Imperialism (J.A. Hobson)
From Hobson's Choice
Imperialism: a Study is the most famous book by John A Hobson. It was written as a general exposé of imperialism as a form of institutionalized corruption. Hobson also includes some astonishingly accurate predictions about the future consequences of imperialism.
He completed it in August of 1902, shortly after covering the Boer War for the Manchester Guardian. The connection is significant, because most of Hobson's other works deal with general economic theory. Hobson wrote copiously during his long life, but Imperialism has a writing style and intensity from his sojourn in South Africa that is distinct from his other works. Since 1902, Imperialism has been the benchmark for theories of imperialism.
Anomalous and Contradictory Character of Modern Imperialism
Hobson identified contemporary European imperialism as an historically unprecedented thing; he distinguished it from the Roman and Medieval conception of a foederoti, but also from the ethnic holocausts associated with ancient times. Modern imperialism sought political union without national union. Hobson was not particularly attached to nationalism, but he recognized it as the touchstone of contemporary political legitimacy.This introduces the idea of contradiction, because nationalism is necessary for the modern war machine, but imperialist aims are either wildly unrealistic, or else wholly incompatible with those of nationalism. While jingoism creates the heightened sense of nationalist zeal required to mobilize armies and stifle opposition, jingoism's sense of peculiar national worthiness is contradicted by the imperialist agenda of investing abroad, rather than in domestic production. Imperial politics use the bait-and-switch gambit of national self-importance to inflict a policy of professed altruism.
Though the reasons openly assigned for the British occupation of Egypt were military and financial ones affecting our own interests, it is now commonly maintained that we went there in order to bestow the benefits which Egyptians have received from our sway, and that it would be positively wicked of us to keep the pledge we gave to withdraw within a short term of years from the country.Shortly after the acquisition of empire, imperialist statesmen speak of "our commitments" to the subject people, to the system of international alliances, or collective security. Hobson does explicitly remind readers that there is a deeply entrenched tendency of jingoism to thwart rational consideration by its victims. The following passage is so applicable to conditions of 105 years later, it makes one's skin crawl:
"Moral & Sentimental Factors", emphasis added
The shifts of detailed mendacity and curious invention to which we were driven in the course of the war by the necessity of keeping up this double and contradictory belief will doubtless attract the attention of the psychological historian, how the numbers alternately and automatically expanded and contracted according as it was sought to impress upon the nation the necessity of voting large supplies of troops and money, or else to represent the war as "nearly over" and as having lapsed into a trifling guerrilla struggle.While most critical reviewers, such as Prof. Cain, latch onto sentences and phrases that smack of conspiracy theory, it's clear to an actual reader that Hobson's main intent is to outline who wins and who loses. There's no question he's referring to phenomena that are public and widespread.
The Four Motivations
Hobson's analysis of the underlying motivations for imperialism has been widely misunderstood. Most frequently he is linked (erroneously) with Lenin's book, Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In fact, Hobson's analysis was highly complex. In particular, he identified four primary motives for imperialism.
Orthodox economic theory in 1902 was neoclassical; Hobson's economic views were, both by the standards of the day, and those of today, not at all orthodox. However, he does not emphasize his own economic theories; instead, he argues that neoclassical economic theory was incompatible with the concept of imperialism. It was a logical absurdity that an imperial power would ever tolerate genuinely free trade; even when tariffs were officially low, the companies that spearheaded expansionism tended to run their conquests through cartels.
Hobson went further and argued that the volume of trade related to Britain's recent conquests was minor, especially in relation to the profits of investment abroad. This is arguably the weakest point of the book, since Hobson seems unsure as to what point he would like to make with readers regarding investment, trade, and control of the imperial enterprise. He does, nonetheless, make the valid point that industry plays a comparatively minor role in the stimulus of imperial polices; that capital flows abroad greatly exceed net trade; finance capital benefits immensely from wartime conditions created by imperialism, plus the investment opportunities created by expansion; and that finance capital massively contributes to the likelihood of war through its control of the media and venal politicians.
It is worth noting that all of these conditions are more true today than they were in 1902.
While Hobson has a few weak links in his argument as to the role of finance capital as 'governor' of the engine of imperialism (e.g., since very little investment flows to the areas of British colonial expansion, why should finance capital care about said expansion?), he made many accurate observations heretofore ignored: imperialism's primary beneficiary and primary instigator was a congeries of financial and industrial interests, divorced from those of the rest of the nation, and intent on terminating the competitive conditions that a free market economy is said to promote. The object of imperialism was to ensure that today's market winners would be tomorrow's winners, and their winnings would be bigger.
