The following extract is from one of the works of Bertrand Russell:

Exploiting what are called "inferior races" has become one of the main objects of European statecraft. It is not only, or primarily, trade that is desired, but opportunities for investment; finance is more concerned in the matter than industry. Rival diplomatists are very often the servants, conscious or unconscious, of rival groups of financiers.

Now, my question is: which one is the meaning of "finance is more concerned in the matter than industry"?

  1. Finance is more concerned in the matter than industry is concerned in the matter.
  2. Finance is more concerned in the matter than is concerned in industry.

I guess the first one is meant by the author. Just want to be sure.

I have another question too, related to the emboldened sentence: Does it mean that opportunities for investment are more desired than trade?

  • 1
    #1 is the literal expansion. He meant that European investors were more interested in making money than in trading resources or technologies.
    – amI
    Nov 27, 2018 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


I agree it's an odd phrasing, but then Russell wrote this in 1917, so the language may be slightly archaic.

Anyway, your reasoning is correct. Russell is saying that people who seek out opportunities in what we today call "developing countries" are often less interested in industrial opportunities than they are with financial opportunities. In order to accomplish this, they enlist the help of diplomats from their own governments who, presumably, influence those with power in the developing country.

An example of this is the "banana republic" in which a country is highly invested in the export of a single, limited-resource product (such as bananas). The sources of the resource are owned by a relatively small ruling class, and the production relies on the exploitation of an impoverished working class. The ruling class often end up essentially working for foreign investors who gain their cooperation through various kinds of graft


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