The remains of the Indochina’s alcohol regime dot the landscape of today’s Indochina today. From the Revolutionary Museum in Hanoi, housed in the former headquarters of the reviled Department of Customs and Monopolies, to the French embassy that occupies the SFDIC’s former headquarters, to the Khmer Distilleries Company producing “Super Whisky” at US$1.00 per bottle, legacies of the long-ago monopoly endure. Yet while colonial rule has long since ended and the SFDIC is a footnote to French economic history, the same convergence of science, state, and industry that drove the creation of the monopoly a century ago continues to operate in the present day.
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