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The peace instituted in Imerina, Andrianampoinimerina decides to create the markets in place of Fihaonana. These are former meeting places established by the warriors to sell their booty of war.
He twice assembled his subjects, at Andohalo and Antsahatsiroa, to announce the good
New and encourage them to sell there all the products of the land, livestock, crafts, forest and even slaves. Except pork, alcohol and hemp which must not enter the center of the Imerina, but remain beyond the Ombifotsy to the west, Ambodinangavo to the east, Analaroa And Vakinisahasarotra in the north.
A few days later, he assembled the Great of his kingdom to discuss the legislation
To be applied in daily and weekly markets.
Most of his advisers then suggest that he take a share of all the produce, from simple manioc to slaves. What the sovereign agrees.
However, the sage Hagamainty rebels against this idea of ​​generalizing this sort of imposition, relying on the king’s speech in Andohalo and Antsahatsiroa. Among other things, it highlights the contradiction between the incentive of the subjects to be sold and bought, and the imposition of this rule on all products, which can only be demotivating.
Andrianampoinimerina explained to Ambaniandro, another name for the Merina, the aim of the markets: to give everyone, especially the less affluent, the chance to make money by marketing their products, while demanding the rich, Beginning with the royal family, of “making the market live”. They will also find the stolen objects.
However, the suggestion of the other great ones is against this objective. “You are imposing this rule, but we are the Great ones who collect the products on your behalf, taking our share as well.” This is enough to impoverish and drive away the merchants and thus close the markets. “Besides, even in the days of the Fihaonana, no leader of a clan, however bellicose, allowed himself to do so. “
According to Hagamainty, in addition, taking part of the products offered for sale is tantamount to “sanctioning the innocent”, that is to say to pay a fine for an offense that they have not committed . “If you persist in applying this measure, what will you do with all these products? You will share them with your family, with your relatives, with us the Great, and we will be satisfied, our wealth will increase, but the people will ‘impoverish. “
The wise counselor continued: “Simply put, why not close the markets and immediately seize all the goods of the Merina, because in fact we want to go against what was said in Andohalo and Antsahatsiroa, and betray the Ambaniandro »
Turning to another aspect of the market, the clientele, Hagamainty, shows some reluctance regarding the probable behavior of the princes and the Great. The merchants, he wonders,
Can they refuse without fear of selling their products to them if they bargain to buy at a derisory price or if they demand to pass in front of more humble customers
In front of this tirade, the other great ones are silent, bewildered, somewhat scared. Yet the king was not troubled. On the contrary, he asks them to express their opinion in the same way as Hagamainty. But not knowing what to say, they ask Andrianampoinimerina a time of reflection. They return the next day without Hagamainty.
The Tsimahafotsy Rabefiraisana speaks on their behalf and merely repeats, in a more
Nuanced, the words of the wise counselor. What has the gift of enervating the sovereign who insists on having “your personal opinion.”
Having nothing to add, another counselor, Rafiara, believes that it is necessary to call his absent peer. To which the sovereign, more and more irritated, retorts: “It is not the only Hagamainty that governs, but all of you. Unless you have no advice to give me! When you talk to yourself for the sake of your home, do you also need Hagamainty? “
Nevertheless, without being disconcerted, a third, Ranoko, affirms that only an idea born of discussions is founded. But the king persists in having their opinion. Finally, they recognize that they share everything Hagamainty said.