McSwain (1977 : xv) summarizes i t , the most recent work on the topic of modernization has tended to reverse the emphasis, i f anything revealing the l i m i t e d e f f e c t s of European contact on fundamental aspects of s o c i e t i e s i n New Guinea and elsewhere. Lawrence would agree that nothing i n Papua New Guinea's c o l o n i a l experience can approach the scale of enforced s o c i a l d i s r u p t i o n produced by the Enclosure Acts and Poor Laws preliminary to the i n d u s t r i a l -i z a t i o n of England (cf. Tawney 1961 and ^Hobsbawm 1979). Where r a d i c a l change has not been a r u t h l e s s l y imposed p o l i c y objective, then he, too, has had to concede that not even the commercial l e v i a t h i a n s l i k e Bougainville copper, the Ramu hy d r o e l e c t r i c scheme, or the projected P u r a r i i n d u s t r i a l complex, can be taken as guaranteeing the e f f e c t s he pre-d i c t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they are manned by l i m i t e d s k i l l e d workforces and ordinary v i l l a g e r s are not personally involved (cf. Lawrence 1977 : x - x i v ) . In f a c t , Lawrence's concession might need to go much further than that. The point to take from Nakane's analysis i s not simply that the -12-wholesale way i n which Japan took over the material bases of Western culture i s not i n i t s e l f automatic proof of the d e r e l i c t i o n of. i t s e a r l i e r "pre-modern" feudal s o c i a l format. C e r t a i n l y i t i s one part of her argu-ment that there have been c o n t i n u i t i e s of a s t r u c t u r a l order, regardless of the overt changes i n organization: her analogy i s of a language which retains i t s grammatical p r i n c i p l e s i n s p i t e of a heavy overlay of borrowed vocabulary. But the more r a d i c a l point she makes i s that i t i s p r e c i s e l y the continuity of c e r t a i n feudal i n s t i t u t i o n a l values which has supplied the r e a l motive force behind Japan's so-called "Westernization" (Nakane 1974 : xix-xx, 154). This i s an i n s i g h t into the processes of s o c i a l change which, mutatis mutandis, may also be applicable to New Guinea. I t i s indeed McSwain's contention that on the evidence, the pattern of " i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l " development i n New Guinea i s proceeding along pathways ordained by j u s t those t r a d i t i o n a l axioms of b e l i e f which development was presumed to supplant. Lawrence (1977 : x i - x i i ) has also commented on the number of independent witnesses who a t t e s t to the importance which r e l i g i o u s thought has i n the nature of t h i s regional epistemological system. What i s meant i s that i n p r a c t i c e the developments which Europeans bring are pointless unless they are equated with comparable aspects i n the native culture and, i n t h i s way, linked to community moral and p o l i t i c a l values. In short, they are absorbed into t h e i r own conceived cosmic order, with one r e s u l t being that "Cargoism" seems able to coexist with quite some degree of socio-economic development, rather than being d e f i n i t i v e l y excluded by i t . -13-Linear Change, Progress, Materialism; The Western World-View Two c r u c i a l questions emerge at t h i s juncture. The f i r s t i s why i s there the inveterate s e l e c t i v i t y - indicated v a r i o u s l y by.Belshaw, Nakane and McSwain - whereby writers seize on the ex t e r i o r elements of change as the things of immediate s i g n i f i c a n c e as i f they are the i r r e f r a g a b l e proof that something c a l l e d "progress" i s underway, and with the e f f e c t of placing what i s " t r a d i t i o n a l " or "pre-modern" into an opposed category of a la r g e l y negative valuation? Secondly, and following on from t h i s , what i s the basis by which an " i n f r a s t r u c t u r e " gets selected out and accorded pre-potency i n the movement towards t h i s q u a l i t a t i v e change? The perpl e x i t y here i s induced e s p e c i a l l y by Lawrence's Marxist commitment, and i t concerns the deeper nature of the appeal of the many s c i e n t i f i c variants of determin-ism, p a r t i c u l a r l y since determinisms are generally understood to contain their'conclusions within the problem. An approach' to these problems can begin by reaching back to the comparison which was said to be at the heart of the conception of the pr i m i t -i v e , that d i a l e c t i c a l interchange between the way c i v i l i z a t i o n sees i t s e l f and the way i t images i t s opposite. I t i s often said that Western man has a l i n e a l cast of thought, a l i n e a l idea, as Diamond (1963 : v) phrases i t , which d i f f e r s profoundly from the pr i m i t i v e ' s perception of time and process as an endlessly c y c l i c a l r e c i t a t i o n of sacred meanings. And p r e c i s e l y because, i n the Western view, the sacred order i s not compresent with the temporal, so, uniquely, does the Idea of progress as an abstraction begin to make sense. The two notions, progress and l i n e a l i t y , converge i n a prophetic i d e a l of s o c i a l progress : the missionizing element which so often i n the - 1 4 -past has afforded the moral j u s t i f i c a t i o n for colonialism. But there i s an ambivalence. L i n e a l h i s t o r y implies a succession of unrepeatable, d i s -s i m i l a r states of a f f a i r s , and i t i s t h i s experience of perpetual fragment-ation that impels Western man to search for'a greater good. Ceaseless change i s productive of constant uncertainty of being, yet i t i s , by the same token, mysterious and deeply a t t r a c t i v e . For only by change w i l l he become what he i s not now, overcome the imperfections of the present to a t t a i n the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of his being. The s i t u a t i o n profoundly a f f e c t s the perception of the p r i m i t i v e : for having transcended the s t a s i s of the p r i m i t i v e condition, Western man can only envy a l o s t sense of wholeness. Diamond comments: Pr i m i t i v e society may be regarded as a system i n equi-librium, spinning k a l e i d o s c o p i c a l l y on i t s axis, but at a r e l a t i v e l y f ixed point. C i v i l i z a t i o n may be r e -garded as a system i n i n t e r n a l d i sequilibrium; technol-ogy or s o c i a l organization are always out of j o i n t with each other - that i s what propels the system along a given track. Our sense of movement, of incompleteness contributes to the idea of progress. Hence, the idea of progress i s generic to c i v i l i z a t i o n . And our idea of p r i m i t i v e society as e x i s t i n g i n a state of dynamic equilibrium and as expressive of human and natural rhythms i s a l o g i c a l p r o j e c t i o n of c i v i l i z e d s o c i e t i e s , i n opposition to the l a t t e r ' s actual state. But i t also coincides with the r e a l h i s t o r i c a l condition of p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s . The longing for a p r i m i t i v e mode of existence i s no mere fantasy or sentimental whim; i t i s consonant with fundamental human needs, the f u l f i l l m e n t of which (although i n d i f f e r e n t form) i s , as we have discovered i n the milieus of c i v i l i z a t i o n , a precondition for our more elaborate l i v e s . (Op. c i t . ix-x. Emphasis i n the o r i g i n a l ) If change i s venerated for i t s representation of open-ended p o t e n t i a l i t y , why then do so many Western thinkers pass, inconstantly, to a passion for determinism, p a r t i c u l a r l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c determinism, which -15-would appear only to foreclose on the d i r e c t i o n s that h i s t o r i c a l change might take? The axe provides the i n i t i a l clue. Tools are of course an immediate and basic point of reference i n the comparison of a l l s o c i e t i e s , p r i m i t i v e or modern. Tools are ubiquitous. In some form the factor of technology everywhere sustains s o c i a l l i f e , and without which humankind as i t has developed i n i t s d i v e r s i t y would not survive. Tools are the palpable mediation between the human and non-human worlds, providing the material goods that s a t i s f y the demands of l i v i n g . They appear therefore as the core of any economic system. But beyond the general l e v e l , the s i m i l a r i t i e s between s o c i e t i e s on the score of technology comes to an end. Even the ostensibly elementary case of the t r a n s i t i o n from stone to s t e e l axes implies contrasts that are more a matter of kind than of degree. For modern machines have such an immense power to shape and to fashion, an action that i s awesome and pervasive. C l e a r l y i t i s only through the mastery of a complex technology that the quantum leap from a p r i m i t i v e to a c i v i l -ized condition becomes remotely pos s i b l e . As Diamond has indicated, the s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and urbane s a t i s f a c t i o n s of a developed d i v i s i o n of labour r e l y upon the s t a b i l i t y of the state; and Mair (1964 : 225), speaking of the p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of state formation, comments that the possession of a complex technology i s what enables a modern state to c o n t r o l , and to a large extent organize, the l i v e s of populations of many m i l l i o n s . In a deeper c u l t u r a l sense, too, machines form an i n t r i n s i c part of the l i n e a l and dynamic s p i r i t of Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . They are i t s metaphors of process and c a u s a l i t y , and a harbinger of the future. For they -16-have become the primary v e h i c l e f o r that compulsive s t r i v i n g toward a projected i d e a l world. This i s s a l v a t i o n understood as e s s e n t i a l l y s e l f -made. In the demythologised view of natural processes, technology i s a t h i s - w o r l d l y agency. I t vindicates the exercise of man's own reason, and proves i t s resourcefulness, i n the very act of extending, almost i n d e f i n i t e l y , h i s c o n t r o l over h i s environment. Gods and demons and magical e f f i c a c y , whatever t h e i r symbolic power to convey "natural rhythms" and "dynamic equilibrium" to the p r i m i t i v e mind, are seen u l t i -mately as a form of s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n , an impediment to the f u l l e s t expres-s i o n of human capacity. Here, however, there i s a t e r r i b l e irony. Machines perform with a seemingly unstoppable momentum of t h e i r own, to the extent that Western man's cont r o l of h i s own instruments has become a subtle dependency, with technology d i c t a t i n g i t s own terms of use. In t h i s are found the e x i s t -e n t i a l roots of the d e t e r m i n i s t i c and m a t e r i a l i s t i c view of h i s t o r y : In machine-based s o c i e t i e s , the machine has incorporated the demands of the c i v i l power or of the market, and the whole l i f e of s o c i e t y , of a l l classes and grades, must adjust to i t s rhythms. Time becomes l i n e a l , s e c u l a r i z e d "precious"; i t i s reduced to an extension i n space that must be f i l l e d up, and sacred time disappears. The secretary must adjust to the speed of her e l e c t r i c type-write r ... the f a c t o r y worker to the l i n e or lathe; the executive to the schedule of the t r a i n or plane and the p r a c t i c a l l y instantaneous transmission of the telephone ... even the schoolboy to the precise p e r i o d i z a t i o n of hi s day and to the watch on h i s w r i s t j the person "at l e i s u r e " to a mechanized domestic environment and the flow of e f f i c i e n t l y scheduled entertainment. ... Even now, so f a i t h f u l and exact are the machines as servants that they seem an a l i e n f o r c e , persuading us at every turn to f u l f i l l our intentions which we have b u i l t i n t o them and which they represent - i n much the same way that the perfect body servant r o u t i n i z e s and, f i n a l l y , t r i v i a l i z e s h i s master/ (Diamond 1963 : v i i i - i x ) -17-Of such things, Diamond adds, a c t u a l or possible, p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s have no conception. Their r e l i a n c e upon the slender resources of p r i m i t i v e technology i s of a very d i f f e r e n t q u a l i t y , and of t h i s , conversely, Western c i v i l i z a t i o n can have l i t t l e basis f o r empathy so long as i t h a b i t u a l l y projects onto the world a p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n that encloses man - a l l men - within a kind of metaphysical s e l f - p o r t r a i t . 6. Society as a Mechanical System or a Moral Order? Pos s i b l y the baldest statement of the mechanical world-view wit h i n the domain of anthropology i s to be found i n the work of L e s l i e White ( c f . 1964 : 26-43, 406-426). White's perspective i s l i n e a l and developmental, with i t s s t a r t i n g point i n the proposition that energy i s the basic and u n i v e r s a l concept of science. A l l l i f e i s a struggle f o r f r e e energy; the degree of organization i n any material system i s pro-p o r t i o n a l to the amount of energy incorporated i n i t , and the evolution of l i f e i s the ascendancy of negative entropy. By extension, culture -which by White's d e f i n i t i o n i s i n essence an arrangement of things i n motion, a process of energy transformations - advances as the amount of non-human energy harnessed and put to work to the attainment of a c u l t u r a l product increases i n proportion to the human energy used. Such use of energy requires t e c h n o l o g i c a l apparatus, and White extends the term " t o o l s " to cover a l l the material means with which energy i s harnessed, transformed and expended. As the e s s e n t i a l f a c t o r i n the interchange between man and a sustaining environment, there i s reason to connect an advance i n the r a t e of energy conversion, brought about by a s p e c i f i c technology, with greater complexities at other l e v e l s of s o c i e t y . White i s quite e x p l i c i t -18-about this (cf. op. c i t . 419, 422). With concessions to the "inertia" of social institutions to change, -he maintains that evolution towards larger p o l i t i c a l units i s at bottom a technological a f f a i r . More sweep-ing s t i l l i s his belief that the phenomenological texture of l i f e - what might broadly be called i t s cultural tenor or style - i s a dependency, a "philosophic reflex" responding to a more fundamental condition of being. "This means," explains White (op. c i t . 42l), "that as the tech-nological structuring of experience changes, the philosophic expressions of experience w i l l change." Salisbury (1968 : 484) disapproves of White's scheme as i t stands, calling i t "unidimensional" and "too simplistic". But he sees the possibility of i t s improvement through models i n which levels of technology and organizational variables are "given quantitative forms, visualized as forms of entropy". Others - Marvin Harris, for one, though in fact he claims inspiration less from White than from Julian Steward, who w i l l be discussed i n a moment - have proposed that the relative productivity of the subsistence system should be the focus. The idea i s that by devising a coefficient relating the number of calories ex-pended i n food production to the number of calories produced, there i s at once a precisely calibrated standard for tabulating the variations of organizational sophistication across a range of different cultures (cf. Lomax and Arensberg 1977 ' 660). However, these details of method - calories and quantifica-tion - are hardly the issue. The status of the whole approach i s doubtful. Within the logic handed down by White, something with the -19-hidden complexities of the Cargo phenomenon cannot be s e n s i t i v e l y portrayed. "... f o r a l l the hubris evident i n Cargo c u l t s , " says Burridge (i960 : xxi) i n a leading passage, "there i s an underlying d i g n i t y , a bedrock of honest endeavour r e v e a l i n g the moral i n man." The point i s that however much mechanics furnishes Westerners with a commonplace idiom and i d e a l of progress, as a metaphor f o r s o c i e t y i t i s badly misleading. R e d f i e l d had to r e s o r t to a d i s t i n c t i o n between the t e c h n i c a l and the moral order i n community l i f e i n order to achieve h i s synthetic work, The P r i m i t i v e World and I t s Transformations ( c f . S t e i n 1963 : 194-195). Evans-Pritchard (1962) i s e s p e c i a l l y emphatic that s o c i a l a n alysis eschews clockwork c a u s a l i t y i n favour of a method of h i s t o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i v e i n t e g r a t i o n . The perspective associates s o c i a l anthropology with the humanities, rather than with the exact or natural sciences ( c f . also Herskovits 1964 : 436-43?)# The force of t h i s r e v i s i o n can best be demonstrated i n r e l a t i o n t o J u l i a n Steward, whose work on " c u l t u r a l ecology" i s perhaps the most sop h i s t i c a t e d and l a s t i n g achievement of the m a t e r i a l i s t t r a d i t i o n i n anthropology. The question to pose i s : What makes the New Guinean such an able gardener? By the c u l t u r a l ecology approach, i t i s h i s axe that i s the obvious answer. By the a l t e r n a t i v e argument, i t i s h i s magic. Thi s needs to be explained. 7 . Magic and Machines: Factors of Production C u l t u r a l ecology assumes the notion of a "core" of v i t a l c u l t u r a l features, having to do with the subsistence a c t i v i t i e s and r e l a t e d economic -20-arrangements i n a s o c i e t y . E c o l o g y , i n t h i s c o n t e x t , means "adap t ion t o environment" . S ince the t ime o f Darwin the environment has been con-c e i v e d as the t o t a l web of l i f e , p l a n t and an imal spec ies i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h one another and w i t h the p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f a p a r t i c u l a r u n i t o f t e r r i t o r y . So the e f f e c t o f a p p l y i n g the concept o f eco logy i n r e l a t i o n t o human beings i s t o get away from s imple d ichotomies by p o r t r a y -i n g s o c i a l processes as the working o f a complex system, i n which the v a r i o u s and d i v e r s e elements o f o r g a n i z a t i o n a r t i c u l a t e w i t h each o the r , and w i t h the main resources o f a s p e c i f i c h a b i t a t . Qua system, there a re pe rvas ive p r o p e r t i e s t o be i d e n t i f i e d - e m p i r i c a l l y , a c c o r d i n g t o the v a r i e t y o f adap t ive c i rcumstances ; and very d i f f e r e n t mechanisms can be found r e g u l a t i n g the i n t e g r a t i o n o f f u n c t i o n s . But above a l l , Steward understands the e f f e c t o f envi ronmenta l adapt ions upon the c u l t u r a l system t o exer t not j u s t a pe rmis s ive and l i m i t i n g i n f l u e n c e , but as c o n s t i t u t i n g a c r e a t i v e and causa t ive p roces s . Hence a key e x p l o i t a t i v e technology -which i n a s o c i e t y l i k e S iane can be something as s imple as the axe -because i t mediates the demands o f a s p e c i f i c environment, i s thought t o e n t a i l a dependent p a t t e r n o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Up t o t h i s p o i n t there i s cons ide rab l e mer i t t o be d e r i v e d from t h i s approach, wh ich , i t i s t o be 'noted, i s recommended h e u r i s t i c a l l y , as a way o f g a i n i n g i n s i g h t i n t o the o r i g i n o f p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l con-s t e l l a t i o n s o c c u r r i n g i n d i f f e r e n t a r ea s . I t i s not in tended t o have the s t a t u s o f a g e n e r a l i s i n g theory p u r p o r t i n g t o e x p l a i n a l l c u l t u r a l -env i ronmenta l s i t u a t i o n s ( c f . Steward 1964 : 431). S teward ' s next move, however, i s indeed o b j e c t i o n a b l e . Those aspects o f s o c i e t y not immediate ly -21-w i t h i n the s o - c a l l e d core - the b e l i e f system, ceremony, c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , a r t and o ther elements - he g ives a s u b s i d i a r y or "secondary" c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . T h i s i s because, be ing l e s s d i r e c t l y connected t o the i m p u l s i o n o f environment, they are more s u s c e p t i b l e t o the v a g a r i e s and a c c i d e n t s o f random i n n o v a t i o n and d i f f u s i o n . By t h i s he means t o r eve r se t he orthodox view t ha t h i s t o r y , r a t h e r than the adap t ive p roces s , e x p l a i n s c u l t u r e , environment be ing r e l e g a t e d t o a p u r e l y secondary and pass ive r o l e (Steward op. c i t . 430). I n c o n s i s t e n t l y w i t h h i s d i s a v o w a l o f sweep-i n g t h e o r y , he b o l d l y main ta ins t h a t " . . . over the m i l l e n n i a c u l t u r e s i n d i f f e r e n t environments have changed t remendously, and these changes are b a s i c a l l y t r a c e a b l e t o new adapt ions r e q u i r e d by changing technology and p r o d u c t i v e arrangements" ( i n Geer tz 1974) . I n o ther words, S teward ' s f o r m u l a t i o n of a c u l t u r a l c o r e , w i t h i t s secondary appendages, not o n l y r e i t e r a t e s the crude d icho tomies he i n i t i a l l y se t out t o e l i m i n a t e , i t a l s o s imply s e t t l e s ab i n i t i o what shou ld be an e m p i r i c a l mat te r : namely, what p a r t i c u l a r f ea tu res i n the system have p layed the d e c i s i v e pa r t i n shap ing and t r ans fo rming a s o c i e t y throughout i t s h i s t o r y . Geer t z r e g i s t e r s t h i s same c r i t i c i s m : There i s no a p r i o r i reason why the adap t ive r e a l i t i e s a g i v e n s o c i o - c u l t u r a l system faces have g r ea t e r o r l e s s e r c o n t r o l over i t s g e n e r a l p a t t e r n o f development than v a r i o u s o ther r e a l i t i e s w i t h which i t i s a l s o faced . . . /This/ i s something de termined, i f a t a l l , a t the end o f enqu i ry not a t the beg inn ing o f i t . And as p o l i t i c a l , s t r a t i f i c a t o r y , commercial and i n t e l l e c t u a l developments a t l e a s t seem to have ac ted as important o r d e r i n g processes . . . the f i n a l awarding o f prepotency to e c o l o g i c a l developments seems no more l i k e l y than t ha t they w i l l t u r n out t o be i n c o n -s e q u e n t i a l , • (1974 : 11) - 2 2 -These e x p r e s s i o n s , " c u l t u r a l eco logy" and "adap t ive r e a l i t i e s " , which Steward has made common c o i n i n an thropology , r a i s e a b a s i c ques-t i o n : What does c o n s t i t u t e the "environment" o f S iane? Indeed the word environment i s not a t a l l Darwin ian i n concept when a p p l i e d t o human phenomena: The environment as we know i t i s not a n a t u r a l g i v e n ; i t i s i n v e r y l a r g e measure a man-made a r t i f a c t . What i t l ooks l i k e and the ope ra t i on o f i t s ecosystems are man- inf luenced . . . a r e s u l t o f man's a e s t h e t i c , moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l judgement (Belshaw 1976 : 334) The i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h i s become more apparent as one ques t ions how the n a t i v e might themselves conceive o f t h e i r t echnology and r e l a t e i t t o the p r a c t i c a l t a sks of l i v i n g . I t i s improbable' t ha t any s u b s i s t -ence c u l t u r e l i v i n g i n c l o s e interdependence w i t h na tu r e , would not have formed some c o l l e c t i v e judgment about the importance o f i t s p a r t i c u l a r s e t o f subs i s t ence equipment. A good example are the F i p a o f sou th -western Tanzan i a , who are s o p h i s t i c a t e d i ronworkers and producers o f implements as w e l l as a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s . Roy W i l l i s (1975 : 49) r eco rds t h a t t h e i r b a s i c mythology t e l l s o f a d r a g o n - l i k e anti-human c rea tu re a p p o s i t e l y named S imwi , " Indeterminate Thingness" or "Chaos", which tormented the l i v e s o f the f i r s t men on e a r t h u n t i l e v e n t u a l l y s l a i n by M t a n j i , " the Toolmaker" - a c u l t u r e hero who i s s a i d t o have f i r s t shown men how t o c u l t i v a t e , make hoes and b u i l d t r a p s . I t w i l l be seen ( v i d e I I I : 4) t h a t i n S i a n e , t o o , the axe i s something o f a master symbol o f s o c i a l order - but not because they themselves pe rce ive i t s r e l evance e n t i r e l y i n terms o f i t s v i t a l c o n t r i b u t i o n t o a "core" o f subs i s t ence gardening a c t i v i t i e s . Ra the r , i n t h e i r approach t o p r o d u c t i o n , magic -23-i s by far the more decisive resource. Thurnwald (1967 : 243) notes that i n New Guinea the influence of magical and religious ideas upon economic enterprise i s considerable and ubiquitous. A commonly held opinion regarding this fact White elevates to the status of an explanation: Supernaturalism flourishes best where man's control over his relations with the external world, with the realm outside his own ego, i s least, and this control i s exercised and expressed i n materialist, mechanical, physical and chemical - i.e. technological - terms ... In the course of cultural development, as control has increased, supernaturalism has waned.' (1964 : 420) It i s quickly realized that this kind of explanation misses the point. Belshaw (1955 ' 5 -6) for instance, notes of Wagawaga, a Southern Massim village, that magical practices were s t i l l active, but at the same time, i t does not seem true of this society that beliefs of a magical or supernatural nature prevent the acceptance of new forms of technology. In that case, what Is the point of magic; and does i t have any factual assoc-iation with good gardening? Magical efficacy makes sense within a particular view of the world. In the phenomenology of work:, as McSwain (1977 * 28) elaborates, natives accept that their knowledge divides into two kinds. They have their technical knowledge normally having to do with act i v i t i e s like hunt-ing, gardening, fishing; and they have r i t u a l which i s the especial means of communication between men and the deities, whoi i n the f i n a l analysis, are the authors of the material values for which men labour. Both forms of knowledge are gifts from the gods, and both, together, are necessary -24-i n every undertaking. For i f , by the native ontology, there i s this sacred quality residing in the.order of things, i t i s only by r i t u a l that human endeavour can be brought into the proper relation with the ultimate source of a l l power. No matters of process, especially those involving transformations from one state to another, can thus avoid mystical connotations. As Burridge (i960 : 199) describes, tradition-a l l y a tree-trunk was not simply fashioned into a slit-gong: i t could only become such after r i t u a l treatment. The very language of work im-plies active mystical intervention. This last comment leads right to the heart of the matter. For what happens when things go wrong while gardening? The natives do not question their tools and techniques of gardening, Burridge (op. c i t . 223-224, 273) goes on to say. It i s obvious to them that these are not i n any doubt because they are known, or firmly believed, to have worked i n the past. In fact, the fault i s not sought in "natural" causality at a l l , i t i s l a i d in a mystical context, either i n the r i t e , or par t i -cularly in the way a man has thought or behaved i n relation to others. But why turninwards on occasions like these and examine the state of the moral order? What i s the nature of this supernaturalism, this notion that the universe i s apparently able to make discerning judgements on the moral quality of human relations and to act retributively to restore the balance. The rationality of such beliefs i s beside the point. It i s mistaken to treat ideas such as sorcery, witchcraft, taboo or magic as aspects of philosophies, or as systematically worked out at a l l , Mary Douglas (1970 : 108) has argued. Their relevance i s sociological: -25-They are not just l i n k e d to i n s t i t u t i o n s , as Evans-P r i t c h a r d put i t , t u t they are i n s t i t u t i o n s -every t i t as much as habeas corpus or Hallow-e'en. They are a l l compounded part of b e l i e f and part of p r a c t i c e . They would not have been recorded i n the ethnography i f there were no pra c t i c e s attached to them. ( i b i d . ) They occur p r e c i s e l y because of the weaknesses inherent i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i a l organization, as part of the apparatus f o r r e g u l a t i n g and motivating people's behaviour. This connection between magic and s o c i a l c o n t r o l i s corroborated by the i n t e r e s t i n g suggestion i n Belshaw (1955 : 5 _6) that natives i n Southern Massim, caught up i n unresolvable s o c i a l tensions brought about by the forces of change, are themselves prone to dramatize t h e i r present anxieties against a n o s t a l g i a f o r "the ol d days, when the gardens were good, because i t was r i g h t to use charms" - that i s , f o r the time when the magical notions now discouraged i n the c o l o n i a l context, held f u l l sway over men's minds and moderated t h e i r actions. Douglas again states the implications: Like other i n s t i t u t i o n s they are both r e s i s t a n t to change and s e n s i t i v e to strong pressure. Individuals can change them by neglect or by taking an i n t e r e s t . (1970 : 108) What i s not emphasised i n Douglas' argument i s that even when magical notions are not subject to change, i n d i v i d u a l s manipulate them. Sal i s b u r y (1962 : 53) scarcely broaches the t o p i c of magic i n Siane, but even the l i t t l e information he does give immediately a l e r t s a t t e n t i o n to t h i s p o l i t i c a l dimension. Magic, he says, i s often commissioned by one cla n from another, sorcery follows the l i n e s of s t r u c t u r a l cleavage. In other words, i t works i n the i n t e r c l a n context which, f o r reasons that -26-w i l l become clear' later, i s invariably the theatre of big power. Hence when one gleans from McSwain (1977 : 28) and Uberoi (1971 : 29, 43) that an individual obtains his magical spells and esoteric ri t u a l s by purchasing them, like commodities, on the inter-clan prestige exchanges, i t seems a safe conjecture that the spells known to be most effective go to the most powerful buyers. It i s now clear what the difference i s between a good gardener and one who habitually brings in less than optimum results. A man with awesome magic i s manifestly a man with authority, someone whose advice i s influential and who can be depended upon to achieve his aim, whose capacity to organize productive abundances out of the ecological niche with which his community has to be content resides i n his power to command the services of others. Quite simply, magic i s a force to be reckoned with i n these societies, because i s i s touched by re a l or p o l i t i c a l power. If magic arises i n the absence of suitable tech-nological alternatives, this i s not as White erroneously supposes due to the primitive's efforts to extend his control over nature; rather, i t extends his control over other men. 8. Primitive Thought-Worlds The effect of this consideration of magic i s to redirect the issue of primitiveness away from the popular criterion of technology, so that i t has become a question about social relationships. It i s not the relation of man to nature that counts so much as the relation of man to man, and here at last "primitiveness" can be interpreted i n terms which specify i t as a matter of cultural condition. - 2 7 -For the r e l a t i o n of man to man i s e s s e n t i a l l y an exchange of meanings. Shared ideas are the supposition of any form or degree of c o l l e c t i v e existence: a man's ideas about the world i n which he f i n d s himself are given to him p r i m a r i l y i n the concepts of h i s language. Words and symbols are a means by which a c t i o n i s f i t t e d i n t o wider systems of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , of meaning and r o l e s , says Kapferer (1976 : l l ) . Language i s man's basic "environment". This i s a view which, as Mary Douglas (1975 : x v i i i ) says, r a d i c a l i s e s Durkheim, abdicating a l l sugges-t i o n s of epiphenomenalism f o r a theory of knowledge i n which the mind i s admitted to be a c t i v e l y creating i t s universe. I f , i n t h i s manner, "ideas are disembodied a r t i f a c t s " (Belshaw 1976 : 156)» so then must technology be seen as a p u b l i c meaning system, every t o o l a symbol of abstract thinking ( c f . Diamond 1963 b : 186). Language i s implied i n the very p o s s i b i l i t y of i d e n t i f y i n g the axe -f o r instance - as an object i n the world., i n learning the techniques of i t s use, discussing various ways of improving i t s function, knowing what counts as making a mistake, i n c u l c a t i n g standards of good work, g i v i n g reasons, c r i t i c i s i n g . By the systematising properties of language, the idea of the axe interweaves with a complex tapestry of other ideas and actions to make possible a p a r t i c u l a r organization of economic p r a x i s . This process of accretion by which ideas become the i n s t i t u t i o n a l world within which people l i v e out t h e i r l i v e s , also contains i t s own l i m i t a t i o n s , as I l l i c h warns: So pervasive i s the power of the i n s t i t u t i o n s we have created that they shape not only our preferences, but a c t u a l l y our sense of p o s s i b i l i t i e s . (1976 : 358) -28-Since socio-cultural evolution i s generally held to have been a movement towards ever-increasing complexification and sel f -awareness, "modernization" can thus be connected with the conceptual potential encompassed within the properties of a meaning system: i t s capacity to absorb or generate newness and convey to i t s users a coherent response. However, as Mary Douglas argues, primitiveness by this criterion i s not the simple lack of elaborateness or of sheer complication of ideas, for primitive thought systems are frequently both. There i s only one kind of differentiation i n thought that is relevant, and that provides a criterion that we can apply equally to different cultures and to the history of our own s c i e n t i f i c ideas. That criterion i s based on the Kantian principle that thought can only advance by freeing i t s e l f from the shackles of i t s own subjective conditions. The f i r s t Gopernican revolution, the discovery that only man's subjective viewpoint made the sun seem to revolve round the earth, i s continually renewed. In our own culture mathematics f i r s t and later logic, now history, now language and now thought processes themselves and even knowledge of the self and of society, are f i e l d s of knowledge progressively freed from the subjective limitations of the mind. To the extent to which sociology, anthropology and psychology are possible i n i t , our own type of culture needs to be distinguished from others which lack this self-awareness and conscious reaching for objectivity. (Douglas 1970 : 96) 9. The Administration of Change White man him got no dreaming, Him go 'nother way. White man, him go different, Him got road belong himself. (Stanner 1964 : 289) With these words an old Australian Aboriginal man once expressed to Stanner the loss of dimension in the European's lack of mythology --29-the "Dreaming" which to the Aboriginal mind i s the repository of a l l truth and f i n a l i t y . The delivery, Stanner remarks, was with an unforget-table cadence and poignancy - in i t s way a reminder that the primitive, i n his usually enforced dealings with the so-called c i v i l i z i n g influences of Western society and economy i s often frequently affected by i t s con-stant assumption of materialism. To, read Oliver (196l) on New Guinea's early history i s certainly to be impressed by the extent to which black-birding, and the cupidity for gold, accounted for the most part of the early European a f f i n i t y for a swampy and malarial island. Nonie Sharp (1976), with an element of blame, represents the later colonial period as rankly exploitative imposition, in the context of which the Cargo Cult can be read as both a reaction to, and a symbol of administrative re-pression. Cargo movements have indeed, at times, had sinister p o l i t i c a l overtones, with o f f i c i a l retribution visited upon some of those involved. Yet Burridge (i960 : 140, 146) thinks that i t i s mistaken to regard the ac t i v i t i e s of the Europeans i n New Guinea as being the direct causes of Cargo movements. Rather, Europeans and the roles they play have been parts of a t o t a l p o l i t i c a l complex from which Cargo movements may emerge. He talks of a triangle of discrepant meanings formed by the inter-relationships of administrator, missionary, and native, a structure which implies a shifting play of power and not a sheer hierarchical dominion. Taking the transactional approach, the interface between native and colonial, black and white, and what has transpired or emerged i n recent history as a result of this interaction, draws attention to "the -30-negotiated properties of social order, and to the resources, means, and forums which persons may attempt to mobilize and realize i n order to further their interests of the moment" (Handleman 1976 : 224). The subject of magic and social control was an earlier indica-tion of the ramifying connection between-* power and"meaning. One might, on the inspiration of this, arrive at the particular conclusion that the most insidious aspect of imperialism i s the tyranny of men's minds. The colonial period i n New Guinea, however, i s remarkable not for the reason that i t built i t s achievements by some system of propaganda or un-principled manipulation, but because the course which events took was influenced by decisions made largely into an incredible void. Burridge (i960 : 128) says of the early days of contact i n Tangu that, especially with the kind of roles administrative officers were required to play, "to say that there were misunderstandings i s to imply the possibility of mutual comprehension: and of such there i s scarcely a shred of evidence." What often serves i n the place of mutual understanding i s an array of free-floating commentary and stereotyped opinion, dissemin-ated from the club barstool or i n the labour camps. Over time this generates attitudes which become an entrenched feature of the situation, predisposing the reactions of both white and black toward each other (cf. Rowley 1966; and Burridge i960 : 36)- Such ideas shape the local history in the pretence of interpreting i t . It i s a situation i n which professional advisors and academics incur a special onus, for inevitably scholarly notions and the assurances of theory come to i n f i l t r a t e the policy rationalizations of the administration. And apparently not even -31-a long exposure to the r e a l i t i e s of the f i e l d can be counted upon as a co r r e c t i v e f o r minds well-insulated by the many s u b t l e t i e s of i n t e l l e c t u a l self-defence. As Bro o k f i e l d (1973 ' 5) puts i t , where there i s a concern with theory, then a great deal of l o c a l or c u l t u r a l p a r t i c u l a r i t y becomes "noise" of various hues. It i s easy to be persuaded that Cargo e x i s t s as a problem of meaning f o r the native New Guinean: l e s s easy to accept that the problem i s mutual, defying Western assumptions i n ways not always recognized. To a European observer, Burridge (i960 : 224) s a y s . i t i s c l e a r that u n t i l natives make the transference i n t o the European idiom Cargo w i l l elude them, but natives are not placed to appreciate the point. T h e i r under-standing of Europeans, and things European, i s constrained by the way i n which they understand themselves and the world about them. "The same l i m i t s of understanding not only shape the questions they ask, but predi-cate the answers" (op. c i t . 253)• On the other hand, being the b e n e f i c i a r y of a greater freedom and detachment i n h i s mode of thought has not meant that the European understanding of Cargo has i t s e l f been without some begging of v i t a l ques-t i o n s . There i s that tendency to reductionism, on which view Cargo l i t e r a l l y or m a t e r i a l l y conceived, i s taken to be the aim or end of c u l t i c a c t i v i t y . At t h i s l e v e l , simple covetousness might be s a t i s f i e d by simple possession ( c f . op. c i t . 3 l ) « Or, where the prospects f o r developmental growth are the issue, the l o g i c which recommends i t s e l f i s that the native propensity f o r magic and millenarianism w i l l become otiose once he learns the t e c h n i c a l processes and acquires the empirical -32-aptitudes which, i n the Western world, combine in the production of Cargo. For the administrator, faced with the practical exigencies of bringing "melanesian voluntarism" into some kind of congruence with the modern world, i t i s an understandable simplification to see in those reflections of the Western image in the often confusing and rapid trans-formations of the administered culture, both the goal and the criterion of administrative achievement. So much easier to suppose that those elements of an irreconcilably alien or "other" identity which survive into the future are ultimately of less significance than a seemingly increasingly world-wide uniformity. However, i f i t i s true that for the New Guinean the enormous material abundances at the command of white men has come to focus his disquietude, i t i s not simply because i t bestirs i n him the awareness of his comparative technological incapacity. "Cargo" i s a complex notion, Burridge (i960 V 41-44) forewarns: though i t does indeed refer to manu-factures of European origin, i t has connotations which extend beyond the material inequalities of an economic situation. For Cargo implies a profound deceit. It turns on the question New Guineans ask themselves as to why i t should be that Europeans have such undreamt-of quantities and kinds of material goods, putting natives into a position of inferiority? As Burridge (op. c i t . 1?1> 224) says, the claim Europeans themselves make, that their technical prowess i s based on their own inventiveness, their own nous, without mystical intercession or r i t u a l aids, can hardly be convincing. Their mythology instructs them that the deities alone created a l l material goods. By extension this applies to cargo, white man's goods. -33-Where i s the l i e ? On the one hand, cargo movements typically invent fanciful notions that white men must he intercepting the cargo i n i t s passage from god to men and withholding a disproportionate share from the natives. In which case, white men are a moral affront, w i l f u l l y and arrogantly exempting themselves from the conventions by which natives understand society. On the other hand, perhaps the untruth owes to the ancestor figures who were responsible for passing on the basic mythology i n the f i r s t place. Maybe they did not know everything after a l l , or were confused like ordinary men and women? Or perhaps they even intended to mislead? If the mythology failed to account for something quite as significant as cargo, what else does i t overlook? Can i t be trusted any longer, or i s there more yet to be discovered, which i t f a l s i f i e s because of inaccuracy or incompleteness? In other words, no interpretation of Gargoism i s adequate outside of a framework capable of portraying man as engaged i n the society of other men at that level of sensibility which responds to the imperatives of a moral law, and as possessed of what Stanner (1964 : 292) refers to as "the meta-physical g i f t " - that i s , some int r i n s i c need to subject his experiences to a form, to a pattern of meaning, within which the world, himself, and his fellow men cohere i n a relatively i n t e l l i g i b l e unity. 10. Organization, Evaluation and Choice The urgent question i s thus from whence ought a policy for planned development take i t s bearings? The answer to this i s i n fact as old as the very beginnings of rational speculation about the ends of human polity. Diamond (1963 : xi) comments on the Republic that i t may -34-have been founded on "a theory of human nature that was c e r t a i n l y wrong, but i t s enduring v i n d i c a t i o n was Plato's b e l i e f that h i s p e r f e c t l y c i v i l i z e d society would r e a l i z e human p o s s i b i l i t i e s , not merely mani-pulate them. The problem, though, i s how to t r a n s l a t e t h i s out of the realm of p r e s c r i p t i v e philosophy and i n t o the p r a c t i c a l concerns of a changing world? In l a t t e r - d a y terms, the notion of an "increase i n welfare" or i n the " l e v e l of l i v i n g " serves to keep a l i v e Plato's i n s p i r a t i o n of an ameliorated society, though sc a r c e l y h i s Idealism. For as a look back to Stanner's quotation confirms, increased welfare i s u s u a l l y taken as s t a r t i n g with the attempt to r a i s e material standards. This i n turn i s conceived as a per ca p i t a increase i n r e a l income, d e r i v i n g from increases i n production, a greater rate of c a p i t a l investment, the ex-pansion of the operations of i n d i v i d u a l production u n i t s , a greater complexity of o v e r a l l organization ( c f , Belshaw 1955 ! 54 and Salisbury 1962 : 140). Belshaw notes that however elusive and plagued with l o g i c a l defects a notion l i k e "increased welfare" i n the end turns out to be, i t i s nevertheless generally considered to have some p r a c t i c a l v a l i d i t y , and i t affirms several points of relevance. The f i r s t i s that where s o c i a l organization e x i s t s i n some e s s e n t i a l way f o r the r e a l i z a t i o n of human p o s s i b i l i t i e s , as a "resource" t o t h i s end, then l i k e any other resource i t s usefulness i s subject to evaluation ( c f . Goldschmidt 1964 :""483), This brings i n t o focus the way i n which needs and s o c i a l purposes are matched to the i n s t i t u t i o n a l arrange-ments f o r meeting them, and the assumption i s that the f i n a l a r b i t e r i n -35-the question of the s a t i s f a c t o r i n e s s of t h i s r e l a t i o n can only he the l o c a l system of values. These ideas are the basis of Belshaw's measure of S o c i a l Performance, which aims to provide a way of conceptualizing t h i s r e l a t i o n of s a t i s f a c t i o n to organization i n terms of the l a t t e r ' s capacity to r e a l i z e c u l t u r a l choices with increasing economy of cost. A group's own stated performance objectives and preferences provide the point of reference i n assessing the degree of instrumental e f f e c t -iveness of the organizational forms which i t has at i t s d i s p o s a l ( c f . Belshaw 1970 : 10-27). It should be apparent from t h i s that increased welfare does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean an approximation to a Western pattern of consump-t i o n . Though i n respect of underdeveloped countries, as Belshaw (1955 ! 54) says, i t does e n t a i l an increase i n the production and consumption of material goods, i t i s not that alone, and then i t i s s t i l l within the general preferences of the l o c a l community. S o c i a l Performance also eliminates the kind of encumbering, p o l a r i z e d conception of development enshrined i n the Lawrence - Worsley -White l i n e of argument, which sets " t r a d i t i o n a l " goals, b e l i e f s , and value p r e d i l e c t i o n s i n an implacable semantic opposition to economic "modernity", This could only r e s u l t from a misconception of native s o c i e t y i n i t s economic aspects, and i t s e r i o u s l y damages the prospects of understanding the nature of the changes that are undoubtedly required. C u l t u r a l f a c t o r s are c e r t a i n l y an important issue i n improving s o c i a l performance, e s p e c i a l l y since fundamental changes i n value : cost r a t i o s may bring about the emergence of new patterns of a c t i o n ( c f . Belshaw -36-1964 : 219). But the judgement of "modernity" i s not about a p a r t i c u l a r set of c u l t u r a l values. I t r e f e r s e n t i r e l y to the complexity and opera-t i o n of the structure, whether i t has the i n s t i t u t i o n a l and t e c h n o l o g i c a l capacity to cope with an increasing range of resources, and how e f f e c t -i v e l y i t can mobilize these f o r maximal use. These are v a r i a b l e s , and what can f a i r l y be s a i d about t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l structures i s that they are d e f i c i e n t because they c l e a r l y do not f u l f i l these conditions s u f f i -c i e n t l y throughout the complex range of a c t i v i t i e s that are necessary f o r sustained economic growth ( c f . Belshaw 1964 : 220-221; 1965 : 100, 145-146; 1978-: 18). Hence, by the same token, the "development" of such s o c i e t i e s involves very much more than merely encouraging economic "growth". Bernstein explains the d i s t i n c t i o n behind the terminology: Growth i s a quantitative process, i n v o l v i n g p r i n c i p a l l y the extension of an already established structure of production, whereas development suggests q u a l i t a t i v e changes, the creation of new economic and non-economic structures. (1976 : 16) Diamond's e a r l i e r remarks about the quantum leap separating p r i m i t i v e from modern i n s t i t u t i o n s i s an i n d i c a t i o n of the magnitudes of the t r a n s i t i o n implied i n the .term development. In any case, Salisbury's (1968 : 4 8 2 ) own stated view i s that organizational theory i s the way to monitor the many aspects of the development process. Organization pertains to the functions and i n t e r a c t i o n s of i n s t i t u t i o n s and associations, to the kinds of r o l e s people can f u l f i l , to the pattern-i n g of i n d i v i d u a l choices and values according to i n s t i t u t i o n a l l o c i . I t explores the implications of a new technology f o r the form which s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s take, as w e l l as the influence of the l a t t e r on the -37-potential of a new technology. It questions the nature of the dis-tributive mechanism, and traces out the productive absorption of surplus for i t s a b i l i t y to engender the steady growth of further prod-uctive labour. Moreover, since the institutions of a society are not merely a matter of internal structure but are responsive to the i n f l u -ences of an "environment" broadly conceived, the focus on social organization provides a way of conceptualizing the interrelations of subsistence and ecology, on the one hand, and p o l i t i c a l and r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s , on the other (cf. Eggan 1964 : 477-478; Goldschmidt 1964 : 485). By way of exemplification, Salisbury (1968 : 484) cites his own approach in his Siane study where, he says, organization was taken as the major variable, "how i n New Guinea surpluses are created by tech-nological change funneled into the creation of more complex p o l i t i c a l organizations and how such p o l i t i c a l change permits the organizational change for the establishment of new types of productive activity". He also commends Geertz (1974) for the way i n which he involves technology as a major variable i n his model of interactions i n the labour-intensive monocrop agriculture of Java. Geertz achieves this by drawing upon Julian Steward's delineation of the ecological or systemic connections which form between the main features of social organization, the key resources i n the local environment, and the technology which exists to exploit them. The point to stress here i s that Social Performance results from the interrelational character, of the system as a whole (Belshaw 1970 t 12). By recommending the focus on organization as a way of -38-integrating the development perspective, Salisbury also satisfies the need for a proper sense of situation. The value of this i s made clearer by the contrast with alternatives. Lawrence's prediction of development trends assigned automatic priority to an economic sub-structure of a certain type i n determining the outcome - with only slight concessions made to local cultural particularity. In effect, the prediction i s no more than an a r t i f i c e of theory, which succeeds only i n enucleating the "core" of substructure right out of a context of real and various factors against which economic development de facto must take shape. Salisbury expresses his dissatisfaction with this kind of gratuitous logical self-limitation which he notes i s common in the approach economists take i n constructing their models. Whereas anthropologists are bound to take cognizance of a wide diversity of phenomena so as to accommodate their frameworks to the possible unknowns of a native environment, Salisbury observes that: Economists tend to include such factors as demography, technology, organizational techniques or p o l i t i c a l controls only as boundary conditions for their models, making such simplistic assumptions as they remain constant, or they increase at steady rates. These assumptions are often disguised. A simple statement that i t i s "assumed that the marginal product of labour i s positive" or that " i f may be assumed that in a period of growth there i s some organizational slack," implies questionable, assumptions about the nature of technology or organization. However, making such assumptions, the economist can c l a r i f y the logic of his model and can proceed immediately to quantification. The anthropologist i s more concerned with building relationships between technology, organization or p o l i t i c s , and the economic act i v i t i e s into his models. (1968 : 483. Emphasis i n the original). -39-One further detail in Salisbury's approach must be c l a r i f i e d . He i s himself an economist by persuasion: "I wish to take an e x p l i c i t l y economic stance," he says-in an ar t i c l e (l9?6 : 42). "I would argue, as I have done since 1957» following Robbins ... Firth ... and Belshaw ... that any behaviour can be looked at as the outcome of an allocat-ive choice, a decision of how to apply scarce means to alternative ends." This allocative. paradigm i s confirmed as the heart of the Siane study: ... I took as a definition of my f i e l d of study 'those ac t i v i t i e s i n which people engage, and i n which they appear to organize their behaviour i n terms of a rational calculation of the quantities of goods and services produced, exchanged or consumed, in such a way as to allocate scarce means to meet competing ends'. (1962 : 39) Is there here an inconsistency with the importance given else-where to the variable of organization? In fact his stated allegiance to F i r t h i s the indication that there i s not, for Fi r t h made the problem of choice (within a framework of cultural imperatives) a central issue of organization (cf. Belshaw 1965 : 5)« Demography, p o l i t i c a l considera-tions, r i t u a l and religious a c t i v i t i e s , i n fact a l l those "environmental" factors l e f t out of the account by the economists whom Salisbury has c r i t i c i z e d , can be seen i n this perspective as becoming organizationally significant at the point i n which they enter into human purposes and are subject to calculative judgements of relevance and relative value. And White, too, i s stood on his head, "In the system that i s culture," he opines (White 1964 : 423)> "technology i s the independent variable, the other sectors the dependent variables," But technology i s not independent of the central cultural fact of choice. - 4 0 -1 1 . System, Movement,' Money Organization, along with i t s companion measure of social performance, have been seen to entail a h o l i s t i c view of socio-cultural systems. "Holism", though, i s a problematic term. On the one hand, i t recalls Evans-Pritchard*s insistence that anthropology explains by a method of descriptive integration, which i s also, at the same time, unmistakably h i s t o r i c a l . On the other hand, the notion of "holism" has had a notorious career i n anthropology, and has come to convey almost the antithesis of time and change. Yet the ideas of change and holism are interconnected, i f not complementary. Social Performance subordinates change to evaluation; but i t i s equally true that i t s evaluations are logically dependent upon change. Performance can be ascertained only i n the movement of a system through successive states i n time, measurements being taken at various points along the way and compared for.indications of any change i n the capacities of organization with respect to the fulfilment of a particular schedule of cultural p r i o r i t i e s (cf. Belshaw 1 9 7 0 : 1 2 ) . It might be said that Social Performance makes a methodological virtue of the classic d i f f i c u l t y that, ontologically speaking, a social system manifests as a continuum of ceaselessly changing forms. This i s fundamentally different from the "social statics" of the tradition of Durkheim and Radcllffe-Brown, in which a socio-cultural system was held to have an identity as a discrete whole, resting upon a configuration of mutually supporting components. On this interpretation, change i s nothing but a conceptual embarrassment. Stability has to be -41-a heuristic condition i f i t i s to be axiomatic that an institution, or any other "part" of the system, i s of relevance only i n terms of the contribution i t i s making to the integration of the whole (cf. Cohen 1974 s 18-21). Lawrence's infrastructural determinism can be seen to replicate one of the tenets of this organic assumption. This i s that the.'elements of a traditional system are so bound together i n an organic interdependency that the radical change of one element (the Westerniza-tion of i t s economy), as opposed to i t s functional modulation, i s lia b l e altogether to, collapse the unity of the whole. The error l i e s i n an unnecessary, and metaphysical, assumption of organic closure. By contrast, the more recent conception of "system" has been nominal in tendency. It denotes only the open-ended set of relations which are postulated to hold between any specified number of variables. A relevant variable i s known - that i s , i s systematically analysed - only through the reactions and interrelations i t has with other variables. There i s no implication that a l l aspects of culture are functionally interdependent one with another. The degree and kind of interdependency are not the same with a l l features. In an interesting reversal, change i s now the essential epistemological condition, acting, as Nash (1966 : 102) expresses i t , " like a litmus paper for society, showing up the crucial elements." It i s with this thought that he declares the area of greatest challenge to contemporary social anthro-pology to be the understanding of the social and economic changes occur-ring i n peasant and primitive societies. "System", then, primarily designates the relationships - 4 2 -prevailing between entities, rather than the entities themselves. In accordance with this, Belshaw (l96\5 : 851 1970 ! 