Four Global Development Myths that Need to Disappear

With more climate disasters coming, we all need to quit buying the propaganda from events like COP26

Mitchell Peterson
9 min readNov 6, 2021


Ever wonder why, with so many NGOs and billionaire-backed foundations, some countries are still so poor? Why, despite today’s immense technological might and sky-high wealth, we have yet to eliminate hunger and suffering? How come, even after sixty, seventy, or over one hundred years of independence, so many nations have yet to move up the development ladder?

Not that long ago, I had the myopic view that poor countries were just too corrupt. I thought “we” helped “them” so much. If only they could copy our economies and how we run our countries. Surely they’d be rich like us in no time!

I now see how condescending and backward my thoughts were, how I was so deep in the “western supremacy” propaganda, and how we’re all swimming in those false narratives and kept from the truth.

I’m not saying it’s an easy fix, that I know how to solve global poverty, or that if everyone could see the situation truthfully all of the geopolitical problems would magically disappear.

But citizens of wealthy nations need to educate themselves a bit on how economics and geopolitics really work. They need to see how extractive, exploitative, and all-out greedy our corporations and countries are. We’re not the “good guys helping the poor;” we’re actively holding them down.

Here are four global development myths that need to disappear:

Myth: We’re ahead because of “our values.”

Reality: We’re ahead because we’re ruthless.

In the famous words of Michael Parenti: “they’re not underdeveloped; they’re over-exploited.” What very few people in America and Europe understand is that colonialism wasn’t only something from hundreds of years ago with Christopher Columbus and large wooden ships with fluffy white sails. Colonialism was yesterday and reparations were never made.

When my mother was born, most African nations were just becoming independent, and when my grandmother was young England owned India — stealing $45,000,000,000,000 in wealth.



Mitchell Peterson

Freelance writer on my ninth year outside of the US, currently in Prague reading, teaching, and writing on politics, economics, and travel … IG: @mitchellglenn