Elsewhere in the book, Hobson takes on those who favored imperialism not out of economic orthodoxy, but out of economic jingoism—in order to create a vast protected market for British goods. Here, he makes the case for free trade, as serving the general interest rather than that of a particular group of merchants. In 1902, it was true that Britain's colonial rivals did indeed impose exclusion of other nations' goods on their colonies; in some cases, as with the French conquest of Madagascar, this was a fairly serious hit. However, Hobson argues (somewhat sardonically?) that they're merely meeting their expenses of redeeming those countries for Western trade. More seriously, he emphasizes that such neo-mercantilism is really a way of passing on business expenses to the taxpayer.
Another motive Hobson observed played a role was ideological/reformist. At that time, radical critiques of laissez-faire capitalism were still in their infancy, and a large number of these were polluted by racism, sexism, paternalism, crackpot economics, arbitrary speculations about human nature, and other sundry humbug. Many of the parties associated with the left imagined that the "lesser races" would be well-served by having hordes of European lumpen descending on them and edifying them; the main object of this proposed "reform" was, of course, to have been the lumpen, savoring the sweet air of the tropical outdoors.While Hobson held these sentimental bromides in low esteem, his angle of attack is to illustrate the implausibility of putting them into practice. "Imperialism as an Outlet for Population" mostly argues that the emigration of Britons was directed to old colonies like the USA, Canada, and Australia; in "Imperialism and the Lower Races," he addresses the "ideals" (as they existed then) of economic or industrial overflow. Specifically, imperialists sometimes appealed to a special duty of ecological redemption for the "higher races," claiming the natural bounty of the tropics for "civilization." Living in the epoch he did, it was not really persuasive for Hobson to dismiss this as rank racism or rank larceny. He discusses the argument with alarming sympathy, before concluding,
To step in and utilise natural resources which are left undeveloped is one thing, to compel the inhabitants to develop them is another. The former is easily justified, involving the application on a wider scale of a principle whose equity, as well as expediency, is recognised and enforced in most civilised nations. The other interference, whereby men who prefer to live on a low standard of life with little labour shall be forced to harder or more continuous labour, is far more difficult of justification. [...] The real issue is one of safeguards, of motives, and of methods. What are the conditions under which a nation may help to develop the resources of another, and even apply some element of compulsion in doing so? The question, abstract as it may sound, is quite the most important of all practical questions for this generation. For, that such development will take place,... If organised Governments of civilised Powers refused the task, they would let loose a horde of private adventurers, slavers, piratical traders, treasure hunters, concession mongers, ... The contact with white races cannot be avoided, and it is more perilous and more injurious in proportion as it lacks governmental sanction and control. The most gigantic modern experiment in private adventure is slowly yielding its full tale of horrors in the Congo Free State...His conclusion is that only some impartial international body can supervise this; nation-states cannot and laissez-faire capitalism cannot. In 1902, this was wildly utopian, and Hobson admits as much.
The argument for imperialism as ecological redemption is a rather mendacious form of social imperialism; it is, when expressed with unflinching candor, the essential principle of eugenic imperialism.
Eugenic imperialism is a concept very different from eugenics per se; the eugenics movements of Hobson's time were interested in internal improvements, such as birth control and hygiene, and it was only later that the concept was twisted into Nazi eugenics. Even that, bad as it was, was still far less bad that eugenic imperialism—the ex post justification for foreign genocide on the grounds that the nation committing the genocide was somehow more fit. This, then, was Spenserianism raised to the level of nations.
Hobson spotted a flaw in the argument. The eugenic imperialist advanced the same agenda as the social imperialist, while snorting contemptuously at the social imperialist's do-gooderism. Altruism and social Darwinism, though, are contrary standards of conduct. A large number of unaffiliated individuals living under conditions of Nietzschean self-sufficiency may produce some seriously tough, clever warriors, but it is by definition not going to field any armies. A society capable of acting a united sociopathic whole, on the other hand, is likely to have all sorts of inhibitors to internal Darwinism. A society capable of conquering and exterminating rival consumers of natural resources is not demonstrably capable of producing better people, unless resistance to an arbitrary set of crowd diseases is used as the sole criterion for "better." 