52) has indicated that Social Performance, as an analytical tool, should be an incentive to query the effectiveness and the frictions In the way component i n s t i -tutions articulate together. For i t i s the manner i n which the elements which make up culture react upon one another that brings about a further result. This raises the question of the exchange system, how linkages are effected; and this, i n essence, i s the social role of money. The development of primitive economies therefore begs a general consideration of the relations between a monetary economy and a non-monetary system. And here i s to be found the major criticism of Salisbury's Siane study. It can be said from the outset that Salisbury cuts himself off from a proper emphasis on the communications that take place between individual decision-makers, and that he.does this by underestimating the degree to which the rudimentary money of Siane, as the symbolism of a primary form of social interchange, focuses a l l the important issues to do with power, social organization, choice, and cultural change. - 4 3 -II. CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND THE HUMAN FACTOR IN PRODUCTION 1. Choice and Value: the Economist's Model A much closer scrutiny of Salisbury's theoretical suppositions i s indicated i f some of the more central paradoxes of his Siane study are to undergo a c r i t i c a l dissection. As an economist he has made calcu-lative choice the keystone to economic organization, and i t would appear that he i s committed by this to take Into account something of the phenomenological contours of the world i n which Siane act. He himself endorses that a precondition of his study must be, ... to isolate some of the principles i n terms of which these rational calculations are made. This w i l l primarily involve analysing the way i n which natives themselves approach their exchanges - the concepts and terms they use, their rights to land and other property, and their means of transferring property from one person to another - the way i n which they organize their work and distribute the f r u i t s of their labour, their attitudes to work and the expenditure of time, and the desirable ends they hope to accomplish through their work, their exchanges and their leisure a c t i v i t i e s . (1962 : 4) Thus conceding the significance of the system of native percep-tion, Salisbury wishes to move back again into a more familiar context of ideas and principles provided i n the established corpus of Western econ-omics. "Simple description and immediate analysis of the data", he advises, w i l l give way to a deeper level of analysis, being: ... an attempt to see how far traditional Western econ-omic concepts assist i n understanding the process of change in Siane, and to see whether any distinctive Siane economic concepts can be isolated from the f i r s t level of analysis - concepts that might be of use i n the analysis of economic change in other soci-eties, even i n Western society. (ibid.) - 4 4 -The concept Salisbury selects from traditional Western econ-omics to inform the analysis of the Siane material i s that of "capital". A two way exchange i s thus envisaged, i n which no necessary incompatibility i s supposed between the two approaches, though Salisbury himself i s quick to lose contact with phenomenology by favouring a predominantly Western preconception of economic logic. Quite what i s meant by this criticism, and the slant i t introduces into his study, must now be explained i n more careful d e t a i l . Phenomenology i s apparently s t i l l a tenet of later articles, where Salisbury (1968 : 4 8 4 and 1976 : 4 3 ) recommends the construction of models based on "ethnoeconomic concepts", so that i t may be considered deductively how systematic use i n the society of such concepts gives rise to overall patterns, to shared or similar value standards, that i s , to "preference maps". There i s a connection at this point with a copious literature to do with the conception of the "values" of action ( c f . Belshaw 1959). Values enter into the allocative paradigm i n as much as they imply "wants or goals weighted according to the force with which they govern action, bearing i n mind their positive desirability and the negative costs which must be paid to achieve them" (Belshaw I965 : 112). However individual choices are not random, but are influenced i n any society by cultural processes which can be discerned as underlying the formation and selection of particular values. Belshaw (ibid.) thus sees the need for a distinction to be made, since at this general cultural - 4 5 -level the term "value" i s more or less equivalent to "ethos" or, his own term "value orientation". "Preference maps" i s possibly a third alternative. Value orientations imply two things. F i r s t l y , that values concern what i s worthwhile, reasonable and justifiable i n behaviour because they flow from the very basic assumptions of a society. It allows a view of a cultural system as encompassing a spectrum of values, which may i n some respects be contradictory or competitive or dysfunctional. Nevertheless, so far as there i s a broad consensus on these assumptions expressed i n behavioural consistencies, that society i s a functioning moral community. Secondly, value orientation i s the distinctively anthro-pological contribution to economic analysis, pertaining to the-problem of order. For i t amounts to the perception that underlying the multiplicity of individual choices of action which in aggregate comprise the empirical economy or society, there i s the guiding influence of a cultural design. Value orientations once formed give a circumscribing framework to future action, Belshaw (ibid.) notes. There i s also a sociological aspect to a value system, for i t i s to be understood that within the spectrum certain regularities emerge which govern the formation of social roles, and the relationship between such roles. A system of roles, or a social structure, provides a further major framework which circumscribes action, Belshaw (op. c i t . ) comments, and describes the interconnectedness between actions. More fundamentally, i f the question i s how are the actions of individuals or corporate groups to be interpreted as occurring not simply atomistically, but as phenomena of social organization: - 4 6 -The economic answer i s that actions i n a social context involve exchange ... The actions of an isolated man can he subjected to economic analysis, hut an economy i s a system which gains rea l i t y through the social phenomena of exchange. (Belshaw op. c i t . 5) Parkin (1976 : I87) indeed proclaims that an analytic and theoretical concern with exchange as the basis of communication i s im-p l i c i t in a l l anthropology. In any case, both Belshaw (op. c i t , 6 ) and Baric ( 1 9 6 4 : 36) stress that the usefulness of the approach taken by anthropology and sociology to the analysis of the economic foundations of small-scale societies l i e s i n the study of the cultural system of preferences and i t s association with the institutional regularities of relationship arising from transactions (such as customary g i f t s , borrow-ing and lending). Says Baric: From the intensive study of such societies i t i s pos-sible to discover the interrelationships of factors in the microcosm more precisely than i s l i k e l y i n a more complex society. It i s possible to see, in intensified form, certain principles of organization common to technologically primitive and to peasant societies, which are among the most significant factors i n questions of development. (ibid.) Salisbury, however, i s considerably dissatisfied with the products of this line of approach. Baric was writing i n the collection by Firth and Yamey (1964), Capital, Savings and Credit i n Peasant Society, at which (though he exempts Firth) Salisbury levels this rather harsh criticism: Most of the authors i n this volume were social anthro-pologists who proudly vaunted their ignorance of econ-omic analysis and merely described how different social groupings accumulated cash in particular societies. L i t t l e attention was devoted to the use made of such accumulations or to the nature of 'capital'. (1968 : 4 8 2 ) -47-His own stand, though, i s made i n i t i a l l y ambivalent by his discussion of value in the Siane work where, in addressing the problem of how one actually identifies and measures values, he argues that values reveal themselves i n the act of exchange (c.f. 1962 : 184). Value i s thus inevitably relative, since the value of one thing must always be expressed in terms of another. He concludes from this that value can be given an operational definition "as the amount of a commodity, X, that' i s given i n exchange for a commodity, Y." In later writings, he seems to have seen that the behaviourist method of inferring what the values are on each side of the transaction by means of the outcome of the ex-change renders almost tautological the principle that a man chooses a course of action which ensures that the value gained i s greater than or equal to the value lost. With that goes the notion of rationality em-bedded in the allocative paradigm (c.f. Heath 1976 : 26-27). Hence his attack on social anthropologists of Bari-c's persuasion i s concerned with their tendency to look at transactions from the point of view of those features within the transaction i t s e l f that determine i t s particular form. He comments (197& '• 41-42) that the notion that the transaction i t s e l f - as the social r e a l i t y transcending i t s constituent individuals: a dyad having two poles - is.the unit for study entered definitively into transactional analysis with the publication in I966 of Barth's Models of Social Organization. Whereas his own conviction has now become to break up the dyad and concentrate analysis on the separate transactors, as a way of interpreting what happens i n transactions i n the light of the factors affecting individual decisions. In this way, a - 4 8 -whole range of contributing factors enter into the explanation. There are questions to be asked about the values and motivations on either side of the transaction and how these are also a part of other trans-actional ac t i v i t i e s i n which each party may be separately involved; what conflicts or hierarchies of purpose do these values betray; what oppor-tunities are situationally perceived and what resources are understood to be available to f u l f i l them; what assessment of costs, including the sacrifice of other possible choices, influenced the decision to engage i n this transaction? One can imagine that these issues are subject to wide variations according to individual circumstances, even where relatively stable cultural agreements standardize the outlook of transactors l i v i n g within a single moral community; the more so where transactions occur across community boundaries under conditions of normative disagreement. Even i f a l l Highlanders shared the same preference map for evaluating pigs and shells, the man with no pigs would be desperate to obtain the nucleus"for a herd. By contrast, the man with enough pigs to provide for his anticipated needs for ceremonial distribution would prefer to increase his supply of other valuables rather than increase the strain on his gardens and his wife by having a larger herd. (Salisbury op. c i t . 43) The.conceptual pay-off would therefore be considerable were * transaction analysts to apply economic reasoning about individual decision-making more closely to the formulation of their propositions, for what the Barthian paradigm achieved effectively was the relegation of this aspect to disciplines other than anthropology. Salisbury expounds on this assertion: It i s true that Barth sees the focusing on transactions as a way of moving from the dynamic of the individual event to the "generation" of the model of the total system, thereby including individual decision making in -49-the system of explanation. But i n fact inferences about individual decisions are most often derived from the observation of transactions or from a p r i o r i assumptions about human nature. The fact that two transacting parties reach an agreement i s often taken to imply that both parties come with the same understandings,. values and expectations - particularly expectations about reciprocity. Though this may be true, I find myself, Rashomon-like, questioning whether i t i s a valid assumption. (op. c i t . 41-42, emphasis i n the original). Kapferer (1976 : 12) queries "whether the abandonment of universal, nonculturally specific assumptions reduces the a b i l i t y of transactional theory to account for the emergency and change of social forms and de-creases i t s effectiveness as a tool i n comparative analysis?" In any case, the point upon which Salisbury i s roundly rebuked i s that the concept of emergence i s c r i t i c a l for exchange theory not just for i t s obvious centrality to the analysis of process and change, but because i t i s "a means whereby the actions of individuals can be linked to the wider institutional arrangements i n which they participate, and whereby 'culture' as a set of shared agreements affecting and guiding action can be studied." (Kapferer op. c i t . 18). But i n this last respect emergence i s ex p l i c i t l y non-reductionistic, recognizing that institutions and systems of relationships can exert an independent effect upon the behaviour of individuals so that i t i s f u t i l e to reduce the study of social behaviour to individual components (Kapferer op. c i t . 16). Salisbury (1976 : 42) acknowledges that such external "constraints" influence choices, and that a series of generalizations about this i s possible, but he insists that the individual decision remains the point - 5 0 -at which these constraints enter into behaviour. However this misses the real force of Kapferer's argument. To admit extra-individual factors and structures - and this includes cognitive frameworks, value orientations, codes of conduct, images of self which other people project i n the course of their interaction - into the explanation of the uniformi-t i e s of behaviour does not necessarily relieve the analytical bias, for precisely the reason that such aspects can be treated i n a highly individ-u a l i s t i c way. As such they exist latently, as i t were, as part of a background environment, and are only brought together into significant patterns of association through the medium of the internal logic of deci-sions. Interaction i s s t i l l promoted according to the principle of enhancing the economic relation of benefit and cost, with the performance, success or failure of individuals being put down to how adequately they have read the situation and gauged the disposition of these contextual elements. Kapferer objects: But clearly the properties of the situation, of the form and patterning of relationships themselves and the organization of power within them, might reduce an individual's control over his own actions and the behaviour of others. The why of behaviour, why individ-uals opt for one course of action rather than another, cannot be simply reduced to a failure i n their account-ing procedures, the complexity.of factors bearing on their individual decisions, their lack of information, and so on. These aspects related to individual decision making might themselves be produced by the form and con-tent of the relationships which interrelate individuals and by the nature of the symbols through which they communicate, (1976 : 14) In other words, the ways i n which an individual can be inter-preted as proceeding rationally need not be limited to the formal -51-maximizing principle, and the substantive values apparently exchanged may be less relevant to understanding the meaning of a relationship than the symbolic qualities by which i t takes form. Salisbury's representa-tion of the individual economic reasoning preceding the exchange must be redirected onto considerations which are themselves largely independ-ent of the empirical circumstances affecting the choice. How, for instance, does the individual acquire, and use, his a b i l i t y to recognize standards as particularistic or universalistic, and what kind of inter-pretative procedures must he apply i n order to know what standards are appropriate i n the particular social settings i n which he transacts (c.f. Kapferer op. c i t . 8). It i s i n this light that the phenomeno-logic a l approach to exchange and symbolic behaviour sees values and meanings as being created and as creating behaviour independently of such principles as benefit and reward. Those constituent elements of a transactional environment that have to do with the code within which transactional activity i s cast, the specific guiding cultural rules, and the various other symbolic procedures by which meaning i s assigned to a transaction, are not so much the particularized factual constraints acting within the situation to limit the a b i l i t y of otherwise freely-choosing individuals to realize their optimum values. They are part of the logical conditions for any social behaviour to take place at a l l . This i s an approach which takes "emergence" to refer primarily "to the definition, and transformations i n definition, of an event over time" c.f. Kapferer op. c i t . 10, 12, 15, 20). And i t i s with this reference i n mind that i t w i l l be possible to understand the shortcomings i n Salisbury's exploration of the articulations of Siane economy and social organizations• -52-2. Productive Capital and the Developing Economy His intention, he said, was to attempt a connection between Siane's allocative decisions and the concepts basic both to the Western science of economics and to the economic analysis of Western societies. A major concern of the study i s therefore the delineation of the capital entering into Siane economic production. He joins i n this with many other anthropologists and sociologists - Salisbury (op. c i t . l4l) mentions Thurnwald, Firth, Weber,Frankel, and others - who have variously applied this concept to the analysis of the economies of non-Western societies; though Firth (1964 : 17) himself has expressed the reservation that the formation and use of capital i n fact constitutes one of the least developed aspects of the study of such socio-economic systems. But amongst these writers i t i s clear that the essential property of capital i s augmenta-tion. "Capital" designates the items or commodities which, entering into the productive act, "by their own inherent nature, cannot merely maintain themselves, but increase themselves" (Thurnwald 1932 : 109). A primary criterion of capital, Firth (1964 : 18) adds, i s thus i t s capacity to assist future consumption, and i t i s oriented towards the future, not merely held back i n the past. Capital f i t s neatly into a model dealing with maximizing strategies. In non-Western societies plants, domestic animals, meet the criterion, and so do tools: Man, i t i s said i s a toolmaker. This, the most element-ary f i r s t element i n culture, perhaps predating language, offers the evolutionist the f i r s t glimmerings of the emergency of humankind. Yet to create tools i s to invest capital, for this act uses resources (including time and labour) now i n order to provide a :durable and more - 5 3 -complex resource for future production. A l l human societies are societies of capital investors. (Belshaw 1965 : 109) The strategic importance of the concept i s clear enough, especially once i t i s understood that i n a l l societies there are limita-tions of both physiological and cultural kinds on the amount of physical labour available, so that i t follows that a major element i n the capacity of an economy to grow, or even simply to maintain a level of l i v i n g , i s i t s a b i l i t y to invest i n the capital resources underlying i t s production (cf. Belshaw I965 : 137)• Belshaw remarks that this i s a point well appreciated for modern economies, but i t i s frequently overlooked i n ecological interpretations of primitive societies, where the nature of the economy i s f e l t to be more an immediate effect of the imperatives of environment. It i s also necessary to contend with the persistent charac-terization of primitive and peasant societies as lacking the achievement-oriented maximizing i n i t i a t i v e considered to be a characteristic exclusive to Western-style enterprise and planned expansion. Belshaw (1976 : 160 -l 6 l ) objects to this that a l l cultures are oriented to achievement, maximization of some values, minimization of others, and strive for e f f i -ciency. Where differences occur i t i s i n the selection of the things to achieve, maximize and minimize, and the values that bear on the calcula-tion of efficiency i n terms of both benefit and costs. It follows too that capital formation, i t s rate and content, w i l l vary accordingly from society to society. It i s not the fact of capital formation i t s e l f which constitutes the real problem of development i n primitive and peasant societies; what i s important i s the way this process i s linked with parti-cular styles of motivation and value. However, even where capital has been made an essential notion i n application to the workings of primitive economies, equally culpable assumptions have been made. Salisbury (1962 : 140) supports his own interest i n capital by reference to United Nations literature on the measures proposed for the economic development of underdeveloped countries. The thinking there i s that a correlation exists between large outputs and both large stocks of capital and high rates of investment, so that many economic studies, as well as the efforts of Third World governments, have exhorted capital investments i n non-industrial societies i n the implicit belief that this w i l l set off the causal factors leading to sustained economic growth. Salisbury (op. c i t . 5) sets his own specific objectives i n this light, which i s to examine how far the steel axe as an investment i n the capital base of Siane production, can be seen as the crucial change starting the process leading to a higher real income per capita. But Baric points to something else i n the assumption: ... i t i s sometimes taken for granted that i f people wish to accumulate goods, to maximize individual ad-vantage, to become entrepreneurs, and to plan i n economic terms, then the institutions and the social organization of the society w i l l change i n such a way as to tend towards economic growth. (1964 : 36) Capital investment has become a shorthand formula for "develop-ment" , not merely economic growth, i n other words. For i t i s sometimes believed that the accumulation of capital sustains a network of a l l i e d attitudes and institutions of a nature that i s generally so foreign to primitive societies that a programme of capital investment may i n i t i a t e a process with revolutionary long term effects. So automatic does this - 5 5 -assumption become that capital investment can assume in the mind of an economist the same prepotency for "the evolution of societies that i n White's framework was ascribed to technology. Salisbury reveals that he too was anticipating social con-sequences to follow from Siane's investment i n the steel axe so that his study would engender "a f u l l e r understanding of how a technological change has produced economic changes, which in turn have led to changes i n the  basic structure of society". (19&2 : 139» emphasis added). In actuality the Siane material turned out to be a good deal more ambivalent, and though he can fe e l certain of economic changes, he has to disclaim that the axe has had the expected sociological effects. These are now projected as a thing of the future: Yet underlying the changes, the structure of society and i t s a c t i v i t i e s remain formally the same - there may be slight changes i n the attribution of authority, but the groupings are the same.... What has changed are the resources available and the method of allocat-ing them between the same competing ends as existed i n 1933. It has been an economic change. As further changes occur, i f my extrapolations are correct, they w i l l be changes in groupings, changes in the authority structure, changes i n the type of ac t i v i t i e s performed -they w i l l be social changes. (op. c i t . 138-139) It remains to be seen how l i t t l e these extrapolated changes owe themselves directly to technology and intestments i n productive capital. 3. Accounting Salisbury's immediate problem, however, i s an accounting one (c.f. op. c i t . 140 f f . ) . . In Siane a monetary measure of capital - which, he notes, Weber held was essential for the concept to be applicable --56-i s clearly untenable. So for a start the definition of capital must he stated in real terms to designate the material goods, or the services, present before a productive act i s performed, used in production, and "immobilized" from direct consumption while the act i s i n progress. The act i t s e l f i s designed to add to the stock of goods, including ser-vices, some of which may eventually be dispersed through consumption (c.f. op. c i t . 142). Axes, dibble sticks - that i s , fixed capital assets, or the "durable instruments of production" - are exemplars under this defin-i t i o n . Nevertheless, the accounting d i f f i c u l t y persists where i t comes to stipulating just what effect steel axes have had on the productive economy. Salisbury circumvents this by using time' which, he argues, i s the Siane measure of cost (op. c i t 142). The point i s also made by Belshaw (1959 '• 56l)» that since time i s the only resource that must be given up whenever any action i s undertaken, i t can be regarded as the universal cost element i n evaluation. In fact Belshaw sees i t as the only such standard, since neither money nor any other tangible good can be accepted as the relevant element in price i f values are to be compared throughout a culture. Salisbury (c.f. I 9 6 2 : 186) would seem to allow money this role i n a monetary society, though with regard to the Siane time remains the only possible means of unifying a measure of cost for the range of their cultural a c t i v i t i e s . On i t s basis he i s able to construct a detailed assessment of the impact of what i s indeed an impressively revolutionary, i f simple, technology. -57-4 . The Axe and the Failure of the Economic Revolution Siane are gardeners before anything else. Cultivation centres on the sweet potato which constitutes their staple food (c.f. op. c i t . 4 1 - 4 2 ) . Roi palm o i l , pandanus nuts, salt, a variety of indigenous green vegetables, and la t t e r l y some introduced species like maize and cucumber, enliven the diet. Meat i s occasional. The domesticated pig i s the chief meat source, but i t s consumption i s limited to festive or ceremonial occasions (op. c i t . 80). Game i s scarce, so hunting contributes l i t t l e by way of food. It i s anyway oriented more to ceremony, since i t s most prized trophy, though as rare as the birds themselves, i s the plume from the bird of paradise (c.f. op. c i t . 4 4 ) . A f a i r comment, therefore, i n response to Salisbury's (op. c i t . 8l) statement i n summary that "the problem of food-getting must be considered solved i n Siane", i s that this underscores the degree to which gardening absorbs the greater part of the productive energies and ingenuity of Siane. And the axe i s the major item of capital investment i n the economy of gardening. The steel axes, at cost, require a greater outlay than their stone precursors. A stone axe took an estimated six days of labour i n the making; whereas to buy a steel axe at a Highland trade-store i n 1953 cost about twelve shillings, or what would be earned i n twelve days of casual labour for Europeans. But once acquired i t s effect, by contrast to the stone axe, was dramatic. From informants, Salisbury (op. c i t . 109-110, 146-150) calculates that the major impact of the steel axe has been to shorten the time needed for the.-: heavy work of clearing and fencing gardens to a third or a quarter of what i t was i n stone using times, the size of the gardens remaining roughly constant. Thus in 1953 -58-a man might take ten to fifteen days to clear and fence a garden site, working every second or third day for one month. Planting would then require another two days of his labour, while his wife would spend at i t twelve half-days of her time. Weeding during the period of growth takes the wife another fourteen half-days. With stone tools, the same work of clearing would take thir t y to forty-five days per garden, working every other day for about two months. Planting and weeding would have amounted to the same expenditure of time as i n 1953* Hence the steel axe reduced the "cost" of producing subsistence goods from eighty per cent of a man's time to f i f t y per cent. Alternatively expressed as the cost i n man-days to produce goods, the change in technology has meant that only four 1953 days are needed to produce what in 1933 took five (op. c i t . 147). Salisbury estimates that during this same period the actual stock of capital has remained roughly at a constant. This "can be shown i n the aggregate by relating Siane capital stocks to their "national income", to result i n a measure of the capital cost of what i s consumed each year. Thus i n stone-using times the t o t a l of man-days of labour sunk into the capital stock represented about twelve per cent of one year's income, or the equivalent of one and a half month's labour out of twelve. In steel-using times Salisbury finds that this figure has shrunk to ten per cent, or just over one month. What i n i t i a l l y appears as a process of disinvestment i s offset, he claims, by the change in the value of the unit of measurement - the man-day - the cost of which has altered as between the two periods. Salisbury i s able to conclude that capital -59-stocks may safely "be assumed not to have Increased i n the time of technological change; they have either decreased or remained constant. There i s an important question of how far capital might have displaced labour i n the productive process. This can be gauged by relat-ing the capital costs to labour costs i n each period respectively, and comparing the two resulting ratios. Salisbury (op. c i t . 147-148) calcu-lates a ratio of 1 unit of capital to 6.5 units of labour (or to 13 units, i f one depreciates the capital) for 1933• This compares with 1 unit of capital to 6.4 units of labour i n 1953> which as he says i s virtua l l y the same ratio as in former stone-using times. Since capital stocks relative to labour used have remained constant, i t must be that capital has not displaced labour i n production, but rather, the use of both factors has declined at the same rate. This has resulted i n what Salisbury calls a form of "technological unemployment", though he adds that this has not discouraged the acceptance of the new technology. Surprising, too, i s the rate of capital investment, that i s the formation of new capital, which has also been negatively influenced by the introduction of steel tools. Salisbury's information (c.f. op. c i t . 148-150) i s that a steel axe requires replacement on an average every twelve years. Stone axes deteriorate quickly and are worn out i n a year and a half. He calculates that a day's output i n stone-using times cost thus l / l l 7 days of labour for the replacement of axes and handles; i n steel-using times the figure i s I/23O. Steel axes cost only half as much. This saving must be set against the apparent fact that for other forms of capital goods the rate of replacement has remained constant. -60-Overall, therefore, expressed i n terms of labour cost, the annual rate of capital investment in steel-using times has actually shrunk to four-f i f t h s the rate of stone-using times. 5. Ceremony and the Distribution of Leisure Time Salisbury (op. c i t . 2051 208-209) expresses perplexity at these figures. Such a dramatic improvement i n the available technology, i n the nature of a capital stock, should effectively raise the potential supply of a l l goods of a l l kinds, since i t sets free the time that would have been used to make any good. This ought to make i t possible for a society traditionally i n a state of equilibrium to obtain more goods and augment i t s general prosperity, though i n the actual circumstances of Siane i t has brought about no immediate change i n the standard of l i f e . Rather has i t been the case that because the demand for subsistence goods has remained static, the level of capital investment i n the production of such goods i n fact declined with the introduction of the steel axe. Instead, Salisbury (op. c i t . 5) discovered that significant i n -creases i n investment did occur in relation to the acti v i t i e s traditionally surrounding a specific stock of goods, namely the native "valuables", though these have l i t t l e direct connection with the subsistence economy, nor with the changeover i n technology. No lasting improvement i n physical product-i v i t y attends these act i v i t i e s in spite of heavy inputs of labour, time and energy i n food production which frequently accompany them and give them an appropriate dignity. Salisbury i s obliged to interpret these developments as a -61-reflection of native choice. This i s particularly so, because he con-siders that the time made available by the steel axe constitutes a novel resource, the disposal of which is not foreordained by the time-honoured requirements of the customary work schedule. The implication Salisbury sees i n this i s that the way i n which this free time i s now ut i l i z e d must therefore be indicative of an unprecedented inter-evaluation of the traditional values or ends of action, since prior to the advent of the steel axe, these could not properly be said to have existed as a choice for individuals to make, the allocation of a man's time being altogether pre-disposed on traditional grounds (c.f. op. c i t . 83, 110). As an il l u s t r a t i o n of this last point Salisbury cites a Siane adage that the reason men accept for doing things the way that they do i s because i t i s the way they have always been done: there i s l i t t l e individual freedom i n the matter. Real choice only becomes operative with the ar r i v a l of the steel axe, for then "such traditional canons clearly could not apply i n a situation of change" (op. c i t . 110). The individual Siane now becomes involved i n the novelty of making unconstrained, calculatingly sel f -interested decisions about what to do with his leisure time, decisions which occasion him to reappraise the satisfactions afforded by the trad-i t i o n a l prescription of ends relative to their costs. Herein l i e s the key to Salisbury's projection of possible social changes i n the wake of the new technology; for new perceptions of the relation of value to cost, i t was said, are the beginnings of new patterns of institutional activity. However, there were no social changes, and Salisbury i s quite misleading to claim even as much as he does. Though "activities i n -62-stone-using times differed l i t t l e from those of the steel-using times," he upholds, "the relative importance of many act i v i t i e s had changed  profoundly" (op. c i t . 2, emphasis added). But on the contrary, the changing organization of acti v i t i e s i n terms of each individual's time provides no basis to say that these a c t i v i t i e s had come to be differently evaluated. If anything, by revealing the real e l a s t i c i t i e s of demand, i t simply confirms the priorities of the traditional value-orientation. Certainly more time now was spent on ceremonial than on subsistence activ-i t i e s (c.f. op. c i t . 10?) - but precisely for the reason that the relative importance of these two traditional areas of concern remained exactly as i t always was. Only i f this fact i s acknowledged w i l l i t be possible to approach, let alone answer, the problem uppermost i n Salisbury's mind (c.f. op. c i t . 5 ) : Why should there have been an increase i n the demand for the kinds of materially unproductive articles and services exchanged i n ceremony? Why, from the point of view of the expectations built into modern economic thinking, should the Siane response to a technological windfall have been, i n a sense, so reactionary? - comparable to the comment Belshaw makes about the Kwakiuth potlatch: .... a classical case of inflated social and ceremonial development consequent upon an improvement i n wealth, coupled to the retention of traditional values. (1965 : 29) 6. Social Capital and the Pseudo-Economy The questions ramify. What exactly are these non-productive ac t i v i t i e s which command so much of the native attention? In view of their evident importance, how are they to be given a theoretical statement -63-so that deeper insights might be reached, especially about the sorts of social and economic conditions that are associated with a low income le v e l and a small capital equipment? What, for instance, may be the effects of capital improvement on social relationships, for individuals and the community; and quite how i s a social change to be seen as the expression of an earlier economic change? What are the l i k e l y courses of modification, given the nature of the social structure, which seems i n fact to offer few possibilities of variation? F i r t h , who raises some of these questions in connection with the practical problems of improving capital operations and saving in the low-income conditions of peasant economies, asserts their general urgency: These problems are important to economic anthropology because from an analytical point of view i t does not seem to be always clear to administrators or even to economists just what are the factors i n the peasant evaluation of resources which are most relevant to capital formation and operation. In consequence, well-meant practical efforts to improve the capital position of the peasant may f a i l i n their aim or produce un-intended effects.... Few w i l l expect that the level of peasant economies w i l l be raised effectively by some dramatic increase in capital formation by peasants in their traditional or customary a c t i v i t i e s . The scale of individual operations i s too small and income levels are too low for that.... Improvements are to be expected, rather, where new types of superior market opportunity become available - for crops ... for labour ... - or where external capital i s provided, possibly with the imposition of a new overall administrative frame ... But i f peasant saving be not the key to reasonably rapid economic advance, more general peasant economic attitudes may be the key to efficient capital and maintenance. A f i r s t point to discuss i s whether indeed peasants in general are interested i n capital formation, or indeed in the economical management of capital gener-a l l y . (1964 : 20-21. Emphasis in original) - 6 4 -Siane are demonstrably Interested i n the management of their stocks of valuables. Though prima facie these resist identification as capital, being unproductive of material increment, Salisbury (1962 : 142-143, 152) manages to preserve the essentials of his approach by seeing this class of goods as "liquid" or "working" capital, producing services i n the context of the ceremonial act i v i t i e s at which they are exchanged. Both he and Fi r t h (1964 : 18, 25-26) agree that services and other intangibles, including technical knowledge and s k i l l , count as capital. Firth argues that i n the native estimation, ceremony and cognate a c t i v i t i e s do add to immaterial assets such as status, or to the strength-ening of symbolic ties between individuals and groups. The relevant criterion i s the convertibility of the valuables acquired i n ceremonial exchanges into prestige and subsequently into a fresh set of services previously not under command. Unless a l l forms of immaterial assets are to be disregarded tout court, the deployment of resources to such ends must be accepted as a significant form of net investment on the part of those entrepreneurial-minded individuals who engage in i t . There are two peculiarities that emerge over this extended definition of capital. The f i r s t i s as Baric (1964 : 36, 48) points out, that despite great activity i n the economic sphere aggregate capital i s largely maintained at the same level, although individuals may become wealthy. This preference for extensive but static investment i n social relationships and i n the ceremonial reinforcement of social t i e s , Polanyi -rather inaccurately, she objects - has dubbed "pseudo-economics". -65-The other anomaly concerns the assigning of magnitudes to intangibles, especially so as to make them commensurable with other more material assets (c.f. Firth 1964 : 18; Salisbury 1962 : 142). Salisbury says that they are not usually included i n measures of the stock of capital for the d i f f i c u l t y involved, and also for the reason that they are usually constant and so of importance mainly when they change. This of course i s precisely why they cannot be ignored i n the case of Siane, although Firth i s dubious overall about the status of any investigation conducted solely within the terms of reference of a "pseudo-economy": It i s possible to conceive of an economic system in which the items of productivity, of concern i n maximization, are status tokens and symbolic t i e s . Whether i t i s worth trying to operate an economic analysis wholly within such a f i e l d of concepts I am doubtful, especially i n view of the d i f f i c u l t y of their measurement of comparability - although Lorraine Baric*, following Armstrong, has shown some of the possi b i l i t i e s of such an approach. But whether this be so or not, I am sure that such a system should be distinguished from one i n which investment of wealth leads to increase of material output. I am not say-ing that the latter i s any more a 'real' economic system than the former - but they are different. This difference, seen i n the different requirements for the estimation of economic growth, i s significant for the future structure of the economy and society. Moreover, since elements of both status increment and physical increment i n assets appear often side by side in the same economy, i t i s relevant to examine why decisions are taken to invest i n one rather than the other. Such decisions can be shown to change in accordance with changes in external circumstances -as when a new market for goods arises.... Moreover, when brought i n contact with economic systems of a Western type, the 'primitive' system soon seems to recognize the possibility of using capital for physical productivity. (1964 : 26-270) -66-7. Substantivism 1 Yet the extreme reaction of the Siane to their steel axes has i f anything brought home the point that to scrutinize such an econ-omic system solely for how the "investment of wealth leads to increase of material output" i s at most only half of the explanation i n organiza-tion a l terms of a society's disposition for, or against, movements of economic change, however generated. Work, or the production of material wealth, is always essentially a social process, an organization of labour as well as of material capital; and the manner in which a society makes "economical" use of i t s technological resources w i l l only make sense once i t i s seen i n relation to a particular background of institutional forms and functioning. Belshaw highlights the importance of the socio-lo g i c a l factor i n considering what i s meant by investments for future growth: If a l l members of a society passed on to the succeeding generation the same quantity of capital equipment, • merely maintaining i t without expansion or diminution, and i f the population remained steady, the only possi-b i l i t y of improving the per capita level of income would be through additional work or an improved organi-zation. If the additional work involved an improvement of s k i l l s , i t would be regarded as a result of a non-material form of investment, namely education or training. So, too, we could regard an improvement i n organization, for investment i s essentially using resources to improve man's stock of resources, and improved organization i s the result of using knowledge and ideas (resources) to create a new tool i n the shape of new and continuing modes of doing things. (1965 : 137) If, then, societies with "pseudo-economies" w i l l recalcitrantly value their social assets beyond a love of producer's capital, there i s a better response than that of abandoning, more or less, the responsibility -67-to develop appropriately revised modes of analysis. The alternative perspective i s , as Baric (1964 : 35) implies, to give up the insistence that although the science of economics, with i t s notions developed prim-a r i l y for the analysis of Western-style economies, i s not always a com-prehensive science outside of this context, i t i s nevertheless a p r i v i -leged one. This i s a claim already extensively tried i n the course of the Formalist/Substantivist debate. It was i n i t i a l l y Polanyi's (?1968) recommendation that as far as the social sciences are concerned, the defin-i t i o n of "the economy", just as the substantive use of the word would suggest, entails some or other concrete form of "instituted process". By this concept, economic analysis i s opened up wide to the largely neglected empirical detail that economies around the world assume a wide variety of institutional forms, with the consequence that transactions concerning subsistence and livelihood take on variable properties accord-ing to the nature of the organizational arrangements by which they are mediated. Polanyi intended this argument as a counterweight to the formal (always adjectival) rendering of the term "economic", where the connotation i s simply the logical relationship of means-to-ends in any situation involving a calculated choice of action. Formalists consider their great advantage to be that many of the tools of formal economic theory developed in relation to modern economies become equally transfer-able to the analysis of economic reasoning i n primitive societies. However, Polanyi's contention i s that this i s an indiscriminate borrowing which only obstructs the perception of real differences of principle i n I -68-the way various economies are integrated. He says (1968 : 125) that the relation between ''formal economics" and "the human economy" i s , i n effect, contingent. In rea l i t y , the formal model succeeds as a description of only one actual or his t o r i c a l instance of an economy, which i s the system of price-making markets that has emerged i n the last two centuries In Western Europe and North America. Here i t i s natural for analysis to abstract out the formal or "economic" properties of individual choices because "the economy" i s embodied i n institutions that cause individual choices to give rise to interdependent movements that constitute the economic process. Such a system by no means exhausts a l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s . At least two other major forms of economic integration have hi s t o r i c a l l y been realized, based on institutional arrangements other than the market, and operating by transactional principles which Polanyi identifies as, respectively, "reciprocity" and "redistribution" (c.f. Polanyi I968 : 127-128; Dalton I967 : 265-266). Whereas i n market-integrated economies, transactions of labour, resources, material goods, and services are effected by the pervasive commercialism of market purchase and sale, reciprocity and redistribution are expressions of kinship right or t r i b a l a f f i l i a t i o n . Allocations are achieved by essentially non-commercial devices such as obligatory gi f t s to kin and friends, obligatory payments to chiefs and priests, bridewealth, bloodwealth, fees for entering secret societies, corvee labour, mortuary payments, and so on (c.f. Dalton, op. c i t . 