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Peter Bauer remembered

Thomas Sowell discusses Peter Bauer with Milton Friedman:

One of the things that he mentioned in one of his later books was that people were saying things like: “We took all the rubber from Malaysia”; “We took all the tea from India.” And he pointed out that this was the direct opposite of the truth. The British brought the rubber tree to Malaysia; they brought the tea to India—and the Indians and Malaysians benefited. There’s also the example from his later work in West Africa where he points out that most of the cocoa in West Africa was grown by Africans and that cocoa was not native to Africa—it was brought in and the local people took it from there. One of the things that contrasts with Peter Bauer’s notion is that of Gunnar Myrdal, who argued that you had to have westernized intellectuals taking charge of the country and directing the masses, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to do anything. And it’s ironic because people like Myrdal and others on the Left are regarded as great friends of the masses, but really you see in them the utter contempt for what ordinary people can do.

The full discussion is just a few pages long, from the Cato Journal, and well worth a read.

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