In total contravention of our theory that trade rests upon a basis of mutual gain to the nations that engage in it, we have undertaken enormous expenses with the object of "forcing" new markets, and the markets we have forced are small, precarious, and unprofitable. The only certain and palpable result of the expenditure has been to keep us continually embroiled with the very nations that are our best customers, and with whom, in spite of everything, our trade makes the most satisfactory advance.Another compelling argument in imperialism that tended to undermine the integrity of the united European metropole was of course conquest for the purpose of securing markets. This was actually a motive noticed by Adam Smith, who disparaged the great folly of allowing capitalists to capture the state so they could use "buy customers":
Imperialism, "Imperialism Based on Protection"
To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers. Such statesmen, and such statesmen only, are capable of fancying that they will find some advantage in employing the blood and treasure of their fellow-citizens to found and maintain such an empire. Say to a shopkeeper, Buy me a good estate, and I shall always buy my clothes at your shop, even though I should pay somewhat dearer than what I can have them for at other shops; and you will not find him very forward to embrace your proposal.Hobson attacks the idea from fairly orthodox economic grounds: even if the great powers did impose high tariff walls around their colonial possessions, shutting out trade with the rest of the world, the spillover in demand to the respective metropoles would increase their demand for British goods. For example, in 1898 the USA conquered the Philippines and, by 1901 established a near-monopoly for Usonian goods. Presumably the increased demand in the USA for manufactured goods (owing to a monopoly of access to Philippine markets) would compensate for the loss of access to British or Spanish goods. This is not a compelling argument, unfortunately, and was made more to beard the orthodox economists of Hobson's day than in earnest ("These are or were the commonplaces of the economics of Free Trade, the plainest lessons of enlightened common sense.").
Wealth of Nations, "IV.vii: Of Colonies"
Hobson then changes orientation and suggestions an impromptu division of labor among the European powers; the protectionism of other Western nations (Hobson's audience, of course, is British) is their method of extracting "payment" for redeeming foreign lands for Western capitalism:
These considerations ought to make us willing that other nations should do their share of expansion and development, well contented to await the profit which must accrue to us from every increase of world-wealth through ordinary processes of exchange. We have done our share, and more, of the costly, laborious, and dangerous work of opening up new countries to the general trade of Western industrial nations; our recent ventures have been more expensive and less profitable to us than the earlier ones, and any further labours of expansion seem to conform to a law of diminishing returns, yielding smaller and more precarious increments of trade to a larger outlay of material and intellectual capital.Hobson is Jesuitical in the sense that he tailors his counterarguments to the premises of the ones he's rebutting. Hence, he attacks imperialism from a free trade perspective, and from a protectionist one; from the stance of orthodox economics, and from that of socialism. Some readers may well find this disturbing; "Jesuitical" is not always a compliment. There are two rejoinders to this.
First, in Hobson's day socialism and orthodox economics, as understood by the elites of his day, were very closely related in terms of how they perceived the operations of the economy. There were sharp divisions of opinion about the prognosis of the current economic system in Britain, but Communists were ostentatiously Ricardians, while the distinction between Ricardo's views and those of (say) the Neoclassical Alfred Marshall are quite subtle. The biggest skeptics lay in the center of the political spectrum, so to speak: economic nationalists such as the Historicists (e.g., Gustav von Schmoller, Simon Nelson Patten, and William J. Ashley ), who believed economic conditions did not come about through the natural action of economic laws, and yet were conservative enough to favor their own nation above all others. Such men occasionally reached out to the working classes of their respective countries, which Hobson found ridiculous, since their professed solicitude for their less well-off compatriots bode ill for the (say) the working classes of other nations. The main threads of economic opinion of Hobson's day, therefore, were basically joined at the hip, with a group of cranks in the middle whose theories were not thought through. With his rigorous training, Hobson always spotted the point ahead where the cranks' schemes broke down.
Second, Hobson understood the dilemmas posed by the notion of infinite expansion. The world and its means are finite, yet the advocates of imperialism were as one in their vision of endless expansion. Seeing first the absurdity of this fantasy, and next the need for an alternative vision, Hobson's rejoinder to all four arguments takes essentially the same form: a system, such as an economy, requires a stable and gainful exterior off of which it lives. In a cask of wine, the passage of time causes the fermentation bacteria to explode in population, excrete ethanol, and die. The sucrose in the grape juice is finite; before the supply of sucrose is entirely exhausted, the population plummets, poisoned by its own potable wastes. Each school advocating imperialism offers some hoped-for benefit, but that benefit arises only from continuous expansion. Such a thing can never be, and Hobson's rejoinders tended to allude to this.
