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

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wishing to minimize their risks, induce their governments into giving their investments military protection and eventually to annex those areas in which they are invested. Hence, economic forces direct and drive imperialism

Other, non-economic forces are involved as well, although the economic forces control these other forces in order to manipulate the public into supporting imperialism. Most people do not benefit from imperialism - in fact most people are hurt by it, so in the interest of their own economic concerns, the investors play upon morality, religion, nationalism, the basic human desire for power, domestic policies, and the fear of rival imperial powers in order to sway public opinion. It is true that most of the propaganda appealing to these forces as applied is false - imperialism takes place for no other reasons but economic ones. Yet the public will not support such a narrow justification, and as long as they believe that one of these other forces is the real reason that imperialism takes place, even if it is a false belief, then they will support such a policy. Thus although economics are clearly the most important force behind imperialism, non-economic forces have a crucial role as well.


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