More Mieville

by Henry on August 2, 2004

I’m just back from a week in the Bay Area, with limited web access – John H mentions a friendly argument that we had last year over China Mieville and the economics of fantasy. My two posts on the subject are on my old blog, which is a bit difficult to access these days – for those (if any) who are interested in the topic, I’ve posted them below the fold. I note that I’ve mellowed a bit on the topic in the meantime, partly in response to criticisms from PNH and others.

Goblin Markets

I’m re-reading China Mieville’s rather wonderful fantasy novel, ‘The Scar,’ and noticing (as I didn’t the first time around), how much work Mieville has put into the economics of his created world. Now this is hardly surprising; he’s a committed Marxist, who has written a very interesting Ph.D. thesis on the roots and form of international law. Mieville is a historical materialist, and pays a lot of attention to the economic fundamentals underlying his created societies. But he’s very nearly unique among fantasy authors in so doing; most of them prefer to sweep the dirty business of material accumulation underneath the prettily woven carpet of chivalry, noblesse oblige &c.

Much of this can be traced back to Tolkien of course; his Middle Earth is almost entirely innocent of economics. Bits and pieces of exchange go on in the Shire and its environs but they’re more or less completely submerged in a bucolic and idealized rural yeoman society. And anyone who can guess what the aristos of Gondor and horselords of Rohan live off is a better man than me. Indeed, Tolkien is fervently opposed both to trade and industrialization. When Pippin and Merry find that Saruman has been able to import Long Leaf pipeweed to Isengard, it’s presented as a serious disillusionment, while Tolkien’s horror at nasty factories and mechanized mills that pump out steam, smoke and pollution is notorious.

Those who follow Tolkien in writing fat trilogies with Dark Lords and the like, nearly invariably wear the same blinkers. Kings, lords and earls throng the pages, without much in the way of indication as to what they live off. Or else, the author draws tortured distinctions between “good” nobles (tall, aristocratic in bearing, beloved by their forelock-tugging peasants), and “bad” ones (secretly in league with the Dark Lord, hunchbacked, get their kicks from lashing serfs to death). On all of this and more, read Dianna Wynne Jones’ Tough Guide to Fantasyland

There’s a second line of fantasy cliche that descends more or less directly from Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar stories. Not that Leiber himself is to blame; his Lankhmar books have a strong line in political satire (the city’s overlords and civil authorities are invariably either inept or corrupt), and the prosperity of Leiber’s imagined city is founded on the rather unromantic business of exporting grain. Yet multitudes of fantasy hacks have taken the more romantic bits of Leiber’s city (Thieves Guilds, gem merchants, exotic bazaars) and transplanted them into a bog-standard feudal-fantasy setting. The result is what might be called a romanticized mercantilism, in which gold, jewels, treasures, and their getting, are fetishized as being somehow magical in and of themselves, rather than material goods which have simple economic value. Merchants feature occasionally, and sometimes even get rich, but are more interested in the wonderful adventure of it all than in capital accumulation.

It’s this set of cliches that Mieville subverts almost as a matter of course, by reinserting them into a more realistic economic and political setting. NB – mild spoilers follow. Mieville’s city of New Crobuzon is semi-industrialized, but resembles one of the city-states of the late Renaissance; a patina of republicanism that barely conceals the real nexus of power; industrial magnates working together in a monopolistic cabal. Trade and imperial domination go hand-in-hand. Mieville has enormous fun creating outlandish societies – New Crobuzon itself, the pirate polyarchy (i.e. mix of modes of government – forget Dahl) of Armada – and strange creatures. But he never forgets the relationship between the economic, social and political. One of the key characters in The Scar, Silas Fennec, is exactly the kind of merchant-adventurer that populates hack fantasy epics in multitudes. However, unlike his literary comperes, Fennec is primarily interested in making money. In other words, he’s the real thing. One of the most important moments in the book occurs when the main protagonist, Bellis Coldwine, realizes she’s been had by Fennec. She’s been taken in by his traveller’s tales, and has failed to penetrate through to the sordid economic relations of colonial domination and exploitation that underly them. What he presents as romantic adventure, is in fact an effort to extend New Crobuzon’s economic grasp to new territories.

You may agree, or disagree with Mieville’s political analysis as you like (in any event, he never lets it get in the way of telling a good story). But one of the reasons why his fantasies are subversive is precisely because they reintroduce the economic and the political into a genre that sometimes tries to run away from them. Fantasy all too frequently harks back to a never-never land in which exploitative economic relations, clashes of interest and the like, never take place, or are airbrushed out of the picture. This isn’t an unmitigatedly awful thing; a bit of escapism here and there is quite harmless. But fiction that takes society – and the forces underlying different kinds of social organization – seriously, is fundamentally more interesting. At least to people like me, who study this stuff for a living.

Update: John Holbo responds at length with some interesting counter-arguments. Will reply when I get a chance …

From Mieville to Melville

John Holbo politely dissents from my earlier piece on Mieville, primitive accumulation, heroic fantasy and the like, and makes some rather good points. Two in particular that are worth highlighting. First, a summation of Tolkien that is worth quoting in full.

of course, Tolkien is sort of at fault for all of this, providing the blueprint for the factory farm. But, then again, he isn’t at fault. He did nothing of the sort. He’s practically an outsider artist (there, I said it) with his obsessive, borderline Asperger linguistic and historical constructions and conceits. His wilful refusal of the 20th century; hell, of the 19th century. I think part of him feels that everything after Beowulf, in English literature, is sort of a misstep. It is hard to make fun of such a man by poking him in the ribs with his inadequacy, compared to Proust and Joyce and so forth. He is too far away from you for you to reach his ribs.
This is a large part of the explanation of Tolkien’s substantial immunity to criticisms of the sort brought against him since Edmund Wilson’s day. He is just too intense and authentic. Tolkien is so true to himself that he simply can’t be untrue to anyone or anything else. So when he seems to lack technique, for example ending chapter after chapter by bonking hobbits on the head – ‘A great blow fell, and Frodo saw no more’; or sort of stipulating that unfunny jokes are funny – ‘And they all laughed heartily’; or pointlessly grammatically inverting – ‘Ever have I wondered,’ ‘Never have I witnessed’ – I forgive him all. Funny as it sounds, when I never ever get to hear about sex, I feel that I am being shown the man’s bared soul. That it is a very odd, in some ways crabbed and cramped and limited soul … well, that’s just how he was. It wouldn’t be better if he airbrushed these features out, merely less honest. And the genre of fantasy is, in a weird way, just a dull formalization of many of Tolkien’s intense limitations as a man and a writer.

This strikes me as being exactly right. And, in the best possible sense of the word, it’s a useful way of talking about Tolkien. It allows you to think about his work without being overwhelmed by the oppressive presence of his epigones and self-appointed heirs – the Jordans, Goodkinds, Brooks and (gawd help us) Eddings of this world. A sort of Henry Darger figure (although far less weird and far more genuinely gifted), puttering away, crafting his idiosyncratic world of Middle Earth without really caring all that much about what anyone else might think of it. Holbo’s analogy makes you realize how personal Tolkien’s work is. Tolkien can still serve as a scratching post for radicals to sharpen their claws upon, and as an inspiration for conservatives of a certain brand (as witness this essay by Gene Wolfe). But he’s something else besides – and the something else is the more important bit.

Still, I’m going to take issue with John’s second point (although again I think it says some rather useful things). John thinks that Mieville isn’t genuinely subversive, because his two books are monster hunts. In other words the structure of the books (humans confronting big scary monsters and eventually winning) makes nuanced description of character virtually impossible – and means that the books descend into genre cliche. For John, the backgrounds of the books are richer and more convincing than the plot. Nor does he think that the books are politically subversive.

I don’t think Miéville holds a mirror up to our own society, culture, politics. The specific lessons he teaches are about how to stop slakemoths, raise giant avancs from the bottom of the ocean, etc.; which is ‘how-to’ of dubious export value. The general and genuinely exportable morals – e.g. people with power are usually calculating, self-centered bastards – are interesting and important; but, I think, too well known and documented to credit Miéville with their significant advertisement.