Imperialism in Asia
Perhaps most noteworthy, and the most pressing regional focus in 1902, was imperialism in Asia. The vast majority of French, British, Dutch, and US colonial subjects resided there. Moreover, China, Siam, and Persia were nominally sovereign, but effectively under multinational colonial rule. Hobson also noted that a major distinction existed between Asian colonies such as India, China, and Annam, and African colonies such as Guinea, Tanganyika, and Barotseland: while the latter, being "undeveloped," could be made richer through propagation of industrial arts, the former were already very technically advanced. Hobson suspected that there might have existed obstacles to further autochthonous developement, as yet unknown. The inability of the East Asian nations to resist colonial occupation by Europeans was, to all appearances, a failure of Asian political technology.Hobson begins by accepting (perhaps for the sake of argument) the proposition that British rule in India was entirely enlightened and benevolent.
No such intelligent, well-educated, and honourable body of men has ever been employed by any State in the working of imperial government as is contained in the Civil Service of India. Nowhere else in our Empire has so much really disinterested and thoughtful energy been applied in the work of government. The same may be said of the line of great statesmen sent out from England to preside over our government in India. Our work there is the best record British Imperialism can show. What does it tell us about the capacity of the West to confer the benefits of her civilisation on the East?That granted, Hobson explains, imperial rule in India has been an utter disaster:
"Imperialism in Asia"
A century of British rule, then, conducted with sound ability and goodwill, has not materially assisted to ward off the chronic enemy, starvation, from the mass of the people. Nor can it be maintained that the new industrialism of machinery and factories, which we have introduced, is civilising India, or even adding much to her material prosperity. In fact, all who value the life and character of the East deplore the visible decadence of the arts of architecture, weaving, metal work and pottery, in which India had been famed from time immemorial.
One of the great virtues of Hobson is to warn without affronting. Let Brendan Behan rail against "England, the Hangman of thousands" (and Behan was not British); if Hobson was to persuade actual UK readers, he had to appeal to the universal necessity for a sympathetic outline of reality. Radical critiques of a country are impaired when they paint a portrait of the people that they do not recognize. Moreover, it ill-served Hobson to insist that empire was something created by evil people. If bad outcomes were caused solely by evil people, it would be a trivial matter to get at them. There would be no need for radicalism—Orlando Furioso would suffice.There is worse to come, warns Hobson: deprived of their traditional forms of livelihood and hounded from the traditional social forms, the Asian survivors of famine will flock to the industries created by the imperialist paymaster, finance capital. To make matters worse, the great new theater of colonialism will be nominally-sovereign China, where the major powers had their spheres of interest.
While India presents the largest and most instructive lesson in distinctively British Imperialism, it is in China that the spirit and methods of Western Imperialism in general are likely to find their most crucial test. The new Imperialism differs from the older, first, in substituting for the ambition of a single growing empire the theory and the practice of competing empires, each motived by similar lusts of political aggrandisement and commercial gain; secondly, in the dominance of financial or investing over mercantile interests.In other countries colonized by Europe, the limited populations (of the Americas and Australia) or their spacial diffusion (in Africa). In the other, older colonies of Europe, industrial methods had been transferred scantily, for reasons well known to the economists of Hobson's time. But China already had industry prior to European conquest; it could flourish industrially in ways that could shake Europe:
But a third stage remains, one which in China at any rate may be reached at no distant period, when capital and organising energy may be developed within the country, either by Europeans planted there or by natives. Thus fully equipped for future internal development in all the necessary productive powers, such a nation may turn upon her civiliser, untrammelled by need of further industrial aid, undersell him in his own market, take away his other foreign markets and secure for herself what further developing work remains to be done in other undeveloped parts of the earth. The shallow platitudes by which the less instructed Free Trader sometimes attempts to shirk this vital issue have already been exposed. It is here enough to repeat that Free Trade can nowise guarantee the maintenance of industry or of an industrial population upon any particular country, and there is no consideration, theoretic or practical, to prevent British capital from transferring itself to China, provided it can find there a cheaper or more efficient supply of labour, or even to prevent Chinese capital with Chinese labour from ousting British produce in neutral markets of the world. What applies to Great Britain applies equally to the other industrial nations which have driven their economic suckers into China. It is at least conceivable that China might so turn the tables upon the Western industrial nations, and, either by adopting their capital and organisers or, as is more probable, by substituting her own, might flood their markets with her cheaper manufactures, and refusing their