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.