265). Considered for the way i n which social and economic institutions are structured, these marketless systems of simple -69-non-Western societies are what Polanyi calls "embedded" economies, since economic and social institutions are enmeshed and cannot be under-stood apart. The market system, where the economic sphere i s i n s t i t u -tionally and analytically separable from other spheres of activity, i s by contrast "unembedded". What Polanyi lays down in his substantivist revision of economic thinking should be instructive for the case of the Siane. Salisbury (1968 : 479-481) would not entirely agree. Though he allows that Polanyi himself avoided setting up the categories of reciprocity, redistribution and market exchange i n uncompromising mutual exclusion, each one integrat-ing an entire social order, nevertheless he considers that the approach has tended to produce no more than broad typifications about the channels through which goods flow i n t o t a l economies. The subsequent work of the substantivist school has mostly involved the application of labels from Polanyi's classification to result i n static models, rather than pursuing a detailed investigation of the underlying processes which generate the social typesyPolanyi discussed. This i s a particularly frustrating de-ficiency i n respect to the analysis of change and development, since there i s no conceptual provision made for transformations of transactional principle and therefore no firm foundations for a theory of organizational innovation. And by the crudities of cultural form and variation thus conceived, there develops a tendency which Read (1964 : 240, 248) decries, to visualize situations of culture contact more or less as the c o l l i s i o n of two t o t a l , almost hypostatized, "entities", one displacing the other over time. -70-In support of these criticisms, Salisbury (op. c i t . 484) draws attention to more recent writers who have moved away from totalizing typologies and are concentrating on the low-level relationships which generate the eventual form of total economies. Their models inevitably have a dynamic aspect, and i t serves Salisbury well to point out the irony that the attempt to characterize the relationships occurring at low levels has involved a return to the very tool of economic analysis which substantivists have derogated, namely formal analysis. Here re-crudesces the earlier argument about the conceptualization of the "con-straints" within the formalist tradition. For Kapferer (1976 : 16) avers that the formal model of maximizing choices induced by an insufficiency of means i s accepted only i n a highly qualified form. ... change and continuity i s not seen as simply a crude function of external forces, or as merely the net result of shifts i n the strategies and decisions of individuals. Change and continuity i s seen as a function of both: strategies and decisions evolve as a response to one another and to external forces. (Kapferer, op. c i t . 19) Neither i s i t to be supposed that i n reorganizing i t s perspect-ives around low-level relationships and the notion of emergence that substantivism has necessarily abandoned i t s insights into the modalities integrating transactional activity, though this again Salisbury disputes. The monolithic proportions of the separation of market from non-market forms of integration continues to be troubling to him. Polanyi (1968 : I30-I)' maintained that a unique feature of exchange i n a market system of prices i s that i t i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y bargaining behaviour - "niggling-haggling" - and i s gainful only i f the partners enter into the exchange i n a distinctly antagonistic attitude to one another. In the type of -71-society labelled "reciprocative", reciprocity i s attained supposedly through exchange at set equivalences, and cannot properly be called gainful. This neat dichotomization i s both too general and too simplifying, and has drawn criticism. Belshaw (1965 : 88) denies that the fact of fixed prices cancels out mechanisms of supply and demand, or.that the motive of maximizing advantage i s not s t i l l a fundamental principle. Salisbury (1968 : 480-481) has argued that transactions between individuals i n societies labelled "reciprocative" are always unbalanced and revolve on a continual struggle to gain as much advantage over an opponent as possible, short of disrupting the relationship altogether. The f i c t i o n of a "fixed" equivalence glosses a concealed or suppressed bargaining. As i n Malinowski's depiction of the Kula, each focal exchange between partners occurs only against a background of solicitations and subterfuge and the balancing of this exchange off against a whole series of others, a l l of which has a bearing on the terms of trade. As Salisbury comments: The same generalization could be made about exchanges between partners i n a monetary economy. The difference between "reciprocal" and "market" exchanges i s not sufficiently c l a r i f i e d by attempts to characterize to t a l systems of which they are parts. Rather, they are better understood through closer analysis of the specific situations, i n both monetary and t r i b a l societies where i t i s mutually advantageous to use recurrent rather than isolated exchanges, or where Imbalances in volumes tendered can be, or must be, tolerated for long periods. (Salisbury 1968 : 481) Belshaw (1964 : 222), too, considers that the static impression given i n Polanyi's ideal descriptions of social structure i s counter-balanced by the reflection that wherever there are rules, behind them l i e s the interpretation of them, and their manipulation for personal and group - 7 2 -interest. However, the nature of the "rules" remains a c r i t i c a l area of analysis. This i s clearly indicated i n Sansom's (1976) discussion of the Pedi, a South African trihespeople, whose refusal to monetize hrideprices, or rather their refusal to talk about de facto monetized brideprices as equivalent to a commercial purchase, has led them to the extreme of describing various arbitrary sums of cash involved i n a payment as so many imaginary,or nominal, cattle, sheep and goats. By the construc-tion or "cultural commentary" this places on an event with the complex significance of a brideprice payment i s "no minor quirk of metaphor", and Sansom argues that there i s an opposition between market value and "signal" value. The idiom of a "signal" transaction serves to suppress and limit behaviour with reference to market values i n a sphere of social activity with the organizational importance of a marriage exchange (c.f. Sansom 1976 : 143-144, 160; Kapferer I976 : 10). He claims that signal trans-actions and signal value are notions with a general applicability beyond the Pedi situation, and that the discrimination made with market exchange helps to r e c t i f y Mauss's treatment of t o t a l prestations as inherently un-differentiated. He instances other authors, including Burridge (l97l) and Davenport (1961), who have also been concerned to show how cash has provided a departure from original transactional forms, occasioning dilemmas about social value. Most strikingly, though, Sansom's distinction between signal and market values bears comparison with Paine's (1976) discussion of the "codifications" of transactional activity (c.f. Kapferer 1976 : 10). Market transactions are effected by the bargaining entailed by the i n s t i -tution of the price mechanism; they are pursued within an "elaborated" -73-code. Where bargaining i s the distinctive feature of exchanges, and where, regardless of price-standardizing influences arising say from aggregate market demand, i t i s assumed to be the process by which the prices actually paid are fixed, then the logic of bargaining implies that a p o l i t i c a l l y powerful transactor should">be able to dictate terms to a less powerful one. Power enters as a definitive factor i n the analysis of such transactions because their outcome i s subject to negotiation (c.f. Salisbury 1976 : 44). Cohen and Comaroff (1976 : 87-89) note that bargaining comports with a tendency i n recent p o l i t i c a l anthropology to adopt processual models of p o l i t i c a l behaviour, in which " p o l i t i c s " i s given an increasingly diffused definition by being dissociated from institutional frameworks. Their own perspective which concentrates on phenomenological dimensions of p o l i t i c a l behaviour, i s that the manage-ment of meaning must be regarded as a fundamental property p o l i t i c a l interaction. Management, however, i s a variable element. Sansom's signal transactions, for example, operate within what Paine calls a "restricted" code. This medium defines exchange items i n relation to highly specific ends and this implies a close circumscription of bargaining and negotia-tion. The basic issue raised by substantivists about the variation i n the principles by which systems of exchange are integrated has by this stage been transmuted into a concern with the variable properties of different communicative media. A l l languages are highly abstract, Carpenter (1976 : 59) observes, their grammars closer to mathematics than to daily experience. Yet the combined effect of Sansom and Paine shows -74-that the relevance of the choice of code i s more than that i t i s an important cognitive instrument in the mediation of meaning. Proposi-tions about codification, Paine argues, are in fact also implicit prop-ositions about relationships, and vice versa. The phenomenological relationship between coding and control i s , of course, a close one. For i t i s not just messages that are passed i n communication, but encoded messages. Indeed, a code has been described as that which "controls both the creation and organi-zation of specific meanings and the conditions for their transmission and reception" (Bernstein ...) Codification (encoding) i s the attempt to ensure that a message w i l l be understood i n the precise way i t s sender intends; or as Bateson ... puts i t , codifica-tion i s "instructions on how to interpret a given message". But as there are alternative kinds of messages or instructions, so there are alternative codes to impart differing kinds of control over messages. On the one hand, control may be directed toward uniformity and consensus: we can c a l l this the closed message; on the other hand, control may be an arrangement to ensure that alternative inter-pretations of a message are not lost or hidden or subjected: the open message. (Paine 1976 : 73» emphasis i n original) 8. Power as Command Some additional comments need to be made about the relation of power to the real forces of economic production. Embedded economies are communities i n which people tend to be born, marry and die, work and play, regulate conduct and support values within a close knit group. In the circumstances, social roles are multi-plex, they overlap and combine with no precise separation of purposes (c.f. Nash 1966 : 23-24; Baric 1964 : 37). And where, as Bari'c comments, the economic unit and i t s membership depend upon prior sorts of social rela-tions, economic transactions like borrowing and lending, exchanging - 7 5 -goods and services, may have wide implications i n other spheres. Reci-procity becomes a generalized principle of balancing out transactions of a l l varieties and of actively promoting the recognition of a social nexus between participants i n transactions. Moreover, the internal pres-tige system i s essential to.the economic l i f e of such groups. Status i s part of the mechanism for the accumulation of material goods and for the control over the way i n which they are allocated to different ends. But i t i s the fact of the "convertibility" of status into services that i s ultimately of importance: that i s , into control over people. For em-bedded economies are often "primitive" i n the sense of possessing no enduring organization specialized for only productive tasks. In the absence of sophisticated institutions such as labour, exchanges, contract, companies, banks, and developed monetary instruments, the immediate f i e l d of economic action for, say, the traditional Siane entrepreneur i s that matrix of personalized interrelationships formed by kin and clan. The basis of his economic competence i s his a b i l i t y , through the obligatori-ness of such t i e s , to c a l l upon the services of others. Wealth resides not i n the retention of goods, but i n the control of their production and distribution - i n other words, the principles of economic organization are p o l i t i c a l at basis. Cohen (1974 : 21-22) goes so far as to say that he sees "economic anthropology" as only a r t i f i c i a l l y set off as a sub-discipline from p o l i t i c a l studies. Melanesian societies, generally, provide a clear exemplifica-tion of dynamic competition for socio-political status based upon wealth to control social relationships (c.f. Belshaw 19&5 ! Uberoi 1 9 7 l ) « -76-Food exchanges, i n these societies, frequently assume the force of a potent restricted code, organizing the competition over leadership, values and social control (c.f. Young 197l)» It i s i n this light that Uheroi constructs his radical reanalysis of Malinowski's depiction of a hierarchically static Trohriand economy. But the insight i s not to he confined to primitive and t r i b a l societies where the institutions of p o l i t i c s and production are unavoidably merged. An economy anywhere, Cohen remarks, at some point must imply organized relationships between man and man, which are activated i n the process of extracting the means of l i f e . For developed industrial nations, as i s well known, Marx and others have argued that economic relationships are relations of power, and thus form a major part of the p o l i t i c a l order of these societies. Belshaw makes a comparable assertion, employing the expression "command wealth" i n place of the p o l i t i c a l l y unrevealing terms - "services" and "liquid" or "social capital" - favoured by Firth and Salisbury: Such a system works i n one form or another i n every society i n existence. It i s also the basis of our own economy. We are so accustomed to accounting for wealth in terms of the abstract monetary value attached to physical objects plus paper certificates that have ex-changeability, that we neglect the underlying prin-ciples. Perhaps, to make myself clear, I should coin a new term - command wealth. This consists of the value of those goods and services that you can control, that you"can bring into action, that you can command. Under some circumstances, you can do this, even though you are i n debt to the f u l l value of the things you command. In other circumstances, you do not own a penny of the property, but you have legal rights of control. Command wealth i s power and influence, ex-pressed through the control of the property and actions of others. (1976 : 173r-Emphasis in original) In the broader view, this sounds a warning against treating the -77-economic issues i n developing underdeveloped countries i n puristic isolation from considerations of power; just as i t conversely implies that p o l i t i c a l theorists who have concentrated their approach on the question of the ownership and management of property or capital may not have recognized f u l l y that the attributions of command wealth may remain very similar regardless of the prevailing p o l i t i c a l ethos (c.f. Belshaw ibid.) The asymmetries i n the distribution of valued resources, which command wealth entails, are as necessary for the maintenance of individ-ual power relationships as they are for the operation of the system as a whole. This i s because p o l i t i c a l authority depends upon the a b i l i t y to command and accumulate resource by which i t can back up i t s claims to forceful power, reward loyalties and delegate. As Belshaw (1965 : 84) implies, such inequality forms an essential part of the processes by which ongoing adjustments are made between the various component parts of a system. And upon i t depends the potential of a polity to grow and maintain i t s e l f on an increasing scale, based upon a complex differentia-tion of social roles. As regards the immediate context of Siane, i t can now be said that the enormous economic potential of the steel axe i s restrained by what amounts to a p o l i t i c a l decision to invest the resources of time liberated from subsistence tasks not i n any further expansion of material production, but i n the reinforcement of the state of the available social capital. It i s a partisan decision, that i s , to strengthen the basis of power, and this i n the last analysis, i s a function of ideological manage-ment. - 7 8 -III. THE ORGANIZATION OF SIANE ECONOMY 1. The Moral Design The organization of an embedded economy entails a particular system of moralities by which i s mediated the qualities of social l i f e : a man's experience of his society as a whole, and of himself as an individual related to other individuals within i t . The difference i n principle with complex market societies i s fundamental, as i s to be expected. It i s thus i n anticipation of the later demonstration of the power of one pre-eminent transactional medium - modern money -to precipitate social and economic change, that this chapter examines i n some detail the way the economic system i n Siane builds i t s e l f upon a basic moral conception. What i s distinctive in the contrast with the highly d i f f e r -entiated, but interdependent, role structure of a modern economy i s that in;-the latter, the individual finds himself taking to lone tasks, or specialist associations, but at the same time severally related to other lone individuals and other kinds of specialists. This provides, Burridge (1971 : 146) says, an experience of "manyness" on the one hand, and of the unitary on the other. Full-time specialization also entails a differentiation of the qualities of man, and a multifaceted pattern of social interchange i n which the exercise of the moral capacity i s complicated by the lack of any simple discrimination between right and wrong. Ideas about vice and virtue, good and e v i l , are them-selves complex and differentiated, allowing no simple measure of the worth of a man. Through differentiation and complexity, virtue - 7 9 -becomes much more a matter of choice, Burridge (op. c i t . 1 4 9 ) continues; for the mobility, the time, and the freedom implied i n the possession of money gives the individual the opportunity to mould his nature in his own image of the good. Individuals are authors of themselves in a way that cannot be provided for i n primitive society where : ... virtue tends to be contained i n the nature of things, grows out of the organization of the s k i l l s and industry necessary to survival i t s e l f , i s virtually enforced by the implications of maintain-ing the community. (Burridge op. c i t . 1 4 8 ) The relatively closed and simplified organization of primi-tive societies enforces a more rigorous and tightly defined conformity. Transgression and evil-doing are more particular and manifest - made graphic by the strongly affective motifs of witchcraft and sorcery; but then so, too, i s virtue more obvious (cf. Burridge op. c i t . 1 4 7 -1 4 8 ) . For here the moral engagement of human relationships i s cast i n forms of reciprocity and a binary discrimination between right and wrong actions. The self i s placed i n a larger context of social pair-ings. Therefore, to understand the social world of Siane: It i s important to distinguish between the unit conceived as a pair of complementary halves, and the unit conceived as one. In the former case we are dealing with a system of binary opposites, and i n the latter with a f a c t o r i a l system in which, though the idea of one i s fixed, each convenient unit i s divisible into an i n f i n i t e series of parts. (Burridge op. c i t . 1 4 6 ) The distinction informs the interpretation of Salisbury's >ethno-^  graphic material. -80-2. The Clans and the Principle of Binary Opposition What are the operative categories of Siane society? Salisbury (1962 : 11-12) records that Siane live i n a well-defined lo c a l i t y , some 15»000 people-van an area of 180 square miles; but that this cultural t o t a l i t y never acts together as a cohesive social group. It i s an amorphous, acephalous assemblage: there i s no paramount chief, comparable to the Trobriands (cf. Malinowski-: 1935)J no centralized authority or administrative machinery; no overall system of segmentary lineages. There exist only, so Salisbury says: "congeries of cultur-a l l y similar tribes" (1974 : 52)• Apparently i t i s only i n very recent times that there has grown up i n Siane even the awareness of themselves, as a regional entity, distinct from other like assemblages of people. There i s no mention made of an incipient nationalism, an identification of Siane with a l l black-skinned men i n New Guinea, in opposition to whites - the Nai Kanafoatzir.' such as Burridge (i960 : 53) says Tangu were wont to affirm with some vehemence, "We are Kanakas, people of New Guinea I" In the lack of larger solidarities, a man's conception of his p o l i t i c a l community always centres on his own village. Salisbury (1962 : 37) states that clearly a major theme running through the whole of Siane l i f e i s the discreteness of the village units, and the self-contained nature of the social relationships within them. About 200 men, women and children inhabit a village; and the containment owes to a high degree of economic self-sufficiency, as well as to a geography which enforces separateness by scattering the village groups on an average -81-two miles apart, amongst mountain ridges and valleys (op. c i t . 12). But the village i s more than merely an obvious residential aggregation. It localizes the one effective bonded social group - the pat r i l i n e a l , patrilocal clan - together with i t s wives, though lacking i t s adult daughters who marry away into other clan villages. It i s important to realize how fundamental i s the unit; of the clan to the make-up and workings of this society. A clan may not have a clear genealogical structure, but i t s corporate and jural solidarity i s indicated i n the idea of a common name and a common place of residence, by the use of complementary kin-ship terms, close and friendly relations and acknowledged obligations of mutual support, by collective responsibilities at religious ceremon-ies and r i t e s de passage, and by what Malinowski (1926 ; 113-114) calls "the f i c t i o n of an overweaning interest i n one another's welfare, so that by a death ... the clan are considered bereft"'. Since very few deaths are thought of by natives as unintended, that i s as attributable to natural causes, this f i c t i o n entails the duty to avenge the death of a member by a blood-feud against the k i l l e r ' s clan. The accompanying implication i s that sorcery i s normally directed outwards from a clan group (cf. Salisbury 1962 : 14, 15, 37, 123; Read 1964 : 240; Uberoi 1971 ' 75» 85). Uberoi considers that-the vendetta must be the most dramatic element in a native's conception of "purely internal"' and "the outer world", in relation to his clan. Sahlins puts this well: "We don't have a boundary; we have an argument" (1964 : 194). Salisbury (1962 : 25) certainly confirms a picture of the clans as sovereign units existing within an environment of other clans, a l l of which are - 8 2 -p o t e n t i a l l y h o s t i l e . T h o u g h a l l i a n c e s a r e t e m p o r a r i l y e x p e d i e n t , i n t e r - v i l l a g e d i s p u t e s a r e c h r o n i c a n d t h e y o c c u r a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f c l e a v a g e b e t w e e n d i f f e r e n t c l a n s . T h e w o r l d t h u s d i v i d e s s t a r k l y i n t w o : r e l a t i o n s w i t h m e m b e r s o f t h e s a m e c l a n a r e f r i e n d l y , w i t h t h o s e w i t h o u t t h e y a r e f o r m a l o r h o s t i l e . H o w e v e r , i n s t r e s s i n g t h a t i t i s t h e a n t a g o n i s m b e t w e e n t h e c l a n s w h i c h p r o v i d e s t h e i n c e n t i v e i n t h e i r d i s c o v e r y o f t h e m s e l v e s a s s e p a r a t e e n t i t i e s , U b e r o i (19?1 : 5, 41) i s m o v i n g t o w a r d s a r e s o l u -t i o n o f a p a r t i c u l a r p i t f a l l w h i c h h e s e e s i n t h e w a y M a l i n o w s k i a t t e m p t s t o c o n s t r u c t a c o m p o s i t e o r m o l e c u l a r p i c t u r e o f c l a n i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s . M a l i n o w s k i * s i n c l i n a t i o n i s t o t a k e a n e x t r e m e a t o m i s m a s t h e s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f a n a l y s i s - t h e c l a n s a r e i s o l a t e s , " u n i t b r i c k s " , f r o m w h i c h p o i n t i t b e c o m e s d i f f i c u l t t o c o n c e i v e o f a n y l a r g e r s y s t e m o f c o -e x i s t e n c e , o t h e r t h a n a k i n d o f p e r m a n e n t a n a r c h y . Y e t t h e f a c t i s , a s U b e r o i r e m a r k s , t h a t " t h e i n t e n s e l y c o m p e t i t i v e r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n t h e d i f f e r e n t v i l l a s n e v e r t h e l e s s r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n g r o u p s w h i c h a r e m e m b e r s o f a common p o l i t i c a l s o c i e t y " ( 1 9 7 1 s 94, e m p h a s i s a d d e d ) . I n o r d e r t o a c c o u n t f o r t h i s l a r g e r s y s t e m , M a l i n o w s k i w a s d r i v e n t o p o s i t w h a t f o r M e l a n e s i a n s o c i e t i e s i s a q u i t e a r t i f i c i a l n o t i o n o f i n -h e r i t a b l e r a n k - o r d e r i n g , t h u s f i x i n g t h e c l a n s w i t h i n a r e l a t i v e l y f i x e d c o n c e p t u a l g r i d . H o w e v e r , b l o o d f e u d i n g a n d t h e g e n e r a l i z e d p a t t e r n o f a n t a g o n i s m p o i n t t o a n a l t e r n a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e : t h a t i t i s n o t t h e c l a n s i n t h e m -s e l v e s t h a t a r e t h e p r i m a r y f o r m s , b u t t h e r e l a t i o n s b e t w e e n t h e m . F r o m t h e s t r u c t u r a l p e r s p e c t i v e , i t i s t h e o p p o s i t i o n o f c a t e g o r i e s t h a t -83-i s elemental, and the "unit bricks" have no i n t r i n s i c identity outside of this relation. The "unit bricks" may not be s t r i c t l y homologous, but the important point anyway i s that the oppositions between them are f l u i d rather than fixed (cf. Uberoi op. c i t . 97)• Malinowski, out of his greater concern for the immobility of an almost feudal structure of rank, underestimated both the indeterminacies of clan p o l i t i c a l r i v a l r i e s , and the degree i n which these presuppose an entirely dynamic principle of social organization. The interclan p o l i t i c a l context may indeed be largely amorphous, but as Uberoi advises: "... the overall unity which the rules of the game signify may be weak, but i t i s not non-existent" (op. c i t . 110). The game Uberoi i s i n particular referring to i s the exchange of women. "They are our a f f i n a l relatives;" the Siane explain, "with them we fight" (Salisbury 1962 : 25). The exchange of brides has consequences for the structuring of Siane economy which cannot be said to be given the f u l l emphasis in Salisbury's argument. He sees these a f f i n a l alliances as inherently l a b i l e , with competition crystallizing i n the contention over the presenta-tions which are supposed to determine the new allegiance of wives, i n the formal politenesses restraining deeper underlying feelings of r i v a l r y and h o s t i l i t y , and i n the continual feuding and accounting for insults which occurs even between nominally a l l i e d clans (cf. Salisbury 1962 : 23-24, 37). Nevertheless, by the institution of clan exogamy, an ordinary monogamous marriage stands at the point of intersection between two clan groups; a polygamous marriage brings into consociation more than two. Internally the composition of the jural groups i s thus largely dependent on rules of exogamy, while i t i s through kinsfolk -84-deriving from intermarriages that local clans i n Siane can communicate with each other and settle disputes over transactions and sorcery without necessarily resorting to feud and physical violence (cf. Uberoi 1971 :35i Burridge i960 : 121).-. Burridge (op. c i t . 49, 14?) also comments that the stable marriage i s the major hinge of p o l i t i c a l , social, economic and domestic relationships. Looked at from the internal vantage point of the clans, i t the brother-sister relationship that emerges as everywhere the most significant exchange and trading nexus. So for example, the "paramount chief"' of the Trobrianders would have owed his position less to a matter of inheritance, than to the fact that as a man with twenty-four presumably well selected wives, he stands i n relation to the whole community as a glorified brother-in-law (cf. Malinowski 1935 '• 191-192, 199) • Polygamy on this scale i s an immeas-urable source of command wealth. Here also, the economic issues of the marriage exchange begin to take on a new c l a r i t y . For the clans, i t was said, are prepossessed with their jural integrity (cf. Uberoi 1971 3l)« The boundary of the group i s upheld not only by this impressive unity and solidarity of those within, but also by an emphatic exclusion of those without. In the case of the patrilineal Siane, this entails that a man's wife, though her entire married l i f e i s lived out i n the company of his village community, remains always an outsider. She can never be incorpor-ated into her husband's clan; just as his sister or daughter, upon marriage to a man of another clan with whom she then takes up residence, for the rest of her l i f e , can never be disincorporated from her natal group. Her continuing membership in that clan means a continuing legal claim on i t s resources. In the Trobriands, for instance, this i s acknowledged -85-i n a practice called urigubu, whereby a sizeable part of the crops harvested by a man from his lineage lands i s ceremoniously presented as an annual harvest g i f t to his sister's household. In Siane, as i t w i l l emerge later, the exchange of apparently unproductive valuables, in i t i a t e d "by the more basic exchange of women, provides the coordinat-ing mechanism for a criss-crossing flow of goods of a u t i l i t a r i a n nature i n an economy far wider than the isolate, self-sufficient clan. 3. Work and Residence : the Principle Confirmed Burridge (i960 : 56-57) says, "If a certain kind of economic relationship i s implied i n a kin relationship, i t i s also true that a kin relationship i s implied i n an economic: the two kinds of relation-ship belong together." Though Salisbury does l i s t i t s elements, i t i s to be argued that he understates the oppositional pattern of kinship as the principle relentlessly structuring the l i v i n g environment of Siane, and their organization for work and economic production. The clan works together as a collaborative unit only for periodic large-scale undertakings such as the rebuilding of the men's houses, or government road-works. Otherwise, Salisbury (1962 : 15) records, the more routine tasks of.production devolve upon i t s smaller segments centred around the men's houses, which are also the basis of the pattern of residence. There are about three to four men's houses per village (op. c i t . 11). A number of cooperative duties are performed by even smaller units, the lineages, but evidently lineages are not greatly important to the Siane as they are not given explicit recognition -86-i n the native terminology, and they do not constitute residence units since the male members of a lineage may sleep i n any of the various sections of a men's house or even i n different men's houses (op. c i t . 17). In Tangu, Burridge (i960 : 5&-57) finds that the men's clubhouses offer the only community occasion when there i s some respite from the tensions generated by the politico-economic process i n the larger society. In Siane, while i t might be true that the atmosphere between the men of the clans, meeting like this within the clubhouse, i s warm and supportive, the clubhouse system i t s e l f i s visi b l y part of the organization of inter-clan tension - indeed, i t i s an intensification of i t . For the women are segregated into their own l i v i n g quarters, there being twelve to fifteen women's houses belonging to one men's house (op. c i t . 15). The composition of each men's house group i s then typically about thirty males over ten year's old, twenty-three married' women, and eighteen un-married g i r l s and young boys (op. c i t . 15-16). But the evidence i s clear that in the native conception, a men's house i s not paired off with i t s accompanying women's houses over and against the other like pairs i n the village. Though there are intra-clan disputes i n which the men's houses do oppose each other i n blocks, the overriding opposition re-created i n this residential apartheid of the sexes i s that between the local clan, collectively present i n the persons of the men, against a number of alien clans, represented variously i n the womenfolk. Not sexism, so much as consciousness of clan permeates daily a c t i v i t i e s . It i s active in the rearing of children, who are of course the wards of the patrician, albeit subject to as much qualification as the mother's relatives can manage to make effective. When they are young, -87-children l i v e with their mothers, hut the hoys are initiated at about seven to ten years old and go then to liv e i n the men's houses with their fathers (cf. op. c i t . 15). The training of g i r l s and boys i s undertaken by the women and men respectively; and i t i s a group responsi b i l i t y , so that except i n the case of the very young the elementary family has no unifying function here (cf. op. c i t . 17-18). Nor does -the theme of separation allow for much of a family role i n the practices of commensality. Salisbury (op. c i t . 18) records that the wives cook food outside their houses and eat there with the young children, while the men and adolescent boys eat what the women bring to them in the men' house clearing - the women waiting outside. In the gardens, too, man and wife seldom work together i n the same garden: men work with men, while women work with women (cf. op. c i t . 18). In Siane there i s an absolute sexual division of labour based on primary clan allegiance. This does not invalidate Burridge's claim about the structural importance of the stable inter-clan marriage. It i s just that this need not entail for Siane, as i t apparently does i n Tangu, that the household i s therefore the basic and definitive social and economic unit, nor that man and wife are the ideal basis for a work-ing team (cf. Burridge I960 : 5 ^ , 1^7). The Axe as Badge In "pseudo-economies" a close identification i s made between productive capabilities, prestige and power. Belshaw makes this very clear: - 8 8 -The f i r s t point to note i s that agricultural food production i s at the same time the most universally distributed skilled activity i n the community and the one most basic to survival and prosperity. The man, or the family, which has produced the most food in a season i s most favoured by the supernatural powers, has shown greatest prowess in the necessary s k i l l s , has placed himself in the position of maintain-ing his social obligations to the greatest extent, and has in a l l ways demonstrated his superiority according to the values of the people. To grow and accumulate agricultural food, then, i s the measure of a man's success and the road to the improvement of his prestige and status. But the food must be seen, known, and admired. (1965 : 14) In the circumstances of Siane, i t would be reasonable to expect food production and display to be politicized with the attitudes of clan faction and competitiveness. In addition to this, Siane i s , by the previous definition, a "pseudo-economy" i n which the focus of strat-egic action was seen to be the control of social capital, implying the allocation of people into a functioning Interdependency of roles. So i t might be expected that food production and associated a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be pressed into the service of essentially classificatory purposes -that i s , to make "seen, known, and admired" the boundaries of the clan group and the definition of i t s internal constituents, to concretize an arrangement of rights and duties, and to publicize authority. The Siane axe can be assessed for precisely this kind of ideological role. Oddly Salisbury does not choose to develop this, though in relation to clan property generally he has nicely stated the insight: In brief, property rights i n Siane are not an alloca-tion of objects to persons so that the persons gain power or importance through possessing objects, but are rules allocating people to objects ... (1962 : ?5-?6) - 8 9 -By Salisbury's information the men, and the men only, do a l l the tasks in the agricultural cycle that require the use of the axe, such as clearing the garden sites, building the fences, cutting the supporting poles for yams and sugar cane (which therefore become "male" crops), and chopping down banana trees for replanting. The women carry out the duller, more laboriously routine work of weeding, harvesting, carrying produce, cooking, drawing water, making string bags, minding small children - any of which would be a great embarrass-ment for a man to be forced to perform (cf. op. c i t . 4 9 ) . The key to this Salisbury again mentions without undue emphasis. Siane men ration-alize their monopoly of the axe out of their disregard for the women, whom they consider to be rather stupid and unable to master any degree of intricacy such as i s demanded by axe-work, p o l i t i c s , making exchanges, or fine craft-work. Women are also endemically irresponsible, f i t only to do "unskilled work" under male supervision. By contrast, the use of the axe i s considered the basic s k i l l and in Siane to be " s k i l f u l " i s to be important, that is a responsible person (cf. op. c i t . 4 9 , 5 7 ) . Such i s the public explanation, but the underlying reasons for the monopoly of the axe by the men seem clearly enough to be that i t embellishes the separateness of the patri-clan, adding at the same time a theatrical element to i t s productive prowess and v i t a l i t y . Axes are especially i n evidence when the entire clan comes together to work, because clan work, Salisbury (op. c i t . 109) has noted, i s mainly of this kind. It obviously would not do to grant women the recognition of having made any essential - that i s "skilled" - contribution to a major clan - 9 0 -project or harvest, out of the need to fo r e s t a l l r i v a l clans from diminishing a major triumph by claiming, via the a f f i n a l link, a measure of the responsibility for i t . This interpretation encounters an i n i t i a l discrepancy i n the information Salisbury (op. c i t . 57) gives, that the majority of men at any work site are unskilled workers, debarred from using axes. Their condition i s deprecated by Siane with the phrase faivya we, such men are as "nothing men". Salisbury (op. c i t . 49) mentions elsewhere that men without axes, nothing men, are also said to be "like women". This association begins to resolve the problem. Presumably the common element in the comparison i s that "nothing men" share with women the i n f e r i o r i t y within the clan context of having none of the mature responsibilities of f u l l membership. Nothing men are as yet too junior; women, of course, can never look forward to the assumption of any such responsibility, being obliged to remain perpetual l i v i n g - i n exiles from their own clan groups. Salisbury (op. c i t . 4 9 , 57) confirms that youth signify their approaching manhood by carrying an axe at their belts, which they eagerly use when permitted to do so, as when an older "s k i l l e d " man rests on a work party. However i t i s important that i t does not seem to be seniority as such that confers the necessary qualification to wield an axe. Being "adult" means, at the least, getting married, and to do that a man must leave the confines of his own group and negotiate i n the inter-clan ambience for a wife. That i s , an adult man i s a tested p o l i t i c a l actor, and such men only are owed prestige. If the axe indicates anything at a l l about this society, i t i s that the way the Siane organize themselves for - 9 1 -their productive a c t i v i t i e s , turns out to foe an aspect of the way they are organized for the purposes of reciprocal exchange. At a different level, Cohen (1974 : 5 , 3 0 , 135) invokes Parsons who has called the phenomena of institutionalization "the central con-cern of sociological theory". The axe in i t s capacity to communicate to Siane certain ideas they hold afoout themselves, accentuates the ex-tent to which institutionalized regularities of relationship cohere about symbolic supports or f o c i . Individuals may well be observable entities tangibly present i n the word, Cohen says, but the relationships that hold between them, and which their actions presuppose are abstractions that can be apprehended only through the objectification of a symbol. Where change i s endemic i n even relatively stable societies, symbols give enduring r e a l i t y to relations that are perennially i n the process of becoming. However, a further twist to the semiotics of the axe comes at the point where people themselves become aspects of the same system of cultural expression: We have to visualize that the message on one channel becomes i t s e l f the channel for messages. Levi-Strauss ... implicitly states the general case from the particular case of women: human beings speak, but  they are themselves also symbolic elements i n a  communication system. [Parkin 1976 : 187, emphasis in original) The temptation at this point i s to transform social relationships to pure logic: for i f the relations between cultural forms are internal relations, then i t follows that social relations must be a species of internal relation too. Cohen (1974 '• 27) however, expresses impatience with the kind of anthropologist for whom the study of kinship forms -92-has become an end i n i t s e l f , t u r n i n g what i n f a c t i s an i d iom under-l y i n g the dynamic processes o f i n t e r a c t i o n i n t o a s t e r i l e a b s t r a c t i o n . L e v i - S t r a u s s i s i n c l u d e d i n the c r i t i c i s m i n as much as symbols i n h i s system are e x c l u s i v e l y l o g i c a l c a t e g o r i e s , hav ing o n l y nominal q u a l i t i e s , " w h i l e i n the dynamics of s o c i o - c u l t u r a l l i f e they are ' v a l e n c e s ' , be ing not on ly c o g n i t i v e , but a g i t a t i v e and cona t ive" (Cohen op. c i t . 5). The p e r c e p t i o n o f c u l t u r a l meanings as a p o l i t i c a l element or r e source p rov ides the key which opens up the l a r g e r system o f economic r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n S i a n e . 5. Exchange Goods and the Exchange of Messages The d e p i c t i o n o f the axe as a communicative event r e i t e r a t e s the a n a l y t i c primacy o f the concept of exchange. I t i s thus t o the d i s -t r i b u t i v e mechanisms o f Siane economy tha t the b a s i c ques t ions must be d i r e c t e d . A quote, a t l e n g t h , from Belshaw j u s t i f i e s the o r i e n t a t i o n : I f we wish t o understand the economic foundat ions o f development, and to r e l a t e c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l a n a l y s i s t o them, we can do no b e t t e r than t o beg in w i t h the i n s t i t u t i o n s of exchange. I f we do , we w i l l f i n d t ha t our examinat ion touches i n one way or another upon a l l spheres o f s o c i a l l i f e , both empir -i c a l l y and a n a l y t i c a l l y . As a s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n , exchange penet ra tes through the s o c i a l f a b r i c and may be thought o f as a network h o l d i n g s o c i e t y toge ther . . . I n a ve ry r e a l sense , a l t e r a t i o n s i n the economy, and hence economic deve lop -ment c o n s i s t i n an a l t e r a t i o n i n the system o f exchange. Economic growth (an inc rease i n per c a p i t a income o r weal th) i s u s u a l l y based upon i n s t i t u t i o n a l changes, o f which the growing complex i ty and s o p h i s t i c a t i o n o f the exchange system i s the major i n d e x . S i m i l a r l y , i f the term s o c i a l development i s t o have any meaning, i t must r e f e r t o an i nc r ea se i n s o c i a l s c a l e and an a l t e r a t i o n i n the q u a l i t y o f s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . " (1965 : 6) Salisbury's own approach to the Siane exchange system i s an extension of his formalism. He hopes that by tracing out through the the distribution of goods and services exactly what competition of ends i s behind the structuring of their choices, he w i l l be able to f i t the a capital resource, into a wider allocative context. To the substantivist, however, what i s interesting about Salisbury's ethnography i s that i t exemplifies a pattern of what Bohannan (1967 : 124-125) calls "multi-centric economy", that i s , an economy in which a society's ex-changeable goods f a l l into two or more mutually exclusive spheres, each marked by different institutionalization and different moral values. In some multi-centric economies these spheres remain distinct, though i n most, Bohannan says, there are more or less institutionalized means of converting wealth from one into wealth i n another. In Siane, three relatively independent spheres of exchange activity are i n evidence, involving different groupings of people at different locations, and significant differences of behaviour and a t t i -tude (cf. Salisbury 5 - 6 » 3 9 -4l, 105). Apart from a few exceptions, which Salisbury thinks are easily understood, goods i n any one category cannot be exchanged for goods in another. To suggest such a thing would be quite without sense or purpose to a Siane. Salisbury takes this as an indication that each category i s valued in terms of i t s contribution towards the attainment of different ends. It might be more to the point to say that this t r i p a r t i t e flow of goods moulds i t s e l f to the basic p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y of the antagonism between the clans. One category of exchange i s entirely intra-clan, - 9 4 -and consolidates subsistence a c t i v i t i e s . Another i s a prestige c i r c u i t which i n some measure formalises i n t e r - c l a n p o l i t i c k i n g . The t h i r d i s an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d network of supply f o r luxury consumption items that are unobtainable within the clan's own t e r r i t o r y , and i t e x i s t s i n e f f e c t t o circumvent the prescribed embargo on f r e e dealings across clan bound-a r i e s . Three classes of goods thus constitute the material linkages i n i n a decentralized pattern of exchange, the l o g i c of which l i e s not with that f a c t alone: rather the p r i n c i p l e i s , as Belshaw suggests, to: ... turn the analysis around, and s t a r t with r e l a t i o n -ships rather than commodities, and think of exchange as expressing or being part of d i f f e r i n g q u a l i t i e s of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . (1965 : 40) This formula compares, i n c i d e n t a l l y , with Turner's perception of the close connection that e x i s t s between structure and property ( c f . 1974 : 9 8 , 116, 122, 134). "Structure", however, creates an often misleadingly s t a t i c impression, whereas i f exchange i s thought of as the primary form of i n t e r a c t i o n , i t i s the a c t i o n of exchange that s i g n a l s the i d e n t i t y and exclusiveness of groups, and which defines the i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s of members, and the nature of the linkages across group boundaries ( c f . Belshaw 1965 • 78). Exchange also e n t a i l s a considerable modification of Salisbury's s t a r t i n g point i n the a l l o c a t i v e decisions of i n d i v i d u a l s , as Parkin explains: ... I suggest that the t r a n s a c t i o n a l nature of r e l a t i o n -ships obliges us to take into account not only the actor's view of means and ends as costs and p r o f i t s , but also the f a c t that these means and ends, as "goods" transacted and acquired, are "things" which, because they f a l l i n t o c u l t u r a l systems of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , locate the actor i n these systems. Where the perceived r e l a t i o n s h i p between the "thing" and the actor i s very close and even "intimate", as i n Mauss's view - 9 5 -of the g i f t , then the "thing" may he said to provide the primary locus for the symbolic expression of the social relationship. This i s most obvious i n i n s t i t u -tionalized g i f t exchange but i s surely embryonic in a l l individual cases of "pure g i f t " giving. Similarly, there can be a perceived close relationship between the actor and the goals or rewards of an exchange relation-ship: goods and rewards valued by the actor are also culturally valued; and so the actor's social fortunes are tied up with the more general cultural evaluations of these "things". (1976 : 173-174) Of related interest i s the place of power i n exchange. View-ing exchange as the communication of social designations of value and relationship, i t i s a further step to consider imbalances in the way knowledge enters into a transaction as the possible effect of contrivance, that i s , as reflecting a balance of power between the sender of a message, as one mediator, and the receiver, as another. The exchange nexuses in Siane w i l l be seen to embody routine procedures by which interest groups manipulate different types of symbolic formulations and resources to achieve a number of basic organizational functions. Their analysis, leading up to the ambivalences in the role of Big Men, arrives at a point of agreement with Cohen and Comaroff (1976), who urge that the "management of meaning" i s the key component in the phenomenology of p o l i t i c a l interaction: It i s becoming widely accepted i n sociological discourse that social r e a l i t y i s constructed through social pro-cess; the meanings which people attach to elements in their universe are products of their social and cultural circumstances. One might elaborate on this by suggest-ing that a crucial variable i n the construction of re a l i t y l i e s in the management of meaning: actors com-pete to contrive and propagate interpretations of social behaviour and relationships ... The management of meaning i s an expression of power, and the meanings so managed a crucial aspect of p o l i t i c a l relations. (op. c i t . 102, emphasis i n original) - 9 6 -6. Food Clan s o l i d a r i t y and cooperation has i t s most immediate economic r e a l i z a t i o n i n d a i l y subsistence a c t i v i t i e s . Expectedly enough, the symbolism par excellence of t h i s nexus i s food. Food e n t a i l s a c e r t a i n q u a l i t y of moral r e l a t i o n s h i p - what Radcliffe-Brown r e f e r r e d to as the " s o c i a l value" of food ( c f . Salisbury I962 : 188). Most usually, t h i s i s an i n d i c a t i o n of common membership, continuing a s s o c i a t i o n , and r e -ci p r o c a t i o n f o r g i f t s of labour, services or material goods. Salisbury (op. c i t . 188) comments that food given to strangers s i g n a l s that f o r the moment the stranger i s being treated as a member of the same group. The cl e a r e s t r i t u a l expression of t h i s i s the wedding f e a s t , he says, where g i f t s of food symbolise the bride's becoming a member of her husband's v i l l a g e . Siane give verbal form to the e t h i c : "namo wenene wenenta f a i v y a " , they explain, "we help our own people f r e e l y with food"; and they regard the items of food so exchanged as " f a i v y a neta", "things of no account" ( c f . op. c i t . 74, 188). The meaning of t h i s needs to be made c l e a r e r . Siane regard the tasks of gardening and harvesting as routine, performed with no esp e c i a l excitement: "Ronoma wone", "I just go to work" ( c f . op. c i t . 40). When they t a l k about such a c t i v i t i e s , they s t r e s s the "help" that i s mutually given, and minimize the a c t u a l interchange of goods ( c f . op. c i t . 86). The r a t i o n a l e and the incentive to lend t h e i r labour to each other f o r t h i s purpose i s that within the clan a l l men are brothers and have an o b l i g a t i o n to help one another. Their word f o r "helping" i s umaiye, and the exchange of services and property items on t h i s account i s always f a i v y a neta - not a matter f o r "accounting" because i t can set up no new obligations for making a returnj i t i s what each owes to the other as an automatic fact of their shared clan allegiance. Only a persistent refusal to help, or the abuse of the help of others with no reciprocity attempted, could put a person beyond the pale of this obligation (cf. op. c i t . 58, 74). Salisbury (op. c i t . 59» 78) points out that i t i s no contra-diction of this ethic that food i s given for example at the end of a day's work, when work i s anyway a clan obligation. The food given after that kind of assistance does not discharge obligations, i t serves as an acknowledgement of their existence. And these tokens of food are more than merely " d i a c r i t i c a l " , Salisbury (op. c i t . 188-189) avers, i n that sense Nadel intended for items used to indicate status, but not necess-a r i l y involved i n carrying out the duties of that status. Indeed, the exchange of food enables each individual to f u l f i l the sorts of obliga-tions that befall him i n his capacity as a member of his clan, as well as demarcating his particular accepted status i n that environment and maintaining him i n i t . In the same connection, however, i t may well be wondered i f Salisbury does not exaggerate the harmony of umaiye relationships, or at least simplify the symbolism of food. There are intra-clan disputes, as he mentions (cf. op. c i t . 30-31)J and as Burridge (i960 : 83»19l) has pointed out, where moral behaviour i s chiefly reflected i n behaviour over food, food becomes the conventional pretext for a quarrel. Just as i t i s the primary expression of amity, so the denial of amity can be formulated i n terms of withholding food. Transgressions, where - 9 . 