imports in exchange might take her payment in liens upon their capital, reversing the earlier process of investment until she gradually obtained financial control over her quondam patrons and civilisers. This is no idle speculation. If China in very truth possesses those industrial and business capacities with which she is commonly accredited, and the Western Powers are able to have their will in developing her upon Western lines, it seems extremely likely that this reaction will result.Which is, indeed, what happened. Hobson is actually very concerned about this from the point of view of the Chinese. His analysis of China's future includes a short list of possibilities (China becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western firms; China replaces Western finance capital with its own; China enters an period of centralized military rule, then beats back the European powers and industrialization). He mentions his skepticism about the last one, which is in the context of China reversing industrialization. As we all know, China has experienced centralized military rule, but in the case of both the Guomindong and the Red Guard, it was directed at stimulating industrialization, not reversing it.. He notes the already well-advanced problem of the culturally uprooted Chinese proletariat, and emerging divisions in Chinese society; his greatest fear was that conditions of anomie would arise, sapping the moral and spiritual quality of life of the Chinese.
This drain of population into industrial cities and mining districts, and the specialisation of agriculture for large markets, will break up the communal land system with its fixed hereditary order and will sap the roots of family solidarity, introducing those factors of fluidity, minute sub-division, and concentration of labour which are the distinctive characteristic of Western industry. The economic and social equality which belongs to ordinary Chinese life will disappear before a new system of industrial caste which capitalism will entail. The decay of morals, which is so noticeable in the declassés Chinese, will spread with the decay of the family power, and an elaborate judicial andpunitory machinery will replace the rule of the self-governing family. This collapse of local status will react upon the habit of commercial integrity attested throughout China by the inviolability of business pledges; the new credit system of elaborate Western commerce will involve a network of commercial law and an education in that habit of litigiousness which exercises so dangerous a fascination over some other Asiatic peoples. The increase of wealth which this new industrialism would bring would either flow in economic tribute to the West, or would go to the endowment of a new powerful capitalist caste in China itself, who, following the Western lines, would ally themselves with imperialist politics in order to protect their vested interests. Capitalism, centralised government, militarism, protection, and a whole chain of public regulations to preserve the new order against the rising of old conservative traditional forces—such would be the inevitable outcome.
This would be the greatest tragedy.
Hobson's main field of research was economics; he had labored in obscurity as an amateur and heretic in the field until he was invited by L.T. Hobhouse to write for the Manchester Guardian on the Boer War. During that experience, Hobson mainly wrote about the organizations that sought different outcomes of the 1899 Crisis, and how those organizations succeeded or failed. After publishing The South African War, he enjoyed considerable fame and has been widely cited as obligatory reading on imperialist economics; but it was widely understood that he was famous as a journalist, not as an economist.
However, Hobson's economic heresy was significant to his analysis of imperialism. According to orthodox economic theory, all output by the economy was demanded for either investment or consumption; it was assumed that disparities could not exist, since every underutilized thing had the option of adjusting prices to ensure that it got used. Hobson had much earlier reached the conclusion that there were large and durable shortfalls in demand; falling rates of interest did not increase investment when consumption was in a panic; workers were constrained by their tiny and uncertain incomes; capital export was driven by underconsumption.This point can be overlooked by a casual reader: Hobson does, after all, emphasize conventional rent-seeking in the military industrial complex:
The enormous expenditure upon the South African war will admittedly be followed by a demand for a large permanent increase in these branches of expenditure, amounting to an addition of not less than £15,000,000 per annum. This growth of naval and military expenditure from about a 5 to 60 millions in a little over a quarter of a century is the most significant fact of imperialist finance. The financial, industrial, and professional classes, who, we have shown, form the economic core of Imperialism, have used their political power to extract these sums from the nation in order to improve their investments and open up new fields for capital, and to find profitable markets for their surplus goods, while out of the public sums expended on these objects they reap other great private gains in the shape of profitable contracts, and lucrative or honourable employment. The financial and industrial capitalists who have mainly engineered this policy, employing their own genuine convictions to conceal their ill-recognised business ends, have also made important bribes or concessions to other less directly benefited interests in order to keep their sympathy and ensure their support.Capitalists pursued capital exports because it was more lucrative than pouring that money into a developed England.
