It is interesting to note that in the 1940s and 1950s the assumption that the West was better endowed by Nature gradually gave way to another assumption, namely, that the West is more ‘advanced’ or ‘developed’ than other parts of the world. This too is based upon a myth — the myth that there is just one single path or ‘ladder’ of development open to all nations and that some are further up the ladder than others. Like the myth that the wealthy nations owe their prosperity to the bounty of Nature, the myth of development served the interests of the West. It led people to assume that because Western countries are wealthy and technologically advanced they are also more civilized. And it gave the impression to the people of the newly emergent nations that they could travel along the Western path to prosperity through ‘development’ — and could even catch up with the Western countries.
–Donal Dorr, Option for the Poor. (Maryknoll, NW: Orbis Books, 2002), 110.