During the Imperialism which started around 1700 the European country´s went off to discover the unknown. When they found the unknown and they found it to be different than Europe they decided to “help” and make it a better place. At least that is what the official purpose of missionary work in third world countries was about. What they actually did was conquering countries violently and rip the native inhabitants off. That was the first big impact the “developed” countries had on the less developed countries.
Now we make a jump in time to the 20th century. A lot of occupied countries fight for their independency and few actually get it officially back. Know the “second stage” of imperialism as I call it takes place. Big companies originating from developed countries see the tremendous resources third world countries possess. Officially the company’s intention is to educate and help to develop those countries and initiate business relationships. What they really did is taking advantage of the naïve governments of the developing countries. Taking their recourses and leaving the countries behind in chaos.
Those are just two really basic examples of how the western countries took advantage of the third world or less developed countries in history. The list of cases is probably endless and it is not history but is still happening today. The chaos we leave behind in form of war and environmental pollution are catastrophic. For sure there are honest and effective organizations trying to really bring help to where it is needed. But even those tent to export the western way of life. Let´s take a look at frugal innovations. The idea is to reinvent something already existing in a more basic and sustainable way so it can be used in for example developing countries. To me it is an old idea in a new suit. Helping with what makes our life more efficient does not mean that it is of use in developing countries. Maybe there is not even need of more efficiency. We need to stop trying to help those countries by selling them our system over and over again. We cannot compare our cultures, our way of thinking and what we value. By trying to help them we actually bring more harm than good. Even if I actually believe that the impact the western world had is already so big that the developing countries maybe cannot recover from it. I do think that we should stop to interfering in their business.