A lot of this is right. When John says “the story-telling – good as it is; and it is good – positively gets in the way of the backgrounds,” he’s getting at something. The little hints that Mieville drops about his world are what fascinate; snippets here and there about the Malarial Queendom, the thanatocracy of High Cromlech; which give you the sense of a richly imagined world stretching beyond the page. (apparently he cut big chunks of background from The Scar to make it less baggy). I’m in full agreement when John says that Mieville has yet to write his Great Book – there’s the potential for something quite extraordinary, but Mieville hasn’t quite gotten there yet.*

Still, I reckon that John misses the ways in which Mieville’s books, and especially The Scar are genuinely subversive. He’s right to say that The Scar is a monster hunt – but wrong to think that monster-hunt books are stunted by necessity. First Witness for the Defence is that barnacle-encrusted Leviathan of the genre, Moby-Dick. Melville’s masterpiece is not strong on the subtleties of characterization or politics – the white whale is Too Big to be reduced easily to a simple metaphor for either. But it excels at capturing certain aspects of the human condition.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that Mieville is another Melville – but he is, I think, doing rich and important things with his monster hunt. He’s trying to use the fantasy novel to interrogate itself. There’s a tension running through The Scar, the tension between the fantastic and the material. This can be seen at the level of the main characters’ motivations – all the main characters are inclined to romanticize, to mistake the motivations of others and themselves for being something other than what they are, to think that they are living in an adventure story. And they find themselves manipulated by others, bruised, scarred, and sometimes broken as a result. But they only have any capacity for action because they’re romantic in this sense – the “realists” in the book (Fennec, Uther Doul) are pathetic characters without any real autonomy; they’re trapped within their own manipulations.

This tension also structures the book at a more fundamental level. Mieville isn’t trying to undercut fantasy, by showing how sordid and unpleasant people and politics really are; instead, he’s trying to interrogate it, shoving it up against the churning wheels of politics to see what sparks are generated. Both sets of elements in The Scar– the exotic backdrop, the exuberant fun of pirate stories, whale hunts and vampire vs. swordsman face-offs on the one hand, and the machinations, grubby transactions and de-mystification of romance on the other – are essential to the workings of the novel. Imo, the hunt (which is never satisfactorily concluded – the avanc is snared, but the Scar itself is never reached) allows Mieville to do this rather well, playing grubby avarice for power against romantic aspirations for the infinite. Hunts, whether they be for whales, avancs, snarks or submarines, allow one to tease out the tangled motivations of the hunters.

I’m probably teetering on the precipice of over-analysis – The Scar is much more entertaining than it likely sounds from this extended exercise in criticism. The bits that John likes are the bits that I enjoyed the most too. But there is something more there to Mieville’s book, even if he doesn’t always achieve precisely what I think he’s setting out to do. The Scar isn’t subversive in its overt political analysis, nor in introducing rich characterization to fantasy. But it interrogates fantasy, pokes and prods it, says interesting things about it, and still manages to be fun. What more could you ask for?

And while you’re checking out John’s site, take a look at the first chapter of Belle’s (his wife’s) unpublished novel. A rather wonderful opening image among other good things.

== * I’d suggest that there are three genuinely great novels in the fantasy genre. Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast sequence (including the last one, which most people don’t like), Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun series, and John Crowley’s Little, Big. Any of those three deserves to stand with the great novels of the last century. It’s interesting (now that I think of it) that they’re all written by idiosyncratic conservatives.

{ 25 comments }

1

ucblockhead 08.02.04 at 4:59 am

Steven Brust is another fantasy author who has obviously thought about the economics of his made up world, particularly in Teckla and Orca. Coincidentally, he’s also a marxist.

2

Tracy 08.02.04 at 9:00 am

Tolkein does give some attention to economics – he mentions the farm lands around Minas Tirith, where as I always thought of the Rohan as having a rather Mongol sort of economy. And in one point Frodo wonders about supplies into Mordor, and Tolkein in his author voice mentions vast slavelands to the south.

So he does have some basic awareness of the material basis for production, unlike that certain sort of fantasy author whose dark lords subsist in the middle of wastelands stretching for miles on end. Although I have never figured out the economics of the elves.

Tolkein is also very good on the sheer economics of travelling while carrying all your supplies with you (if economics is the study of resouce management under conditions of scarcity, as a tramper [hiker] who has significant experience of limiting myself to only what I can carry it is very relevant). Unlike the sort of fantasy author whose heros suddenly leave town two steps ahead of the city watch, and then wander around wilderness for weeks without ever worrying about their food supplies, his characters go hungry, lose supplies, get wet and miserable and generally have a rough time of it.