This premise of Hobson has come under a lot of attack, usually because of his attempts to illustrate the comparative lack of public benefit from imperially-guaranteed foreign capital markets. He also was lumped with the Marxists because he believed capitalists were driving imperialism. He did not believe that was the only outcome of a capitalist economy however.
- ↑ Professor Peter J. Cain, Hobson and Imperialism: Radicalism, New Liberalism, and Finance, Oxford University Press (2002). The treatment of Imperialism is, in my view, unsatisfactory because it tends to focus on obscure passages and claims of Hobson's that were certainly not central to his argument. For example, Cain attributes to Hobson the opinion that foreign trade was unimportant to Britain. While it's possible this opinion wound up somewhere in his writing, it certainly does not reflect Hobson's views of trade. See Imperialism, "Commercial Value of Imperialism."
- ↑ A typical example is Dr. Ariel Cohen's Russian Imperialism: Development and Crisis, p.2, in which Hobson is imagined to (a) know nothing about pre-capitalist empires, and (b) has a reductionist notion of imperialism as arising from high finance. Another example is the History of Economic Thought entry for him, which is disappointing all around. A much better comparison of his views with those of Lenin may be found in Bernard Semmel's Rise of Free Trade Imperialism Cambridge University Press (2004)
- ↑ J.A. Schumpeter makes the same point in his essay, "The Sociology of Imperialism" (1918). However, Schumpeter believes that imperialism is a vestige of the absolutist monarchy.
- ↑ Professor Cain takes issue with this view:
Hobson's conclusion that finance was 'the governor of the imperial engine' rested on a number of assumptions, none easy to defend. He had argued [among other things] that the power of finance was indicated by the immensity of returns compared with those of foreign trade... His assertion that foreign investment was a much more lucrative business than foreign trade did not compare like with like. In assessing the value of foreign trade he assumed that, if consumption patterns were changed, most could be diverted to the home market and that, therefore, only the extra profit gained in foreign trade should be counted as a gain to the nation. This was contentious enough, but to be consistent he should have made similar assumptions about foreign investment and given some broad estimates of the difference in income arising from investing abroad rather than at home. Instead, what he offered was a comparison between the net value of foreign trade and the gross value of returns on foreign investment, inevitably inflating the importance of the latter....Cain argues that Hobson's economic arguments shift gradually. To be fair, Hobson was writing as a journalist first, and as is the practice in that field, his initial depiction of finance capital as a domineering force has a sort of Ems Dispatch quality to it.
- ↑ Alas, it still isn't. Recall Lawrence Summers notorious memo,
The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.Summers is actually considered a "liberal" by his colleagues; in '99 he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury.
Internal Memo, World Bank, 1991
- ↑ Smith, incidentally, goes on to argue that the entire expense of the Seven Years War (1756-1763) was accrued as a result of colonial rivalries: "The late war was altogether a colony quarrel, and the whole expence of it, in whatever part of the world it may have been laid out, whether in Germany or the East Indies, ought justly to be stated to the account of the colonies." This is actually a fairly ambiguous remark, since it could be taken to mean that he believes it should be understood as what the empire 'cost England, rather than saying he thinks the colonies "owe" England the money. The point was, in 1776, not entirely an academic one.
- ↑ Henry Parker Willis, Our Philippine Problem: A Study of American Colonial Policy (complete text online), H. Holt and company (1905), p.274. This was a violation of the treaty with Spain, and was altered in 1909, but industry in the Philippines was effectively strangled. There was never a major Philippine lobby in the USA.
- ↑ John A. Hobson, Confessions of an Economic Heretic (1938), p.67
- Complete text of Imperialism , Library of Economics and Liberty
- Complete text of Imperialism , Marxist Internet Archive
- Tom Goldstein, "Economic Manipulation: J.A. Hobson's Theory on the Role of Economic and Other Forces in Imperialism" Janus: University of Maryland Undergraduate Journal (Feb 2002)
- Wikipedia entry, "John A. Hobson
James R MacLean (17:00, 4 September 2007 (PDT))