0 -possible, are related to an individual's potential for producing food-stuffs i n exchange, which i s a conventional way of making public issues out of personal quarrels which otherwise might too easily turn rancor-ous and sorcerous. Uberoi (1971 '• 7^0 warns that the cohesion of a society i s not to be sought i n any simple sentiment of solidarity, i t resides rather i n the conflicting allegiances which i t s customs impose upon i t s members, Siane behaviour over food indicates a corollary: that the chief symbolisms of social relationship suffer an essential ambivalence. This i s a discovery that recurs i n the case of the more p o l i t i c a l l y vitalized concerns of the Siane valuables. 7. Luxuries Luxury exchanges turn on such items as tobacco, r o i palm o i l , pandanus nuts, salt, fine stone for axe blades, and nowadays, some European a r t i c l e s . As Uberoi (1971 '> 15&) sums up the phenomenon: the different areas have specialized products, and by trade, a l l areas are supplied with a section of the products of each area. These are items mainly destined for physical consumption, especially i n the entertainment of vi s i t o r s , and they thus constantly require to be replaced. In this their scarcity owes i t s e l f to different causes than that of the Siane valuables which circulate without being destroyed (cf. Salisbury 1962 : 8 8 , 198). In the native mind, exchanges of this category are "between friends", but the reciprocity i s really based upon self-interest, with both parties obtaining an approximately equivalent practical u t i l i t y from exchanges. Where there i s dissatisfaction over the relationship i t can be discontinued, quite simply. No additional obligations have been set - 9 9 -up since items in the luxury exchange are classed as "kevora neta", "small things" - which implies that they are things that could be ac-counted for and are thus not "things of no account", but at the same time they are not important things for which accounting would be imperat-ive (op. c i t . 9 0 ) . For "friends" are really strangers of a kind i n that they are not from the same clan village, but since exchanges of luxuries are not usually public events implicating whole clans, they are not p o l i t i c a l l y consequential. Kevora neta are therefore considered as a form of personalty, disposable according to the whim of the owner. They activate only diffuse personal relations between individuals i n situa-tions where no clan obligations exist (cf. op. c i t . 84, 89-90, 106). There are two factors of further importance about the luxury trade. The one i s that a man may i n this way be engaged i n an individual-ized capacity i n a far-flung network of personal transactions, transect-ing the more usual dimensions of clan antagonism. Secondly, several features of these exchanges indicate that something akin to a simple, individualized, "buying" and "selling" arrangement exists here. This, and the high consumability of luxuries, contrasts markedly with the valuables, particularly with regard to future developments, as Salisbury indicates: In these terms, cash, as i t becomes easier to consume through use at trade stores, and easier to produce through wage labour or cash crops, i s becoming a luxury in Siane rather than a prestige token. (op. c i t . 198) -100-8. Valuables It i s above a l l the concentration of activity about the ex-change of valuables which has earned Siane the appellation of "pseudo-economy". "Valuables" covers a limited stock of non-utilitarian objects, traditionally comprising various types of shell, ornamental green-stone axes, necklaces of dogs' teeth, bird of paradise plumes, headdresses of cassowary feathers, beads, and pigs (which, once exchanged, can have no further u t i l i t y to the donor, either for eating or breeding) (cf. op. c i t . 9 9 , 1 0 5 ) « Valuables are neta, "things", and unlike kevora neta, neta are "things s t r i c t l y accounted for" (cf. op. c i t . 90, 95)• Salisbury (op. c i t . 105) notices the definite element of calculation i n the way these items are exchanged, but he registers a d i f f i c u l t y i n talking about the "ends" to which they contribute, since they produce nothing material, and they result i n l i t t l e change in the aggregate stocks of any group. In fact the ends of this nexus are manifest i n the context i n which valuables are customarily exchanged. Valuables are given i n formal public presentations called gima or gimaiye, which involve clans participating as corporate groups. To exchange valuables presupposes social distance, the independence of the clans means that no obligations of "help" are mutually acknowledged. Instead, Malinowski comments on the "histrionic anger" with which custom requires such gi f t s to be given (cf. Uberoi 19?1 : 13). Salisbury (1962 : 101) says "Gimaiye marks the limit of clan cooperation, for where i t occurs, umaiye cannot". To receive i n this kind of relationship i n fact stresses the non-membership of the recipient i n the donor's clan (op. c i t . 102, 128). But i t would -101-be wrong to conclude from this that the system of gimaiye exchanges as a whole serves as really nothing more than a ceremonialised public affirmation of the separateness of the clans, each as i t s own sovereign entity. Uberoi (1971 : 135) puts across the essential point that at whichever stage of their patterned movement these valuables are observed -whether being exchanged upon marriage, paid i n compensation, or handed down from one generation to the next - they appear always along the interface of two or more clan groups, and never simply as the emblems of corporate solidarity. The clans are not isolates: i t was argued before that their identities derive from the balancing of oppositions, brought into being ultimately by the exchange of women. And in short, i t i s the clear aim of gimaiye exchanges to obtain women from other groups (Salisbury I962 : 103). The valuables hold the power to effect rights i n people. This i s demonstrable at peacemaking ceremonies, where valu-ables exchanged as compensation are considered to liquidate the obliga-tio n the offended party has to avenge a k i l l i n g of insult, while, con-versely, the group making the reparation for the offence committed now has the right to expect immunity from vengeance (cf. op. c i t . 189)• However, i t i s i n the bridal exchanges, as i n no other aspect of l i f e , that i t i s essential to accentuate the social bonds that relate the respective groups of bride and groom. Because they are thus exchanged across the a f f i n a l link, the valuables become the material symbols of "the more general relationship between clans of opposition or ho s t i l i t y , alternating with calculating politeness and alliance" (op. c i t . 104; also cf. Belshaw 1950 : I8l). -102-Macroscopically, Salisbury (1962 : 103-104) explains, this situation i s one of echange generalise, and i t s mechanisms are self-regulating. In fact, i t i s the self-regulation of the system which explains the characteristic which was considered problematic from the standpoint of Salisbury's definition of "capital", namely the fact that valuables are i n constant circulation at steady numbers, yet they produce no discernible augmentation of stock. Valuables can be seen to flow out of a clan-village as wives come in from other groups, in matching but opposite movements. On the one hand, the limitation on the total supply of valuables and the fact that they are i n perpetual circulation ensures a balanced movement of women between groups. On the other hand, the possibility of exchanging valuables for rights over women i s the incen-tive and the momentum behind the balanced distribution of valuables throughout the society, and behind the reciprocity honoured i n the ex-change of relationships. Rights i n people, that i s , as Belshaw (1950 : 175-176) remarks of similar items i n the Solomon Islands, the social power attaching to the possession of valuables, i s so great that owners are prepared to give them up only i n return for very special services. Salisbury's phrase for them, "power tokens" (1962 : 197), i s very apt.. The implication i s that as purchasing power, these valuables are limited to very high exchange values. By this i t i s possible to make sense of the decomposition of the Siane economy into three mutually exclusive spheres, with proscriptions particularly attaching to the conversion into, or out of, the gimaiye network. What this amounts to i s a rigorous defence against the devalua-tion of the valuables through improper differentiation of their e l i t e -103-status concerns from the consumption-biased purposes transacted i n the other two categories. At the same time, i t debars wealth or value from either the subsistence of luxury spheres from being converted, either directly, or via the purchase of valuables, into rights over women, or to other forms of power. The issue of conversion w i l l return at a later stage when i t w i l l be found that the separation of the nexuses i s not as absolute as Salisbury has supposed. For the moment i t should be noticed that the "social power" of the valuables i s quite unlike the "social value" spoken about i n connection with the symbolism of food. The g i f t of food i s predicated upon pre-existing moral obligations binding people by virtue of their membership i n a common clan - something that, i n the nature of things, i s not a matter for choice. In other words, food can only confirm an existing order of relationships; but valuables selectively create them, and whether or not to i n i t i a t e a set of continuing obliga-tions, and on what terms, enters into this class of exchanges very much as a function of choice. Gimaiye exchanges are part of the constructive processes of a social system. As Belshaw (1965 : 30,32) notes, they define the relations between the persons involved and enable them to fore-see each other's behaviour i n given situations because the payments evoke behaviour. Here i s to be found the explanation that of a l l the exchange-able goods i n Siane, only valuables should be considered neta, "things s t r i c t l y accounted for". For the accounting keeps track, not so much of the valuables, as the constantly changing configuration of relationships -104-brought into effect by their mediation. It i s a social bookkeeping to balance a social, or "pseudo", economy. Mair (1964 : 225) i n speaking of the lack of writing among primitives, has claimed that "... where people cannot keep records they can only carry out very simple economic transactions." It i s to be objected, then, that the lack of written such enforces no necessary simplicity onto "pseudo-economies". The analyses of Rossen Island money, the social economy of Siane, the Kula, and presumably an indefinite number of other cases, would confirm huge and ramifying complexities of operation, co-ordinated by various accounting procedures, albeit not quite "bookkeeping" i n a recognizably Western fashion. In Siane the precise details of gimaiye transactions, what payments were made and who were the contributors, are recorded by a system of bamboo t a l l i e s called uma, of "shoots", each about one inch long (cf. Salisbury 1962 : 95)• Uma fixes the public memory of the event, externalizes i t i n a kind of rudimentary archive which i s con-sulted even on the occasion of disputes involving payments made many years ago. The record objectivifies the social relationship. 9 . Politicized Economy In embedded economies, the transactional patterns effected through the exchange of goods or values are a primary focus for the ideologies of social relationship. Although i n Siane the clans are organized under the myth of patrilineal descent, men are i n fact held together through the exchange of rights and obligations i n relation to the sisters and daughters of one another. A p o l i t i c a l change i s -105-therefore always implied i n exchange in the pattern of marriage, and the arrangement of every marriage involves p o l i t i c a l manoeuvring on clan and village levels. It i s i n the process of arranging a marriage that the p o l i t i c a l order and the symbolic order act on one another. For i f the marriage i t s e l f i s but the i n i t i a l stratagem - the courtship of women, Uberoi (1971 '• 141) aptly comments about Trobrianders, i s really the courtship of a kula partner - i t i s the subsequent flow of valuables which provides for both the active continuity of the relationship, and for a more manageable expression, of the p o l i t i c a l objectives intended by the marriage alliance. By the very fact of symbolising the inter-connections between groups, the gimaiye valuables become a p o l i t i c a l idiom, a language i n which people can assert, and argue about, the relative merits of each other's clans and villages. The importance of this i s immeasurable. For a people without a government, without clearly differentiated institutions of authority, there must be some striking custom, a p o l i t i c a l mechanism which can take account of changing circumstances, make explicit the necessary -E-e^evalua-tions, and bring together individual perceptions and decisions. The gimaiye nexus generates the possibility for there to occur the continual challenge and adjustment of collective status and influence, within an overall regulation or normative agreement about the limits of p o l i t i c a l action (cf. Burridge i960 : 262; Cohen 1974 : 48-49; Uberoi 1 9 7 1 : 82). Salisbury (1962 : 190) brings out the main objective of the gimaiye as the raising of the prestige stakes of one group relative to -106-another. But he has a curiously f l a t view of this as a p o l i t i c a l process. He says: In Mauss's terms ... giving valuables puts the donor i n in a superior or magister position and the recipient i n an inferior or minister position, from which he can escape only by returning an equivalent of the valuables. The power to control may be actively exercised or merely asserted i n a 'holier-than-thou' attitude by the donors u n t i l their valuables are returned. In i t s most general form this power i s prestige; when people informally recog-nize others as superior i t constitutes 'social ranking'. (ibid.) Indeed, an "equivalent", that i s , a supposedly matching return i s en-joined on partners by the protocol of the gimaiye, and a temporary cachet attaches thus to the donor position. But where the clans are locked i n a perpetual antagonism, none permanently conceding superiority to any other, i t i s manipulability that i s the more r e a l i s t i c characteristic of such exchanges. As Malinowski was aware, valuables, such things as shells, dogs' teeth necklaces, plumes, cannot be measured, or even compared with one another by an exact standard so that considerable room for bad blood i s l e f t in the matter of equivalence (cf. Uberoi"1971 : 35) • To obtain a very fine valuable may mean that others f e e l thwarted and f u l l of malice, or that there w i l l be deep resentment on the part of a gimaiye partner who suspects he has been undercut i n the exchange. Moreover, this may be precisely the intention. For valuables are "power tokens", as Salisbury quite rightly calls them, and what i s at issue i s a real t r i a l of strength between the men and the clans engaged i n exchange relationships, a feeling out of each other's capabilities and weaknesses. Since the fixing of the value of a shell relative to that of another shell, or a pig, or plume, or dog's teeth necklace, can ultimately only ever -107-be imprecise, questionable and arbitrary, so of necessity the exchange of such items leaves a margin for manoeuvre. Whatever ostensible exchange rate results, the point to be taken i s : Rather, these values must be looked at as strategic components of attempts to contrive an image of the interaction. Values, then, are not always given; nor are they just the vehicles of interaction. They may, rather, be an expression of the terms within which one party wishes the interaction to be viewed. The transactional game should not be seen as consist-ing just of the competition to acquire values; i t involves strategic attempts to attach meanings to the relationship within which i t takes place. (Cohen and Comaroff 1976 : 102) The rate of exchange - with the particular balance of power struck therein - must be given public endorsement in the gimaiye cere-monies themselves, and i n the device of the bamboo t a l l i e s , for i n a consensus-based society the public i s the f i n a l witness and trustee to the arrangement. But to reach this consummatory point i n any inter-clan exchange i s a feat of social engineering for which i t requires a special kind of talent: a Big Man's talent, drawing on his every a b i l i t y to activate clan responsibilities, to cajole and encourage cooperation and support from kin and a l l i e s , i n opposition to his exchange partner's group. And i t takes a canny dexterity with the gimaiye valuables them-selves, which means nothing less than a wil f u l a b i l i t y to capitalise on the crucial ambiguities i n the medium of competitive one-upmanship. As Burridge ( i960 : 109) has said, maintaining equivalences demands constant disputing, and i t i s clear that with a different kind of symbol-ism this could not work. In Tangu, apparently, the more thoughtful and sophisticated Christians, aware that the Brotherhood of a l l mankind cuts -108-across traditional gimaiye style sectionalisms, were beginning to reject the managerial ideal out of a moral distaste for the divisiveness by which i t flourishes. . Management and the Modal Personality Who are Big Men? Or rather, how are the actions of men of this type to be seen as in t r i n s i c to the function of Siane social organi-zation? Any society involves some degree of organization of effort and resources, investment of capital, allotting of time and tasks, planning ahead, taking risks, making decisions and risking consequences. As Belshaw (1965 : 109) says, the entrepreneurial function i s omnipresent and a condition of any form of social l i f e . Analytically speaking, the entrepreneurial role i s a matrix of organizational functions that can be realized through a variety of social agencies, like committees, bureau-cracies, councils, conclaves. The prototypical association of the term with the individual capitalist i s an accident of European history, though, as i t happens, i n New Guinea too, entrepreneurs are individuals. Salisbury (1962 : 28-30) refers to them by the common expression "Big Men"; Burridge ( i960 : 57, 74-80) prefers the connotations of "managers"; while Siane themselves c a l l them bosbois. Such people have a lot to do with the adequacy of a society's institutions i n providing a coherent mode of l i f e . There may be a tendency to overlook their contribution, Goldschmidt (1964 : 483, 485) suggests; such i s the West's investment i n modern technology that " s k i l l e d " manpower i s readily equated with -109-"techniclan". In any case, as Siane's exemplary decision makers, boisbois provide a logical point of reference for Salisbury's model of economic individualism. The supposition i s that the elements of a new society w i l l take shape around the men most l i k e l y and able to assume some responsibility for controlling change. Given the fact of encroaching world c i v i l i z a t i o n , bosbois may reasonably be expected to become what Fallers has termed, "the bearers of the new cultural syntheses" (1964 : 281; cf. also Burridge i960 : 259). Salisbury records that there are usually six or seven Big Men to any men's house, and i t i s here that most discussion takes place about the important matters of ceremonial, gardening or payments. A l l are nomin-a l l y equal, and a l l jealous of the power of the others. But i n fact the men's house speaks collectively through only the single mouthpiece of the bosboi who represents the house when occasion requires. He i s primus  inter pares among the Big Men, and his name i s used to designate the house with i t s group of men. Authority within the clan follows a similar pat-tern with three or four bosbois from each men's house group discussing clan affairs and being present at ceremonies, though only one w i l l be the spokesman for the whole clan. These are not hereditary or otherwise established positions. Like most of Melanesia, management i n the Siane context i s leadership without the recognized formality of an office or a procedure of appoint-ment. Both the qualification for Big Manship, and i t s techniques are diffuse. Anyone may become a Big Man: i t i s a question of prestige, -110-depending upon personal a b i l i t y and notable achievements that command the respect of others. Hence a primary criterion i s his gardening competence. His capacity to provide foodstuffs i n quantity implies both industry and a mastery of the techniques - mystical and pragmatic - which are necessary for abundant crops. It entails, too, that he i s married, with a wife or wives and children i n supportive roles i n the division of labour. But above a l l , the Big Man depends upon oblique suasion. Belshaw (1955 ' 19» 60) notes that Melanesian societies restrain people from acts which lead to too great a differentiation - setting oneself apart whether by a tend-ency to command, or by flaunting success and conspicuous consumption or adherence to new cultural forms, for these are actions which result only i n jealousy, possibly provoking envious sorcery. So a leader must work by making his opinions f e l t through quietly spoken words, weighted by the strength of his prestige. To give way to anger or unreasonableness, to be prematurely impatient, or to arrogate the right to impose decisions, w i l l cause people to melt away from a Big Man, even to oppose him. In this essentially egalitarian society, the ideal i s that decisions should express the consensus (cf. Read 1964 : 245). Thus, as Salisbury (1962 : 16, 28) describes, i f i t i s the case that i n whatever he does he normally receives the enthusiastic support of a l l members of the men's house, then this i s because his performance redounds to their collective credit; and because, as a result of long discussions i n the men's house during which he has sensed the cast of inclination and opinion i n the community, he can be sure that he i s doing what the group wishes. And, of course, i t i s only with the f u l l backing of the group that he can perform at his best. Without a solidarity of public opinion behind him, a manager -111-cannot l ong r e t a i n h i s i n f l u e n c e . Residence can he t r a n s f e r r e d t o another men's house t o take advantage o f b e t t e r l e a d e r s h i p , and a manager who f a i l s t o s e t t l e d i s p u t e s o r r e c o n c i l e the many d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s o f view p r e s e n t , who no longer e x c e l s as an example because o f o l d age, i n f i r m i t y , o r o v e r - a s s e r t i v e n e s s , w i l l be q u i c k l y dese r t ed by h i s suppor t . I t can be i n f e r r e d from t h i s t ha t B i g Man l e a d e r s h i p i s n o t , i n the end, t o be a t t r i b u t e d t o any i n d e f i n a b l e char isma ( c f . B u r r i d g e I960 : 57, 76-77). Cohen (1974 : 80) anyway main ta ins t h a t char isma i s l a r g e l y a group f u n c t i o n not an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c t r a i t , and t ha t under-l y i n g the symbol ic processes by which char isma develops i s the c r e a t i o n o f normative o b l i g a t i o n s . The c o n c e n t r a t i o n should be not so much on the persons who are s i n g l e d out as l e a d e r s , he argues , as on the l e a d e r -s h i p p r o c e s s . T h i s argument tends t o an a l t e r n a t i v e way o f s t a t i n g t he concept " i n d i v i d u a l " , understood e s s e n t i a l l y as a s t r u c t u r e ( c f . W i l l i s 1974 : 136), I n t h i s mode o f a b s t r a c t i o n , not o n l y can the " i n d i v i d u a l " be a person o r a c o l l e c t i v i t y (such as a commercial c o r p o r a -t i o n ) , but i t can undergo h i s t o r i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n wi thout l o s i n g i t s i d e n t i t y as an " i n d i v i d u a l " . No l i c e n c e i s g i v e n i n t h i s t o the k i n d o f epiphenomenenalism l a t e n t w i t h i n M a l i n o w s k i ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the T r o b r i a n d paramount c h i e f des igna ted by the f u n c t i o n o f a pyramida l h i e r a r c h y o f c l a n - v i l l a g e s , the b a s i c o r d e r i n g o f which i s g i v e n i n an i n v a r i a n t r u l e o f rank ( c f . U b e r o i 1971 '• 35)• The " p e r e n n i a l problem o f se l fhood" en te rs i n as an a c t i v e v a r i a b l e o f s o c i o - c u l t u r a l p r o c e s s , o f e s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the case o f systems not i n e q u i l i b r i u m but undergoing h i s t o r i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . T h i s i s when, as Geer tz (1957) -112-demonstrates, social structures and cultural patterns may vary i n -dependently of one another: but both s t i l l have their locus i n the behaviour of individuals (cf. Eggan 1 9 6 4 : 4 6 8 ) . Entrepreneurs are a category of individual who have a: particular association with adjustments made under conditions of this sort, not primarily out of any consciously formulated altruism, but because as "structures", they embody i n them-selves the crucial dilemmas and contradictions originating i n the environing social structure. This supports a method such as Salisbury has adapted to the case of the Siane, which sets out to review social systems from the stand-point of the l i f e histories of the central individuals who move through them, and which accepts that through the decisions of these people i n particular, the creativity and inventiveness of men are factors directly involved i n change. At the same time however, i t tempers the commitment of formal economic theory to the vision of homo oeconomicus based on hypothetical Robinson Grusoes (cf. Salisbury 1968 : 4 ? 8 ) . For individual decisions cannot make sense except i n the context of wider c o l l e c t i v i -t i e s : allocative logic i s situational. In institutionally formless conditions like Siane, people behave p o l i t i c a l l y by allying themselves to the prominent personalities, bosbois; but there i s a mutuality by which the manager who lasts longest i s he whose experience of the people amongst whom he lives, whose knowledge of their interrelationships and the act i v i t i e s they engage in , amounts to a fine percipience of the web of community interest and a sound judgement about the probable or pos-sible consequences of particular acts or events (cf. Burridge i960 : -113-75, 76-77)• B u r r i d g e a l s o b r i n g s t h e p o i n t b a c k t o t h e f a c t t h a t f o r t h e p o l i t i c a l a c t o r i n t h e s e s o c i e t i e s t h e f i e l d o f a c t i o n i s i n e v i t a b l y c o n t o u r e d b y t h e p r i n c i p l e o f c l a n o p p o s i t i o n . T h e B i g M a n n e e d s a l l i e s t o h e l p h i m , b u t h e a l s o m u s t h a v e a n o p p o s i t i o n t o p r o v i d e h i m w i t h t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r e x e r c i s i n g h i s q u a l i t i e s a n d a d v e r t i s i n g h i s s t r e n g t h , a n d c l a s s i c a l l y i t i s h i s s i s t e r s ' h u s b a n d s a n d h i s w i v e s ' b r o t h e r s who c o n s t i t u t e t h i s r o l e , f o r t h e s e a r e h i s p r i n c i p a l e x c h a n g e p a r t n e r s . T h e c i r c u m s t a n c e t h a t a f f i n e s a r e a l s o s t r u c t u r a l e n e m i e s m u s t l o o m l a r g e i n t h e c a l c u l a t i o n s B i g M e n m a k e a b o u t t h e i r " i n v e s t m e n t s " o f v a l u a b l e s . T h i s i s r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e i r b e i n g o w n e d a s p e r s o n a l t y , w h i c h m i g h t o t h e r w i s e s u g g e s t t h a t t h e i r d i s p o s a l i s n o t t h e r e f o r e p r e -d i s p o s e d b y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s o f c l a n o r l i n e a g e i n t e r e s t . S a l i s b u r y , i t h a s b e e n a r g u e d , u n d e r s t a t e s t h e o p p o s i t i o n o f c l a n s a s t h e b a s i s u p o n w h i c h S i a n e e c o n o m y i s f o u n d e d . T h i s c o n t i n u i n g s u p p r e s s i o n o f c o n t e x t i m p e d e s h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e i n e v i t a b l e p o l i t i c a l o b j e c t i v e s b e h i n d a l l t r a n s a c t i o n s i n v o l v i n g v a l u a b l e s . O b v i o u s l y S a l i s b u r y ( c f . 1962 : 208) i s a w a r e t h a t v a l u a b l e s a r e p o w e r f u l s o c i a l a s s e t s , t h a t b y t h e i r c i r c u l a t i o n t h e y c r e a t e t h e c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n p r e s t i g e a n d a u t h o r i t y i n a d e m o c r a t i c s o c i e t y a n d k e e p a n a p p r o x i m a t e p o l i t i c a l b a l a n c e b e t w e e n g r o u p s . H o w e v e r , h e s a y s ( c f . o p . c i t . 9^ , 104) t h a t t h e v a l u a b l e s c a n o n o c c a s i o n b e u s e d t o e x p r e s s i n t r a - c l a n o b l i g a t i o n s o f " h e l p " , i n m u c h t h e s a m e w a y a s t h e g i v i n g o f f o o d o r a s s i s t a n c e w i t h w o r k . F o r i n s t a n c e , i t i s i n c u m b e n t o n t h e c l a n a s a g r o u p t o h e l p t h e g r o o m w i t h h i s w e d d i n g p a y m e n t s , -114-there being no formal obligation incurred i n accepting the "help". He does note that these contributions of valuables does set up some addi-tional, relatively specific obligations, and i t i s by virtue of such obligations, along with the reputation for public spiritedness, that men advance their p o l i t i c a l careers. He therefore sums up: There i s actually a continuum between 'help' and 'pay-ment ', the obligation created by the presentation of valuables being made more ceremonially as the pre-existing obligations between the two parties to the transaction decrease i n number - i n Evans-Pritchard's terms ... as the structural distance between them increases." (op. c i t . 101) But contributions of valuables within the clan are never "help" naively interpreted; and there i s no justification for the supposition that the movement of gimaiye valuables i n their intra-village and inter-village contexts implies two qualitatively different phenomena, or two opposite poles on a "continuum". Malinowski (cf. 1967 : 177-178) sponsored just this erroneous view in his interpretation of the giving of Kula vaygu'a by a man to his son. The Trobrianders are matrilineal so that what this father/son transaction confirms i s clearly the constant and crucial factor that at whatever level of relationship their exchange occurs, vaygu'a are always part of the interlinkaging of clan a f f a i r s . The acquisition of such a valuable,'plus the accompanying magic, -which i s how a young man upon reaching maturity i s able to enter Kula -i s i n fact his f i r s t serious experience of debt, and debt i s a form of p o l i t i c a l leverage. Malinowski, however, in his overriding attention to individuals rather than to their structural situations, searches for -115-a psychological explanation i n the domestic and sentimental side of relations. Hence the fact that the son often receives the sponsoring g i f t from his father, rather than as an inheritance from his mother's brother, his own clansman, Malinowski uses to prove a bogus point about the greater power of "father-love" over "mother-right". But i t w i l l be noticed that i n the former instance the g i f t brings into conjunction two clans, those of father and son respectively, and sociologically i t i s to be seen not as an expression of affectionate paternal solicitude, but as part of "the po l i t i c s of keeping up an a f f i n a l alliance which requires /the father/ to bestow favours on his wife's sons, in much the same way as he gives gifts to his wife's brothers" (Uberoi 1971 : 103)• Sentimentality i s entirely compromised by the fact that his relationship to his son, like his relationship to his wife's brother, i s mediated through his wife - a stranger, i n clan terms. The Siane are patrilineal though, which means that here, surely, the subventions of valuables a young man receives from his own father are immune from the taint of p o l i t i c a l expediency - that they are truly "help", as Salisbury has maintained? To the contrary, i t would appear that clan opposition i n Siane finds one of i t s more fractious outlets i n the competition over the rights which the mother's clan tries to exercise over her children. A marriage exchange apparently settles the rights i n uxorem, that i s , the women's sexual, domestic and economic capabili-t i e s become the property of the clan she marries into. What continues to be contested are the rights i n genetricem, the rights to f i l i a t e a woman's children to the social group of the husband. Siane themselves -116-rationalize this ty the notion that an individual at conception i s composed of s p i r i t material from his own clan, derived from the semen of the father, and s p i r i t material from his mother's clan, located i n her blood (cf. Salisbury 1962 : 34~35i 37). The mother increases her contribution of s p i r i t material by the milk and cooked foods she pro-vides for the child to eat. But i f the child i s to become a f u l l member of i t s father's clan, and to be acceptable to the s p i r i t s of the father's clan who alone ensure that i t grows strong and healthy, then i t must have a soul composed only of i t s father's s p i r i t material. The mother's contribution must be diminished. Various r i t e s , at i n i t i a -tion especially, provide for this. They involve the consumption solely of foodstuffs cooked by the father's clan, and various bloodletting practices to shed the blood the mother provided at conception. A series of payments are also made by the father's clan to the clan of the mother, manifestly to annul the rights claimed by the latter (cf. op. c i t , 14). But only when an individual dies are the last traces of foreign s p i r i t material f i n a l l y eliminated, and the last compensation paid. Children are turned into a battlefield because their loyalties are ambivalent. Though a young man belongs by birth to the clan of his father, and normally lives i n the village where his father lives, he nevertheless has a network of personal kinship ties cross-cutting this primary allegiance (cf. op. c i t . 24-25). His ties with his mother's brother, or with his sister's children are. chief among these, and his relationships with these people are close and affectionate, often -117-involving the giving of mutual gifts and assistance (cf. op. c i t . 24, 3 7 - 3 8 ) . Faced with the prospect of losing i t s sons at maturity to their mother's lineages, an influential patri-clan w i l l seek to suborn their loyalties by the inducement of a subsidised entry ("help") into the prestigious gimaiye c i r c u i t . The point i s that with his sponsor a man i s not i n competition (cf. Uberoi 1971 : 8 6 ) . In Malinowski*s apt ex-pression: "the son becomes i n some sort his father's lieutenant" (cf. op. c i t . 101). If as regards the sons of the patri-clan, the accent i s on divesting as much as possible of the claims of the maternal side, for i t s daughters the preoccupation,obversely, i s with asserting claims. This takes the oblique form of preventing the loss of her s p i r i t material, which belongs to her father's clan, and which can be endangered by such things as menstruating on "foreign" s o i l , and especially by her marriage. Marriage means the loss of her physical body to her own clan. But throughout her married l i f e her brothers retain their interest i n the clan soul, which s t i l l resides i n her, and which i s inherited i n part by her children, who thereby come within the jural interest of the mother's brother - at least to the extent that the soul i s not driven out and compensated for by the children's father. Looked at p o l i t i c a l l y , transactions of valuables across the generations are either disingenuous celebrations of clan solidarity on the part of i t s leaders, or attempts at sedition by their r i v a l s . Clan solidarities are not automatic, they are manipulated. The shrewd Big Man - 1 1 8 -works to crystallise the emotions and the awareness of identification hy activating the rallying c a l l of gimaiye. Such action i s essentially symbolic, and this a b i l i t y to so manage the lives and allegiances of others i s inconceivable outside of i t s relation to the medium of the ceremonial valuables. -119-IV. MONEY AND THE INTEGRATION OF SOCIETY 1. The Valuables - Treasure or Money? The gimaiye valuables articulate a series of relationships between the clans, giving rise to a loose p o l i t i c a l , social and economic federation. It was said at the end of the f i r s t chapter, where the per-formance of social organization was under discussion, that the linkages between components and the manner i n which reactions are transmitted throughoug the system, draws attention to the role of one type of struc-tural link i n particular: money. The "development" of t r i b a l or sub-sistence economies of necessity presupposes consideration of the rela-tions between society and money. The gimaiye valuables circulate extensively without themselves being objects of consumption and their behaviour invites the question about the status of this class of exchange tokens as a possible primitive "money". What, i f any, sociological insights are l i k e l y to be gained from trying to argue the native valuables into this classification? One superficial problem clouding the issue i s the odd feature about the valuables, that they are treasured inordinately without being discernibly u t i l i t a r i a n (except for the pigs), nor being made out of any substance which i n i t s e l f i s worth treasuring. Gold and silver would appeal to a Western notion of a treasure item, and of course history i s replete with instances of money coined i n gold or silver, or else upheld i n value by reference to a standard set by either of these metals. But as Neale (l976 : 10) warns, the sometimes close overlapping of money -120-uses with treasuring, or with the u t i l i t y of things, may confuse the thinking about money. Because a treasure i s a store of value, or. because i t i s occasionally used i n payment, i s no assurance that i t has other money uses. In any event, i t i s not the nature of the physical "stuff" that establishes the value of a money. Money as an entity has to assume some or other functional form, such as coinage, but as Belshaw (1964 : 86) says, i n the economist's sense i t i s a quite abstract entity. ... money can be used as a classificatory empirical referent, denoting a class of commodities or accounting values used i n specific ways to f a c i l i t a t e an exchange system. Arguments then abound as to whether this or that commodity or accounting value f a l l s within the defin-i t i o n of money, hence whether money can be found i n a society, hence whether the society i s monetary or not ... The reason I used the phrase "commodity or account- ing value" ... i s that even i n capitalist society the notion of money i s not restricted to the commodity, cash. Credit i s part of the money supply, and this can be an abstraction. And i t i s generally accepted that the quantity of money i s the resultant of many forces including the velocity of i t s circulation. In other words, money i s not a physical thing i n essence ... i t i s a compendium of functions. (Belshaw I965 : 9» emphasis i n original.) It i s the idea of money, Neale (1976 : 14) says, which i s used i n comparing the values of two things or events, or to add together dissimilar items by expressing them i n the common denominator of money values, or to state the extent of an obligation i n terms of a monetary debt. And i t i s i n this abstract or ideal capacity - not as a physical "stuff" as such - that money f a c i l i t a t e s the processes by which obliga-tions are liquidated, debts paid, or promises f u l f i l l e d . Within this argument, can any room be made for the Siane valuables as a "money"? Malinowski thinks not. In his appraisal of -121-the Trobriand Kula, a parallel system turning on the exchange of treas-ured items called vaygu a, he reveals his scepticism; The tokens of wealth have often been called 'money'. It i s at f i r s t sight evident that 'money' i n our sense cannot exist among the Trobrianders ... Any article which can be classed as 'money' or 'currency' must f u l f i l certain essential conditions; i t must function as a medium of exchange and as a common measure of value, i t must be the instrument of condens-ing wealth, the means by which value can be accumu-lated. Money also, as a rule, serves as the standard of deferred payments ... we cannot think of vaygu'a in terms of 'money'. (cited i n Dalton I 9 6 7 : 255) Dalton (op. c i t . 256), however, complains of a tendency i n Malinowski, and i n other writers such as Firth, to use the bundle, of attributes or functions that money possesses i n Western market economies to comprise the model of a "true" money, as though there can be a single all-purpose definition of money. On this supposition, money-like items In primitive economies are always l i k e l y to perform some of the functions of Western money, but rarely a l l . But to go on to assert on the basis of such a partial resemblance that these primitive monies cannot "really" be money i s , as Dalton remarks: ... a strange procedure for anthropologists, who would never use the bundle of attributes of the Western family, religion or p o l i t i c a l organization i n such a way ... The question i s not - as i t i s conventionally put - are shells, woodpecker scalps, cattle, goats, dog teeth, or Kula valuables "really" "money"? It i s , rather, how are the similarities and the differences between such items and dollars related to similarities and differences i n socio-economic structure? (ibid.) Neale (1976 : 3 - 4 , 4 5 - 4 6 , 92, 9 5 ) , too, i s quite emphatic that -122-monies axe parts of a larger system of economic and social relationships, and that, there i s no definition or "essence" apart from the uses money objects serve. If there i s wide variation from society to society i n the functions, t r a i t s and processes money may realize, then this must obviously be a warning not to expect a money necessarily, or even usually, to acquire a l l or any of the functions and uses Westerners associate with their money. Nor can i t be assumed that Western money has a l l the func-tions and consequences another money has, or which some future money may one day have. In short, there i s no one money: only monies i n the plural. And unless a money i s interpreted i n terms of the purposes i t serves within the particular socio-economic system i n which i t occurs, the mere presence of coins, or cowries or beads, i s not of i t s e l f going to reveal very much of interest about the organization of an economy, or about the role of money within i t . Certainly i t does1 indicate that payments are made i n coin or cowrie or bead; but i t w i l l not t e l l who uses the money and for what; whether the money i s essential to livelihood i n that society; whether i t s purchasing power over goods and services i s very great or very l i t t l e ; whether i t i s a "money of kings", or of the common man? This i s basically a substantivist line of argument. Indeed, the persistent insensitivity to the varieties of sociological condition i n which, empirically, monies operate owes, as Hammond (1964 : 96) implies, to an i n a b i l i t y to transcend considerations of the market. Oddly, this has not been properly corrected in the course of the formal-ist/substantivist debate. Neale (1976 : 18, 29, 3 0 , 98) notes that i n -123-contestlng the way to state and interpret economic phenomena, both sides have argued over themes to do with rationality, trade and markets, hardly touching at a l l on the subject of money. In modern times, Neale adds, the assumption has been that money, markets and trade are so closely associated that they have been taken to constitute, together with produc-tion, a single sphere of ac t i v i t i e s - the "economy", comprehensively speaking. But whatever the truth of this as a depiction of a Western economy, cross-culturally i t i s clearly an error to assume such a close intermeshing as the paradigm. These are notions which must be d i f f e r -entiated: for trade can occur without money, just as there are moneyish uses of things without money being used i n trade. There can be trade without a market, as indeed money can be employed for non-commercial payments, as i n bride prices and bloodwealth. Dalton (1967) i s aware of the confusion. He takes up on the "embeddedness" of primitive economic institutions because i n his view, i t i s the compression of economic with non-economic variables i n those communities which are marketless, or for which the market i s at best peripheral, that turns out to be the crucial factor i n explaining how their money and money uses can d i f f e r so widely from money and money uses i n a market-dominated Western economy. For i n a subsistence economy livelihood cannot depend upon production for sale. Where no market prin-ciple exists, transfers of labour, resources, material goods and services have to depend upon such essentially non-commercial practices as obligatory g i f t s to kin and friends, obligatory payments to chiefs and priests, bridewealth, bloodwealth, fees for entering secret societies, corvee -124-labour, mortuary payments, and so on. As a result, such transfers are often concentrated and intermittent. As for any money present, i t s performance i s fashioned according to the norms and institutional solid-a r i t i e s of kinship or t r i b a l l i f e ! Items such as cattle, goats, spears, Yap stones, and pig tusks take on roles as special purpose money i n non-commercial transactions: they become means of (reciprocal or redistributive) payments, as i n the case of bloodwealth and mortuary payments; or media of (reciprocal) exchange, as i s the case with bride-wealth . (op. c i t , 265) These items are appropriately termed "limited" or "special purpose money" i n the literature, i n the sense that a selective number of the different possible functions of money are "called forth" by the normative requirements and transactional particularities of an underlying socio-economic system, functions which are then separately institutionalized around these specialised monetary symbolisms. "Money tr a i t s d i f f e r where socio-economic organization differs," Dalton (op. c i t , 264, 280) sums up. So when Malinowski decrees that Kula valuables are different from Western currency, he really only succeeds i n pointing out that reciprocal g i f t -giving i s different from market purchase and sale. That difference i s quite profound. In i t s classical private-enterprise version, market purchase and sale means that the demand i n money for one good or another determines which goods w i l l be produced, and therefore how the factors of production w i l l be used and which kinds of industry w i l l expand capacity. People work for wages or salaries, paid i n cash. From this derives their purchasing power, so that items -125-of consumption are distributed among families as they buy them from stores with their money. The market dominates man's uses of nature, himself, his tools (cf. Neale 1976 : 3 U ) . Where market exchange i s ubiquitous, to the point where a l l money uses relate to i t , i t becomes feasible, and indeed necessary, to institutionalize a l l uses of money within a single monetary instrument (cf. Dalton I967 '• 256-257, 260). Money in modern market-integrated economies has, i n consequence, a l i q u i d i t y across a very wide range of transactions. Accordingly, such currencies have been termed "general purpose money", though Neale (1976 : 3) more circumspectly calls them "multipurpose" as a reminder of the limits upon the uses of even this money, whatever ve r s a t i l i t y i t might have i n contrast to special purpose monies. 2 . Arithmetic and Social Change Money i s a powerful social device, none more so than modern general or multi-purpose money (cf. op. c i t . 3 2 , 86, 95)• Money can induce performance; inflows and outflows of money can be used to measure and to regulate performances. It i s often possible to substitute for the performance of an action with a payment i n money. Such i s the practice of accepting i n the place of k i l l i n g one of another's clan out of obligations of revenge. By a monetary rendition of values, people are able to compare things with events or with performances. Muses Neale: " I can compare a herd of cows to a skyscraper, and either with scything a f i e l d of hay or with an operation performed by a surgeon. Any of these I can compare with the risk of a shipwreck i n New York harbour." -126-Price i s the relevant mechanism. Part of the function of pricing i n a Western economy i s to f a c i l i t a t e comparison of price quota-tions, so that a potential consumer can "shop around" as between d i f f e r -ent sellers of the same products, or between different products altogether. Liquid money means unfettered choice. There i s no meaningful equivalent of this i n Siane, or any other primitive society. A brideprice hardly implies the liberty to shop around; and the multi-centric format of the Siane economy i s by i t s e l f an indication that choices are hedged in with respect to what can be paid for or measured by their gimaiye money, or who can or must make the payments, when and i n what circumstances payments are made or values measured, and how, that i s i n what form and with what procedures, this must be done. These restrictions of choice, imposed by specialized monetary agencies, are to be understood as surface refractions of underlying socio-economic r e a l i t i e s . Then not only may a money be expected to yi e l d important clues as to the present organization of relationships, but i t s specialized characteristics should also provide a way of anti-cipating the reaction of that organization to the impingement of Western-style market economy and money. Western money does rather more than merely replace the traditional money-stuffs in circulation, as i s the somewhat simplified impression Davenport (1961) creates i n his a r t i c l e dealing with just this meeting of monies i n a Melanesian community. Multi-purpose money, accruing i n native hands from such market sources as cash-cropping and wage labour, may well come to be used in the place of the traditional exchange items for the purposes of discharging -127-various non-commercial obligations i n the native context. In doing so, i t can play an important part i n creative a c t i v i t i e s , especially because i t expands the effective freedom of individuals. It can also be destructive of social relationships, helping to introduce changes faster than the people of that society can adapt their ideas and social processes to cope with them (cf. Neale 1976 : 76). Either way, something fundamental i s happening: In economies which formerly were marketless or had peripheral markets, a structural link - Western cash -now exists between spheres of activity which formerly were separate. Western money therefore has inevitable repercussions on traditional social organization and cultural practices. (Dalton 1967 : 280) Multi-purpose money i s part of the architecture of the modern world economy: the "development" of primitive economies confronts the i n -eluctable fact of money. Historically, there have been occasions when modern money has been made a deliberate instrument of structural change i n traditional economies. Neale (1976 : 77-8l) describes a colonial instance, that of British Central Africa, where the Pioneers conceived of a unified system of society and economy relying on money to coordinate the largely European sector of production and distribution of commodities with a projected Bantu contribution of wage labour and cash-fed consumerism. The costs of Government would be met out of taxes. In the Pioneer assump-tion, money was the link between man, work and material welfare. Not so for the Bantu, who found himself deprived by conquest of sufficient land to continue satisfactorily with his traditional economic ac t i v i t i e s and who had no familiarity with modern money, and l i t t l e or no incentive to -128-work for Europeans to earn i t . Added to this was the contradiction that i t was British Colonial Office policy to interfere as l i t t l e as possible with indigenous customs, and to give over reserved areas for the natives to continue their older way of l i f e when not engaged in the monetized economy. Given the design of the Pioneers, this policy i f anything created a barrier to further adjustments on the part of the Bantu. If cultural misunderstandings and dislocation are a v i r t u a l i n e v i t a b i l i t y i n situations such as th i s , i t i s because modern money i s an integral operating part of the European system of ideas. It belongs to a society which has been commercialized for generations, i n whose view of the world i t i s inconceivable that people do not ordinarily work for money or s e l l what they produce for money. One thing i n particular i s remarkable about the ideological climate which sustains modern money, and i t i s the one thing which above a l l points to i t s uniqueness as a medium compared with primitive monies. This i s arithmetic. It was said that money i s an abstraction, i n essence an idea, or constellation of ideas. Following i n this connection, i t i s important that the relationships among the functions of money are logical ones, and not hi s t o r i c a l ones (cf. Neale op. c i t . 