3

Scott Martens 08.02.04 at 9:15 am

Hmm…

I’ve kinda had the opposite experience to Mieville, I think. It’s kinda funny, but I sometimes think every overeducated anglophone born after 1960 must have considered writing a novel at one time or another. The thing is, I wanted to write a science fiction novel that strongly differed from the politics I had seen in science fiction and fantasy – one that rather than being informed by some more present-day political world view actually attempted to divise a radically different one. In the process, the novel never got written past a shameful array of first chapters, but I got a whole different sort of politics.

Tolkien envisioned himself in some sense “recovering” the native mythology of the Anglo-Saxon people, much as Elias Lönnrot saw himself “recovering” the Kalevala. This kind of thinking is rather naturally conservative and has shaded English language fantasy ever since. Note how Anne McCaffery’s Dragonflight novels, with their quite liberal and rationalist philosophy, were originally sold as fantasy but have since been recast as science fiction. Rationalist fantasy seems like a contradiction in terms.

We live in a more cynical age and expect it to be reflected in our fiction. If we still want fantasy, we can’t expect it to be so escapist anymore. Consider, as a flagship example of modern anglo fantasy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s hardly rationalist, but it’s certainly not escapist either.

4

degustibus 08.02.04 at 11:06 am

It’s all fiction anyhow, so the economics, biology, geography, psychology, etc. needn’t conform to any known “real” system.

(I’ve always been interested in how acience fiction and fantasy authors studiously avoid the ecological and biological underpinnings of the worlds they create – but again that’s why they call it fiction, init?)

5

Patrick Nielsen Hayden 08.02.04 at 1:23 pm

John Crowley is an “idiosyncratic conservative”? Okay, I admit, I have no actual knowledge of how he votes, and he may indeed be a devotee of Hayek or von Mises or Jonah Goldberg, but the one political conversation I can recall having with him entailed an extended series of humorous riffs on the idea of outsourcing the jobs of neoconservative intellectuals. “I’m sure there are people in Bangalore willing to be wrongheaded scholars at the American Enterprise Institute for a tenth of the cost!” I forget which of us said it. Alcohol was involved.

6

Cranky Observer 08.02.04 at 2:39 pm

> Much of this can be traced back to
> Tolkien of course; his Middle Earth
> is almost entirely innocent of
> economics.

Given the depth of your analysis, I am sure you know this, but it bears repeating for the record: Tolkien was well aware of this. I don’t have time to dig through the collected letters, but to paraphrase he said to one correspondent: if I had known I would get 10 page letters from doctoral candidates in economics and geology (among others) I would have put in a few more details to keep them quiet.

I suspect Tolkien knew he wasn’t describing the working details of an economy, but he didn’t care and didn’t have time/room to put any of that in.

Cranky

7

Cranky Observer 08.02.04 at 2:44 pm

> I’ve always been interested in how
> acience fiction and fantasy authors
> studiously avoid the ecological
> and biological underpinnings of the
> worlds they create

Much science fiction consists of nothing BUT abstracting out the details of one economic, biological, or ecological problem and examining it under extreme or improbably circumstances. E.g. Larry Niven’s Organlegger series, which was written in the 1960s but doesn’t seem so funny now that the PRC schedules convicts for execution according to a schedule that yields the most transplantable organs.

You may be thinking of very light fantasy, which is usually pure entertainment with no deeper thought value. But to say that Frank Herbert, as another example, never considers economics or ecology (his stories are typically nothing but) is a bit silly.

Cranky

8

Henry 08.02.04 at 4:24 pm

Patrick – I’ve never met the gentleman, but _Beasts_ seems to me to carry a specifically conservative political message – eschewing democracy, environmentalism and the whole nine yards in favour of natural leadership, a post-post-modern Prince. I dunno if you’ve read the essays in Alice Turner’s _Snake Hands_ – there’s one (by Andre-Driussi I think) that incorrectly denounces Crowley as a neo-Fascist) – the book is far more interesting and subtle than that. Of course, Crowley may be speaking with forked tongue, or may have changed his political opinions since … I’ve had it in mind for some time to do an essay on Crowley’s use of Machiavelli in Beasts, but have never known quite where to publish it – too abstruse and specialized for a blog, too sfnal for an academic journal …

