Prior to about the 1960s or even the 1980s, depending on context, the assumption was that much of the planet was Westernizing. That impression was created by the fact that people from Third World countries were represented to Westerners by their elites and upper classes, who aspired to European standards of behavior, dress, appearance.
Subcontinental Indians, for example, and even Pakistanis and Bengalis, were informally considered White because of their Caucasoid facial structure and the light skin among those who traveled outside of their countries. They had classical British education and could converse about Shakespeare.
The 19th century lessons of colonists and explorers were a bit forgotten. Savagery, cannibalism, tribal warfare faded from Westerners’ imagination. Girls at Kabul University wore short skirts. Beirut was Paris, Latin America was Spain.
You know how we now acknowledge the Japanese as our equals and in general have a friendly attitude toward them? That was the West’s attitude toward all of the Third World based on our limited recent experience with them.
Progress meant that the Third World becomes like us. It then flipped to mean that we become the Third World.
Joseph Conrad warned us: civilization is besieged by savagery. E.M. Forster warned us: colonial elites will turn on the English. With aid from the West, infant mortality in the Third World collapsed and their underclass populations ballooned.
Popular consciousness about non-Westerners changed radically in my lifetime, at dizzying pace over the past several years. Everybody operated under one or another degree of delusion, I did too. My full clarity came about upon realizing that every single nonWhite in existence, acutely so if talking of those who live among us, hates us and wants us dead, and when they read about some tragic event that we find terrible or obscene, they feel a warm glow of pleasure. The truth shall set us free.