Here's the second letter from The Economist. It reminded me of my own awakening to reality when I was a student in London in the early 80s.
SIR – How can your leader on the changing balance of economic power in the world claim that “technology and a spirit of freedom enabled the West to leap ahead” of India and China in the mid-19th century (“Surprise!”, September 16th)? In reality, it was the West's imperial, and often violent, interventions and controls on these two countries that were instrumental in stultifying their economic development. India, for example, had the most advanced steel and textile industries at the beginning of the 19th century. Britain pirated India's technology, shut much of its advanced industries and forbade its exports, forcing it to buy second-rate British products in a closed market. Fertile land was stolen from Indian food farmers and converted to growing opium, which was then forced on the Chinese. Similar situations were repeated in other Asian, African and Latin American countries. In telling the whole story of the West's success, one must talk of stolen resources, forced foreign labour, and suppressed competition from the colonies.