9

Neel Krishnaswami 08.02.04 at 4:42 pm

I think you are ignoring large swathes of the fantasy genre in order to make your point — an interest in economics is a minority taste in fantasy, but it’s a thriving and well-represented minority. I’ve certainly never had any great trouble finding fantasy novels that fit those requirements. Here are some recommendations:

  • Poul Anderson, A Midsummer Tempest. This is a rather eccentric and amazing fantasy novel set in a Europe in which Shakespeare was the Historian rather than the Bard. The Industrial Revolution and the English Civil War figure prominently.
  • Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan and City on Fire. This is what you get if you take Mieville, swap out the Marxism with public choice, and drop the bug hunts in favor of political thriller. These are really good.
  • C.J. Cherryh, any of her fantasies. These don’t foreground economics, but the details and mechanisms of pre-industrial life are very carefully rendered and shape all of the characters’ actions and attitudes.
  • L. Sprague de Camp, Lest Darkness Fall. It’s on the list mainly to show that fantasists have been thinking about this since the beginning of the genre.
10

Jonathan Goldberg 08.02.04 at 4:48 pm

Cranky, Herbert is a poor example. His ecology is symbolic, not biological. Moreover, he couldn’t do arithmetic, and usually didn’t bother with internal consistency.

Sorry for the snippy dispute on a minor point; I just couldn’t resist.

11

Cranky Observer 08.02.04 at 5:43 pm

Jonathan,
Well, I didn’t say Herbert was _right_, only that he considered ecological issues ;-)

Where did the air come from on Dune, anyway?

Cranky

12

Steve 08.02.04 at 6:49 pm

Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan and City on Fire. This is what you get if you take Mieville, swap out the Marxism with public choice, and drop the bug hunts in favor of political thriller. These are really good.

Seconded; those two (particularly City on Fire) are far and away Williams’ best books. And there are some wonderful bits in Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Daughter (in which, among other things, the economic rationale for changelings is demonstrated), although that may be too self-consciously revisionist a fantasy novel to really be properly in keeping with the other names being tossed about.

13

Henry 08.02.04 at 8:31 pm

Neel – as I said, I’ve softened my position on this considerably after a previous bout of criticisms. Point taken. I liked _Metropolitan_ a lot ( _City on Fire_ a little less), but didn’t spot the public choice undertones. _Lest Darkness Fall_ is wonderful, not least for de Camp’s appreciation of the importance of double-entry book-keeping to history.

Steve – _The Iron Dragon’s Daughter_ is on my list of top twenty fantasy novels of all time for what it does with the genre. I reckon though that the economic aspects of oppression in TIDD are secondary to its main message – the oppressiveness of narrative itself – evoking all those horrible, horrible fairy tales that work out badly for the protagonist, regardless of what she (or he) does. I loved the ambiguous happy ending – happiness consists in the hundrum uncertainties of everyday life.

14

chicago dyke 08.02.04 at 10:35 pm

interesting discussion, although i’m not really sure why china is in the fantasy camp…but then again, i’m tired of all the usual labels and have been saying “speculative fiction” for a few years now in order to get people to read some of the better new stuff coming out.

not fantasy, but super left with plenty of econ commentary: ken macleod. “the fall revolutions” should be mandatory for everyone in the US left of bob dole.

15

novalis 08.03.04 at 12:34 am

The Books of Ash (I’ve read up through most of Book 3 (of 4)) discuss the economics of war and mercenaries in the late medieval period. At one point, Ash is wounded and is unable to command her company of mercenaries. Her second in command is forced to take a contract in order to have the legal protections (and cash) that being in a contract provides.

There’s also a lot of other stuff about honor, warrior codes, etc. But the different views of the characters on the intersection of economics and power provide interesting reading.

The reflections on the nature of power are also fascinating. It’s worthwhile to compare Ash’s views on authority as a mercenary captain with Wolfe’s description of authority in the Dark Ages (although perhaps 1476-1477 is too late for Wolfe).

16

Anna 08.03.04 at 3:09 am

“science fiction and fantasy authors studiously avoid the ecological and biological underpinnings of the worlds they create”

The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell.