8). Moreover, Belshaw (1965 : 9) explains that a l l the functions of money - medium of exchange, store of value, purchasing power, unitization of value, l i q u i d or short term capital, liquid reserves i n general - are logically dependent on the characteristic of l i q u i d i t y . Liquidity i s the relative ease with which a commodity (or entry i n an account book, even) can be exchanged. But -129-what i s the cognitive basis of this characteristic, as i t i s found i n a modern multi-purpose money? What i s the formal property which gives to this transactional medium i t s protean powers of exchangeability? The simple answer i s that i t i s fac t o r i a l , and thereby amenable to systematic and precise arithmetical operations of d i v i s i b i l i t y , multi-plication, summation, and so on. The bamboo t a l l i e s which Siane use to compute various aspects of their exchange of valuables nowhere nearly approximate to this degree of arithmetical system. Nor are the gimaiye valuables fungible, which i s another essential product of f a c t o r i a l i t y , and an important t r a i t of a highly liquid money. Money i s fungible when any one unit, or several units, of the money i s substitutable for any other units of the same value or denomination i n the monetary system (cf. Neale 1976 : 8, 94). Four quarters and a dollar b i l l are "the same" for monetary purposes; just as i t makes no difference whether five ten cent stamps are stuck on an envelope, or one f i f t y cent stamp. But without the common measure and abstract calculus of value given by arithmetic, on what possible grounds can Siane determine say that two pigs have the equivalent value i n exchanges as four shells and one plume, or some other combination? Without quantification, there i s ambiguity and argument which, i t has already been seen, i s almost exactly the point of gimaiye. Interestingly, fungibility also requires anonymity i n the money-stuff. When, for instance, quasi-monetary items like stamps become collector's pieces - treasures or valuables, i n other words --130-thelr interchangeability i s no longer automatic. Now i f someone i s offered five ten cent stamps in exchange for a f i f t y cent stamp i n his possession, he i s certain to ask "Which ten cent stamps exactly?" If he were offered f i f t y cents cash, however, he would say "Yes" or "No" of "Maybe", but hardly "Which f i f t y cents?" That question would be incongruous, Neale comments, so fungible i s modern money. But i t i s exactly the type of question that gets asked i n the context of a primi-tive money system. As Malinowski has recorded: It must be noted that each one of the f i r s t - c l a s s arm-shells and necklaces has a personal name and a history of i t s own, and as they a l l circulate around the big ring of the Kula they are well-known, and their appear-ance i n a given d i s t r i c t always creates a sensation, (1967 : 174) Even i n the case of Rossel Island money (cf. Armstrong 19^7, Baric 1964) where the regularities of equivalence between shells of higher and lower denominations has developed to a degree that i s unusual i n Melanesia, the money i s not completely fungible. The exceptions pertain to the higher-valued shells, and seem to be for the reason of protecting their individuality or distinctiveness i n exchange. The point of this w i l l come clearer i n due course. 3. Purchasing Power as "Real" Wealth This presentation of money as a cognitive set, having formal properties of one sort or another from which derive the organizing prin-ciples i n a system of socio-economic relationships, i s l i k e l y to incur dissatisfaction amongst some for i t s love of abstraction. It i s an approach overly given to intangibles, i t might be objected, whereas -131-what counts i s the way money and material wealth combine and inter-relate i n a real world economy. Behind the criticism i s the considera-tion that a l l the functions money performs can i n fact be expressed i n terms of the idea of money as a means of payment. In newer books, money i s often simply defined as the means of unitizing purchasing power. "Purchasing power" amounts to more or less the same thing as "means of payment", but i t i s the preferable term because i t highlights the truth that to hold money i s to be endowed with the a b i l i t y to command goods and services or to refrain from commanding them (cf. Bohannan 196? : 123; Neale 1976 : 7, 5 3 - 5 5 ) . Money values inhere i n the context of the productive economy. After a l l , i t was Adam Smith who proposed that the wealth of a nation l i e s i n the productivity of i t s resources and popu-lation. In doing so, he marks a transition from the mercantilist period from the sixteenth through to the eighteenth centuries i n Europe, when sil v e r was sought from the New World for the coinage to make payments, i n the misdirected belief (though i t i s a simplification to state i t thus) that the value a money transmits owes to the money substance i t -s e l f being valuable. Rather, i f money i s an alternative for a system of exchange by direct barter, then, to borrow Neale's (1976 : 85) metaphor, money i s a " v e i l " disguising the "real" prices of goods and services i n terms of each other. Applying the argument to. the understanding of the gimaiye valuables, i t should greatly advance the understanding of their social role far beyond the idea that they are merely the symbolic counters i n an elaborate pseudo-economical charade of status competition, and clear -132-up once and for a l l the lingering perplexity as to why the natives devote excessive attention to objects which contribute nothing obvious to their material welfare, i f one would penetrate to the core of economic r e a l i t i e s "veiled" by the p o l i t i c a l ceremony. There i s evidently sufficient reason to ins i s t upon the l i k e l y presence of material interests concealed i n social custom. It i s an anchor for analysis, detached from which Malinowski, for one, tends to lapse into bizarre psychologism. The very high value of vaygu'a, he expounds grandly, emanates from: ... the fundamental human impulse to display, to share, to bestow ... the deep tendency to create social ties through exchange of g i f t s . Apart from any consideration of whether the gifts are necessary or even useful, giving for the sake of giving i s one of the most import-ant features of Trobriand sociology, and, from i t s very general and fundamental nature, I submit that i t i s a universal feature of a l l primitive societies ... The Kula i s the highest and the most dramatic expression of the native's conception of value, and i f we want to understand a l l the customs and actions of the Kula i n their bearings, we must, f i r s t and foremost, grasp the psychology that l i e s at i t s basis. (1968 : 37) Against this, Uberoi (1971 : 1^8, 158) c r i t i c i s e s Malinowski for being so concerned to emphasise the non-utilitarian and seemingly economically irrational ceremonial side of Kula, that he greatly minimized the import-ance of the "trade which follows the flag " . It i s confirmed by Belshaw (1955 ! 27) , i n another Melanesian example, that normal trade goes hand i n hand with p o l i t i c a l partnerships, i t s connections much more widespread i n fact. And Stein (1963) talks of Radin's a b i l i t y to see the balance In primitive l i f e between u t i l i t y and ceremony, rather than taking i t -133-to be lopsided i n the direction of the latter, as western society i s towards the former. He quotes Radin: In general, the tendency has been to speak of a l l aspects of primitive economics connected with transfer, barter and purchase, as i f their main function was to serve as an outlet for the expression of specific human emotions and as i f there was not a rigorous restriction of purely personal activity i n such matters.... What apparently Fortune, Malinowski and Thurnwald seem to have fai l e d properly to understand and stress i s that one of the primary roles, i f indeed, i t i s not actually the primary, of a transfer and exchange i s to visualize, dramatize and authenticate the existence of certain fixed relations subsisting between specific people and that this relationship has a "monetary" value. The actual reaffirmation of this relationship may take an exceedingly short time and the non-material emoluments flowing from i t a very long time. That i s , after a l l , true of every type of exchange and transfer. It i s an unjustifiable procedure to relegate the u t i l i t a r i a n aspect of a transfer among primitive peoples to a secondary position because of the richness and dura-tion of i t s non-utilitarian accessories, just as un-justifiable as i t would be to do the same in our own c i v i l i z a t i o n . (op. c i t . 199-200) Returning to the Siane, these arguments can clearly be applied to reveal some of the levels on which a complex phenomenon like gimaiye functions. F i r s t i n the matter of the "trade which follows the f l a g " . Salisbury (1962 : 86) indicates that Siane are careful to foster relations i n areas producing a desired item unobtainable locally. Inter-district trade i s an important business, but the degree of p o l i t i c a l insecurity prevailing amongst a consociation of hostile clans makes i t a traditional necessity to combine a trading relationship with a kin relationship (cf. Burridge i960 : 5 2 ) . Sometimes this can be organized through clear clan connections - mother's brothers and sister's sons. Owners of r o i trees -134-might thus pay a v i s i t to kinsmen owning pandanus trees to help harvest the nuts and from whom they receive nuts, and the nut-owners later v i s i t the roi-owners and receive o i l . Salisbury says that though a system resembling barter seems to be struck up, i n the native mind this i s "help", umaiye. However, such kinship relations can be extremely tenuous, even non-existent, whereupon either legendary kinship attachments are invented, or another device i s resorted to. This amounts to "adopting" structural enemies under the rubric of emona we. In pidgin the term translates as pren, "friend", though l i t e r a l l y i t means "my male sister", and i t i s applied to a sister's husband, a wife's brother, a daughter's husband's father, a son's wife's father, or to more distantly related persons whom i t i s expedient to acknowledge as "kin". Emona we i s generally a nebulous relationship, Salisbury claims. Their importance consists chiefly i n the exchange of goods i t f a c i l i t a t e s , and a man w i l l often have one emona we in each area where an out of the way commodity, like python skins, i s obtainable. It i s to be noted that these gi f t s or presentations of harvest are termed gimaiye, not umaiye. Trade relations i n this category are clearly set up through gimaiye channels - Salisbury mentions that child betrothals, for instance, often i n i t i a t e the exchange. Uberoi (1971 : 9 - 10) stresses that by the alliances formed by the ceremonial giving of valuables, the exchange partner becomes the main guarantee of safety on trading expeditions away from the clan village. In other words, the luxury trade i n the rarest items i s a Big Man prerogative, for as Thurnwald (cf. 19&7 ! 242) confirms, only the man with the prestige and -135-p o l i t i c a l standing of a chief, or an established gimaiye or Kula partner, i s able to carry on "foreign" business beyond his community. It i s not made clear by Salisbury how closely the luxury trade i n Siane i s bound, in the fashion Malinowski describes for the Kula, into the cycle of ceremonial exchanges through the institution of numerous solicitary g i f t s leading up to the more focal and formal giving of the gimaiye valuables themselves. There i s the possible implication i n this, that with pacification the need for constant ceremonial re-affirmations of the p o l i t i c a l alliance behind the exchange f a l l s away somewhat, leaving only the "pure" trade. Nevertheless, with Uberoi-(1971 '• 153)» i t can be assumed that the tone of commercial morality i s thus set by the decorum of the gimaiye proper, and, importantly, that the p o l i t i c a l tension i s what, in the f i n a l analysis, ensures the overall equivalence i n the flow of goods works i t s e l f out in the long run. • A second and more fundamental way in which the exchange values of gimaiye are grounded in real productive capacity concerns what Bohannan (1967 ! 128-129) calls "conversion". Bohannan uses the term specifically with regard to multi-centric economies, such as Siane, or, in the case of his own interest, the Tiv of central Nigeria, and i t applies to those exchanges of items from one category to another. It i s distinguished from "conveyances", which are exchanges of items within a single category. Given that the spheres of exchange usually involve a moral ranking, Bohannan says that conversions have a strong moral quality i n their rationalization and that they imply a situation which leaves one party to the exchange i n a good position and the other i n a bad one. -136-Conveyances meanwhile are morally neutral. On both counts, Bohannan's terminology i n i t i a l l y seems irrelevant to Siane. "Morally neutral" i s incorrect i n view of the native idea that conveyances within the subsistence sphere are "help", the symbolism of the primary intra-clan ethic; while conversions, by the radical separation of the categories, are ostensibly impossible. Nevertheless they do occur, and in two ways: Vegetables are given i n gimaiye, though this anomaly i s "morally rationalized", as Bohannan would put i t , by presenting the food uncooked and i n very great quantities (cf. Salisbury 1962 : 103). This removes any ambiguity about their being "help", since vegetables given i n umaiye are cooked and i n small enough quantities to be immediately usable by the individual to whom they are given. It i s therefore a corporate trans-action, Salisbury concludes, a presentation of goods to be stored and allocated as the receiving clan wishes. The more significant form of conversion i s pigs.- Pigs are valu-ables unequivocally, unlike vegetables - but pigs feed on yams and other gardening produce. Moreover pigs and wives have an essential association. Wives nurture a man's pigs, quite l i t e r a l l y with her own breast milk when they are young, and also by tending the gardens which grow the yams. Wives are exchanged for pigs, so that the more pigs a man has, the more wives he can hope for. And more wives means more pigs, and an augmented purchas-ing power in the gimaiye network. This circularity i s behind Malinowski's comment, "Gardening, and effective gardening at that, with a large surplus - r e -produce, l i e s at the root of a l l t r i b a l authority" ( 1 9 3 5 5 6 ) . From the individual's point of view, to convert subsistence wealth into prestige wealth, and both into women, i s a profitable and self-validating endeavour. Put into economist's terms: conversion i s the ultimate type of maximization (cf. Bohannan I 9 6 7 : 1 2 9 ) . Looked at macroscopically, through conversion via the intermediation of the valu-ables, the p o l i t i c a l cycle absorbs the accumulation from the production cycle. The production cycle brings i n a material result and gives out a prestige result. This influences i n turn the p o l i t i c a l standing (read "purchasing power" or "command wealth") of the significant actors within the system, and this again has effects on the production cycle, there to be further strengthened and consolidated with more investment for maximal result. Quoting from Izikowitz, "The two cycles together form a l i f e stream i n time, and a l l actions float along through the canals which are made by the relationships, that i s , by the structure" ( 1 9 6 3 : 1 3 3 , 148). 4. Money as Promise: Credit Farming To rest the question of the power of money at this point would, however, be woefully insufficient. Uberoi ( 1 9 7 1 '• 1 5 8 ) who introduced the criticism of Malinowski that his approach to phenomena like Kula lacks economic "realism", nevertheless insists that there i s a f u l l e r explanation than this for the high value attached to the Kula objects, and i t requires that the specifically social value of the Kula must be understood. This comment connects with what Bari6 has a l l along been saying, that these are embedded systems and therefore sociological principles coalesce i n the -138-operation of such economic variables as money, investment, saving, credit, and so on. The clue i s found i n Malinowski himself, as i t happens. Having apostrophized about vaygu'a that items of this type are transacted out of the primitive's putative "impulse to bestow", to share, to create social t i e s through exchange of g i f t s , he reflects i n a contradictory vein that "through a practically useless g i f t , a burdensome obligation i s imposed, and one might speak of an increase of burdens rather than an increase of u t i l i t i e s " (1968 : 37)• This afterthought conforms much more closely to the s p i r i t of Mauss's elucidation of gift-exchange (cf. Baric 1964 : 50)» He realized that what i s an apparently generous and disinterested g i f t giving not only sets up a duty to repay ( f a i l i n g which there remains a perpetual social obligation to the giver), but that i t also entails both that i t i s a duty to give (in order to maintain authority and prestige), and that i t i s a duty to receive (or else cut off social relations). Salisbury would certainly assimilate the Siane gimaiye ceremonial ex-changes to this type, for he i s explicit that when a clan accepts a pres-entation of valuables they are publicly assuming the obligation to give value for what they receive and to return an equivalent (cf. 1962 : 95)• In talking about money, Neale (1976 s 4) claims, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to avoid the ideas of obligation and debt. This i s because they are fund-amental to the way a money links i n with social action. The point i s obscured by the popular conception that what makes money i s i t s associa-tion with a tangible and valuable stuff. There i s much in Western monetary -139-history to lend support to this notion, for in other times there have been monies hacked by silver or gold, or by a productive asset like the productivity of land, or some other material essential to generate an income of "proper" money stuff with which to redeem a paper money (cf. op. c i t . 16). On the other hand, Neale counters, there are hi s t o r i c a l examples too of money (both of paper and base metal tokens) backed by nothing except the power of the state. It was legal tender by f i a t , purchasing power certified by government authority. In this there i s an important similarity with modern money. Nowadays, with the volume of money i n circulation in countries like England and the United States, i t would be absurd to expect that every pound note or dollar b i l l could be redeemed for the gold for which the paper "stands": there just i s not that much gold i n either country. Like f i a t monies of times past, the point i s that the paper and the tokens "stand for" nothing except what they can do for their owners, which i s to make payments to payees who w i l l accept the paper and tokens. In other words, the key to this money i s to be found i n a process, not i n any substance. It i s consistent with this fact that the bulk of modern money resides not i n the actual physical currency circulating i n a society, but i n the form of "demand deposits", or chequing accounts, i n commercial banks. In this form money i s consti-tuted by a set of legally binding statements about rights and obligations (cf. op. c i t . 14-15)• For a demand deposit i s essentially a promise (and thereby an obligation) by the bank to pay the depositor, or whomever the depositor orders the bank to pay, i n a form satisfactory to the payee; and to own a demand deposit i s to have the right, the legal power, to act so -140-as to set i n motion a series of events (payments) that w i l l alter the state of legal rights and obligations, including the rights (demand deposits) and obligations (debts, payments owing) of the owner. Payment i s made by reducing the amount promised by the bank to the cheque-writing depositor, and increasing the amount promised to the recipient (payee) of the cheque, at the same or at a different bank. There i s no "stuff" i n this, corres-ponding to the demand deposit, which the bank must have i n i t s possession i n order to substantiate i t s promises and obligations. What backs up the system of demand deposits i s no thing as such, but the process of enforce-ment of the law of contract. The demand deposit i s a legally binding con-tract, Neale explains: The records w i l l prove that the actions /of effecting a payment by cheque/ occurred and the courts w i l l en-force the new state of obligations (debts and credits). It i s the actions taken - the processes of banking, with their legal consequences - that have "paid my debt". No stuff has been paid (handed over). In fact, a peculiarity of our system of payment by process in the banking system i s that the only moveable stuff - the check - returns at the end of the process to the payer." (op. c i t . 15? emphasis i n original) Where promises are the basis of the monetary system, credit i n a capitalist society can easily be seen to extend the conception of a monetary supply (cf. Belshaw 1965 : 9, Neale I976 : 92-92). Credit i s a name for a variety of arrangements for postponing payment of a debt u n t i l the future, a l l of which, Neale says, have in common some variant of the statement by one party, the creditor, that he w i l l believe the promise of the debtor that the payment w i l l be made. Neale i s preoccupied with comparing and contrasting credit with money in terms of the difference that promises i n the former instance are not usually negotiable by third -141-parties, whereas hank promises concerning demand deposits or bank notes are transferable to third as, indeed, to fourth and f i f t h parties i n f u l l and f i n a l payment. But whether this makes credit properly "money" or not i s less relevant here than the obvious consideration that creditors "believe" the promises of their debtors, because such obligations invoke control. It i s of paramount interest to emphasise how debt, credit, control, and the managerial function conveyed by the notion of "command wealth", can come together i n the manipulations of a monetary instrument. In the circumstances of an extensive system of promises and out-standing debts what i s cardinally important to i t s operation i s that there be a record, some way of keeping track of a kaleidoscopic situation: Siane's bamboo t a l l i e s considerably amplified. That i s what Neale (op. c i t . 15-1?) calls "stuff-as-evidence". Some of the forms i n which money exists - dollar b i l l s , pound notes, and the ledgers, bank statements and megnetic tapes on which demand deposits and credit extensions are recorded - are best regarded as evidences of promises to pay, or, obversely, of the courts' commitment to forcing the creditor to accept payment i n the banknotes of the nation's central bank . It i s i n this capacity as a notation recording information about deferred payments, or about any money valuation or transaction,that money can be used to enforce the rights and duties of individuals and groups within a society. Neale discusses the role of money i n the planned economy of the Soviet Union, where prices do not emerge as the result of the free play of individualized supply and demand. They are set to reflect the aims -142-and priorities of the central planners, and are then used to monitor the p r o f i t a b i l i t y and performance of plants i n relation to the objectives of the Plan. Payments are made between plants and other enterprises by transfers through the State Bank, primarily on the basis of credits such enterprises are authorized to have by the Plan, rather than by means of cash receipts from sales to other enterpsises. While exhibiting much of the appearance of a means of payment or medium of exchange, Soviet money i s largely, a money of account and a means of massive social control. In market economies, Neale (op. c i t . 23) concludes, "money-as-purchasing-power gives the possessor great power; in the Soviet Union power gives the possessor money-as-purchasing-power to carry out public policy i n many aspects of l i f e . " Modern money, particularly by institutionalising debt, has thus a demonstrable relation to social control, and the suggestion i s that control can be more or less planned or deliberate. Whatever the outside appearances of primitive monies, the principle i s the same. It i s clear from the pattern of customary delay between exchanges that the gimaiye valuables, along with the supporting t a l l i e s , are the standard of deferred payment for the debts which organize Siane society p o l i t i c a l l y (of. op. c i t . 3 6 ) . Siane investment in social capital was before disparagingly called pseudo-economics. In fact, i t i s nothing less than a ramifying system of credit i n which influential creditors foster socially useful obligations by debts arising from the giving of valuables. Credit i s a universal phenomenon, in other words, especially -143-where i t i s agreed that making a loan can occur i n a non-monetary form, and neither party need measure the credit extended in monetary forms. What this has i n common with the sort of credit advanced or measured i n monetary terms i s the criterion that there are obligations to make pay-ments i n the future rather than right away (cf. op. c i t . 9 2 ) . Obliga-tion i s a sociological'notion. Indeed, from the point of view of their social concomitants, Mauss saw g i f t exchange and credit as identical {c.f. Bari6 1964 : 50. Baric, more circumspectly, claims only that there are many similarities between the two. •'• Nevertheless both she and Firth (1964 : 32) accept the'necessity of interpreting credit situations soci-a l l y as well as economically, particularly with respect to the multiplex roles of t r i b a l societies where what may appear to be an ordinary exchange of commodities i s made to do a great deal of work i n other axeas of re-lationship. In effect, i n the interval i t takes to repay a debt (and this may extend even to years), a relationship exists which may be of much wider social dimensions than the creditor/debtor relationship i n a Western economy. The returns may therefore be diffuse rather than specific. As Firth says, though i n a narrow economic or material sense the debt cannot a l l be serviced, i n the wider social context some forms of social service, recognition, or other benefit may be regarded as providing a measure of equivalence to the original loan. It implies especially that the creditor can exercise control over the debtor's actions by calling i n , or threatening to c a l l i n a loan, or by otherwise publicly embarrass-ing him with reminders of his debts. In such circumstances, an early return could be undesirable from the point of view of the creditor, who -144-might prefer to maintain the kudos and the attitude of superiority which his a b i l i t y to lend brings. BariC' draws attention to the possibility that i t may even amount to an insult to attempt to repay a creditor. In societies i n which roles have this multiplex dimension, a complete settling up means that good relations are being broken off. It becomes a delicate task then to steer between financial profit and kin solidarity. In any event, when Salisbury (1962 : 152) says that much of the wealth of present-day Siane i s i n valuables, and time and energy i s spent i n amassing stocks of these objects, the analytical point to be made i s that wealth i n these societies i s not i n the material possessions held. "Real" wealth i s entirely incorporeal. More intangibly and dynamically, i t consists i n power over people's actions, i n command wealth. Armstrong (1967 : 2 5 l ) uses the term "broker" as the most f i t -ting translation of the native word denoting a class of persons on Rossel Island who deal i n a specialised fashion i n the borrowing and lending of their shell money. The term i s aptly extended to the role of the Siane Big Man i n relation to the gimaiye valuables. For from the individual's point of view, Salisbury (1962 : 101) indicates, to have a reputation for frequent disposal of valuables does not necessarily mean owning large stocks. It i s to create the circumstances where he always receives most valuables i n any ceremonial distribution, so that he thereby puts himself i n a position to redistribute munificently. This can be achieved through public activism, Salisbury (op. c i t . 100) says, by taking the i n i t i a t i v e i n contributing one or two valuables on occasions like betrothals and marriages, when payments are being made. -145-For the man who contributes most often to the payments of his clan-mates, by the mechanisms of reciprocity, i s also the man who gets the largest return i n the redistribution of any valuables received by the clan. The essence of this role of brokerage i s to establish a reputa-tion for creditworthiness. Herein l i e s the significance of the ostenta-tious display of valuables as ornamental clothing. This, as Salisbury (op. c i t . 99-100) says, i s not like an advertisement of large stocks that the wearer could consume i n use i f he so wished. Rather, they are worn demonstratively to bruit i t about that these have been given to a man by the Big Men of other villages who trust i n his capability to make a f a i t h f u l return. What Malinowski styles as "the fundamental human impulse to display" i s r e a l i s t i c a l l y seen asaa self-aggrandizing p o l i t i c a l strat-agem. The more so once Salisbury (op. c i t . 92) mentions that there i s a need for such a man to cloak what he himself really owns i n the way of pigs and other assets, so as to avoid excessive borrowing. Display i s a v i t a l part of the potency of the gimaiye valuables, which i s also an i n -sight into the characteristic that they are valuable only i f kept in constant circulation. They are not a means of storing value indefinitely, because i t i s only by conspicuously trafficking i n the valuables that a Big Man's public standing becomes a matter of common knowledge and begins to attract numerous extra-clan relationships. This i s the point at which a man can carry on "foreign business" beyond his community, for only this kind of man has the power to convert, via gimaiye, structural enemies into a l l i e s . He can "walk unharmed a l l over the valley", Siane say (cf. op. c i t . 101). To have a reputation established on this basis i s to be - 1 4 6 -greatly respected. It i s the ideal i n Siane eyes. 5. Managers and the Making of Money If Siane money i s hut a system of promises and obligations, more exactly a convention than a thing or stuff, how i n the end i s i t upheld? Without law courts and enforceable contracts, how are people socialized into an acceptance of i t s particular demands and principles? Why, anyway, i s i t so rigorous, trammelling people i n a web of unending debt when, for instance, a few more valuables i n circulation would greatly alleviate the pressure? Mary Douglas (1967 : 116), who discusses a system of r a f f i a cloth money among the Lele i n the former Belgian Congo, makes the comment that capital investment i n economies like Lele or Siane may be as station-ary as any other primitive economy. But from the point of view of an individual within who starts lending and borrowing valuables, i t appears as a temptingly expanding financial system. Not directly productive of material goods, his investments are i n his own prestige. Since his youth a man has been drawing on the stocks of his elders, and has been made aware of a sense of obligation when they helped him. As soon as he ac-quires any surplus stock of his own, he starts to create obligations toward himself by helping a kinsman with marriage payments, or other dues. But i t becomes a treadmill, as Douglas describes: He gets drawn into a social game i n which, i f he can-not give the impression of generosity, he loses not only prestige but the opportunities of obtaining credit when he needs i t . A man's dignity as a member of a village, able to pay his way and help his kin, depends on credit, for the contributions of clansmen to one another's r a f f i a / c . f . gimaiye/.needs are largely a matter of gifts made in the expectation that the recipient w i l l be equally generous when their turn comes to ask his help," (ibid.) Such hoped-for generosity does not alter the actuality that the situation i s generally one of an asymmetry of indebtedness between younger newcomers to gimaiye and older, established participants. It i s an effect of the proscriptions against free conversion of assets from the other two nexuses into purchasing power, or valuables, i n the gimaiye net-work, that the Big Men, who alone operate the gimaiye, are able to control access to i t by the practice of sponsorship. By selective exclusion, they retain virtual monopoly on the monetary instrument. This makes i t very apparent why the number of valuables i n circulation i s not increased to ease the debt situation entailed i n gimaiye. Shortages in the money supply necessitate accelerated borrowing and extended credit, something Siane's most accomplished brokers must find wholly congenial. Dalton (1967 : 262) might balk at the suggestion of purposeful manipulation. He remarks that i n contrast to rational market economies where there i s deliberate control by governments of the quantities of money i n circulation, i n primitive economies this feature of calculated control i s usually absent. Partly, he says, this i s attributable to the sources of the primitive money-stuff i t s e l f , which are often contingent upon natural factors of a v a i l a b i l i t y . More importantly, though, he considers that the need for the deliberate variation of the supply of money i s not essential i n the case of a non-commercial money, for the reason that i t normally -148-lacks the immediate connection with production and daily livelihood which a multi-purpose money in a market economy has. The transactions i t mediates are only occasional events, such as fines, marriage payments. On the contrary, i t must he argued that gimaiye money i s subject to f i s c a l controls of some considerable ingenuity, and Dalton only mis-leads by the suggestion of haphazardness in the money supply. This much i s to be appreciated i n Mary Douglas1 pointed remark that where "the village budget i s run on a d e f i c i t , the last responsibility i s a matter of accountancy, not of keeping valuables under ... hand" (1967 : 118). The punctilious attention the Siane give to their bamboo t a l l i e s i s an indication of how closely they monitor the changing gimaiye stakes for the movement of the valuables keeps the balance of power i n constant flow. In addition to the t a l l i e s , monies of the gimaiye and Kula type evince another definite contrivance regulating the quantities i n circula-tion. This same characteristic also acts to limit the liquidity of this kind of money (and therefore i t s obtainability) by putting up barriers against the fungibility of the valuables. It w i l l be remembered that there i s no anonymity in the transaction of valuables; i t i s hardly an impersonal money market where anyone may borrow or exchange from anyone else at the going interest rate (cf, Dalton 19&7 ! 272). Every movement of these articles, every detail of the transactions i s fixed and regulated by a set of traditional rules and conventions (cf. Malinowski 1968 : 2 l ) . In this situation every valuable i s well-known and, i n fact, individually named. In contrast to a modern, multi-purpose -149-money, the tokens of which are undifferentiated by anything other than the monetary value they symbolise, gimaiye valuables and vaygu'a are invested with what Dalton (1967 '• 225) calls "pedigrees" and "personal-i t i e s " . This i s fundamental to the creation of this monetary system and to the bargaining power of the brokers which depends upon i t . For one thing, no forgery could break these conditions of controlled scarcity. Douglas (1967 : 116-118) explains the effect. The situation becomes one i n which too few monetary items are chasing after too many debts and promises. No sooner i s a valuable paid over than i t i s transferred again to liquidate debts incurred elsewhere: an I-owe-you situation quickly transforms into a you-owe-me one and back again. Depending upon the nature and urgency of the debt, repayment may be postponed for years, so stacking up outstanding scores to settle between transactors. The. over-a l l result i s that pressures on the available money are quasi-inflationary. The demand for valuables can only be met by increasing the velocity of circulation, given that the supply i s kept more or less constant. No one, Douglas concludes, can be expected to be anything but quick i n making claims, or ruthless i n pursuing debtors. This i s probably true of Siane, and i f so i t i s an apt reflection on the taut competitiveness of Bigmanship. Yet the whole point i s that i t i s only by borrowing from others that a man establishes that he i s admired, i s of good credit, possesses dignity - and which i s why forgery i s not just impossible, i t would be f u t i l e (cf. Neale I976 : 34). Similarly, the valuables are valued primarily for the sake of the prestige won i n parting with them. There i s thus nothing to be gained by slowing down their velocity of circulation, which would be the effect both of hoarding, and of increasing -150-the actual numbers of money items i n supply. So long as the Big Man can make a l l the payments he has promised to make, he i s f u l f i l l i n g his obligations and can continue to stay i n business lending valuables. As the volume of loans increases, so step by step, within a credit ceiling, do the Big Men finance their lending i n effect by borrowing from others. In other words, as the volume of loans increases, so proportionately does the volume of demands for pay-ments . In the context of modern-day banking, Neale (op. c i t . 62-63, 6^-66) says that economists c a l l such a process "money creation". Money i s created whenever a bank agrees to exchange i t s promise to pay (which demand deposit i s money) for the promise of a borrower to pay i n the future. This procedure, i n Neale's opinion, creates a role and a power for money i n modern economies which i s lacking i n societies with limited-purpose monies. For money creation, plus the factor of liquidity, allows participants i n a monetized economy to gain control over enormous quan-t i t i e s of productive resources, and to rearrange the uses of available human and natural inputs to bring about changes i n the distribution of wealth and income i n a society. Siane money i s admittedly i l l i q u i d , and neither are i t s factors of production accessible through market purchase and sale. But would there not appear to be a comparison i n the one essential respect that as an engineered system of debt, the gimaiye disposes most effectively over the human element i n economic production? But Neale holds to a -151-basic difference between this kind of native credit system and the indebtedness implied i n the process of creating money i n modern econo-mies. It i s that when banks make promises i n the course of creating money, those promises themselves become negotiable instruments, trans-ferable to third parties. As he understands i t , where payments are made i n monies like cows, pigs or cowries, then the capacity to pay, to f u l f i l obligations, to purchase inputs ( i f indeed they are purchasable), requires getting possession of quantities of the actual money stuff. Borrowing i s possible of course, but only where a creditor can be found who happens to have the necessary stocks physically available. So, too, there can be promises to pay i n the future. However, Neale argues: ... such promises do allow people i n money systems tightly tied to physical money items to make payments in excess of the actual physical items available, but the accounts we have of special-purpose monies seem to portray systems in which the actual items rather than the promises to  pay them make up the substance of the monetary system. Whereas the accounts do imply, at least, that the t o t a l number of "pigs" owned in Oceania at any time exceeded the number of actual pigs, the pig debts - the promises to pay - did not themselves circulate as negotiable instruments equivalent to money. One cannot, i n Oceania or East Africa, borrow promises to deliver money items and then use these promises to buy power and prestige; but what a modern corporation does when i t goes to banks to build factories i s precisely to borrow prom-ises which w i l l give i t control over great quantities of productive inputs. (op. c i t . 66, emphasis added.) Neale i s suggesting that the limitations on transactional activity i n Siane thus turn on the avai l a b i l i t y of a certain kind of physical good after a l l . A more complete version of this argument can be found i n Douglas (1967: 1 2 l ) . Big Men cannot "create money" ad libitum. -152-They cannot do this because they must be able to honour their promises, and w i l l themselves only lend on assurances of the other's capacity to produce valuables i n return. Siane money does not work simply because Siane "believe" i n each other's promises to repay, and because a payee •can be satisfied that the obligation his payment sets up i s sufficient to guarantee an eventual return. Beyond the pervasive fact of outstanding obligations, i t i s to be remembered that gimaiye valuables keep their high value because they give command over people, pre-eminently women. Women are always scarce i n a polygamous society, and they function i n this kind of system as the reserve currency. Consistently with Neale's phys-i c a l i s t interpretation of native monies, i f a man's gimaiye debts threaten to overwhelm him, he can cancel them by relinquishing rights over women i n favour of his creditor. When this happens, Douglas claims, no comparison with bankruptcy could be apposite, for the social bonds of creditor and debtor have been replaced by kinship t i e s . She considers that this f i n a l equation of valuables for rights over women i s what c l a r i f i e s the difference between the working of organized debt i n an embedded economy, and a market-oriented, bank-created, modern monetary system. It explains, too, some of the apparent anomalies in the principles and attitudes underlying the distribution of native valuables. In parti-cular, the potentially disruptive trend towards inflation i s not controlled solely by the limits of the lender's credulity. In the absence of a law of contract and a judicial establishment, a man in Siane who advances valu-ables to a debtor does so against the security of the sisters and clans-women of the borrower who are, often at a very young age, pledged as security for loans. Were the debtor to refuse payment, or otherwise -153-default, public opinion would sanction extreme measures, such as seizing one of them by force. It follows, Douglas concludes, that the i n f l a t i o n -ary trend i s transferred to rights over women. 6. Money and the Native Theory of E v i l There i s s t i l l something deeper to the analysis of the valu-ables that has yet to be reached. Malinowski (cf. 1968 : 26-27) contin-ues to voice uncertainties about how such systems can succeed and survive at a l l . If i t i s the main principle underlying the regulation of actual exchanges that the return of an equivalent must proceed only after a (sometimes considerable) lapse of time, what forces can really keep part-ners to the terms of the bargain? What i s to stop a pressured partner returning less than i s due, i f not defaulting altogether? How does i t remain an equitable system when inflationary lending creates circumstances i n which debts become too onerous, and may even verge on servitude? What puts the brake on unscrupulous Big Men augmenting their powers by ruining debtors, who are anyway clan enemies, to become petty tyrants lording i t over financial empires? At the bottom of Malinowski's concern i s a realization that wealth and women are not the ultimate end of "economic" phenomena like Kula and gimaiye. However he loses track of the insight i n the course of a crusade against the ruling assumption of the economic theory of his day, namely the idea that Economic Man i s an unremitting, solitary s e l f -aggrandiser. In i t s place he enthroned a f i c t i o n of his own invention: Primitive Man, a being whose "natural" self-interest i s forfeited i n -154-an unquestioning obeisance to custom (cf. LeClair and Schneider 1968 : 4 ) . The result i s a less than edifying vision of native bad faith: Here we come up against a very important feature of the native's mental attitude towards wealth and value ... Although like every human being, the Kula native loves to possess and therefore desires to acquire and dreads to lose, the social code of rules, with regard to give and take by far overrides his natural acquisitive tend-ency ... i t must be clearly set forth that the real force which binds a l l the people and ties them down i n their tasks i s obedience to custom, the tradition." (Malinowski 1968 : 27, 30) Elsewhere Malinowski writes: The main social force governing a l l t r i b a l l i f e could be described as the inertia of custom, the love of uniformity of behaviour ... A s t r i c t adherence to custom ... i s the main rule of conduct among our natives i n the Trobriands. (1922 : 326-327) Malinowski i s here indulging a purely ad hoc reason for the frequently remarked fact that natives often show a resistance to innovation, and a perplexing unconcern to i n i t i a t e of their own accord new lines of investment that would improve the provision even for the near future. What i s more, i t begs exactly the question Salisbury i s asking as to why should the Siane's "customary" commitment to gimaiye have confounded his expecta-tions that they would prefer to take f u l l advantage of the novel productive opportunities made available by the steel axe. To invoke "the dead hand of custom" i s both a faulty figure of speech and a tautology, not a com-prehensive explanation (cf. Yamey 1964 : 376, Goldschmidt 1964 : 4 8 6 ) , Culture i s a li v i n g , changing, transformative thing, constantly energised by the actions i t mediates. Douglas recovers the point which Malinowski has regrettably obscured. In Lele, the distribution of women and r a f f i a -155-cloth wealth enunciates a cultural theme: the complex game in which these goods are the counters has "become for them an end i n i t s e l f : ... the Lele did not even seem to think of the system as one which gave extrinsic advantages to the winners, or disadvantages to the losers. They always spoke as i f sufficient explanation of the moves they made i s contained within the rules of the system i t s e l f , as i f i t were a game played for i t s own sake. (1954 : 144) To bring the discussion back to Siane two things must be said immediately: F i r s t l y there i s the pervasive problem of order i n a society like Siane. Ordinarily language might be expected to provide the basis by which a set of primary cultural meanings i s shared i n common, retaining a degree of constancy over time. But Salisbury (1974 : 52-53) has recorded that the Siane language, which i n i t s e l f has three dialects, i s only one of a family of languages i n the broad area; so i t i s clear that language alone does not explain the fact that there exists, as Salisbury affirms there does i n spite of the linguistic diversity, a general cultural and inter-actional homogeneity with no sharp discontinuities. In fact, i t would seem that the stock of key cultural agreements i s encoded by a medium other than the verbal language, for what Siane everywhere hold i n common are the rules of gimaiye, the operation of which transcends the provincialism of language, village and clan, providing a modest pan-Siane unity of understanding and interest. The second point relegates Malinowski to the ranks of those action theorists who tend to take the rules of the game, the symbols governing social behaviour, as being outside the "arena" i n which the struggle for -156-power takes place, when In f a c t these symbols are dramatically involved i n the whole process at every one of i t s stages ( c f . Cohen 1974 '• 42). Barth developed h i s paradigmatic t r a n s a c t i o n a l model i n opposition to the notion of a s t a t i c moral system e x i s t i n g p r i o r to behaviour ( c . f . Kapferer 1976 : 1 3 ) « The influence of a clever and ambitious Big Man has been seen to depend d i r e c t l y upon h i s a b i l i t y to manipulate r u l e s and symbols by i n t e r p r e t i n g and r e - i n t e r p r e t i n g them. Here f i n a l l y i s the f u n c t i o n a l s o l u t i o n f o r the lack of any a r i t h m e t i c a l system behind Siane money, f o r management could not proceed were the values of the gimaiye t r a n s a c t i o n a l game e x p l i c i t , univocal and p r e c i s e l y q u a n t i f i a b l e . On the other hand, there would be l i t t l e power and no great s o c i a l consequence i n h i s r o l e were i t not the case that the meanings a r t i c u l a t e d through the symbolism of the valuables touch upon the profoundest l e v e l s of f e e l i n g and under-standing. Indeed, f o r Siane the r u l e s of t h i s game are u l t i m a t e l y meta-p h y s i c a l . For what i s to be r e a l i z e d i s the extent to which Siane money i s counterpointed by the native conception of a moral order. Put negatively, and i n the bluntest terms, Siane honour t h e i r debts f o r f e a r of sorcery. Douglas (1966 : 74-93) discusses the l e g a l and p o l i c e functions that notions of mystical punishment have i n p r i m i -t i v e s o c i e t i e s i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to overcome the weakness of t h e i r s o c i a l organization. In the modern world with i t s enormous complexities of economic interdependence and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , i t i s easy to take f o r granted a whole paraphernalia of s o c i a l c o n t r o l which would never be con-ceivable i n small-scale u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d economic conditions. Without a s o p h i s t i c a t e d awareness of s o c i a l processes, and l a c k i n g a m i l i t a r y , -157-specialized police, overseers and progress men scanning performance, special monetary incentives to conform, and other developed agencies of social control and punitive sanctions, primitive societies resort to the control of men's minds. Ideas about witchcraft, magic and sorcery enter into the commitment men and women make to social norms because in New Guinea, as Burridge (i960 : 63, 69) says, sorcery i s no abstract principle. The belief that the sorcerer i s a man of flesh and blood, and a moral being however immorally he may behave, provides a palpable referent i n day-to-day l i f e , and a contrast i n terms of which people may grasp the issues of l i f e and death, good and bad, wrongdoing and right-doing, guilt and innocence, and the development of self i n relation to society. If equivalence i s the c r i t i c a l norm by which natives judge a l l transactions, the balancing out of equivalences might be expressed, abstractly, merely i n terms of interest (cf. op.ocit. 81 , 8 3 , 107). But i n action on the ground, the ever-present fear of i l l - w i l l finding sor-cerous outlets entails a constant shifting of relationships u n t i l the mutual obligations contained within them can approximate at least to an overt conformity with equivalence. Excessiveness by way of reciprocations would only incur suspicion of the presumption of a superior moral stance i n virtue of what may only be a simple, productive competence. An habitually weak response i n exchanges i s equally a contempt of the social worth of the partner. To disengage entirely from the constant pull of reciprocities i s unthinkable, probably suicidal, for i t would mean the failu r e of a l l the social bonds by which a man i s expected to establish -158-himself i n l i f e , as a husband, father and producer. Since a sense of grievance cannot imply a moral equality between transactors, the situa-tion i s one, as Burridge makes clear, i n which a l l transgressions come to be interpreted as attacks on equivalence and related to personal integrity. A man finds himself driven to constant moral watchfulness, and the belief i n sorcery forces him to forward his interests while a l l the while searching his conscience. If i t i s agreed that a man died because he had caused "the jealousy of the mighty", Uberoi says i n a passage that reveals how a man who flouts the accepted morality i s deserted by the normal sources of support, then his kin are "relieved of the burdensome duty of vendetta", because the resentment of "men of rank and wealth" i s righteous and their retribution just. Sorcery thus points up the nature of Siane money, just as Siane money reveals the functional role of institutionalised sorcery beliefs. Evidently Firth would have no d i f f i c u l t y with this contention. He spec-i f i c a l l y recommends economists to adopt the widest possible purview when working i n non-Western contexts: In considering incentives to repayment of credit o b l i -gations i n a peasant economy, one expects to find prominently figuring the economic sanction - that failure to repay w i l l lead to a cutting off of a l l future sources of credit. In addition, there may well be some legal sanctions through resort to the courts. But the whole question of seeking of credit and re-payment involves a theory of obligation not comprised merely i n terms of economic and legal sanctions. In the simpler economic systems sanctions of a social, moral and even r i t u a l order may be invoked. (1964 : 32) Interestingly, Salisbury (19&2 : 193) footnotes a suggestion -159-to him by Dr. D.l. Oliver that transactional patterns i n Siane might be examined i n terms of the sanctions compelling uniformity, rather than, i n the formalist mode, by the standards by which categories of goods are evaluated. To this Salisbury replies: ... such a social analysis would complement the present economic analysis, especially where i t treats the social functions of ac t i v i t i e s , but i t w i l l not be made here. (ibid.) It i s d i f f i c u l t to appreciate the advantages of this decision. The organizational functions money achieves i n this society - and this i n -cludes the organization of economic ac t i v i t i e s - owe largely to i t s power as a condensed symbolism to focus the moral c r i t e r i a of transactions. Evans-Pritchard argued for the inclusion of anthropology within the human-i t i e s . In the same line of argument, the attempts to appropriate methods and insights from the science of economics are perhaps most inadequate where they ignore the unspoken prescriptive dimensions i n a l l exchange behaviour, deriving from ultimate conceptions about men's relations to each other. 