As developed in this chapter, the colonial State project in Laos involved three distinct but interrelated processes. These are control of the labor process, the development of infrastructure and fiscal and money control. Thus the opening up of the country by river, road and rail was to further simplify the integration of Laos into an Indochina-wide economy. Considered inept and incapable of great industry by the French, the Lao were to be merged into an expanded pool of free labor fed by infusions of more "dynamic" proletarianized immigrants from overcrowded and more developed regions of Indochina. In the interim, the Lao and minority peasant producers were to be forced into the money economy by a combined fiscal and labor policy that demanded labor dues and head taxes. A special feature of the political economy of Laos was the economic niche to be carved out for Hmong peasants as producers of poppy, the primary source of revenue for the system of colonial monopolies.