Look, the West can’t help everyone and the regimes would be insulted if we tried. But they don’t need our help. The greatest poverty in our time has been in China and India. Did these countries reduce poverty because of our help? No. They did it themselves.
Giving is problematic. We take money from poor people in rich countries and give it to rich people in poor countries. Aid sometimes creates corruption.
And suppose we gave people computers. Would computers help? No. There is no technology without civilization, civilization is the carriage of technology. It is a matter of institutions. If a country discriminates against women, for example, no computers will help. Do you know who are the greatest opponents of democracy in the Middle East? The husbands. As long as husbands discriminate against their wives the husbands will support the dictators.
Now, however, there is a young generation who are realizing that the glory is within. The glory [of civilization] it is within their power to grasp.
(as paraphrased by Alex Tabarrok).