17

Jay 08.03.04 at 5:12 pm

I’m surprised none of you have mentioned Guy Gavriel Kay. He has quite conciously decided to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps and create mythic lands that stand in relation to Italy, Spain, France, etc. the way Middle Earth stands in relation to England. Tigana, for example evokes all the sense of the Borgias, Florence, the city-states, and the southern kingdom. I never thought about whether Kay was Marxist, but it seemed to me a place where crops were in the field, and food in the shops, and the daily rhythms of life took place. Unlike, say, Brust.

18

novalis 08.03.04 at 7:44 pm

Jay, I think you misunderstand the topic. The question is not whether “daily rhythms of life take place”, but whether the economics of the world is considered. I’ve only read three or four books by Kay, but I didn’t notice an emphasis on economics. They seem to be much more about politics and personal relationships.

On the other hand, Brust’s _Teckla_ is all about the explotation of workers by the ruling classes. And the other books in the Taltos series that I’ve read also discuss the economics of the black market — how much it costs to get a guy killed, and why; how markets are divided horizontally by agreement; the relationship between physical force and economic control, etc.

19

Adam Lipkin 08.03.04 at 8:43 pm

Anna, one of the interesting things about The Sparrow is that no one involved with it (publisher or author) really wanted to touch the “sci-fi” label. And Russell’s motivation — to explore the idea of a first encounter with a long-lost Indian tribe that had never had any outside contact — morphed into a sci-fi book only because the former option was unviable. Which doesn’t make it any less a good example, although it was the second book that actually performed some more advanced world-building and explored the alien society.

20

novalis 08.03.04 at 10:52 pm

On the other hand, the second Sparrow book completely discarded biology in favor of creationist claptrap.

I loved The Sparrow deeply (despite the not-great linguistics), but I thought that Children of God was a retreat from The Sparrow’s refusal to give easy answers to hard questions.

21

Julian O'Dea 08.04.04 at 3:51 am

A good example, I think, of Tolkien’s weird economics is his references to “mithril”, a mined metal. Mithril seems merely to combine the qualities of titanium and platinum, but it is written about as if it were of literally fabulous value. I seem to remember that Tolkien writes that Frodo’s chain mail of mithril is worth as much as the entire value of The Shire. This makes no kind of sense that I can fathom.

Julian

22

Adam Stephanides 08.05.04 at 7:49 pm

“anyone who can guess what the aristos of Gondor and horselords of Rohan live off is a better man than me.”

Surely Tolkien, as a medievalist, knew what the aristocrats of Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Europe lived off of, and intended it to be the same for Middle-Earth: feudal dues, supplemented by taxes in the case of the king, and by the king’s bounty in the case of everyone else. In other words, they ultimately lived off the peasants. (Another source of income for real-life aristocrats was the spoils of war, but Tolkien’s nobles seem to have given up offensive war, iirc.)

23

Adam Stephanides 08.07.04 at 1:31 pm

“I dunno if you’ve read the essays in Alice Turner’s Snake Hands – there’s one (by Andre-Driussi I think) that incorrectly denounces Crowley as a neo-Fascist)”

No. Andre-Driussi suggests that the protagonists of Beasts lean towards fascism, but not that Crowley sympathizes with this. In fact, he [Andre-Driussi] sees the book’s ending, with the protagonists gathered and ready to act, as pessimistic.

24

Henry 08.08.04 at 1:53 am

Adam – sorry, you’re right – it’s a while since I read the Andre-Driussi essay. Still, I think that Andre-Driussi’s reading is fundamentally wrongheaded – in part because he’s not very familiar with political theory. If you read _Beasts_ in the context of the Renaissance ‘education of princes’ literature, a rather different set of themes emerge.

25

Ben 08.09.04 at 6:08 pm

I think Hobb is an author who incorporates economics in a more realistic sense. I also think a lot of authors being celebrated here have convoluted portrayals of economics in their fantasy worlds, due to the fact that they’re trying to make a modern image fit perfectly with a different sort of economy. Economic analysis of peasant societies or pre-state societies (differing from fantasy world to fantasy world) is a completely different story than early industrialism, capitalism during its heyday, or the Marxist criticisms thereof. Production, reciprocity, and ceremonial redistribution are the breadwinners.

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