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

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good government, promote Christianity, extirpate slavery, and elevate the lower races." Indeed, what better aims could a nation have? The press becomes a powerful tool in manipulating this sense of nationalism with its jingoism and outright support of imperialism in many instances. Jingoism refers to strongly nationalist or propagandistic literature, often in the press, that usually calls for an aggressive or warlike foreign policy. Investors often control the press, according to Hobson, and they use it to generate enthusiasm for imperialism by playing to themes such as patriotism and nationalism.

Hobson says patriotism also taps into a basic human need for power. He explains, "Patriotism appeals to the general lust of power within a people by suggestion of nobler uses, adopting the forms of self-sacrifice to cover domination and the love of adventure." Here, it should be noted, Hobson makes a judgment about human nature in arguing that people inherently want to gain power relative to others. Hobson speaks of "the primitive instincts of the [human] race" and says " . . . the instinct for control of land, drives back to the earliest times . . ." This desire manifests itself in people in the form of a "sense of adventure" and this exciting factor causes people to become enthusiastic supporters of imperialism, which, in their eyes, is the conquering of the "savage" and unknown world. Normally, Hobson explains, people attempt to satisfy this urge through sport, but when the idea of imperialistic adventure is raised, there is simply no comparison to its attractiveness. An appeal to what Hobson sees as an innate human need for power is therefore a significant motivating force for imperialism.


24. Ibid., 61.
25 .Ibid., 60-1.
26. Ibid., 198.
27. Ibid., 212-3.
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