7. Money and the Redemptive Process If the sorcerer i s the contradiction of the moral man, his immorality consists i n the pride of assuming abnormal anti-social powers: by being unprepared to be bound by the community conventions. He i s ... typically arrogant and unobliged by morality, u usurps, and i s therefore touched by what i s divine; who i s culpable because he causes trouble, because his s e l f - w i l l , instead of transcending, eschews the community moral. (Burridge 1 9 6 I : 71) -160-For the moral man, by contrast, the experience of l i v i n g i n society implies both a general sense of indebtedness, and an inadequacy i n relation to the enormous variety i n the kinds of claims and obligations arising from the community. From birth to the moment of death - and long after i n the native religious expectation - the individual i s enmeshed i n a never-ending web of dependencies, upon other people and upon a variety of natural and supernatural forces that l i e behind the processes of growth, change and decay i n his world. This experience of contingency i s also an experience of obligation. In any society, Neale (1976 : 4) notes, the way i n which obligations come about are many indeed: from parentage, from undertaking a particular role (teacher,..leader), from commission of a crime, from omission of the performance of a duty, from contracts (express or implied), from citizenship (taxes, voting), or from luck (conscription by ballot). Obligations can arise i n some soci-eties which have no apparent couterparts i n other societies; but what remains universal i s the imperative that obligations are f u l f i l l e d . In the nature of things, this i s ultimately unobtainable, Burridge ( i960 : 37> 1961 : 6) discusses the origins of guilt, the emotional register of inadequacy, and the need for atonement provided for i n what he terms a "redemptive process". Admittedly an alien expression to social science, he explains, i t concerns those act i v i t i e s and culturally prescribed pro-cesses whereby individuals attempt to discharge their obligations, with the implication that these represent the accepted measures of manhood, of worthiness, self-respect and satisfaction. Though i n one sense a constraint upon freedoms, the codes and tac i t c r i t e r i a which order this process are at the same time the very possibility for an individual to -161-dlscover a sense of self, and to attain the integrity which goes with the approved gaining and retention of a particular status. What i n Siane might provide the conditions for a process of redemption? There i s f i r s t l y the "social value" of food. The obliga-tions on Siane to "help" fellow clan members, and the incentives to produce gardening surpluses relate to the fact that food i s both the symbolism of a l l those nurturing, sustaining qualities i n a man's com-munity, and a means for him to make good his requital. But Burridge (1971 : 13) connects the redemptive process particularly to the competi-tion for prestige - that i s , an acclaimed integrity - which therefore brings i n the p o l i t i c a l rivalry and the role of money. To propose that redemption, a theological desideratum, i s con-ditional upon the instrument of Mammon seems perverse, though only super-f i c i a l l y so. It i s a question of the nature of the•symbolism. As Neale (1976 : 4 - 6 , 31-32) indicates, the ideas of money, payment, debt and "obligation have an inevitable inter-association. An obligation, of course, need not involve the payment of a thing, that i s , be a debt. And certainly : i n no society can money be used to f u l f i l any and a l l obligations, just as there i s no money that can be used as payment to acquire every sort of good or performance. Nevertheless, Neale notes that i n the commercial-ised ethos of Western capitalism, multi-purpose money i s thought of as a usual (but not exclusive) means to liquidate debts. In Siane, money pay-ments cannot pertain to obligations arising from act i v i t i e s of a commer-c i a l nature, and obviously i t i s important not to assume that the consequences of payments in this society are similar to the consequences -162-that follow money payments i n a Western context. Most pertinently, relationships effected purely for a limited commercial purpose ideally terminate with a f i n a l cash payment, the obligation incurred on the part of payer to payee being precisely reflected i n the sum transacted. The ver s a t i l i t y of the market system has a lot to do with the specificity of transactions. In Siane, i t i s the reverse. Relationships are diffuse and intended to last, and i n the system of g i f t and counter-gift a pay-ment discharges the indebted party only while simultaneously obliging the payee to make further payments i n the future. Money makes this society, i t might seem, by a process of perpetuating obligations, the extremity of which prompted Malinowski to comment, "that the whole t r i b a l l i f e i s permeated by a constant give and take; that every ceremony, every legal and customary act i s done to the accompaniment of material g i f t and counter-gift" (1968 : 3 1 , emphasis in original). This allows Uberoi to put forward a provocative summary of how he accounts for the ultimate social value of articles like the Kula money, as well as for the almost numinous quality which suffuses their handling, storage and display. At length, then: With i t s s t r i c t decorum and public ceremonial, i t s 'annually repeated miracle' of extensive credit, and i t s polite adjustment of obligatory equivalence with-out haggling, the Kula g i f t and counter-gift represents par excellence a l l that give and take should be at home or abroad. It symbolizes, i n fact, the reciprocity which sustains a society at home, as well as that which maintains i t s v i t a l alliances abroad. And to say that the Kula exchanges symbolize reciprocity i s to say that they symbolize the prime organizing principle of small scale societies which lack government and are composed of homologous segments ... the key to the ultimate social importance of the Kula valuables; that they represent to the normally kin-bound individuals of these small stateless societies ... the interest of the widest p o l i t i c a l association of which they a l l partake. (1971 : 154-160) -163-The view i s incomplete as i t stands, perhaps even fundamentally wrong. In Uberoi's emphasis, the valuables break through the isolation of clans essentially by intensifying the awareness of - indeed by hallowing - the moralities of an obligatory reciprocity. The alternative view i s that i n i t s purest form, the reciprocation mediated by the valu-ables unifies by transcending a l l obligation. Turner (1974 : 104) would see this as a "communitas" situation - the emancipating effects of anti-structure suspending the individual from segmented status encumbrances and the l i a b i l i t i e s of conventional morality. Burridge's word for this i s "amity", and he explains i t thus: Amity i s i t s e l f most significantly manifested i n the idea of equivalence; i n the idea that individuals are i n a state of moral equality, one human being, as a whole, being neither morally worse nor morally better than another ... the concrete symbol of true amity i n the heart i s the exchange which both parties deem to be equivalent, and concerning which neither party i s swayed by the malicious gossip and pinpricks of others. In a more absolute sense such an exchange which no one else questioned or tried to mar, would stand as a model for a l l , the exchange par excellence. Carried to i t s logical conclusion the implication i s that i n the best of a l l possible worlds, since a l l exchanges would be equivalent and true amity reign over a l l , there would no longer be any need to make exchanges. And precisely this i s involved i n being ... truly equivalent. (I960 : 81, 8 5 ) Whereas in day to day rea l i t y gimaiye i s typically a moral transaction, evoking relations of power between people i n a cultural idiom of equivalence and amity and referring these ideals to an act, i n the absolute sense that act transcends what is "merely" moral. Money no longer indebts: i t exonerates, expiates* Gimaiye becomes that which makes man more than he i s , whole and guiltless. Since atonement i s -164-absolute, i t can proceed only from the divine at the w i l l of the divine: i t i s beyond anything moral man i s i n a position to command or alter. Equivalence then i s a principle writ into the cosmos at large. Salisbury (1962 : 32-33) confirms that for Siane, the prosperity of the clan, the health of i t s children, i t s future strength, the flow of riches i n pigs and valuables, the f e r t i l i t y of land, a l l affirmations of l i f e , that i s , depend upon finding the ideal relationship with the s p i r i t s , with whom balanced reciprocities are necessary through the appropriate ceremonial acknowledgements. The power gimaiye money has to validate control over women, and various rights and duties of clans and individuals, derives from the belief that i t s principles imitate the conditions of divine or cosmic power, and divine power has the quality of being i r r e s i s t i b l e , ultimate. Magic, on the other hand, though also a category of power originating from the deities - which fact accounts for i t s power -inspires anxiety and suspicion exactly because i t lacks the concept of reciprocity inherent in relationships with deities and s p i r i t s of the dead (cf. McSwain 1977 '• 27) . Hence sorcery i s e v i l , and the antithesis of good gimaiye; money i s truth. In fairness to Uberoi, he does see the Big Man as a kind of free agent, or prototypical universal s p i r i t (cf. 1971 '• 146-147, 159)• For Kula breaks through the solidarity which one d i s t r i c t assumes when opposed to another, and thus, he claims, at the same time as i t bridges the essential h o s t i l i t y between two strange tribesmen, i t suspends the p o l i t i c a l identity between two fellow tribesmen. But the quality of this freedom he leaves unexamined. For the Big Man within the -165-t r a d i t i o n a l context, f l u c t u a t i n g and precarious though h i s career may be, i s perhaps the clo s e s t approximation a.nd embodiment of the redemptive r e a l i t y . S k i l l e d i n magic and i n the protocols and monetary medium of i n t e r - c l a n a l l i a n c e , profoundly aware of the obligations binding people and groups, and of the grievances a r i s i n g from f a i l e d r e c i p r o c i t i e s and moral s h o r t f a l l i n g s , he alone knows how to bring order to a f r i g h t e n i n g chaos of clan animosities, pay-back k i l l i n g s , war and mystical attack. To be able to "walk unharmed a l l over the v a l l e y " has a r e l i g i o u s message i n essence. The B i g Man must be touched by some di v i n e a f f l a t u s . His success i s the proof of the capacity of goodness to p r e v a i l over the worst elements of ambivalence and destructiveness i n human nature, at the same time as i t demonstrates that the world i s not a b l i n d l y mechanical order but i s i n some fundamental way responsive to man's endeavours and t o h i s inner c a l l i n g s of morality. And i f the s t e e l axe surprised Salisbury by leading to more gimaiye rather than to the expected investments i n the production of more material wealth, then perhaps t h i s must be understood at i t s deepest l e v e l as a choice by Siane to invest i n t h e i r own humanity. 8. Money Symbols and the Management of Meaning l a y i n g aside the r e l i g i o u s issues, some basic questions remain about the gimaiye money: about i t s properties as a symbolism, about the r o l e of brokerage, and about the way these symbols operate within patterns of behaviour that form the c e n t r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n Siane. I t was s a i d that gimaiye provides p o l i t i c a l groups with a common idiom i n which they can assert and argue about the merits of t h e i r - I r -respective clans and villages. Its semantic organization resists pre-cision and explicitness because, i n the nature of Siane p o l i t i c a l l i f e , any measure of order and continuity that emerges owes to the f l e x i b i l i -t i e s of meaning. Ambiguity, Leach ( 1 9 6 4 ; : 3 4 6 ) explains, i s a common feature among i l l i t e r a t e peoples who are trained to think poetically, whereas Westerners, because of their experience of literacy, tend to credit words with exact meanings, dictionary meanings. The ordinary speech of the educated man i s expected to conform to the canons of prose rather than poetry. Ambiguity of statement i s deplored: the tendency of education i s to make language a precise s c i e n t i f i c instrument. But among primitives, a f a c i l i t y for making and understanding highly symbolic and ambiguous meanings may even be cultivated. Certainly Campbell (1963 : 29) would argue that the procedures of a written, propositional theology destroys the emotional and metaphysical tenor of native thought, changing mythology to direct history or science, symbol to fact, metaphor to dogma. Leach goes a step further. He recognises from his Burmese studies that ambiguity of thought i s for an in t r i n s i c social purpose: The ambiguity of native categories i s absolutely funda-mental to the operation of the Kachin social system... It i s only because the meaning of his sundry structural categories i s , for a Kachin, extremely elastic that he i s able to interpret the actuality of his social l i f e as conforming to the formal pattern of the traditional, mythically defined, structural system. (1965 : 106) It i s argued that the Siane corroborate Leach's contention: the discrepancy between an ideal parity and moral equivalence and the -167-de facto i n e v i t a b i l i t i e s of i n e q u a l i t y and opportunism being reconciled i n the ambiguity of the monetary measure. However, Salisbury (1962 : 197) would object that Siane money must imply s t r i c t measurement i f confusion i s to be averted about who has bought r i g h t s over whom. But that book-keeping aspect of gimaiye i s relegated to the bamboo t a l l i e s , while the exchanges themselves e n t a i l bargaining, a degree of machtpolitik, and t h i s turns on the capacity of the medium to f a c i l i t a t e unequal exchanges though with f i c t i o n a l i z e d equivalences. And the fact i s that arguments over equivalences may occur at d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of a l l i a n c e between corporate groups, and indeed within the clans themselves, so that without e x h i b i t -ing a clear structure of segmentation, the pattern i s nonetheless that enemies at one l e v e l must be a l l i e s at a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l . Paradoxical i t may seem, but as Uberoi (1971 : 74) says, the cohesion of a society i s not to be sought i n any simple sentiment of s o l i d a r i t y , i t resides rather i n the c o n f l i c t i n g allegiances which i t s customs impose on i t s members. Thus Gluckman (1963) s p e c i f i c a l l y directed the study of r i t u a l and ceremonial away from the s i m p l i f y i n g assumptions of Durkheim and Radcliffe-Brown, that they are of " s o c i a l value" and celebrate "sentiments of s o l i d a r i t y " , towards the p o s s i b i l i t y that they exaggerate r e a l con-f l i c t s of s o c i a l rules while affirming unity despite these c o n f l i c t s . That men can be both a l l i e s and enemies at one and the same time i s a con t r a d i c t i o n r e p e t i t i v e l y faced and resolved mainly through the "mysti-f i c a t i o n " generated by symbolism ( c . f . Cohen 194 : 32). What the gimaiye money does i s to objectify 1, and therefore momentarily to a r r e s t , or, rather, give form to a state of a f f a i r s -168-perpetually i n flux. The nature of the medium affects the way this happens. For-literates thoughts and reactions to a public event may become f u l l y self-apparent only i n the exteriorization achieved by written words (a newspaper, for instance), which thereafter become a point of reference for articulate thought. In gimaiye, money i s sim-i l a r l y a form of public expression over and against which people come to realize the collective mood and disposition. But as Burridge ( i960 : 34) observes, where natives have no other instruments: no written lang-uage, no formal logic, no s c i e n t i f i c tools, they can only use their emotions to fee l their way towards truth. Gimaiye r i t u a l s reveal values at the emotional level, but since the form of expression i s con-ventionalised and obligatory, i t i s the values of the group that are revealed. These are transformative experiences i n the way Turner sees a l l "social dramas". Working on individual psyches, on the attitudes and perceptions of participants, gimaiye recreates against the tides of change, the beliefs and category discriminations on which the group order i s based. It i s the point at which art and ontology converge (c.f. Diamond 1963 : 186-187; Turner 1974 : 89, 104). " A l l r i t u a l s have this examplary model-displaying character;" Turner says, " i n a sense they might be said to 'create' society, i n much as the same way as Oscar Wilde held l i f e to be an imitation of art." An important consequence of gimaiye i s that i t i s a process which turns truth into pure phenomenology, that i s into what most people experience i t to be. "Right" i s i n no way a theoretical absolute; the only "objective" criterion checking the whim of an individual, i s -169-community consent (c.f. Burridge i960 : 32-34, 105). It i s only by locating the areas of consensus that the rest of the environment can be made into an i n t e l l i g i b l e unity: ... once the principles are established, and have become axiomatic, subsequent experiences tend to reinforce or are pulled into conformity with, those truths that a l -ready exist. (op. c i t . 177) Being plastic, truth i s vulnerable to manipulation. It i s not only that there i s no static moral design. As Fallers (1964 : 280), citing Weber, points out, ideology does not work by i t s e l f ; ideologies only develop and become dominant when there are groups within society capable of, and interested i n , promoting them. The Big Man sways the consensus by demagoguery, cloaking his duplicity " i n large numbers of stories and allusions which a clever orator knows how to marshal in re-lation to contemporary events - and which a leader must be able to recog-nize when they are brought up by other leaders" (Strathern 1976 : 284). Culture commonly exists, as Schutz (1977 : 18-20) showed, as a framework of unquestioned constructs, quite anonymous in i t s taken-for-grantedness: but this i s subject to qualification. Burridge (i960 : 30, 108) argues that i t cannot be assumed that there i s any homogeneity of the quality of thought. Some minds are more aware of themselves and ex-ternal problems, and though a Big Man may have no more knowledge than other men, his need to manoeuvre or else perish p o l i t i c a l l y induces in him an unusual degree of objectivity onto the cultural conditions of action. His i s a role bound up i n the purveyances of the culture's core c l a s s i -fications; and since selfhood, the only concept of " I " i s a communicative -170-act, acquired, as Cohen (1974 : 41) says, by through i n t e r a c t i o n with other men, i t i s to the Big Man's own self-understanding that atten-t i o n should be drawn. For i n h i s person the i d e a l and the r e a l must fuse: ... a manager not only knows others, he must know him-s e l f as a moral being... Managers should weld a c t i v i t y to notion: i n t h e i r behaviour they should demonstrate the unity. Managers may act, but without moral under-standing they cannot make th e i r actions mirror an i d e a l . (Burridge 1960 : 81) The occurrence of inconsistencies i n a culture's i d e a l s , Read (1964 : 243) adds, w i l l thus most l i k e l y a f f e c t those who aspire to power and prestige. Big Men are indeed s o c i a l actors who combine i n themselves a d i s t i n c t i v e paradox which can be seen i n a tension or ambivalence i n the values characterizing"the transactions i n which they are p a r t i c i p a n t s . Underlying a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n Siane, Salisbury (1962 : 38) says, i s an ideology of the autonomy and assumed equality of a l l people. "Equality" i s the ethic m i l i t a t i n g against the assumption of any permanent authority i n Siane, and i t gives the impetus to balance a l l r e c i p r o c a l dealings. So pervasive and accepted i s the p r i n c i p l e that i t co n t r o l l e d the t r a d i t i o n a l blood feuding and warfare i n a manner that ultimately no one won. Read (1964 : 243) notes i t s influence on f o o t b a l l - i n e f f e c t the modern-day surrogate for feuding - where each "team" comprising v i r t u a l l y a l l the able-bodied men of the clan, during the course of a game l a s t i n g sometimes for days, aims only to equalize the goals scored by the other team, so that no e s s e n t i a l p a r i t y should be upset, and no one side e s t a b l i s h i t s outright s u p e r i o r i t y . -171-On the other hand, "autonomy", which interfuses with the value of "equality", finds i t s v a l i d a t i o n i n competition and i n wealth ( c . f . Read op. c i t . 242). Competitive g i f t giving i s obviously a display of strength, and to be considered strong i s c l e a r l y an aim of gimaiye. Salisbury (1962 : 78, 99) records that umaiye food production and d i s -t r i b u t i o n i s normally geared to providing a s u f f i c i e n c y for a l l clan members plus a margin for entertainment, but where gimaiye exchanges are concerned, these are occasions for "a planned surplus". Here for a donor to manage to give away more meat than the r e c i p i e n t s can eat, so that "the meat s t i n k s " as Siane say i n triumph, i s something to be proud of. At the persona! l e v e l , the Big Man finds l o y a l t y to h i s clan to be not inconsistent with l o y a l t y to himself: each develops i n v i r t u e of the other. Loyalty to larger kinds of groupings within Siane, on the other hand e n t a i l s surrender of personal sovereignty ( c . f . Burridge 1960 : 78, 111; Read 1964 : 244). Because i t i s by the extent of h i s influence outside the clan that he i s considered "a man with a name", the Big Man sees gimaiye as a challenge r e a l l y aimed at himself. I t pro-vides him with the challenge of putting to the pragmatic test - and to the public approbation, without which they are nothing - those q u a l i t i e s and admired a b i l i t i e s he believes himself to have. Hence the somewhat contra-dic t o r y and v a c i l l a t i n g ethic of the ceremonial exchange. Uberoi (1971 : 104) notes on the one hand the " p o l i t e adjustment of obligatory equiv-alence" f a c i l i t a t e d by Kula, at which barter and bargaining i s considered d e f i n i t e l y indecorous ( c . f . Malinowski 1967 : 174; 1968 : 27). While Salisbury (1962 : 104) i s contrastingly frank about the c a l c u l a t i n g -172-machiavellianism behind the formal politeness - the dissembling and sense of conflict held i n abeyance. It makes sense too that the ownership of valuables i s by individuals rather than corporate groups, for this frees the hand of a Big Man for more effective speculation i n gimaiye, for greater f l e x i b i l i t y i n manipulations, for adventuring further than less intrepid r i v a l s , and for greater cunning i n foisting false impressions about exchanges or about the valuables i n his command. It i s only a super-f i c i a l and, indeed, contrived impression that Big Man relationships are accommodated within fixed or customary rates of exchange. For the fact i s that a r i g i d l y objective equivalence of g i f t and counter-gift would annul the ambiguities essential in a system of competitive one-upmanship. And i t i s the alternation within the prestige ci r c u i t that creates the movement and the momentary asymmetries of valued resources which energize the whole productive system, and which allow for ongoing adjustment in the balance of power between clans. Standing somewhat outside of the received conventions, the Big Man i s , i n Read's (1962 : 24l) words, the more "autonomous" individual i n a society which might be termed "tradition directed". Because his self -w i l l never surpasses the element of judicious self interest, his position i s one which involves a conscious self-exemption from the community virtues, while exhorting others to conformity by the affected paragon of his own public demeanour. There i s evidently some unease to be found i n this ambivalent sense of identity. Read (op. c i t . 2^7) comments on how some of the more respected leaders i n Gahuku-Gama described themselves as "bad men". And as Burridge (i960 : 69) points out, because in the -173-traditional context no ambition or ascription of motive may leave sorcery-out of account, excesses in the role of brokerage, s e l f - w i l l looming to arrogant power, would always find a corresponding nemesis. It i s a narrow path to tread. However, in the modern day circumstances of cult-ure contact, the Big Man alone seems capable of r i s i n g to the imminence of fundamental change. Burridge has reservations as he discusses the inevitable vagueness i n Tangu about this new world: If Tangu were able to comprehend their own society as well as one other they might have a comparative yardstick with which to make a new one. As i t i s , however, though Tangu apprehend their own society they cannot truly be said to comprehend i t on an intellectual level. Nor do they comprehend the mas-sive European society of which they are beginning to be a part. And the forms of a society require com-prehension not simply apprehension. The implication i s that the new society w i l l take shape round the new man; that having created the new man societal forms w i l l mould themselves to his nature. (I960 : 259) But the Big Man i s not quite like the others. So that as to his comprehension of his own society, and whether he might attain any intellectual grasp of the Europeanized forces which are i n the process of changing i t for a l l time, perhaps i t can be more f a i r l y said that the Big Man appears, as always, ambivalent. -174-V. SIANE ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE WORLD ECONOMY 1. Paper Revolutions Money i s a notable instrument of revolution. Governments at war have often i n the past had no alternative but to order their central banks to print the money that they did not possess in reserves of gold or silve r , and could not raise by loans or taxes. It i s as well here to notice a distinction between war or revolt, and revolution, for there i s a difference of idea which, though in altered form, i s cardinal for the consideration of Siane. Revolt, as Albert Camus has pointed out, i s armed or other protest directed to an immediate situation, while revolu-tion i s a radical and therefore a total re-structuring of society by violent or other means (c.f. Camus 1 9 5 3» <le Klerk 1976 : 27) . This adds to the understanding of Galbraith's (1975 : 5 3 1 67-76) remarks that the Establishment men of the last century generally upheld with the force of a moral axiom rather more than as a matter of economic principle the rule that a l l monies were to be f u l l y convertible into gold - for they were deeply fearful of the singular service paper money had so recently rendered in the overthrow of vested interest. In France in 1789» paper notes, the assignats, had appeared, at f i r s t i n limited issue and redeem-able within five years by the sale of sequestered Church and Crown land. The demands of revolution were insistent however, and within a decade the assignats had been rescinded as a negotiable money, having become almost worthless by overissue against what was, after a l l , only a limited security. But by then the Revolution was an accomplished fact. In America, as in France, overwhelmingly the Revolution was paid for with -175-paper money. Note issues, both Continental and State, were excessive, far outstripping any corresponding increases in trade. Prices rose -slowly at f i r s t , and then, after 1777, there being l i t t l e effective control by Congress, at a rapidly accelerating rate. "Thus," says Galbraith (op. c i t . 69) "the United States came into existence on a f u l l tide not of inflation but of hyper-inflation - the kind of inflation that ends only i n the money becoming worthless." In Siane there i s reason to suspect the reverse relation - that inf l a t i o n preceded revolution; but the principle nevertheless remains. Money i s the architect of radical change. 2. Pre-Contact Inflation The principle has had a lengthy history of contention, however Galbraith (op. c i t . 4 5 - 4 6 ) discusses a famous debate i n England i n 1811, which followed the impanelling by the House of Commons the year previously of a Select Committee to investigate the relation of the issue of Bank of England notes to the price of gold bullion. The debate was over the nature of money and i t s management, and then, as since, a difference of opinion formed over the problem: Where does economic change originate? Galbraith expands: Does i t begin with those who are responsible for money -in this case with those who made loans and thus caused the supply of notes and deposits to increase ? (From this then comes the effect on prices and production, including the stimulating effect of r i s i n g prices on production and trade.) Or does change begin with pro-duction? Does i t originate i n business activity and prices with consequent effect on the demand for loans and thence on the supply of notes and deposits, which -176-i s to say the supply of money? In short, does money influence the economy or does money respond to the economy? The question i s s t i l l asked. 'Monetary doctrine has wavered over time in i t s assessment of money as cause or effect of economic condition.' (op. c i t . 4 6 ) The dilemma i s of appreciable importance to developing countries, as to developed, though in the former case an additional problem occurs over transferring i t into terms that take suitable account of the absence, or mere incipience, of the market as the principle coordinating economic production and distribution. What remains as the constant factor i s the relationship between rates of exchange (prices), the number of transactions to be serviced by the money supply (special or multi-purpose), and the velocity of cirulation of money. Thus pressure on a money arising from a greater number of monetized transactions w i l l mean any of these po s s i b i l i t i e s : that the number of units of the money must rise ; or that the frequency with which each money unit i s used must rise ; or that there must be a f a l l i n the number of units used in each transaction. When the quantity of money grows pari passu with the increased need for money (as production grows, or as more kinds of transaction are monetized), the price level remains about the same. Hence limiting the quantity of money tends to keep the price level stable or, i f severe, send the quan-t i t y of transactions into recession; and vice versa (c.f. Neale 1976 : 87-88, 9 0 ) . The picture i s inherently dynamic, which, i t i s generally argued, i s what primitive societies are not. For the two-way flow of goods in traditional economies i s regulated by what i s commonly regarded as a -177-rate of exchange fixed by custom, and not by fluctuating supply and demand, both of which are virtual constants. So changes in equivalences are slow, i f at a l l , and play no great part i n altering the volume of transactions, or the supply of a money. In addition, where a primitive society trans-acts i n a money, the number of transactions i t can service tends to en-counter absolute limits in factors of demography and general technological and economic backwardness. The money i t s e l f can be subject to "uneconomic" limitations of supply - either because of nature, as i n the case of cows, or by the fact of p o l i t i c a l imposition, which was the lesson of the gimaiye valuables. Salisbury (1962 : 208) posits that Siane, i n times past, existed i n such a state of equilibrated stasis. The most striking and puzzling phenomenon, then, i s the wherefore for the sudden escalation of native war-fare? Since the aberration concerns the adequacy of the traditional mech-anisms controlling the behaviour of power, the immediate reasons must have to do with the s t a b i l i t y of the gimaiye relationships during this period. This might lead to suspicion about the money supply; but Salisbury (op. c i t . 118, 208, 209) seeks deeper reasons. In a move which gives him some kin-ship with those who, in Galbraith's quotation, would see money as effect not cause of economic condition, he constructs a model of explanation around the ready hypothesis of the steel axe. Thus i t i s supposed that changes in the available technology liberate enormous amounts of time, which people divert to the attempt to gain additional power - for which there appears the most elastic demand, whereas demand for subsistence goods remains stable. There follows, i n the pursuit of power, an -178-intensification of ceremonial activity, or an increase /jthough quite what the causal connection i s here i s l e f t rather shadowy and unspeci-f i e d / of fighting, which Salisbury says i s an alternative means of obtain-ing power.. Either alternative would satisfy Salisbury's theoretical commitment, for the reason that they would both be a matter of deliberate choice. However, there i s arguably a large element of post hoc ergo  propter hoc i n the hypothesis. The disturbances are attributed to the axe, a connection that turns out to be coincidental once attention i s given to other disrupting events occurring i n the same historic period. The error i n cases like these i s , as Burridge ( i960 : 112) suggests, to argue from a presumption of s t a b i l i t y . By the time of Salisbury's f i e l d -work (1952-53), there was considerably more than just the steel axe to betoken the outside and alien world. Already there was the occasional government patrol; a Lutheran mission i n the v i c i n i t y ; a nearby trade store selling such items of "cargo" as razor blades, needles, matches, tinned meat, kerosene lamps, soap, sugar, tea, trousers, bangles, peroxide, powder, tobacco, and, too, steel axes. There were also small but signif-icant amounts of currency i n circulation. Many years of continuous change and development may therefore have preceded current appearances, going back perhaps long before Siane f i r s t saw or heard of white men. At the least, Salisbury (1962 : 116) records that several European establish-ments, including a mission, an a i r s t r i p , and a Government post, had been set up around 1935 at various points not far distant from Siane. Though Siane themselves at that time had no direct truck with these Europeans, -179-the natives l i v i n g in the European v i c i n i t i e s were receiving consider-able quantities of shell valuables and steel axes i n payment for labour and foodstuffs. Given the interconnections of trade and gimaiye, i t i s inevit-able that the repercussions of this were f e l t as far away as Siane. That these might have been considerable i s suggested by Salisbury's com-ments (c.f. I962 : IOO) about the very small number of valuables i n c i r c -ulation prior to 1933• A tot a l bride-price then would probably have amounted to no more than one pig and one shell, and since warfare seldom cost the lives of more than two or three men, peacemaking involved as l i t t l e as one or two pigs. The number of valuables owned on average was correspondingly small - some men possessing no shells at a l l , while even Big Men rarely owned enough to pay the bride-price entirely from their own stocks. By 1953, prices were high and stabilized, but clearly the intervening period had been one of rapid inflation and considerable con-fusion over the rates at which valuables could be exchanged. Similar "mutations of values" were produced elsewhere i n New Guinea by the action of the Germans who, when they f i r s t arrived, flooded native exchange systems with large quantities of manufactured facsimiles of the dogs' teeth valuables (c.f. Burridge i960 : 121-122). What happened with regard to Siane i s clear. The groups closest to the European source of valuables naturally took advantage of their freely acquired bargaining power, and began exchanging valuables for more women as brides and more pigs for an expansion of their ceremonial activities - creating i n the process an im-balance in the whole system of giving and receiving wives. Reacting - 1 8 0 -like a line of b i l l i a r d balls to the i n i t i a l impact from the cue, Salisbury (op. c i t . 116, 117, 119) suggests that the imbalances d i f -fused outwards so that worst affected were the Siane in the outlying areas furthest from this advantageous proximity to the Europeans. There began what Salisbury terms a "migration" of women and pigs into the richer areas - the strains and unrest of which were i n evidence, he says, even i n 1953» when wives were s t i l l deserting their husbands for the lure of the richer villages nearer the European centres. Wife-stealing was a certain causus b e l l i , and made a l l the more problematical i n arbitra-tion by the doubt i n s t i l l e d by unstable prices as to whether particular couples were i n any sense "truly" married. That the st a b i l i t y of marriage correlates i n this way with stable exchanges seems to be widely confirmed. Belshaw (1955 : 70) notes the regret of the missionaries i n Waga Waga, S.E. Papua, that the latter institution i s no longer generally effective. Pig-stealing was another, and frequent, cause of fighting. The intensified demand for pigs for ceremonies, while pushing up the cost of pigs i n terms of their exchange value relative to shells, could not be met out of i n -creased production. More pig-houses would have required a pattern of scattered residence, and up u n t i l the pacification i n 1944-5, this was far too great a security risk. Whatever i t s s p i r i t of subterfuge and rival r y , gimaiye depends upon - and aims for - continuity i n relationships:. Continuity i s brought about by the twin strategies of wives and debt. Valuables received from Europeans in straightforward payment would have been "unpledged" in terms of the native system, where to possess a valuable i s ipso facto to be -181-enmeshed in some or other set of restraining obligations. But even i n the native view debts are expected at some stage to be repaid i f the debtor i s to uphold his public creditworthiness and turn the prestige tables on his r i v a l s ; and there is always the possibility of partnerships coming to an end or being undermined i f the goals set for them by the conventions of exchange are not achieved i n practice. Strathern (1976 : 278-279» 28l) discusses a situation i n Mt. Hagen - probably i n the essen-t i a l s identical to what went on i n Siane - where groups were experiencing d i f f i c u l t y , or even f a i l i n g to make ceremonial returns i n the face of hugely inflationary exchange rates. Conflicts occasioned by defaulting, or by jealousy over unequal sizes of g i f t s given, were aired publicly less and less as discussion about the "financial" terms of exchange-making, and took on instead the dis t i n c t l y malicious overtones of sorcery accusa-tions. In Siane a considerable aggravation of this tendency must have occurred, owing to an outbreak of dysentry, since i t i s the native view that any death i s substantial evidence of sorcery. The epidemic did i n fact coincide with the climax of the period of warfare (c.f. Salisbury 1962 : 123). In an atmosphere where suspicion and treachery are so overtly expressed, Siane must have found i t impossible, even downright dangerous, for exchange partners to attempt inter-clan empressements, or major dis-plays of alliance. This Strathern directly endorses. From Belshaw (1955 : 2l) i t i s to be added that continuing reciprocities mirror a balance i n economic l i f e , and the influence i n this of a stable customary price level cannot be underemphasised. By destroying the "equivalences" -182-of reciprocity, inflation assaults the chief morality upon which the sense of community l i f e builds. In Tangu during a similar process, the decay and disappearance of a valid cultural norm led to a weakening of the solidarity of jural groups and the start of a general dispersion, one frequent solution being to opt out of the traditional norm and found new settlements in the bush (Burridge I960 : 121-122). A l l this i n direct contradiction of Salisbury (1962 : 119» 122), who reasons that the effect of the inflation was to pull together larger groupings in ceremonial ex-changes. Had that actually been the case, then such expanded exchanges and more powerful Big Men should have been a l l the more effective i n cementing larger alliances, and there i s no sensible reason for the un-controlled animosity - rather, outright anarchy - of the pre-contact period. The difference i n retrospective conjecture i s instructive. Salisbury, thinking rather more of production than power, finds i t plausible that larger gatherings and more grandiose gimaiye would have been the tendency i n consequence of the abundant time brought about by steel axes. A closer reading of his text (c.f. op. c i t . 123) does confirm that in 1953 whole villages were participating en masse i n the gimaiye f e s t i v i t i e s , and that this contrasts dramatically with the time before 1933» when only members of the immediate lineage and one or two Big Men from other men's houses might attend, say, a wedding. Definitely the difference i n turn-out i s due, as Salisbury believes, to the steel axe and the greater time people now have for such a c t i v i t i e s , as compared with 1933• But this fact implies nothing about the period circa 19^3 which, whatever i t s similarity to 1953 with regard to the presence of the steel axe, was a period of acute monetary and p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y - quite unlike either 1953 or 1933--183-The fact of sorcery, and what. It presupposes i n terms of the fai l u r e of normal relationships, makes doubtful another of Salisbury's reconstructions. This i s the claim that inflation strengthened the posi-ti o n of Big Men. As the established brokers in gimaiye, he conjectures that they would suddenly have begun handling a huge influx of valuables without actually having to produce anything more to back up the increased wealth. By contrast", "nothing men" must have found their own resources disproportionately reduced by the inflation^ the few pigs raised by their wives rapidly becoming insufficient to pay back debts incurred for bride-prices , or. to cope with r i s i n g prices. They would surely have been swamped by Big Men making larger and more ostentatious gestures at cere-monial payments and receiving, as a result of such generosity, ever larger returns from others. Big Men's stocks soared, those of "nothing men" remaining static - a one-sided boom which Salisbury compares to the growing power and wealth of entrepreneurs during the Industrial Revolution (c.f. 1962 : 117, 122). In a l l probability, the comparison i s unlikely because i t overlooks a difference of normative condition which was a l -together significant i n the discussion of the making of money. Liquid money, price indexes, and the relative impersonality of market operations give the industrial entrepreneur a freewheeling power that would be the envy of any Big Man, bound as he i s by the niceties of face-to-face interaction. The industrialist seeks credit from banking establishments for purchases of plant, materials and labour, and he stores the surplus wealth realised by his enterprise i n forms of further productive invest-ment. The Siane Big Man i s wholly reliant for resources upon the -184-co-operativeness of kin, which he fosters by furthering his investments -so that, i n a real sense, his wealth i s stored i n the debts people acknowledge toward him. Exorbitant trafficking i n disrespect of the feelings of his debtors would only have risked recriminations and sorcery, and turned the windfall surpluses of valuables i n his hands to a very short-lived advantage. This must have been true even of his dealings with the groups farthest from the European contact and therefore i n a weaker bargaining position by being last i n receipt of the new wealth. Sooner or later, their response would have been to inflate the cost of brides and pigs i n their dealings with wealthier Big Men having the effect, as Salisbury (1962 : 209) later remarks, of inflating the cost of power. Most problematic of a l l for the Big Man, the uncertainties and argument surrounding the fluctuating rates of exchange would have worked to under-mine local variations i n the ascribed status and worth of particular Big Men to- produce an unparalleled c r i s i s of consensus in a society i n which status i s the chief resource of authority. There is, additionally, the point that Galbraith (1976 : 172) makes, that inflations produce a large transfer of wealth from those who possess savings accounts, money, securities or mortgages to those who have debts or tangible property. The classic industrial capitalist of the last century was a property owner primarily, rather than a financier and creditor like the..New Guinea Big Man. In Siane, enlarged stocks of valuables and extensive debt farming would have meant, i n inflationary times, that the Big Man found himself i n possession of rapidly eroding assets. The pressures on him to pass on quickly any valuables he -185-received - so increasing their velocity of circulation - would have teen in proportion to their inflationary loss of purchasing powerj while i n the view of his debtors there was much to be gained by temporizing over repayments. The Big Man, as both a borrower and a lender, would have understood well the contradictions - on the one hand calling i n outstand-ing debts against the fear of rapid depreciation, and on the other contest-ing b i t t e r l y with his own creditors the extent of old obligations owed under these new,;;-:unforeseen circumstances. Far from being a time of un-fettered "boom" which i s the way Salisbury sums up the Big Man's experience of inflation, i t must have been a nightmare. L i t t l e wonder that i t was the bosbois - that i s , the biggest of Big Men and by Salisbury's logic, the ones most gloriously profited by the boom - who were motivated to c a l l i n the military administration i n 1944 to put an end to the runaway war-fare consuming Siane (c.f. Salisbury 1962 : 123). Salisbury (c.f. op. c i t . 121-122) would probably s t i l l i n s i s t that the events i n Siane during this period, including the warfare, were directly and i n t r i n s i c a l l y linked to the presence of the steel axe. Though he acknowledges important effects attributable to the increase i n the supply of valuables, i t i s s t i l l his opinion that the active factor giving the huge impetus to ceremonial and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , and thus speeding up the rate of circulation of the valuables, was the increased leisure time brought about by the use of steel axes. In other words, the disturbances wrought by an augmented money supply would have been slight without the attendant technological revolution. Even this has to be contended. It i s a debatable point, after -186-a l l , just how widespread, numerous and entrenched i n everyday use were the steel axes at the beginning of the inflationary episode. Belshaw (1965 : 138) comments that an important aspect to any process of innova-tion i s the rate at which an innovation diffuses through the relevant parts of the economy, and that this i s influenced by what opportunities and motivations for expansion exist i n the society. Interestingly, then, steel axes were i n i t i a l l y classed as valuables and distributed along the lines of gimaiye (Salisbury 1962 : 90, 115, 118). Presumably this owes something to the fact that before 1933 rare ornamental green-stone axes were i n circulation as valuables. It i s also a li k e l y indication of the small numbers of steel axes then present, for a l l valuables are scarce. This i s consistent with the datum that by 1953 axes were no longer - or only seldom - being given i n ceremonial presentations, since as the ownership of steel axes had gradually become universal among adult men, they had been downgraded i n categorization to kevora neta, or luxury items. By Salisbury's estimation, which he admits to be conjectural, 1936 can be set as the date by which steel axes had disseminated to the point of being common - two years, that i s , before the warfare began i t s increase. Hence a causal connection i s ir r e s t i b l e i n his mind. However, the events suggest another possible interpretation. Steel axe blades originated from European sources. It was noted that the inflow of Europeanized valuables i n i t i a l l y biased the distribution of women and pigs i n favour of those groups nearest the European settlements, who thus had control over the release of the new stocks of valuables (and steel axes were at that time considered valuables) into the gimaiye. -187-Against this was the compensatory though somewhat later tendency for the disadvantaged groups to adjust the "bride-prices of their women upwards. This not only began to equalize the flow of women between groups, as Salisbury (op. c i t . 117) has remarked. The ris i n g rates-of exchange also forced the distribution of the new stocks of valuables much more rapidly than would have been possible with low, pre-inflationary payments. It could be argued, therefore, that i t was only with a general inflation already under way that the spread of steel axes became rapid and ubiquitous i n Siane - 1936 being premature as a guess at this state of affairs - and by which time Big Men, finding steel axes too "common" and too practically involved i n the subsistence tasks of umaiye to continue to satisfy the e l i t e c r i t e r i a of a valuable, switched their classification from gimaiye to kevora neta. It would follow, too, that i t was only when the inflation was well advanced that the time-saving effects of the steel axe would have become a real influence on the economy. It i s therefore primarily qua valuable - or money - and not qua tool, or time-saving machine, that the steel axes are to be associated with the processes speeding up and intens-if y i n g the ceremonial exchange. Put into other words, i t i s the infl a t i o n of exchange which i n the end explains the steel axe, not the axe which explains the inflated exchange. . Contact and the New Money The argument so far has related the disturbing influences of nearby European settlement - although only indirectly i n contact with Siane during the process - to irregularities in the behaviour of the native money, and to the strain exerted as a consequence upon the basic -188-norm of reciprocity. Salisbury (1962 : 135) now asks: "What can be predicted about the future direction of change, from a theoretical con-sideration of existing changes?"' There i s a suggestion i n Belshaw (1955 : v i i ) that economic development - which i s the primary interest behind Salisbury's question - cannot be separated from the process of" culture change. Presupposed in every prediction of emergent economic practices and of new formations of enterprise, there are questions not only about the technological wherewithal for change, but about the w i l l . Innovation of any kind must be seen as a function of the local values, of the organ-ization of motivations i n that society, the particular patterning of rewards and costs (material and immaterial), the opportunities allowed within the system for expansion (c.f. Belshaw 1965 •' 138). The problem about the future economic organization of Siane henceforth becomes one of where and how i n this system does the transformation of culture origin-ate? Here once again i s Diamond's quantum leap: the Inconceivable act of transcending the limitations of the village universe. For traditional societies are shackled by their own static patterns of production and consumption, by the routine dispersal of concentrations of surplus value through highly normative kinship channels, by an economic momentum that aims at repetitive balance not open-ended growth, by the circumscription of alternatives and therefore of ambition. The recent experience of the Siane bears an unmistakable witness that the decisive factors are Europeans and their money: Under modern conditions, primitive society does not develop dynamically from i t s own resources alone, and i t requires mental stimulus from outside. In great part, this comes from new technical a b i l i t i e s and -189-i n c r e a s e d knowledge, though t h i s i n i t s e l f i s not enough . . . G iven t e c h n i c a l a b i l i t y , g e n e r a l knowledge, and s u i t a b l e resources , , the f a c t o r t ha t may w e l l touch o f f a process o f development i s the r i g h t k i n d o f a l t e r a t i o n i n p o t e n t i a l demand, and t h i s , i n t u r n , depends upon the c u l t u r a l exper ience o f i n d i v i d u a l s - i n the s o c i e t y - an exper ience which may be en r i ched by e d u c a t i o n , contac t w i t h Europeans and o the r a l i e n s , t r a v e l , employment i n d i s t a n t p a r t s , and above a l l ( i n Me lanes i a ) by the recen t war which impressed the complex i ty and power of i n d u s t r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n upon r e c e p t i v e minds. (Belshaw 1955 : 62) The f i r s t t r u l y t r ans fo rma t ive i n f l u e n c e s on Siane may w e l l have been foreshadowed i n the l u x u r y ca tegory o f exchange. S a l i s b u r y (1962 : 119-120) d i s c u s s e s the case o f the " s o p h i s t i c a t e d " S i a n e , who a t the t ime o f h i s f i e l d w o r k were w e l l accustomed to European a r t i f a c t s - co lou red handke rch i e f s , machetes, l e a t h e r b e l t s , p l a s t i c bang les , beads, and the l i k e - and cons ide red them kevora ne t a , as j u s t " s m a l l t h i n g s " f o r l u x u r y consumption, c e r t a i n l y not as v a l u a b l e s f o r use i n b r i d e - p r i c e s o r t o exchange f o r p i g s . But the evidence i s t h a t t h i s was not always s o . When u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d bus-kanakas, on a t r ade v i s i t from an a r ea remoter from European c o n t a c t , were g i v e n such i tems by S i a n e , they were over joyed , i n the b e l i e f t h a t they were r e c e i v i n g v a l u a b l e s i n exchange f o r t h e i r l u x u r i e s . S a l i s b u r y t h i n k s t h a t on ly t e n years be fo re , S i a n e , t o o , p robab ly regarded these European i tems as v a l u a b l e s . By 1953 _ l i k e the axe - these had been r eapp ra i s ed and r e l e g a t e d t o the l e s s p r e s t i g i o u s ca t ego ry , and t h e i r r a t e s o f exchange ad jus ted r e l a t i v e t o t r a d i t i o n a l k e v o r a n e t a . