I offer this up for your consumption (not without humor or some sadness as well). In one of my favorite films, “The Last of the Mohicans,” a newly arrived British officer curtly corrects a senior officer he’s just seen negotiating with the colonials. “I thought British policy was to make the world England….SIR.”
We could easily argue that this policy was transplanted with the Brits to us. We want the world to buy our crap, drink our toxic Coke, consume and emulate all things American as if it were the single best way of life. We have been colonizing quite imperially for several centuries- with our junk, our exports, and now our ex-pats. We want to make the world “America,” without realizing that this is precisely what we’re doing. Americans in some ways are uniquely uncomfortable with what is different. Turning the rest of this precious, unique, diverse planet into mini-mes is a horrible future. We do not represent the “best” way of life because it is monumentally unsustainable by 7.4++ billion people. But we’ve sold it as such, which is why folks want to move here (although that’s shifting).
Your very insightful comment cuts right to the heart of the matter. Western countries have long colonized, sucked up what we want, and moved on when the place is ravaged rather than improved by our presence. This is most certainly not true for all of us. But for far too many, it is. I’ve visited a bunch of those ex-pat spots. I heard a British ex-pat in Thailand complaining bitterly about that every same thing in 2011. The influx of tourists and ex-pats had ruined his once perfect heaven. It never belonged to him in the first place. What you say rings very true. I’ll give you another sweet spot where that happened: Santa Fe, New Mexico. The examples are endless. Someone needs to revisit a few key sci fi movies for a reminder of what aliens who want resources look like. That’s got to be how it feels to those we invade with our appetites.
Again I don’t have answers, just observations. None of this makes me right. It simply is what I observe, hear, read about and above all, explore in person. History is written by the victor, which is why too many of us have no clue the real cost of colonization, what was lost by the original peoples, and the atrocities committed in the name of well, because we can.