...we in the "developed" West almost blindly accept these arrogant propositions:
1. The "underdeveloped" nations have always been full of misery, suffering, deprivation and abject poverty. This has been entirely their own fault.
2. Their salvation lies in learning the lessons (political, economic, educational, cultural, technological and social) of the West and changing to be just like them. There is no other route to improvement....
Among the realities ignored by such talking points:
Exploitation: Theft of land and resources, political and military repression of native peoples by outside forces. It is pretty hard to get your country out of poverty when all the land and resources of any value are owned by foreigners, and their fruits all sold for rock-bottom prices and exported to "developed" nations.
Legacy ownership of resources by the heirs and beneficiaries of colonial rule is the elephant in the living room. The faux "free market" rhetoric of the ASI and other neoliberals will be nothing but bullshit until they first deal with initial questions of justice in the starting distribution of property titles. Otherwise, their version of the "free market" really just means a massive looting spree, followed by the proclamation "No coercive intervention in the market starting... NOW!" Real free marketers include Georgists, the radical Lockean followers of Rothbard, and others who acknowledge the history of primitive accumulation, "written in letters of fire and blood"; they are willing to face the issue, and void all state grants of land and resources to absentee rentiers.