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i n the process something w h o l l y unprecedented had t aken p l a c e , f o r as S a l i s b u r y remarks: I t was no l o n g e r t r u e t o say t ha t the c a t e g o r i e s o f v a l u a b l e s and l u x u r i e s were permanently f i x e d and -190-mutually exclusive. Uncertainty had entered the trade-friend relationship when luxuries could he given and valuables received, and when goods, thought of formerly as valuables, turned out after a time to be only luxuries. (1962 : 120) The f i r s t direct dealings Siane had with Europeans were a fur-ther contradiction of the logic traditionally enforced on native exchanges by the t r i p a r t i t e division of the economy. Patrol officers were deemed to be Big Men (c.f. op. c i t . 123-124). This was because of their role i n mediating fighting and leading patrols. It was also a definition arrived at no doubt self-interestedly, on the part of Siane Big Men, because patrol officers gave gi f t s that matched the native valuables. At the same time, i t must have been a measure taken to defuse the unknown power of these strangers. To treat them as wealthy gimaiye partners, to be dealt with according to the rules of this kind of relationship, can be interpreted as an attempt to draw Europeans into continuing reciprocities - into a moral relationship, that i s , i n which both sides acknowledge an essential equality, the proof of which i s i n the equivalence of the g i f t s (c.f. Burridge i960 : 209-213, 240-243, 248, 258, 264-270). Europeans responded by unknowingly trespassing across formerly inviolate boundaries i n the native classifications of goods. In reciprocation for the food they re-quired from Siane, they gave gifts of luxuries such as salt, tobacco or paper, or even exchanged small quantities of shells and other valuables. In the native idiom, neta, "things of account" were returned for faivaya  neta, "things of no account" - a t o t a l anomaly, i f not insanity (c.f. Salisbury 1962 : 114). These unorthodox exchanges must be understood as doing more -191-than merely introducing uncertainty into the standards of exchange value, which i s how Salisbury (c.f. op. c i t . 120) summarizes them. The un-certainty spreads to whole categories of relationships which find their rationale and their regulation i n the separation of these different classes of exchange object. The confusion i s sociological, that i s , as well as economic and conceptual. It i s doubtful though that the limited novelty of a few European items of kevora neta would have precipitated a con-fusion that was either lasting or particularly consequential i n i t s implications, due to the essentially individualistic and u t i l i t a r i a n purposes behind this particular category of exchange. The objects are i n themselves the values of exchange, i t s satisfaction, and the whole point of the undertaking. The extension of this category to include European consumer items i s not by i t s e l f l i k e l y to subvert any important symbolism about the larger social order, or undercut the regularities of power i n the way that the pre-contact inflation i n the gimaiye category threatened to bring down the entire structure of the society by confusing the class-i f i c a t i o n of clan relations. But kevora neta were not the only items of novelty. Europeans also encouraged the use of cash, and a deep confusion about the structures of Siane society i s exactly what modern money threatens. Evidently coins made their appearance quite some time before direct contact, and were at that time zealously husbanded as valuables (c.f. op. c i t . 125). During the period 1948-1952, probably because they were increasingly common, they were relegated to the status of luxury objects - s h i l l i n g pieces being particularly prominent i n this category. -192-Paper money, however, remains as a valuable. Salisbury (op. c i t . 126) records that i n the enumeration of a bride-price, for example, a pound note would be counted as one unit neta. In accordance with the traditional discontinuities i n the system of exchanges, the two types of currency, notes and coinage, are not seen as interchangeable. That i s , the com-prehension of the nature of the new money i s dictated so far by the rules of native economic orthodoxy. The confusion at this stage i s about the European money, not about their own social and economic relationships. But the i r r e s i s t i b l e question concerns the implications that w i l l follow with the increasing monetization of native exchanges. On the face of i t , possible to argue that a collapse of the complete system i s held i n abeyance because, and only to the extent that, i n 1953, there was scant knowledge of the purely schematic and fac t o r i a l properties behind the new cash. Rather i s each item of cash transacted as an individual physical thing, on a par with the traditional luxuries and valuables. Because neta are never converted into kevora neta, likewise i t i s unthinkable to exchange paper cash into coins of any de-nomination. That the two are inherently fungible i s not appreciated even among returned labourers, who regardless of their greater exposure to the cash economy, reserve their note earnings exclusively for the buying of shell valuables and are greatly embarrassed and shamed i f forced by need to convert them to coins (c.f. op. c i t . 130). Purchasing at the trade store seems to have established in the native mind that coins (and even notes where the need i s compelling) can be tendered i n exchange for a range of commodities, though not quite the general principle that the -193-unit cash i s further subdivisible into gradated units of purchasing power. Hence a man w i l l put down a coin on the counter calling out his want, " S a l t l " , and w i l l receive, the whole value of that coin i n salt even i f the coin i s a s h i l l i n g and the quantity he wants i s only three-penny worth. Rather than ask for change, he w i l l redistribute the excess to friends (c.f. op. c i t . 130). Nevertheless, the idea of a fa c t o r i a l and fungible money i s perhaps not entirely foreign to Siane. In the pre-1933 period, when valuables were very few i n circulation, two or three pieces of gold-lip shell would be added to a cowrie shell headband and a plume, apparently to make up the value of a whole shell for the purpose of a bride-price. Presumably shell fragments - like the British farthing - became otiose with inflation and the declining purchasing power of the valuables, but among the more sophisticated returnees the habit of computing in fractions may be regaining i t s relevance. The indication that they might be strug-gling towards the realization that different sized coins have different arithmetical values than can be summed together or subjected to other systematic operations, i s given in the practice which Salisbury (c.f. op. c i t . 125-126) says they have of adding six coins - any six coins, whether pennies, threepences, or sixpences - and calling the result "six shilings". It i s at this point that there begins a qualitative difference, which Salisbury recognizes: It must be noted i n passing that i t i s not the char-acteristics of money - of being storable, a repository of value, and generally acceptable - or a standard- of value that have made i t s introduction c r i t i c a l . A l l these were possessed by the valuables and luxuries for -194-which i t substitutes. Its d i v i s i b i l i t y i s the char-acteristic that has made money usable i n many contexts. (op. c i t . 136-137) However incipient the process, Siane are on the way to discover-ing liquid money, the u t i l i t y of which w i l l be the greater, according to Belshaw (1965 s 9 , 12l) i t s flow easier, the more i t i s recognized to be a symbolic counting system rather than a physical commodity. Modern money i n the form of "valuable" notes i s now entrenched i n gimaiye; coins service friendship exchanges i n the luxury category, and as such are the medium par excellence for day to day access to items of European cargo. Given the presence of the trade-store and the gradual introduction of cash-cropping, i t can only be a matter of time before modern money becomes an intrusive factor i n the subsistence network. As i n other parts of Melanesia, this w i l l undoubtedly mean that European foodstuffs w i l l be available for purchase and become i n some measure an integral part of the preferred diet (c.f. Belshaw 1955 5 10) . By this stage, exchanges within the three traditional categories w i l l have their meeting point i n a common money medium. Potentially f l u i d across the range of these a c t i v i t i e s , f u l l y fungible, and available i n a physical form that i s easily manageable, impersonal and uniform i n appearance, there i s one c r i t i c a l question to be asked. What happens when Siane themselves come to the f u l l understanding that modern money has reduced three areas of value, which formerly by tradition were r i g i d l y incommensurable, to a single arithmetical standard? Salisbury's perspective on the i n f i l t r a t i o n of cash into a l l -195-areas of the native exchange system, and the accompanying increase i n the convertibility of commodities for use i n different types of activity, i s that i t creates a "new sort of economic choice ... As a medium of exchange /cash/ has effected a further breaking down of the r i g i d i t y of the native standards for classifying objects, which started during the period of indirect contact" (1962 : 130, 135; emphasis added). But the purview i s too narrowly formalist. It i s not simply the d e c l a s s i f i -cation of objects that now confronts Siane with an unaccustomed degree of choice. More immediately, the issue i s about the sets of relationship ordered and infused with particular meanings on the basis of the earlier classification. The separation of exchanges was made with the assumption of principles which permeated a l l levels of society and activity. What sense can these separate ways of relating people continue to make so long as the rules and regular expectations of traditional transactional activ-i t y are indistinct, even incoherent? The "new economic choice", for what i t could be worth, seems to be predicated upon the collapse of the cognitive underpinnings of what l i t t l e structure this native society had. k. Modern Gash and Traditional Demand On the other hand .'.the prospect need not be apocalyptical. If i t must be accepted that the native exchange and subsistence practices cannot for long remain insulated from the effects of the outside cash economy, then i t i s nonetheless conceivable that some form of advantageous coexistence might i n time be struck up. Certainly, notes Belshaw (1955 ! 5 8 ) , there i s no justification for believing that primitive societies -196-can only obstruct the advance of the new kinds of behaviour, or that they must be completely destroyed to make way. Salisbury (1962 : 121, 135) denies evidence of "anomic" symptoms i n Siane, and much weight should be given to his claims about the gradualness with which the changes are taking place. Belshaw (1955 9)» again, i s able to argue from a com-parison of two Melanesian societies, that where the developments have been taken i n and necessary adjustments made smoothly, a balance can be achieved. "Balance" here means not a state i n which development i s evenly placed i n every aspect of society and culture, but one i n which internal inconsistencies have been resolved. Such a "balance" i n the future of Siane could mean a dual (but not discontinuous) system i n which they are involved i n cash-earning enterprises other than indenture, yet without breaking to any marked ex-tent with the traditional way of l i f e . The latter, while having consider-able u t i l i t y i n i t s own right, may even assist development i n positive ways which can be used well by an enlightened administration to buttress change and to ease the transition to a f u l l e r and more satisfying exist-ence (c.f. Belshaw op. c i t . 30, 57, 5 8 ) . The continuation of a traditional sector means that goods are provided that might otherwise not be obtainable; i t enables a variety of occupations to survive; i t i s a means of satisfying many intangible valued wants; and i t can act as a cushion against recession i n the monetary sector, just as the monetary sector creates the possibility of r e l i e f i n the event of the failure of the crop through drought or pest-ilence. What i s most important though i s that the consumption of cash commodities i n luxury trading and subsistence transactions, and the use -197-of cash i t s e l f i n the gimaiye ceremonies, means i n effect that the values associated with the traditional system of exchanges can act as a major cash-earning incentive, as well as providing the mechanism to secure a wider distribution of the new kinds of wealth (already seen to be operat-ive in the i n i t i a l propagation of the steel axe throughout Siane). And where cash assists thus significantly in the satisfaction of traditional demands, i t would follow that a decline i n social behaviour of the trad-i t i o n a l type would lead to retrenchment i n the demand for cash. To be-labour an earlier theme, variables of local culture, and particularly their bearing on how people perceive the incentives to make any transition, are at a l l times implicated i n questions about, the nature of native com-mercial i n i t i a t i v e , and the course which economic development can be expected to take. Belshaw advises: ... one of the prime incentives to cash earning i s the discovery that cash can help to satisfy traditional and ceremonial wants, for cash can be used i n ceremonial exchange and can purchase many desired goods such as pigs. In other words, preferences, even i n relation to cash, are very different from our own, and this i s lik e l y to remain the case even given a highly efficient and rationalized system of production and distribution. There i s nothing i n fundamental economic theory which would suggest that an economic system i s unsuccessful because i t satisfies preferences which are not those of a Western capitalist; and i f economists do not con-sider i t justifiable to make out such a case, s t i l l less should anthropologists, who above a l l are aware of the r e l a t i v i t y of cultural values. (op. c i t . 59-60) 5 . Big Men and the Future of Power In a l l this there i s no suggestion that the "balance" foresee-ably emerging i n Siane w i l l represent a quiescent accommodation to out-side forces, rather than, wherever possible, their own active adjustment -198-to suit the local preferences. Where there i s a question of the adjust-ment of values and relationships to meet new circumstances, there i s also obviously a question about the role of power. Salisbury rightly perceives that the survival of gimaiye, and with i t the fate of the Big Man, i s the immediate issue. Alternatively, what new instruments of adjustment might be emerging in Siane, and operating as between which new groupings of people? Salisbury conjectures that: The trends expectable from a consideration of gima and luxury activities i n Siane thus lead i n two directions: towards a progressive atomization of society into small groups of lineage or nuclear family size, or towards a consolidation of groupings round 'big men', who wield power through their gima a c t i v i t i e s . The c r i t i c a l factor i n deciding which trend i s more li k e l y to prevail i s whether the power of the 'big men' increases or decreases. (1962 : 137) The important question i n this regard i s why has cash entered at a l l into the ceremonial system? In the perspective of those concerned with the maintenance of 'structure', the manifestation of the new money must appear dangerous and anarchical. Strathern (1976 : 280) thinks that the substitution of cash for the shell valuables may be taken as a con-tinuing choice to make investments in the ceremonial system, rather than to concentrate the use of cash on a nexus of marketing and daily consump-tion a c t i v i t i e s . For Big Men must have realized that they can control the flow of cash better i f i t stays within the former context, rather than the latter. This process of appropriating new items into ceremonial ex-change, Strathern sees as an indication of i t s capacity to absorb and survive change: cash i n particular becoming thus a renewal point for transactional continuity (op. c i t . 283). -199-Salisbury (1962 : 135) "too has no doubt that ceremonial pay-ments w i l l continue to be made. In different words: gimaiye w i l l s t i l l function to organize power, and must be expected to remain the basic stratagem even i n conditions of f a i r l y comprehensive "modernization". After a l l , Strathern (197& •* 284) depicts a Mount Hagen representative to the national House of Assembly as having to find his local support by f a l l i n g back on traditional exchanges, and therefore also onto the council of the traditional Big Man whose area of competence this i s par  excellence. Nevertheless, gimaiye can hardly escape considerable strain under the circumstances. It always existed as a forum in which whole sets of messages about the content of social relationships were passed essentially by the fact of bargaining over ambiguous values of exchange. How the exactitudes - of modern money w i l l effect this process i s uncertain. Also problematical i s the duplication of values: for pigs now have one value as a market commodity, which may well be discrepant with i t s value as set by the forces of gimaiye. This points to a related d i f f i c u l t y . Modern money i s an efficient store of value. So the monetization of ceremonial exchanges with highly liquid cash, as Strathern (op. c i t . 285) remarks, puts a very great advantage into the hands of the Big Man, since value earned in other ways can be adroitly channelled into gimaiye. It i s also awkward since i t can be channelled right out again i f at any time people decide to invest elsewhere. The ready accessibility of cash through a variety of sources outside of gimaiye threatens the exclusivehess of Big Man power and prestige. It significantly relaxes the requirement that a young man can break into the circuit only by a long and arduous apprenticeship of debt to an established broker, whose -200-capacity to undertake the necessary sponsorship i n the past derived from the Big Man oligopoly of the gimaiye money. Privilege of access, like the carefully contrived scarcity that upholds the high purchasing power of the valuables, i s incompatible with a universal medium of exchange. The Big Man may continue his hold on the financing of inter-clan cere-monial a c t i v i t i e s , but not without greater d i f f i c u l t y and greater com-petition. The continuing r e a l i t y of clan opposition - which i s inextricably the major theme of the gimaiye ceremonials - i s another questionable area. Under pacification the clan suffers a loss of i t s primary p o l i t i c a l raison d'etre, as the sovereign war-making body. Inter-clan marriage then loses some of i t s urgency as a p o l i t i c a l t a c t i c . For another thing, notes, having supplanted quantities of the traditional valuables as the symbolism of gimaiye, are far less satisfactory i n the celebration of corporate identities. Thus, Salisbury explains, ... a main function of payments i s the alignment of one corporate clan against another, thereby emphasising the solidarity of each group, their mutual distinctiveness, and the possibility of inter-marriage ... If articles that are less easily displayed, of less r a r i t y , and div-i s i b l e into smaller units are used in payments, less ceremony i s l i k e l y to attend their collection and handing over. Clan solidarity w i l l be r i t u a l l y expressed less often, the relationship between payer and payee w i l l become less of a corporate relationship, and the rules of clan exogamy w i l l be less enforceable. (1962 : 136) Not only does the loss of ostentation i n gimaiye dim the consciousness of acting i n concert as a unified clan; but also the uniformity of paper money, i t s lack of "pedigree", obscures the perception of the relative influence of individuals within the clan, which ordinarily i s publicized -201-by the distinctive contributions each makes to the payment. Public demonstrativeness with regard to his munificence and his credit-rating i s the phenomenological leaven i n a Big Man's reputation. Hence a fissionable tendency i s envisaged by Salisbury, with smaller groups of lineage taking precedence over the declining integrity of clan organization, and where relationships w i l l be more direct and individuated. Surprisingly, however, i n one scenario he projects, Salisbury (ibid.) thinks i t possible that Big Men w i l l take advantage of the situation to consolidate their power into personalized hegemonies. For a precedent of "a division of the existing clans into small 'empires' ruled by dictatorial 'big men'", he cites Vicedom and Tischner (1945) on the organization of the Mount Hagen tribes. The premise behind this prospect i s that the demise of the clan frees the Big Man to go on amass-sing private wealth, with fewer formal obligations to redistribute. At the same time, where payments can no longer count upon the automatic backing of the clan as a corporate duty, only the wealthy Big Man would have the liquid resources to finance loans. It may also happen - i n Salisbury's view - that the collapse of the distinctions between luxury and gimaiye commodities could mean the opening up of the former exchange network to gimaiye-style dramatization and politicized reciprocities, again to the enhancement of the Big Man's prestige. This i s surely a false hypothesis? Salisbury i s wrong to suppose that the Big Man might amass wealth beyond the waning of the clan. For a start, this notion extrapolates from the misconstrued pre-contact -202-i n f l a t i o n , which Salisbury thinks created unprecedented financial con-centrations. He does not see that Big Man power was on the brink of disintegration by the close of this period. Rather he feels that ever since the introduction of steel tools, and now with the more recent imposition of Government control, power i s becoming more centralized under more permanent positions of group representation (c.f, op. c i t . 3 0 ) . The view i s deficient because i t neglects the fact that the wealth of the Big Man i s not at a l l a matter of amassing a private fortune i n valuable objects (or even in cash, where no significant market exists). It resides i n his command of a special kind of social asset - debt - and gimaiye, which i s essentially a function of the adversity of clans, i s the means for creating the necessity for debt. It i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine the Big Man emerging from the "atomization" of the clan with an even greater power of command. Salisbury (c.f. op. c i t . 136) only really foresees a decline i n the power of the Big Man should the pattern of individuated luxury giving be extended to the exchanging of what are at present valuables, and i f the younger returned labourers, should refuse to feed their earnings into the gimaiye distribution. Belshaw (1955 ! 26) agrees that as the ceremony of this type of exchange i s reduced such spreads become easier, for then the exchange approximates more closely to that normal between trading partners i n the luxury connection. A great question therefore hangs over the growing demand for luxury Westernized cash-commodities, the effect of which must be assessed from the point of view of the system as a whole. - 2 0 3 -6. "Nothing Men" and the Consumer Society The inflow of these goods originates largely with the returned indentured labourers - with "nothing men" that i s , for indenture draws from the ranks of the fifteen to twenty year olds, who as a group have few essential duties locally, and whose physical presence i s no longer a military necessity like i t was before the cessation of warfare. Salisbury (1962 : 126 f f . ) describes how upon their return, the labourers are treated as outsiders and lose the bulk of their earnings as a condition of reincorporation. By January 1953, a special gimaiye r i t u a l had been devised for this purpose - which has the effect of stressing their non-membership in their former clans. The payments which they must make to buy back their membership become i n this way immediately absorbed into the Big Man system. The intention i s clear enough, once i t i s learnt that the returnees have been responsible for a vast increase in the stock of goods owned in Siane, and more especially, were bringing back with them larger quantities of cash than had ever before been seen. This wealth has not been an immediate p o l i t i c a l asset to "nothing men", providing them with a means to mount a direct challenge to established Big Men i n the prestige stakes of gimaiye - as Strathern (1976 : 284-285) says some of the younger men with access to cash are doing i n Mount. Hagen. Rather does Salisbury (1962 : 131-132) conclude that the Big Man's authority i s s t i l l effective i n enforcing the distribution of the new valuables. But the Big Man - "nothing man" di f f e r e n t i a l i s not unchanged. For a start, the l i t t l e that the returnee can hope to retain as valuables from his earnings has i t s effect. It might be as much as one f i f t h of a -204-b r i d e - p r i c e - a v a i l a b l e i m m e d i a t e l y , a s o p p o s e d t o t h e u s u a l m o r e g r a d u a l p r a c t i c e o f r e t u r n i n g t h e p a y m e n t made o n h i s b e h a l f t h r o u g h t h e p i g s h i s w i f e c a n r a i s e f o r h i m . U n t i l s u c h t i m e a s h e h a d r e p a i d t h e d e b t a n d w a s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e p a y m e n t s o f o t h e r s , h e s t a y e d a " n o t h i n g m a n " , u n a b l e t o j o i n i n c o u n c i l s . N o w , S a l i s b u r y ( o p . c i t . 156) n o t e s , h i s r e d u c e d n e e d f o r s p o n s o r s h i p p a r t i a l l y l i f t s a m a j o r s a n c t i o n f o r o b e d i -e n c e a n d s h a r i n g , s o t h a t a s a n i n d i v i d u a l h e i s b e c o m i n g f r e e r t o b e h a v e a s h e w i s h e s a n d t o f l o u t a u t h o r i t y a n d c u s t o m . S t r a t h e r n (1976 : 278), w r i t i n g a b o u t t h e s u r v i v a l o f t h e m o k a c e r e m o n i a l i n M o u n t H a g e n , d i s c e r n s t h e f u n d a m e n t a l i s s u e : a s w i t h a l l i n s t i t u t i o n s t h e r e h a s t o b e a w a y o f i n d u c i n g t h e y o u n g e r p e o p l e t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n i t , p a r t i c u l a r l y n o w a g a i n s t t h e f a c t t h a t a s a l t e r n a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s a r e o p e n i n g u p t h e i r i n t e r e s t m a y d e c l i n e . I n M o u n t H a g e n t h e p r o c e s s i s p r e s u m a b l y q u i t e a d v a n c e d , f o r t h e r e i s m u c h f e a r a n d l a c k o f c o m p r e h e n s i o n a t t h e l o o s e n i n g o f c o n t r o l , , a n d t h e c r i t i c i s m o f t h e y o u n g i s r a n k : T h e s e y o u n g men a r e c r i t i c i z e d a s u p s t a r t s , c a r d p l a y e r s , b e e r d r i n k e r s , a n d men who t r a v e l a b o u t i n c a r s a n d t h i n k o f c h a s i n g women r a t h e r t h a n t h e s e r i o u s m a t t e r s o f b u s i n e s s a n d m o k a . ( S t r a t h e r n o p . c i t . 285) S a l i s b u r y (1962 : 156) w o u l d d e m u r t h a t a s y e t i n S i a n e t h e r e v o l t i s l i m i t e d t o c o m p l a i n t s , a n d n o s e r i o u s b r e a k d o w n o f t h e n a t i v e a u t h o r i t y s y s t e m i s i m p e n d i n g . B u t i t may b e j u s t a m a t t e r o f t i m e . T h i n g s l i k e f o o t b a l l , p e r o x i d i n g h a i r , f a c e p o w d e r , b e l t s , h a t s , s o a p , k e r o s e n e l a m p s , t r a d e t o b a c c o , may a d m i t t e d l y p r e s u p p o s e n o s o p h i s t i c a t e d c u l t u r a l s t a n d a r d -b u t t h e y a r e n o t t o b e s e e n a s a p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f s i m p l e i t e m s w i t h n o f u r t h e r i m p o r t . I n c r e a s i n g l y t h e r e t u r n e e s a r e b e c o m i n g t h e h a b i t u e s o f - 2 0 5 -a completely untradltional cash-sustained, market-oriented consumerism: something which Salisbury (c.f. op. c i t . 127-128, 130, I56-I58) concedes by referring to their "degree of Europeanization". He notes also that they are even prepared to give up some of their "valuable" note earnings to meet the need for European goods, because to entertain a fellow returnee with anything less would be insulting to him. If returnees are showing a tendency to dissociate themselves from the traditional standards and practices upheld by their elders, then this i s of course attributable to their exposure to the comparatively cosmopolitan atmosphere of the labour camps, and to the multifarious unsettling influences of the European world. As they acquire altered ideas about what constitutes worthwhile acti v i t y , so progressively w i l l the whole business of traditional exchange ceremonies f a i l to engage the imagination of the young, who are showing a preference for working out their status competitions i n the idiom of a growing Western-style consumerism. The incentives to bind themselves into gimaiye sponsorships and into chronic debt with the Big Men must anyway grow less and less for returnees. 7. Ideas and the Formulation of an Alternative Society Modern money, with i t s vast nation-wide and international linkages, implies a break i n the parochialism and self-sufficiency of subsistence l i f e . People of very different cultural backgrounds, who use the money system, are drawn together by sharing significantly i n i t s founding ideas. Much more than simple numeracy i s implied by this. Just as the t r i p a r t i t e classification of exchangeable goods in Siane was shown to be nothing less than a particular organization of socially relevant messages, so i n such - 2 0 6 -circumstances, modern money creates a conduit through which, potentially, very much more than consumer items flow: There i s l i t t l e difference, i n principle, between the movement of ideas and the movement of physical things, or the change i n the use of ideas and the change i n the use of things. (Belshaw 1976 : 156) The cash-consumerism i n Siane i s taking place against a movement of conceptions and attitudes, and a reassessment of how reasonable are the rewards and costs of action as laid down by the standards of the traditional value-orientation. Ideas, i n short, are the harbinger of change against which the Big Man appears i n i t i a l l y as a conservative, fighting a rearguard action for the preservation of the old order. Though loosely labelled a "traditionalist" next to "progressive" returnees and youthful entrepreneurs, the Big Man i s by no means an unwitting prisoner of an aging tradition. Far from i t : a p o l i t i c a l intelligence and i n i t i a t i v e superior to any i n Siane, the a r t i f i c e i n his role i s to stand somewhat aside from the main-stream moralities. But his capacities as a manager are nevertheless achieved within the limitation of a society which emphasizes clan and lineage as the basis of organization. And as an ideologue whose control relies on a f a c i l i t y to manipulate a basically oppositional disposition of meaning and value, the new knowledge constitutes a particular kind of subversion. Belshaw draws out some consequences of an ideological disjunction between the generations: A major element i n a potential dynamic force i s whether the young develop new ideas by comparison with those of their parents, and whether, i f so, they have the oppor-tunity to translate them into action. Primitive societies are characterized by the continuous replacement of one -207-generation by another with much the same wants and values. In dynamic sycieties the socialization process i s imper-fect and, added to the complexity of the pool of ideas, makes possible transformations over time. -(1965 : 143-144) The real weakness of Salisbury's study i s revealed i n i t s failure to take sufficient account of the extent to which "change" depends upon the state of prevailing cultural meanings. Salisbury looks for how a tech-nological innovation influences economic institutions i n a primitive society -the short, but categorical, answer to which Is that innovation depends upon people's ideas for acceptance. Economic or organizational change begs a sociology of knowledge. Any institution, any technology, presupposes set ways of doing things, modes of patterned behaviour supported by the i n t e l -lectualizations of a cultural stock of ideas. The complexity of organiza-tion i s therefore a function of the quantity of organized ideas, and the organized interchange of those ideas (c.f. Belshaw op. c i t . 145). Cultures could conceivably be reduced to propositions of scale, Belshaw (1978 : 11) suggests - having to do with such things as the volume and diversity of messages passed through the symbol system, the volume and range of ideas that are available but not actually i n use, the numbers of people using the symbol system and sharing i t s concepts. He thinks i t possible that by comparisons based on calculations of this sort, cautious judgments might be made about the qualities of intellectual achievement in various cultures. In any case, what can be asserted quite definitely i s that much of the so-called conservatism of traditional societies owes to the paucity of their "conceptual vocabulary". Organizational effectiveness implies a respons-iveness to changing circumstance, a capacity to innovate, and this demands - 2 0 8 -that ideas have the potential to recombine in new and productive ways to create new artifacts, perceptions, theories, values, propositions, tools, works of art (c.f. Belshaw op. c i t . 51, 1385 1970 : 4 5 - 4 6 , 49-51; 1978 : 12). Belshaw points out that i t i s a matter of s t a t i s t i c a l prob-a b i l i t y that novel conceptual arrangements - and physical inventions are also conceptual arrangements - w i l l be based on new syntheses of the already existing elements in the stock of ideas. In this, inventiveness i n a village universe i s bound to be handicapped compared to more complex societies. There i s the simple lack of numbers and differentiation of people to sustain a great volume and intensity of transactions, and to allow various specialisms i n knowledge, carried on at some distance from the l i f e of ordinary people and in their own somewhat separate streams of tradition. There i s the absence of sophisticated instruments of com-munication, or again, like Siane, symbol systems are highly segregated and tailored for the conveyance of uniform prescriptive messages. As a consequence, the speed at which bits of knowledge can circulate and re-combine into new configurations has absolute limits, and so too, therefore, has the l i k e l y autogenesis of novel ways of thinking and of doing things. It also means that the capacity to critique the existing order and chal-lenge the tenets of custom, i s not an entrenched feature of intellectual l i f e , for to c r i t i c i s e implies some notion of an alternative, an independent basis of thought. Primitive thought-systems are unfree, Mary Douglas has shown, in this respect that they are unable to surmount the confines of their own subjective conditions. Where such a situation of self-perpetuating homogeneity i s - 2 0 9 -l i k e l y to alter, Belshaw said, i s where ideas enter from other societies. This i s the point: for by far the most significant importers of new ideas into Siane are the returned indentured labourers. Indenture i n New Guinea i s a category of social experience created entirely de novo by the labour needs of European capital enterprise. Big Men, by a l l the evidence of Siane, are already sensitive to one consequence of the diversification this introduces into the local culture, which i s that the continuity of the traditional structure of relationships can last only as long as they are able to guarantee continuing agreement i n the basic ideas about power. Salisbury, however, chooses to ignore the point, confining himself to the simple comment that " i t i s clear that an increase i n knowledge did occur i n Siane during the period analysed" (1962 : 142). His position on the native system of knowledge needs to be made clearer. It suits the means-to-end relationship at the heart of the econ-omist's search for explanation to assimilate knowledge to a u t i l i t y . Salisbury (op. c i t . 142) argues that knowledge may reasonably be included i n an expanded definition of "capital", on a par with other intangibles l i k e services. Though this incurs, along with "social capital", the d i f f i -culty of finding an accounting measure i n common with other forms of capital, i t i s nonetheless perfectly acceptable. Belshaw (1965 : 129; 1976 : 5 9 , 156-157, 33l) observes how the acceptance i s embedded i n common parlance: just as one speaks of a fund of capital, and a pool or stock of equipment, so indeed can one speak of a fund, pool, or stock of ideas. It i s certainly a major prerequisite for development that investments are made i n the growth of knowledge. Programmes of roadbuilding, telephonies, broadcasting, and -210-so on aim at laying down the'infrastructural conditions for an efficient communications system, whilst programmes of education address themselves very much to the problem i n underdeveloped areas that the basic symbol systems necessary to communication and the movement of new ideas are often imperfectly distributed. By lib e r a l i z i n g the notion of what counts as a capital asset, or resources i n general, a particular misconception i s avoided. If for instance a resource i s held to be primarily a physical entity, coming out of the ground, then the conclusion must be that resources are mostly limited and non-renewable, and constitute the same "givens" against which every society must fashion i t s productive enterprise. Alternatively, i f the definition i s , as Belshaw suggests, that "a resource i s that which i s required to f u l f i l a particular production or consumption purpose", then clearly a resource can be an intangible as easily as i t can be a physical entity, as well as being both renewable and everchanging. They are, importantly, cultural artifacts influenced by economic rea l i t y . The corollary to this i s that a resource has to be perceived to be relevant, and any innovation to be effective and applicable must be incorporated into the existing body of knowledge. The error on Salisbury's part i n waiving the question of the changing state of native knowledge i s therefore considerable. Not only are the changes occurring i n Siane not associated with the steel axe, but the axe i t s e l f afforded no revolution i n the practical application of ideas to economic production. It challenged no system of values, no cherished axiom of l i f e . Siane had axes before: the difference now i s largely one of efficiency, not of concept - which i s of course one reason for their ready adaptability to native l i f e . To have expected anything -211-dramatically different was to expect the native idea system to defy i t s inherent limitations. Thus Salisbury's projections of sustained innovative action provoked by the importation of a dramatically superior "capital resource" f a l l s victim to that endemic tendency, discerned by Nakane and McSwain, and conceded by Lawrence, for native cognitive systems to absorb change within their own constricted patterns of order. A propos of this pro-cess, Belshaw has remarked: When Marshall McLuhan proclaimed "the medium i s the message," he was almost right, but not quite. A message comes to be allocated to the medium, in the sense that artifacts of a l l kinds must have symbolic meaning before they can exist as social phenomena and the meaning changes with use and context. This i s true of a machine, a television set, and a poem. The meaning attached to the artifact can alter the meaning of any message allocated to i t or carried by i t ... (1976 : 156, emphasis i n original) A question arises as to why i s i t that cultures i n New Guinea have been able thus to "naturalize" foreign elements, keeping a sense of cultural integrity and wholeness throughout a period of colonisation and rapid change, whereas, to recur to the associated case of Yir Yioront Aborigines mentioned earlier, the steel axe there produced disturbances of such magnitude and perniciousness as to bring about the t o t a l collapse of that society? The Yir Yoront case i s extreme, but i t j u s t i f i e s the insistence that attention be given to the native knowledge system, and to the nature of the "foreign elements" to which i t must react. The comparison w i l l also underscore the enormous difference between a singular artifact like the steel axe, and a complex medium like money, at the same time as i t points to a simple truth. "As long as information -212-i s classified," says Carpenter (1976 : 159)i " i t i s controlled. But when i t i s unclassified, i t i s wild, unpredictable." Australian knowledge - from the accounts - i s quite dissimilar to the kinds of knowledge systems prevalent i n New Guinea. Barth (1975), for instance, found amongst the Highland Baktaman an epistemology of perpetual doubt. Knowledge i s arrayed i n a succession of i n i t i a t i o n cults, each deliberately wrecking the certainties of i t s precursor and none, not even the last, convinced of i t s f i n a l i t y - i t i s a system receptive i f not quite to new truth, then at least to the qualification of the old. By contrast, the Australian Dreaming, according to Stanner (1964 : 289), forms a kind of immutable logos, or principle of order transcending everything significant for Aboriginal man, explaining and classifying an exhaustive universe as i t was supposedly created at the beginning of time. It i s fixed and f i n a l , and thoroughly integrated as one body of thought with the ancient pattern of society. This i s one explanation for the st a b i l i t y of Australian cultures under aboriginal % conditions! but as Sharp (1964 : 92-94) notes, i t s system of conceptions proved too self-contained and inflexible to recover from the pyrrhonic misgivings about the veracity of the mythic ancestor beings and the once-and-for-all totemic origin myths which had omitted to mention steel axes and other European goods. No longer can i t be possible to act with conviction where myth was always seen not simply as a mirror to l i f e , but as the truth which l i f e should reflect: Aboriginal l i f e has endured feeling that continuity, not man, i s the measure of a l l . The cost, i n the world of power and change, i s extinction. What de-feats the aborigine i n the modern world, fundamentally, -213-i s his transcendentalism. So much of his l i f e and thought are concerned with The Dreaming that i t s t u l t i f i e s his a b i l i t y to develop. (Stanner 1964 : 296) With i t s myths at issue, a l l that Yir Yoront lived by, and regarded as self-evidently valid or true, disintegrated i n disbelief (cf. Burridge i960 : 3 4 ) . But i n Siane, the rapid erosion of coherence i n the symbolisms mapped out onto the three nexuses of exchange has not similarly l e f t natives bereft of an alternative, without a fulcrum on which to balance a developing response to the European world. Ironic-a l l y , at the same time as i t i s forcing the demise of the traditional exchange patterns, modern money also provides for the possibility of continuity, for allowing a movement in the old culture towards an adapt-ive synthesis with new patterns of value and action. Change i s bringing to Siane an ever-increasing flood of ideas, cut loose from traditional moorings i n the clan structure of relationships. The money economy opens up the parameters of action and perception, especially for those whose immersion i n i t comes at a formative time of l i f e . But i f ideas and knowledge are resources, they are such only where there i s some possibility of their deployment i n a way that improves upon the existing stock of resources. In this regard, Siane at i t s present stage might be considered undynamic. Whatever immediate changes in out-look and behaviour brought about by the f i r s t stage of acquaintance with Europeans (through administration, migrant labour, mission proselytiza-tion),the wider poss i b i l i t i e s Siane might sense lack coherence or a principle of organization by which they may crystalize into new forms -214-of activity clearly superseding the old. What i s envisaged i s a further stage of development where ideas and ac t i v i t i e s are dynamic and progressive, and the impetus to cultural change has a multiplying and not merely an i n i t i a t i n g effect (c.f. Belshaw 1955 : 6 4 ) . Certainly wider education and greater contact w i l l contribute to this end, but i t i s suggested that money i s the bridge from the old to the new. The new ideas impinge upon consciousness as a collage i n search of a syntax. Modern money i s the logical key by which Siane can make the connection from the level of conception to pragmatic concrete action. Steel axes may well have been allocated traditional messages upon entering Siane; i n this there i s agreement with Belshaw, But where modern money i s concerned, McLuhan i s right, i t i s the medium that i s the real message. Modern money i s i t s e l f a sophisticated symbol system, requiring a high standard of cultural awareness to master i t . But i f anything succinctly characterizes the impact of this medium, i t i s a remark Paine (1976 : 74) makes in summarizing the consequences for transactional behaviour of an "elaborated code", of a medium, that i s , which promotes an open and multi-faceted exchange of messages. It allows each person to behave, he says, as "an emancipated self-organizing system". It w i l l be remembered that Salisbury has accepted that any "progressive atomization of society" would be the volatile factor i n Siane. How this might develop i n relation to modern money, and express i t s e l f i n terms of future economic organization and practice, can now brief l y be visualized. -215-8. New P r i n c i p l e s , New Organization It must be assumed that cash demands have come to Siane to stay, that the use of cash w i l l be expanded to meet a wider range of needs. Belshaw (1955 : 6 4 ) would argue that the l o c a l culture i n f a c t sets a l i m i t e d demand f o r the kind of European goods that become f a m i l i a r during the stage of labour migration. However i t i s a growing consumerism i n the important respect that these axe commodities which are l i t e r a l l y p h y s i c a l l y consumed. Unlike the perpetually c i r c u l a t i n g valuables, luxury consumption creates the need f o r constant replenishment. I t i s a pattern with p o t e n t i a l l y m u l t i p l y i n g e f f e c t s - given the cash l i n k to outside European markets and industry - a dynamic of i n f i n i t e wants which has no counterpart i n the s t a t i c routine of t r a d i t i o n a l economy. The novelty w i l l no doubt be u n s e t t l i n g , but cash consumerism w i l l not of i t s e l f a l t e r the whole f a b r i c of s o c i e t y . This i s rather dependent upon an a l t e r a t i o n of motivation, which i s part of the process of culture change. I f t h e i r ambition i s no longer bound absolutely by the circum-sc r i b e d world of t r a d i t i o n a l exchange, so too are the young men, because of the labour camps and mission educations, beginning to make the neces-sary transference out of t h e i r own (native) understanding i n t o a broader set of perceptions. These people are l i k e l y to be very vague about s p e c i f i c and long term objectives, but what i s c r u c i a l i s whether they r e a l i z e the connection between sustained productive enterprise and a cash income, and whether t h e i r motivations can be matched to a c e r t a i n minimum a v a i l a b l e opportunity f o r expansion. This implies a form of remuneration derived from sources other than indenture, which i s neither a l a s t i n g arrangement, nor i s i t a v a i l a b l e to married men with -216-commitments at home, and i t i s anyway not "development" where this means that communities learn to apply their own resources (including their labour) locally to earn cash, instead of exporting manpower to earn money from developments elsewhere. What cash-earning ventures are foreseeable i n Siane i n the near future? Belshaw (1955 : 14) has noted that "to understand the preferred modes of business procedure we must consider the traditional social organization within which in many respects the people have met modern wants". In fact the range of choice for Siane i s i n i t i a l l y not a l l that great. In a land-locked, subsistence based society, cash-cropping would be the immediate solution to the cash demand. Cash-cropping has met with success i n other areas of New Guinea, though for Siane, as Salisbury (1962 : 134) cautions, i t would have to depend upon a nearby regular market - the Government centre at Goroka being the most l i k e l y - and upon a sure means of transportation to make the effort of marketing produce at a distance of thirty miles worth the eventual rewards. There i s also a d i f f i c u l t y about the extent to which cash-cropping can be reconciled with traditional agricultural practices - whether the latter must be modi-fied , or whether the new crop i s i n some sense a functional equivalent. It depends a great deal on the nature of the crop. Certain kinds of crops may actually threaten food supplies by competing with traditional agriculture. On the other hand, attempts to introduce a marketable staple like rice have fai l e d i n other areas. In Tangu, Burridge ( i960 : 225, 260, 263) says, rice i s unpopular because ...the administration insists that growing i t should be a community, and not a household responsibility. This presents a l l manner of organizational dilemmas: How i s i t to be -217-distributed through the existing system of food exchanges? Who has to carry i t to market? By what principle i s the profit to he shared out? Few have any attachment to, or interest i n , the undertaking as a result, and they are reluctant to forgo the time from their own gardens. Maize, by contrast, they have been permitted to grow as they wished, and this activity has simply been accommodated to the traditional system with i t s underlying managerial values. Coffee i s a l i k e l y crop i n Siane. Because young plants need extensive care, coffee i s , as Salisbury (1962, : 160) says, a good form of investment for people with a labour surplus. But here the future u t i l i z -ation of land becomes a question. Land, Nash (1966 : 108) points out, i s a geographical expression of social relations. It i s also therefore a power issue. Historically, land t i t l e in Siane was coordinated through rights possessed by lineage heads, who frequently were Big Men (c.f. op. c i t . 137). The Big Man's influence might be decisive should coffee become the main cash-crop, since trees, whoever plants them, f a l l under the jurisdiction of the trustees of the lineage lands, whose restraint would be natural i n distributing t i t l e to so lucrative a resource. Big Men w i l l have a need for cash for effective participation i n monetized exchanges. On the other hand, i f there were a land shortage, the Big Man might opt to curb the inflow of cash. Strathern (1976 : 281-282) describes a conflict emerging i n Mount Hagen between "traditionalists"'and "progress-ives" as to whether fallow and subsistence lands should be allocated either to increased pig-rearing needed for inflated ceremonial activity, or to coffee production which effectively immobilizes these lands from the pursuit of such traditional purposes. -218-This confirms what Belshaw (1955 : 19) stresses, that there i s a constant need to assess the social relationships presupposed i n these modern productive ventures. It i s often l i k e l y that structural principles w i l l obtrude• upon the new developments that begin to take shape. In fact Salisbury (1962 : 138, 158) thinks that i n Siane i t i s l i k e l y traditional-i s t s w i l l retain the i n i t i a t i v e - that lineage heads w i l l consolidate their lineages, more or less independent of each other, over this issue of land and then use their increasing wealth to attract more possessions and more wives to enlarge their labour forces. Plural wives w i l l continue to be an economic asset. Salisbury exemplifies his point with the case of a man near Gorok'a where there happened to be this combination of cash-cropping and some shortage of land. Evidently much admired by other natives, this man had become privately wealthy even by European standards, "paying" his nine wives for working a market garden. Importantly, though, they are not wage labourers, which would be untraditional indeed. "Payment" assumes the form of periodic large g i f t s - reciprocity, that i s , not c ommercialism. Against this possibility i s the fact that the steel axe has actually made i t possible for those individuals who want to, to clear gardens without mobilizing the "help" of clanmates, and there are untapped reserves of land i n the distant virgin moss-forest which might i n this solitary fashion be used by individuals for successful cash-cropping i n avoidance of lineage regulation. Here the "nothing men" have the advantage. Their relative lack of traditional wealth disenfranchises them from involvement i n traditional exchanges and thus also from -219-absorbing p o l i t i c a l r i v a l r i e s . They are least embroiled i n lineage or clan obligations, and are not so l i k e l y to be cohabiting with wives. They are therefore freest for "progressive" action: These are the men who have least to gain by remaining in the centre of clan a c t i v i t i e s and the most to gain from independence. It may be that they mark a trend towards individual ownership of the land they clear and of i t s products. If so, they may be the f i r s t to be affected by the establishment of a market for cash crops. (Salisbury op. c i t . 