When one uses the simple monosyllabic 'France' one thinks of France as a unit, an entity. When. . . we say 'France sent her troops to conquer Tunis'—we impute not only unity but personality to the country. The very words conceal the facts and make international relations a glamorous drama in which personalized nations are the actors, and all too easily we forget the flesh-and- blood men and women who are the true actors.. . if we had no such word as 'France' . . . then we should more accurately describe the Tunis expedition in some such way as this: 'A few of...thirty-eight million persons sent thirty thousand others to conquer Tunis.' This way of putting the fact immediately suggests a question, or rather a series of questions. Who are the 'few'? Why did they send the thirty thousand to Tunis? And why did these obey? Empire-building is done not by 'nations,' but by men. The problem before us is to discover the men, the active, interested minorities in each nation, who are directly interested in imperialism and then to analyze the reasons why the majorities pay the expenses and fight the wars.
Source: Imperialism and World Politics (New York: Macmillan, 1930), p. 58.
Contributed by: peter