Tom Goldstein, "Economic Manipulation:
J.A. Hobson's Theory on the
Role of Economic and Other Forces in Imperialism"

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been involved in the riot, were then given the choice between "prosecution on a charge of sedition" or "service in the colony upon such conditions and with such rates of wages as the Government might arrange for a term of five years. As a result, "584 men, with three times as many women and children" became indentured servants to colonial farmers.23 Moral concerns played very little role in making the decision to prosecute these individuals, especially since the actions of the British government in South Africa were illegal by the charter they had signed in 1895. Economics took a dominant role in this case, yet a play to morality was made, as the government labeled the incident a rebellion instead of merely a riot. The miners and the British government were thus able to claim that they had a moral obligation to step in so as to protect the people of the Bechuanaland. In this instance and with imperialism in general, morality becomes a powerful tool of manipulation in order to deceive the public into thinking that their investment of money and manpower is worthwhile, although economic forces are clearly dominant.

Nationalism and patriotism are also powerful forces that the investors use to manipulate public opinion through the press. Investors play upon nationalism, arguing that the country must pursue an imperialistic policy in order to keep up its prestige in competing with other imperialistic nations. Once again, this is not the real reason why imperialism takes place, but nationalism as a concept and an emotion is a manipulative weapon for investors. The financiers "are essentially parasites upon patriotism, and they adapt themselves to its protecting colours. In the mouths of their representatives are noble phrases, expressive of their desire to extend the area of civilisation, to establish


23. Ibid., 262-3.
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