135) The p o l i t i c a l s t a b i l i t y of the area would be a definite factor influencing the chances of a "progressive" individualized use of land. In Mount Hagen, for example, the p o l i t i c a l environment was changing by the mid 1970's, and with i t so were the attitudes of many of the younger leaders who, ten years earlier, had been advocating giving up ceremonial moka for cash-cropping." "Kiap rule" provided only a temporary s t a b i l i t y , as i t turned out; now there are disruptive disputes and actual fighting with less effective external intervention by police or government admini-stration officers. Gash-cropping cannot be undertaken without adequate security of access to land which, as Strathern (1976 : 282, 284, 285-286) says, i s something that can only be guaranteed i f one's group i s strong and united and has friends. Gash-cropping has therefore become a force upholding the continuing relevance and v i t a l i t y of the moka network of corporate alliances - a corroboration of Strathern's general contention that i n this region at least, moka mediates the introduction of money. Assuming s t a b i l i t y , however, future development in Siane may well depend largely on the a b i l i t y of "nothing men" to accumulate cash for productive investment - not just for consumption purposes, which has -220-so far been their preference - and on the directions i n which their monetary affai r s could ramify. Gash-cropping might expand into trucking ventures once roads are bui l t . The beginnings of such an undertaking are perhaps prefigured in the policeman who, with t600 to his name and maybe the wealthiest man i n Siane, was planning to buy a jeep to carry produce into Goroka (Salisbury 1962 : 158). Another promising area of "nothing man" investment could be the widespread network of luxury trade partner-ships. This i s one feature of the indigenous economic system which, even at the existing level of demand, might be developed to serve modern forms of wealth, luxury trading developed i n the f i r s t place out of conditions of varying geography and local resources, and certain forms of specialized production. If l i t t l e use has so far been made of such circumstances for modernizing purposes this i s partly because the practice has been to trans-port cash crops directly from villages to agencies at European centres. It i s also because village specialization has not developed to a scale which would f u l l y support and encourage villages to supply foodstuffs and raw materials to a specialist community through trade. Nevertheless, as Belshaw (1955 ! 66-67) comments, the advantages of such a development are clear. Many villages are not well suited for modern production of the present range of cash crops, or do not have the organizing a b i l i t y required for small-scale industry. Conceivably production could develop to accom-modate this fact, with these villages supplying specialist villages with the more traditional wants, such as local foodstuffs, handiwork, and luxuries like areca nut and lime. This way the marginal villages would come to share i n the income of the cash-earning villages, while labour i n the latter would be released for more profitable work. What i s visualized -221-i s a regional system of production supported by trade which, at least i n i t s formative stages, could be traditionally based. The prospect of a developing trade also bears on the creation of a profession of middlemen and specialized tradesmen and artisans, while the potential mechanization of transportation suggests the need for sk i l l e d maintenance of complicated machinery. But the c r i t i c a l problem s t i l l con-cerns the way people w i l l organize, or be organized, i n response to this commercial stimulus. Some permanent workers i n Siane - the policeman i s a notable example - have had experience of organizing and controlling other natives. The question, however, i s whether by their financial investments such people become over time significant employers of native labour - paid for as wages and not as "help", or reciprocity as in the case of the wealthy man near Goroka and his nine wives. The mode of relationship en-tailed would indeed be revolutionary and i t s implications for future economic developments are to be contrasted with the way the steel axe dis-sipated i t s potential by being absorbed entirely within a pre-existent pattern of relationships. It i s wholly possible, too, that the "nothing man" epithet imputes at best only a temporary i n f e r i o r i t y for the returnee, whose lot i t may be to emerge as a relatively untraditional 'elite i n a structure increasingly resembling a modern class formation. To talk about the present state of affairs i n Siane as "pre-capitalist" may unwarrantably suggest a sequence, with teleological overtones. However, i t must not be assumed that the idea of deriving personal gains by organizing other people's labour i s completely foreign to Siane, since after a l l this i s part of the role the Big Man plays. -222-What the presence of modern cash may do i s to inaugurate a link between the profit motive and the individualized use of resources (including labour as well as land), and to relate these to an outside market i n a way that makes possible an unprecedented arrangement of economic power. Whether such power i s deployed unconscionably and exploitatively, or within a framework of moral regulation, raises certain questions about the present trends of development which w i l l be discussed later. What can be agreed in the meantime i s that the capacity of a social organiza-tion to sustain economic growth w i l l depend upon whether i t s component parts are geared to goals and objectives which are consistent with econ-omic growth. In this the modern entrepreneurial function becomes para-mount, being exactly that propensity to take advantage of opportunities for expansion with the a b i l i t y to innovate new ways of doing things that become a significant and enduring part of the social order (c.f. Belshaw 1964 : 223; 1965 '• 109, H6, 137). Development stemming from such i n i t -iative sets up a dynamism and a sense of purpose that i s internal to the system, and i s very different i n i t s long range effects from the kind of piecemeal and exogenous bestowal of select"values (such as-a road, a dispensary, a new school or agricultural method) which often marks the efforts of administrations towards community development (c.f. Belshaw 1964 : 227). That the "nothing man" - as possibly the new managerial class - may be an embryonic capitalist i s almost beside the point next to the consideration that i n Siane the functions of modern entrepreneur-ship are unthinkable outside the context of the market. This by now i s a familiar theme, but i t deserves elaboration: - 2 2 3 -One aspect of the transformation of simple economies into complex dynamic ones i s the increase i n the extent of the market, that i s , an increase i n the range and quantity of transactions to which market principles apply, and an intensification of those principles. To a large extent, this i s linked with an increase i n exchange li q u i d i t y which can be described as the monetization of the economy. (Belshaw I 9 6 5 : 10) Liquid money i s clearly a necessary condition for the conversion of Siane into a modern or complex economy. Indeed Belshaw (op. c i t . 126) thinks "l i q u i d i t y " may be made the distinguishing criterion of a developed economy. The question then i s how does liquid money systematize relation-ships so as to bring about a favourable Increase i n Social Performance? An exchange of whatever sort brings into conjunction a demand with a source of supply, and the performance of a society with respect to the aggrega-tion of demands i t comprises depends directly upon the mobility of i t s basic resources to meet them. Given that the fact of social structure i t s e l f implies limitations - so that, as Belshaw (ibid.) says, no empirical society can be completely mobile - the nature of the articulation of structural components i s what determines different degrees of mobility. Liquid money, by mediating a wide and unrestricted range of exchanges, i s of course an integral part of the highly flexible structures of modern economies. As market exchange becomes ubiquitous and systematic the factors of production are distributed mobilely between uses. A l l u t i l i z -able resources are freed for maximum productivity from t r a d i t i o n a l i s t i c embargoes on their use. What i s not i n use at one time by one sector may be needed as a resource for further production, or as a consumption good, by another sector. Liquid money effects a rapid transfer. With manage-ment i n view, one implication of the liberalized flow of commodities -224-engendered by the market i s that i t i s a minimum condition for resources to gravitate into the hands of the most effective producers (c.f. Belshaw op. c i t . 121, 123). A related advantage has to do with pricing, and the way i n which market transactions are interrelated by this means. Belshaw (1964 : 218-219) states that the idea of value pertains to the degree to which action w i l l be exchanged for satisfaction or goal achievement. At the same time, though, action involves cost, whether this be the sacrifice of time or other opportunities, of the use of resources or of organization. Hence i t i s always a relationship between value and cost which determines whether or not a particular value w i l l be sought in action. Where the ratios of value:cost express imbalances that are too severe or out of proportion, the situation calls forth rectifying action, with ensuing changes both on the level of social organization and i n the preferences expressed for different values (c.f. Belshaw op. c i t . 224). This may entail conflict, disruption, and the inhibition of further creative action, though not necessarily so, and particularly not where there exists a systematic framework by reference to which constant adjustments can be made. Hence Hirschman's doctrine of "unbalanced growth" proposes that i t can be deliberate policy to rely on engineered imbalances to achieve certain growth objectives (c.f. Belshaw 1964 : 225). The point i s that pricing by means of a standardized unit of value (money) provides a reactive mechanism of enormous ver s a t i l i t y , orchestrating multitudes of individual value:cost ratios. Price enables transactions to be compared. The buying and selling activities of others - 2 2 5 -may be measured and the information used i n determining one's own choice of action, whether this be to buy or s e l l , to establish an enterprise or redirect the acti v i t i e s of an existing one. Price also supplies a calculus i n monetary terms of the costs and benefits of various opportunities and alternatives i n a situation, both when this situation i s relatively con-stant or changing (c.f. Belshaw I965 : 120-122). So technically important i s this flow of information i n producing the reactions and adjustments i n modern economies that Belshaw (op. c i t . 128-129) considers that i t should be regarded as a factor of production. And, of course, prices need not only passively reflect a state of supply and demand. Standardized pricing may be used to promote the movement of goods and services between units according to an overall plan, or as an increased consumption of them i s indicated (c.f. Belshaw 1964 : 226* Neale 1976 : 21-23). There are vast consequences for developing societies i n the fact of pricing. Siane money, for instance, encoded a s t r i c t compartment-alization of values, i n the place of which modern money-, by i t s indifferent arithmetic of cost, f a c i l i t a t e s a promiscuous inter-scaling of transactions i n a l l three nexuses. The loosening of traditional constraints on choice may set off a significant re-evaluation of the merits of customary a c t i v i -t i e s , leading to a re-ordering of cultural goals. This process i s so important that Belshaw (1965 '• 12l) maintains that traditional subsistence-based societies w i l l not achieve modernity unless modern cash-accounting penetrates the subsistence sector, bringing i t into a reactive relation with the commercial sector. By this a l l the factors used i n subsistence agriculture also enter into commercial exchanges where they receive a known price. The point at which this connects with the enhancement of -226-P e r f o r m a n c e i s t h a t i t e n a b l e s t h e s u b s i s t e n c e f a r m e r t o a s s e s s w h a t t h e c o s t s a n d a d v a n t a g e s o f t r a d i t i o n a l f a r m i n g a r e b y c o m p a r i s o n w i t h t h e c o s t s a n d r e t u r n s o f m a r k e t g a r d e n i n g . I t i s e v i d e n t t h a t t h e S i a n e ' s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e m a r k e t e c o n o m y - v i a m o d e r n m o n e y a n d t h e n e w m a n a g e r s -b o t h e x p a n d s a n d s y s t e m a t i z e s t h e r a n g e o f n a t i v e c h o i c e s , w h i l e o f f e r i n g a n o v e l o p p o r t u n i t y t o m a k e a d j u s t m e n t s t o t h e s e t , i n h e r i t e d r a t i o s o f v a l u e : c o s t , w h i c h o n e i s b y n o m e a n s e n t i t l e d a s s u m e , a s a m a t t e r o f c o u r s e , w e r e i n a h a r m o n i o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p u n d e r t h e t r a d i t i o n a l s u b s i s t e n c e r e g i m e . 9 . R e a c t i o n a n d t h e C o l o n i a l C o n t e x t " N o t h i n g m e n " p o i n t t o o n e p o s s i b i l i t y : t h a t o f a r a d i c a l t r a n s -f o r m a t i o n o f e c o n o m i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s , a r e v o l u t i o n i n t h e i d e a s a n d t r a n s -i t i o n a l p r i n c i p l e s f r o m w h i c h S i a n e o r g a n i z a t i o n t a k e s i t s f o r m . I t c o u l d e v e n b e c l a i m e d t h a t t h i s w i l l b e w h a t w i l l g i v e S i a n e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n t h e c a p a c i t y t o a d a p t t o t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d . F o r i n t h e l o n g t e r m , i t i s t h e c h a n g i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n o f S i a n e w h i c h i s t h e r e a l i n v e s t m e n t f o r t h e f u t u r e , n o t t h e a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f s e l e c t i t e m s o f e q u i p m e n t - a x e s , t r a c t o r s , t r u c k s , o r w h a t e v e r e l s e i n t h e r e p e r t o i r e o f W e s t e r n i n v e n t i o n m a y i n t e r e s t S i a n e . B u t a g a i n s t t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a t a k e - o f f t h r o u g h t h e b u s i n e s s a c t i v i t i e s o f a y o u t h f u l e n t r e p r e n e u r c l a s s t h e r e a r e a n u m b e r o f c o u n t e r v a i l i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . I n a s o c i e t y s t e e p e d i n t r a d i t i o n a l r e c i p r o c i t i e s , o n e m a j o r o b s t a c l e t o s u s t a i n e d c a s h - e a r n i n g v e n t u r e s i s t h e o b v i o u s a l i e n n e s s n a t i v e s f e e l i n t r a n s a c t i n g a m o n g s t t h e m s e l v e s a c c o r d i n g t o m a r k e t p r i n -c i p l e s . E v e n o w n i n g a t r a d e s t o r e , f o r i n s t a n c e , i s l i k e l y t o b e a -227-problematical undertaking. Salisbury (1962 : 158) remarks that natives, though prepared to trade with a European in such a capacity, are reluctant to buy from another native. The point i s that relationships with white traders or employees, though significant, are as Burridge ( i960 : 20, 23-24) says, relatively simple and direct - a passage of cash i n exchange for goods or services, and a minimum necessary moral component. The symbols of the relationship remain concrete and measurable largely i n terms of the goods, cash and labour exchanged. But with their own kind, relationships are diffuse, and measurable by the moral c r i t e r i a of trust, loyalty, affection and confidence. Where a trading partnership with whites becomes more than occasional and assumes some regular importance i n their l i v e s , i t seems that natives feel more comfortable i f they can bring i t into congruence with assured customary practices. Belshaw (1955 ! 37) mentions how Ware natives regarded their account with Buntings Ltd. not as a tight financial arrangement which they must balance evenly, but as a loose relationship of a reciprocal kind. "We give Buntings our copra, they give us what trade we need" was the attitude. The preference for traditionalism has other drawbacks. Traditional enterprises generally lack formalization: different people cooperate for different times and purposes, membership of the group being influenced by transitory considerations. The accuracy of any procedure of accounting i s bound to be adversely affected by this. Belshaw (1955 ! 36) notes, too, that whatever the practice of keeping mnemonic records of complicated traditional transactions, the i n -a b i l i t y of non-literates to maintain written commercial accounts i s a serious deficiency, since i t becomes impossible to be informed about the exact state of a business. It i s potentially disastrous where an -228-entrepreneur i s involved i n several projects simultaneously. Estimates of success or f a i l u r e , and the analysis of many of the f a c t o r s which enter i n t o a modern business operation, can only be guesswork. Also where there i s sophisticated a p p l i c a t i o n of the accounting aspect of modern money, there can be l i t t l e appreciation of conditions of f l u c t u a t i n g p r i c e s , and only an inadequate r e a c t i o n to a l t e r a t i o n i n the terms of supply and demand* The degree to which market p r i n c i p l e s might be assuming pre-eminence over Siane economic a c t i v i t y would be d i r e c t l y i n d i c a t e d i f there were any s h i f t of emphasis from one cash-earning occupation to another, i n response to changing p r i c e s and other conditions ( c . f . Belshaw op. c i t . 37). This marks a d i f f e r e n c e between " t r a d i t i o n a l " and "modern" management. O r d i n a r i l y t r a d i t i o n a l p rices i n Melanesia remain at customary l e v e l s f o r long periods, immune to a l t e r a t i o n s i n supply unless these are e s p e c i a l l y large or cataclysmic - as, f o r instance, was Siane's bout of i n f l a t i o n . Belshaw (op. c i t . 33, 6l) describes how the custom i s t r a n s f e r r e d to modern contexts. Hence a business i n Ware w i l l produce goods i n steady q u a n t i t i e s , earning s u f f i c i e n t cash to meet a set l e v e l of demand. Though conscious of p r i c e changes, natives do not work out the consequences i n terms of the v a r i a b l e e f f o r t required to s a t i s f y t h e i r wants, but w i l l maintain production at a constant, earning a surplus of cash f o r which they have no immediate use. I f anything, they f e e l cheated by the experience of s e l l i n g copra at p r i c e s that forever change. Nor are they happy about seeking a more advantageous arrangement by experimental moving from one f i r m to another. They prefer a standardized r e l a t i o n s h i p , which i s the correct procedure i n t h e i r own tr a d i n g system, but they are worried by the doubt -229-that i t i s not appropriate in modern commerce. At the extreme, the effect of unfavourable price fluctuations, far from encouraging natives into a prudent diversification of their business ventures, can act as a potent disincentive from cash earning altogether. Strathern (19?6 : 281-282), for example, describes how the lead which Mount Hagen's "progress-ives" had begun to gain over the "traditionalists" i n the matter of appropriating land for coffee growing rather than pig rearing, was scotched by a f a l l i n the world market price of coffee. It remains to be seen whether or not the unfamiliarity of the commercial ethic presents insurmountable obstacles to "nothing men", or whether they may profit by their relative independence and develop their market i n i t i a t i v e s into more complex forms of enterprise. They face addi-tional d i f f i c u l t i e s . The individual alone, starting off from a background of subsistence agriculture, i s i n fact in a poor position to expand his modern cash earning efforts from his own resources. Gash accumulation i s actually d i f f i c u l t i n view of the cash drain on the returnee "nothing man" both because of the obligation to entertain fellow returnees, and because he i s subject to manipulation by the Big Man (/c.f. Salisbury 1962 : 130), Then, also, his command of capital and labour i s restricted. In the indigenous system of production, a l l large capital items are owned corporately, and even the most individualistic entrepreneur wanting to increase his output must c a l l upon his kin for labour, raw materials, and working capital. As Salisbury (op. c i t . I58-I59) comments, the possi-b i l i t y of introducing new productive tasks requiring a large labour force and corporately owned capital w i l l depend upon village solidarity. On -230-h i s own - and g i v e n t ha t k i n d o f i n c e n t i v e - a "no th ing man" might manage an i n c r e a s e o f output merely by a s t e a d i e r and more e f f e c t i v e use o f e x i s t i n g r e s o u r c e s , i n c l u d i n g , o f course , h i s own l a b o u r . But beyond t h i s minimum, h i s access t o l a r g e s tocks o f c a p i t a l i s beset by the problem o f h i s a b i l i t y t o supe rv i se l a r g e c o l l a b o r a t i v e o p e r a t i o n s . T h i s i n d i c a t e s a p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t s i n c e , i n the pas t , such opera t ions c o u l d get under-way o n l y by the e f f o r t s o f B i g Men working through the men's houses. Hence a l a r g e c o f f e e - d r y i n g p l a n t , f o r example, or c o o p e r a t i v e l y r u n t r a n s p o r t o r marke t ing ven tu re s , may be a p a t t e r n o f fu tu re cash-ea rn ing e n t e r p r i s e which a c t u a l l y r e i n f o r c e s the r e l evance o f the o l d c l a n s t r u c -t u r e s aga ins t the tendency towards i n d i v i d u a l i z e d max imiz ing , and by the same p roces s , s t r eng then the hand o f the B i g Man a g a i n s t a parvenu y o u t h . No doubt as they get o l d e r , the present gene ra t ion o f B i g Men w i l l f i n d i t harder t o r e s o l v e the problem o f p roduc t i ve work and s o c i a l management i n the face o f younger and more e n e r g e t i c r i v a l s . But they a re not t o be underes t imated . As exper t s i n the p r o d u c t i o n o f the m a t e r i a l wea l th o f the community, and as l e a d e r s , t h e i r concern t o adapt t o the new c i rcumstances may be a cons ide rab le s t i m u l u s ( c . f . B u r r i d g e I960 : 226) . Because t h e i r e f f o r t s w i l l be i n the d i r e c t i o n o f c a p i t a l i z i n g on the t r a d i t i o n a l frame of k i n , r a t h e r than d i v e s t i n g themselves o f i t , B i g Men may u l t i m a t e l y achieve some f u n c t i o n a l f i t between t r a d i t i o n a l and modern i n t e r e s t s , s h o u l d e r i n g the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the bus iness a f f a i r s o f the c l a n . Belshaw (1955 ! 38, 6l, 62-63) i n s i s t s t ha t t h i s would i n v o l v e no necessary i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y , and t ha t the t y p i c a l o r d i n a r y v i l l a g e r might en ter i n t o commerce wi thout b r eak ing w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l way o f l i f e t o any pronounced e x t e n t . I n e x c e p t i o n a l cases - and B i g Men -231-are here the most eligible candidates - men could be both leaders i n modern enterprise and r i c h and active i n traditional terms, s t i l l taking part i n ceremonial and subsistence a c t i v i t i e s . Such men might represent i n balance, an optimum of wealth measured by the standards of both systems. Their involvement i n a traditional kin support system with the reciprocities entailed, may also mean that they are spurred on to expand their cash-earning operations by the pressures of their relatives. Since by the traditional system the prestige of a lender accrues from sharing wealth, so by raising his own level of consumption, pari passu he raises theirs. Developments in Siane w i l l unavoidably be influenced by the fact that village members are practiced co-operators: they enter more readily as a group into joint businesses. This has obvious benefits i n the modern context, and i t also has i t s disadvantages. On the positive side, Belshaw (1955 : 54) feels that there i s enough latitude within the kinship system for a f a i r degree of personal preference i n establishing effective economic relationships. Those who want to cooperate do so on the basis of common interest and traditional bonds, rather than by the impersonal ties of the commercial company. This has considerable merit, particularly i n the early stages of development when, for instance, Siane's prospective business leaders w i l l have a need to feel their way experimentally and to adjust their behaviour to new demands and techniques. The d i f f i c u l t i e s that w i l l have to be overcome are numerous and i f , i n addition, they were forced to obtain capital and hire labour i n an impersonal and competitive market, the strain of adaption would very l i k e l y reduce the emergence of new enterprise to very small proportions. Where labour i s obtainable through -232-standing kin and lineage arrangements, there i s more of a conjunction of interest between "employer" and "employee", and the arrangement i s flexible according to the nature and scale of the tasks at hand. The leader may adjust the number of labourers to the needs of the moment, rather than be obliged to maintain production at a constant to keep permanent numbers employed. It i s a further simplification of the prob-lems of administration i f the labour can be paid for as the money comes i n , rather than according to set wage periods. Kinship gives a resilience to development. Risk i s spread i n such a way that failure or loss does not result i n individual bankruptcies which might cause a reaction amongst Siane's fledgling businessmen away from economic progress. Belshaw (op. c i t . 60, 66) remarks that the fact that local leadership has to operate i n the new context by principles of kinship democracy may well be a limitation on i t s power to force the pace of change. On the other hand, i t may equally ensure that adjustments are made smoothly. Besides, a leader known according to traditional expecta-tions i s somebody who can be entrusted with the administration of money derived from the contributions of kin. By his good offices, a whole village may be induced to combine in raising large sums of money for unprecedented cash-earning and employment oriented projects, or even to associate with a number of other villages for the funding of joint welfare services -such as a medical dispensary, piped water supply, roadworks, the organiza-tion of a bus service moving goods and labour to key points, and so on. In this way, there may be no immediate need to rely upon Ehxropeans, and their formal banking system with i t s stipulated interest on loans, for the provision of credit. - 2 3 3 -However there i s a serious doubt about the adaptability of existing social groups to further development. Salisbury has singled out the lineage, headed by the Big Man, as the economic unit of the future for Siane; but as Belshaw (op. c i t . 6 4 - 6 5 ) has pointed out, the advantage and at the same time; the inadequacy of the lineage l i e s i n i t s character as a sectional group, with the implication that loyalty to i t involves opposition to others. This may not damage economic pro-gress, so long as sectionalism i s unrelated to commercial organization, and i s limited to social behaviour centred on marriages. In this case the kindred, emerging as a business unit, may even, as Belshaw suggests, bring together people of different lineages. But where lineage function-alism takes hold i n the sphere of commercial or modern p o l i t i c a l opera-tions (and Big Men are bound to make cash earning competitive), the results may be detrimental. Whereas social ceremonies draw lineages together, commercial and p o l i t i c a l operations would only emphasize d i f -ferences and ri v a l r i e s between them. Conceivably, some degree of inter-clan competitiveness could turn out to be a commercial asset, so long as i t does not degenerate to the point of envy and sorcery allegations. This kind of acrimony might be averted within the regulation of a commercial or p o l i t i c a l umbrella organization i n which there was a representation of clans - though admittedly this would require a uniting purpose s u f f i c i -ently strong to make such a constitution effective. Belshaw (op. c i t . 65) cites the affirmative case of a lineage in Wagawaga losing i t s sense of hostile distinctiveness, and adopting instead a wider view in which i t worked through i t s own leaders and properties for the general good. The attitude displayed apparently attracts cooperation and even -234-subscriptions from other less altruistically-minded lineages. Belshaw adds the interesting point that such r i v a l r i e s and differences as have appeared have not conformed to lineage sectionalism at a l l , but have been entirely a matter of individual discontent. Nevertheless, there has never i n Siane been any such overriding concord amongst the clans who were previously capable of no more than limited alliances, the better to fight each other. Big Men may perceive the advantages of cooperation, but the force of the earlier argument has • been that the saturation of native exchanges with modern cash has made gimaiye even more unworkable as the traditional p o l i t i c a l apparatus to achieve any agreement and wider unity of action amongst the clans. Fur-thermore, any large scale of commercial operations would necessitate a permanent division of executive responsibility and some coherent determ-ination of programme. Structured, stable leadership i s an improbable self-found development within Siane. It had no counterpart in traditional p o l i t i c a l methods, and i t i s unlikely even i f now Big Men, of their own accord, try to surmount the d i f f i c u l t i e s so as to emerge with some form of consolidated body. Rather, i f i t occurs at a l l , i t i s l i k e l y to be implemented from without, by the Government, and then to meet with i t s own administrative p r i o r i t i e s . Clearly administrations i n Melanesia have found d i f f i c u l t y i n the absence of distinct autochthonous institutions of authority through which they can convey their wishes to the natives (c.f. Burridge I960 : 109-110, 127-128), The managerial ideal, depending by tradition upon riding community sentiment, i s an unacceptable degree of democracy - 2 3 5 -from the viewpoint of an administration bent upon paternalistic change. Those o f f i c i a l s who, looking to the future, know themselves to he the chief agents of change, have also realized that the impetus must he imposed from above. In Belshaw's (1955 : 53) opinion, the institution?' of native p o l i t i c a l councils and federated cooperatives, under the guidance of an officer i n the area, should eventually provide a channel for p o l i -t i c a l control within a context of a regional amalgamation of villages, and a forum for the discussion of broader issues involved i n the ultimate aim of community development. The posting of trained economic and agri-cultural officers should considerably spur the development towards a new structure of production. Such a structure, once i t had overcome temporary d i f f i c u l t i e s , would inspire government confidence, and i t s power would have to be taken seriously by natives because i t would be the body admin-istering government funds. The problem here, as Burridge (i960 : 73) and Rowley (1966) have both shown, i s that the creation of a hierarchy of native appoint-ments - Luluai, Tultul, Doctor Boy and the like - articulated with the needs of an authoritative administrative system, i s inherently invidious. The administration must work by the convenient f i c t i o n that these are representative positions, that the incumbents are empowered to accept terms for, or speak on behalf of, others. But i n the native idea each man i s his own master, and to give or accept orders i s an affront to equivalence. Native o f f i c i a l s are naturally expected to assist with European pr i o r i t i e s - helping patrols with census taking, upkeep of paths and latrines, working on government projects like roadways or perhaps rice f i e l d s , village cleanliness, maintaining the medical - 2 3 6 -stores i n the medicine hut, reporting acute sickness to administrative medical officers. These imply duties, Burridge comments, essentially i n the line of recruiting natives in a non-traditional way to a variety of unpopular tasks, backed up by the uncertain sanctions derived from the European environment. Yet outside of a structure of organization which the Administra-tion can recognize, and which i t has probably had the major hand i n setting up, one can guess at a general reluctance to make cash loans freely available. The availability of credit i s a c r i t i c a l question where development i s concerned. Borrowing for investment - whether the invest-ment sought i s a new institution, a new crop, an improvement of manpower s k i l l s , a new technology - i s a form of money use, Belshaw (1965 '• 8 6 , 140, 139-l4l) notes, that has grown considerably since the f i r s t world war, for i t i s a v i t a l element i n maintaining an economic dynamic. The i n i t i a t i v e to make innovations and the a b i l i t y to carry them through with a measure of success, can be easily wrecked for the want of control over enough financial capital to meet such expenses as might accrue from the purchase of new stock, or from the deferred income while a changeover i s taking place. Yet the fear of misuse of such money borrowed by native groups, or i t s outright loss i f the investment made proved unsuitable, i s l i k e l y to lead to a preference i n Government, i n the i n i t i a l stages at least, for projects involving the lending of specific equipment on a time payment basis, and then only on condition of guaranteed maintenance arrangements, and that the whole purpose of the enterprise meets with the satisfaction of the Administration. As Belshaw (1955 : 65-66, 68) notes, this has a positive aspect i n that i t removes a large element of risk -237-from the native leader to the Administration which, in the event of failur e , could divert equipment to other uses or projects. However, Government controlled schemes for development are liable to founder because of a basic confusion. The administration w i l l most l i k e l y visu-alize i t s programme according to some notion of community involvement, to which native groups w i l l be encouraged to contribute by means of businesses i n which the assets are jointly owned on a somewhat impersonal basis, and the leader distributes goods and profits, not on his own account, but as agent for the joint owners of the enterprise. Thus in one neat and economical framework, the strictures of modern methods of business are reconciled with the native proclivity for corporate action. But of course, there i s a fundamental incompatibility between the im-personal administration of a joint enterprise and the claims of traditional society, and this leads to recurring problems. A storeman, for instance, i s frequently obliged to "help" relatives with goods or credit. These are claims which he cannot easily resist, though what he gives i n law belongs to the shareholders, so that when eventually his books do not balance he i s i n trouble with the authorities. As Belshaw (1955 : 36» 65-66) says, i t i s often unclear what the distinction i s between goods bought for investment as trading capital and those bought for the consump-tion of the family. To native eyes the way the storeman distributes the goods i s perfectly legitimate, and indeed, so long as i t involves the property of the storeman and his relatives alone, there i s no special economic or social advantage to be derived from encouraging the impersonal shareholding which precipitates the conflict. In many cases the object i s anyway not to make a monetary profit, but to increase the level of family consumption or participation in social events. -238-In a l l likelihood, traditional organization and methods of distribution can lead to successful productive enterprises. However, this i s a hard concession to make by those who have been responsible for the development of a modern texture of l i f e amongst the natives of European colonies, because, as Belshaw remarks, i t does not correspond to deep-rooted Western institutional prejudices. This i s regardless of the fact that personal and family relationships probably played a con-siderable role i n the beginnings of economic development in Western society, and may s t i l l exert some influence. Yet given this conception on the part of authority, the objective of policy w i l l probably be to promote wherever possible the spread of market forces and impersonal forms of organization, i n spite of what seems to be an i n i t i a l native aversion to both. The difference of outlook may persist well into the future. Writing of this denial of traditional social ties as-'the basis of native economic development, Belshaw has said: In the future there w i l l probably be increases i n the size of enterprises, so that we can forecast a time when the economic unit w i l l be too large for the kinship group to contain i t conveniently. But the amalgamation of clans, the co-operative activity of one village,.even the joint enterprise of several villages, suggest quite different types of social relationship from those oper-ating i n , say, an Australian firm. The opposition of master and men i s not l i k e l y to apply i n the same way; ownership is l i k e l y to be more diffuse; methods of reaching decisions are l i k e l y to be different; the nature of communication within the enterprise may seem strange to Europeans. Yet to dub an organization operat-ing along these lines as ipso facto unsuccessful would be to indulge i n an unnecessary value judgement. (op. c i t . 5 9 ) -239-10. Performance or Oppression? The quotation from Belshaw provokes the question of what are the consequences attaching to the differences natives exhibit over and against the modern world, to the enduring "primitiveness" of their economic organization? How might Siane themselves i n time come to per-ceive their relation to the outside money economy? It i s a question deliberately aimed at s t i r r i n g the hornets' nest contained i n the earlier themes of Gargoism, power and oppression. Yet the whole subject i s d i f f i -cult to approach because i t i s too often pre-empted i n p o l i t i c a l rhetoric, where broad declarations of conviction obscure the basic problem of the crudities i n the existing models by which these issues may be given a rational form of expression. Nevertheless, the realization that develop-ments in Siane are indisseverably connected to a matrix of p o l i t i c a l conditions, i s given i n Burridge: A relatively new European world i s swallowing them up. But i t can be pressed into distinctive Melanesian patterns. In general, the evidence reveals that Kanakas do not want these new patterns devised for them by others.... For of this we may be sure. Kanakas want to so fashion their future that i t accords with their own conception of i t . To think of themselves as simply the charges of white men, going i n the way white men have mapped out for them, i s not to be suffered. (i960 : xxi) To draw backward rural people into the twin nexus of cash crops and wage labour has generally been the avowed and much propagandized development objective of both national and colonial governments i n under-developed countries. It i s held that the consequence of monetizing the country i s the opening up of a vast, untapped consumer market for the products of a national industrial expansion, while at the same time l i v i n g - 2 4 0 -standards in those rural areas are raised. Everybody benefits. Or supposedly everybody benefits - for there are c r i t i c s who are deeply suspicious about the results of this process. At the extreme, there i s Boeke's (1953) conviction that a perpetual dualism i s an unalterable feature of such situations. He posits that within one p o l i t i c a l frame-work both modern and archaic economies subsist i n t o t a l indifference to each other, and with the latter eternally stagnant and incapable of engaging dynamically i n the trade, industry and commerce concentrated i n i n the modern sector. Other writers reject Boeke's dualism, but not entirely his pessimism. Furnivall (1939) saw that the more l i k e l y develop-ment i s for there to be a p l u r a l i s t i c structure of economy. This implies that there Is interaction between the different sectors; and that i n colonial situations especially, the native sector can be locked i n a debilitating conflict with i t s modern counterpart. As the example of the Central African Federation demonstrates, the crucial form which this takes i s the competition for resources - particularly land and labour, since capital i s almost exclusively available to the capitalist or modern sector. Stavenhagen ( l 9 ? 6 ) i s one who argues that plural societies can be so imperfectly articulated as to hold back the growth of the peasant or traditional sector. It may well be that the commercialization of land, labour and crops invests money and therefore buying power with the rural population as a col l e c t i v i t y , but the benefit i n terms of a real ameliora-tion of li v i n g standards i s at best unequally spread. The rural labourer i n his new dual role as a producer of crops for the urban market and as -241-a consumer of i t s manufactures, has to confront a whole sector of middle-men, merchants and money-lenders. His subjection to debt deepens where large-scale and cheap credit i s not readily available, as i n most agrarian societies i t i s not. His crops and property become mortgaged i n a situa-tion of increasing emiseration, while more and more of the wealth realized flows into those hallowed hands of progress, namely the new-style entre-preneurs. "Part societies" i s the appellation often used to convey the peasant predicament. For the re a l i t y of the market means that peasants are linked i n an inescapable dependence to forces i n the wider regional and national complex, which are outside traditional community means of social control, and which predicate economic, p o l i t i c a l and cultural v a r i -ables of a quite different order. The passage from tribalism to peasantry therefore realizes no fundamental change other than what Diana Howlett (1973) describes as a terminal development. Stavenhagen interprets the form and prospects for growth, set up by the Interchange between complex urban centres and traditional rural hinterlands, essentially i n the terms of class antagonism. Belshaw (1965 : 95-101, 127) has objected that the applicability of the formal paradigm of social s t r a t i f i c a t i o n i s far less significant analytically than the re a l i t y of relationships across group boundaries, and the way i n which the groups themselves adjust to new conditions. The typologies want for far more subtlety, and this i n turn depends upon coming to grips with the problem-ati c but crucial notion of "scale" (c.f. Belshaw 1978 : 5-8)• If one i s to be at a l l informed about the "degree or pattern of economic develop-ment" i n a society, then some measurement of scale i s implicit, for the -242-reason that development has a lot to do with increasing complexity of organization, and complexity i s thought to he accompanied by an augmenta-tion of the scale of transactions. "Modern" economies, i t was said, are geared to a dynamic of i n f i n i t e wants, matched on the supply side by a highly complex productive apparatus devised for the handling of a very large scale of resources. There i s a proliferation of social roles, a concomitant specialist distribution of property rights, technical s k i l l s and socially approved behaviour - a l l of which would appear to create the conditions for a vast scale of transactional activity (c.f. Belshaw I965 : 110, 135, 145). However Belshaw rejects the supposition that there can be any automatic and simple equation of "primitive" with small-scale, and "modern" with large-scale. D i f f i c u l t i e s occur at the very beginning over how "scale" can be measured, and over a questionable arbitrariness i n the selection of the productive unit for the making of comparative judgements about scale. Then again, i t i s relevant to ask questions not only about the numbers of persons i n interaction with a given person, both i n his daily l i f e and i n his widest network of contacts, but also about the intensity of these interactions, since this i s an aspect of scale not accounted for i n the mere number of persons involved. It could turn out that for a man i n a role-complete inward-turning group like the typical Siane subsistence village, interaction on sum i s far more intense than anything achieved by his modernized counterpart interacting with an equiv-alent number of people i n a Western-style monetized concern like a Port Moresby factory, a mining industry, or a labour camp. Nor can too much -243-be assumed i n advance about the in e v i t a b i l i t y that Western economic forces w i l l lead to "anomie" and growing impersonality - i n different words, to the "detribalization" of relationships, which i s what writers like Lawrence and Worsley take to be the r e a l i t y underlying those periodic outcroppings of Gargoism. Belshaw's (1978 : 13) argument i s that the quality and i n -tensity of transactions i s an outcome of an interplay between several scale variables, and particularly between elements of scale and the modes of organization to which the scales relate. Assertions about the changing pattern or complexity of organization thus need to be ascertained by measuring modulations of scale i n regard to such factors as the number and clear differentiation of roles a man can be seen to l i v e through. In this way, i t may become possible to arrive at specific propositions about the effects of modern money with i t s particular properties of l i q u i d i t y and exchange anonymity, upon the lives of Siane. Marriott's (1976 : 110) suggestion would be that scale i n the latter connection may be understood as resembling the distinctions among communications codes capable of generating more and fewer messages. Moreover, to develop an analysis to such a level of nicety w i l l be achieved, i f at a l l , by close attention to the patterning of transactions at just that level of sub-institutional behaviour at which the element of individual choice contributes s i g n i f i -cantly to emerging overall properties of social organization. One cannot simply assume oppression to be the usual outcome of "developing" native economies without making a proper allowance for the Influence native choices bear upon the nature of these structures, and to do this, Belshaw comments, i s possibly not wholly within the anthropologist's present com-petence: -244-Here of course we are talking of individual goals or preferences, presumably assessed by individuals, or by individuals expressing them on behalf of i n s t i -tutions. This i s the topic par excellence of welfare economics, a subject which we anthropologists do not read, partly because i t i s too d i f f i c u l t , and partly because i t would raise enormous questions for ethno-graphy and ethnological interpretation which I suspect we know we cannot handle. Yet welfare economics, concerned as i t i s with the ways i n which individual preferences interact as a result of their valuation, and produce a cultural resultant, i s also anthropology, particularly as more of us come to use the Barth-Blau approach to choice and the impact of action upon structure. (op. c i t . 10) -245-VI. CONCLUDING THEME - CARGO Economic development, the reorganization of relationships and of transactional principle upon which i t builds, i s a function of culture change. It rests, that i s , with an alteration of the conception of action. It was asserted that the millenarian movement - which i n Melanesia assumes the mantle of the Cargo Cult - i s a fundamental ex-pression of such process: not i n the obituary sense of making visible the throes of the native's moribund thought-world, overcome with the forces of change; but as a radical attempt to contain the new world within a framework of his own choosing. The coming of the European meant that the Siane, and other native New Guinean groups l i k e them, were for the f i r s t time, and for a l l time, flung into a stream of open-ended change. It was said before that l i n e a l i t y of time and process i s an unaccustomed perspective for primitive minds, yet where the Cult has been the response, i t reveals one apparently universal truth. "Since man i s a creator, endowed with a unique freedom," Reinhold Niebuhr (1952 : 142) writes, "he 'looks before and after and pines for what i s not' .... He would not be f u l l y human i f he did not l i f t himself above his immediate hour". The Cult i s thus New Guinea man's f i r s t contribution to history. As an attempt to visualize his own destiny, i t i s an act which anticipates the future at the same time as i t takes leave from the past. The Cult represents movement: history i n the making. At the same time i t indicates the valuation attaching to social organization, that i t finds i t s j u s t i f i -cation i n the capacity to mediate a particular cultural conception of -246-human fulfilment. Two passages from Burridge confirm the dynamic of the Cult and i t s aspect of regeneration: A function of anomy, the essence of Cargo cults i s that they cannot wholly he reduced to a logic derived from s t a b i l i t y and order: they have a logic of their own. Themselves creative of new forms the old law cannot contain them. (i960 : 43-44) Cargo movements represent a growth, an attempt at synthesis, a movement of values springing out of precedent systems of values. They are at one and the same time symptomatic, and actively productive, of change. (op. c i t . 274) Remarkably then, Salisbury e x p l i c i t l y disavows the relevance of the theme of the Cult to the interpretation of Siane events: The period of indirect contact between Europeans and Siane could be generally characterized as mainly a period of gradual change in the native standards of value. The gradualness of the change seems to have been accompanied by a lack of 'anomic' symptoms such as occurred i n other areas of the Eastern High-lands. Groups near Asaroka who had early direct contact with Europeans showed stubborn resistance to European innovation and the building of roads ... Groups in the southern Dene-speaking area had less v experience of European goods and naively accepted a Cargo Cult introduced by native evangelists from Kainantu i n 1947 ... The local prophet convinced them that i f stones were heaped inside a house and watched over by himself and a l l the young g i r l s of the villages, they would turn into shells. Sticks similarly treated would turn into r i f l e s , which could be used i n t r i b a l fighting, Siane men visited the cu l t i s t s , c r i t i c i z e d such stupid behaviour, and told me with glee how the cultists had been discomfited when they tried to shoot their wooden r i f l e s against the police who arrived to settle the outbreak. (Salisbury 1962 : 121) This i s misleading. Certainly there are reasonable doubts as to how one can identify elements of Cargoism where the natives themselves -247-repudiate i t s obvious outward behavioural manifestations, and i n the absence of a prototypical prophetic figure to personify and catalyse the intellectual and experiential dilemmas in the situation. On the other hand, the outbreak of unregulated warfare i n Siane was no time of "gradual change in the native standards of value". S t i l l less so, i t i s to be thought, i n the current period when Siane, out of a basic paucity of native categories, are having to account for, and come to terms with, what amounts to a bewildering diversity - even inconsistency - of white sub-cultures. A Cargo movement, Burridge (i960 : 277) comments, i s an essay i n the relation of powers. The doubt which Salisbury leaves largely un-spoken i s that the market and the Administration together effect a permanent shift i n the centr