Equality, the Third World and Economic Delusion

by P. T. Bauer (Harvard University Press, 1981)

Much of the modern world is obsessed with a feeling of guilt towards the concept and history of colonialism. 

There is little on this planet which is perfect but the undoubted benefits of Western Civilisation, brought to the third world by the leading nations of Europe, are today almost universally denigrated well beyond reason and the evidence. Schools and universities today teach the new generation of the “evils” of European rule. 

The article (click the link below to read pdf file)

Western Guilt and Third World Poverty 

is an eight page extract, first published by The Africa Institute, from the book Equality, the Third World and Economic Delusion written by Prof Peter Bauer in 1981.

It first appeared in Africa Insight in 1984 and articulates very well what many normal people have long thought!

Peter Thomas Bauer was a developmental economist and is best remembered for his opposition to the widely-held notion that the most effective manner to help developing countries advance is through state-controlled foreign aid.  He was born in Budapest in 1915 and studied law there before embarking for England in 1934 to study Economics at Cambridge from where he graduated in 1937. After a brief period working for Guthrie & Co., a London-based merchant house that conducted business in the Far East, Bauer spent most of his career at the London School of Economics. He started teaching there in 1960 and retired in 1983 as Emeritus Professor of Economics. In 1983, with the support of his friend and admirer, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, he was made a life peer as Baron Bauer of Market Ward in the City of Cambridge. Lord Bauer was also a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society of leading economists founded by his friend Friedrich Hayek.  In 1978, Bauer received an Honorary Doctoral Degree at Universidad Francisco Marroquin, one of the leading universities in Latin America, for his contribution to economics.  He died in London on 2 May 2002. (Summarised from Wikipedia)

Bauer shatters the misdirected attempts to promote Western guilt for Third World poverty.

“The West has not caused the relative poverty of the Third World,” Bauer writes. “The opposite is the case. The contacts established by the West have resulted in improved living conditions, longer life expectation and much wider choice for hundreds of millions of people in the Third World . . . . Indeed, millions of people, who would otherwise have died, survived because of Western techniques and ideas, notably medicine and public security which came with colonial rule.” 

Read a full review here: