The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 10, 1997 - Business & Economics - 447 pages
In 1935, after the death of dictator General Juan Vicente Gómez, Venezuela consolidated its position as the world's major oil exporter and began to establish what today is South America's longest-lasting democratic regime. Endowed with the power of state oil wealth, successive presidents appeared as transcendent figures who could magically transform Venezuela into a modern nation. During the 1974-78 oil boom, dazzling development projects promised finally to effect this transformation. Yet now the state must struggle to appease its foreign creditors, counter a declining economy, and contain a discontented citizenry. In critical dialogue with contemporary social theory, Fernando Coronil examines key transformations in Venezuela's polity, culture, and economy, recasting theories of development and highlighting the relevance of these processes for other postcolonial nations. The result is a timely and compelling historical ethnography of political power at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary reflections on modernity and the state.

 

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Contents

THE MAGICAL STATE AND OCCIDENTALISM
1
Premiere THE NATURE OF THE NATION STATE FETISHISM AND NATIONALISM
19
HISTORYS NATURE
21
THE NATIONS TWO BODIES
67
Debut VENEZUELAN COUNTERPOINT DICTATORSHIP AND DEMOCRACY
119
THE EIGHTEENTH BRUMAIRE OF DICTATORSHIP
121
CONSTRUCTING THE NATION THE NATION AS A CONSTRUCT
166
THE TWENTYTHIRD OF JANUARY OF DEMOCRACY
201
THE MOTORS WARS THE ENGINES OF PROGRESS
237
MIRAGES OF EL DORADO THE DEATH OF A TRACTOR FACTORY
286
THE DEVILS EXCREMENT CRIMINALITY AND SOCIALITY
321
Sequel BLACK GOLD MONEY FETISHISM AND MODERNITY
365
HARVESTING THE OIL THE STORM OF PROGRESS
367
BEYOND OCCIDENTALISM A SUBALTERN MODERNITY
387
REFERENCES
395
INDEX
433

Revival THE PETROSTATE AND THE SOWING OF OIL
235

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