Speaking loosely, there’s been a 120° rotation of the political world since 1991. That is, the Third World has become Second World, the Second World has become First World, and the First World has become Third World. What is at the heart of this revolution?
In his post, National Review Wants California Gone (2019 June 21), Gunner Q rips apart some broad brush claims in an article from the National Review (feat. Victor Davis Hanson): America’s First Third-World State (2019 June 18).
Gunner makes the point that although California is not as bad as what Hanson describes, it’s definitely been on a downward spiral for the last three decades – just like the rest of the West.
Gunner took issue with Hanson’s claim that California was “Third World”. This is a shticky subject, because the original definitions of the “three worlds” were based on the political polarization between the Western and Eastern Blocs after the Cold War. The Western Bloc (e.g. the United States, United Kingdom, France, NATO, et al.), were called “First World”, and the Eastern Bloc (e.g. Soviet Union, Poland, China, et al.) were termed “Second World”. All other countries not allied with either the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. were labeled “Third World”. The general connotation associated with the dialogue about those countries was that they were so poor, backwards, or reclusive that they were irrelevant to world politics.
Gunner’s post illustrates that there is now a problem with using these old definitions of “Worlds”.
- The most obvious problem is that the Eastern Bloc no longer exists. Many of those countries that were once Second or even Third World, are now part of the European Union.
- The context of the First and Second World nomenclature pits the United States against the Soviet Union – a context which continues to be touted by the American Political Left as a real threat to Presidential elections, but which is no longer a central issue in world politics, as it was during the Cold War.
- The original connotation of the term “Third World” (no centrally organized political entity, low-tech civilization, lacking infrastructure, and economic destitution) now no longer represents those countries once deemed Third World except for a few small pockets of the globe.
- For some countries, the denotations are different from the connotations. For example, the Third World included certain “free” countries with a high standard of living, such as Austria, Ireland, and Switzerland, but they were deemed Third World simply because they were not “aligned” with either the Eastern or Western Bloc.
From a broader perspective, poor indigent countries have bettered themselves, China and Russia are on track to becoming world powers on par with the United States, and America and Europe are slowly sinking into anarchy.
In other words, there’s been a 120° rotation of the political world since 1991. That is, the Third World has become Second World, the Second World has become First World, and the First World has become Third World. Of course, not all countries apply to this generalization.
The Confusion Surrounding Terminology
Even though the terms, First, Second, and Third World no longer retain their original meanings, these labels are still commonly bandied around within social commentary. The connotation that is commonly understood is something of an international caste system based on the relative economic development of a country.
But how do you classify the economic development of a country, and the comported average standard of living? Should it be based on GDP, the standard deviation of wealth distribution, crime rate, birth rate, some measure of political freedom, or would a more subjective measure of “Happiness” be more appropriate?
Or why do we need to classify the economic standing at all, if not for our need to compare ourselves to poorer countries, to give our ego a little pat for being “more civilized”, and preen like peacocks? Aren’t people in poorer regions more virtuous based on their level of oppression? No, because the local god of social intersectionalism must submit to the higher order potentate of materialism. Virtue signaling is therefore unique to the wealthier sub-societies of the world.
There are caveats. It could be argued that many countries once categorized as Third World now have a higher standard of living, solely based on the fact that they are not encroached by the glowbo-techno-socialist (dis)order of the Fist World.
The Fist World is everywhere, it seems.
A New Classification
Obviously, the “Three Worlds” terminology is horrendously outdated. A new nomenclature is in order.
Perhaps new terms are now necessary to describe those countries that used to be called “First World” (organized civilization, infrastructure, and strong economy), that are now “Third World” by political standards, and are experiencing creeping communism). Here, major countries (> 50 M as of 2019) are given as examples. Populations of each are given in parentheses.
Foist World – Wealthy, developed countries which are now coming apart at the seams, mostly due to unbridled immigration, a below replacement level domestic birthrate, and/or internal political conflicts. Yet, some of them still insist on proselytizing their brand of Globulized Demolitocracy around the world. Examples include the United States (329 M), Japan (127 M), Germany (82.4 M), United Kingdom (67 M), and France (65.5 M).
Fecund World – Countries with a growing economy which are gradually becoming more socially, economically, and politically stable. Examples include China (1.42 B), India (1.37 B), Indonesia (270 M), Brazil (212 M), Pakistan (205 M), Russia (144 M), Mexico (132 M), Iran (82.8 M), and Italy (59.2 M).
Turd World – (A hat tip to Trump’s term, “Sh!t Hole”). Examples include Nigeria (201 M), Bangladesh (168 M), Ethiopia (112 M), Egypt (101 M), Congo (86.7 M), Tanzania (60 M), Myanmar (54 M), and Kenya (52.2 M).
There are several major countries that do not fit neatly into any of the above rudimentary pigeonholes. These are briefly detailed as follows.
Philippines (108 M) – Gangster politics combined with a growing economy that is propped up by income from citizens working overseas.
Vietnam (97.4 M) – Growing economically and politically, but suffering from high emigration and a below-replacement fertility rate (due to having the highest abortion rate in the world).
Turkey (83 M) – Has a strong economy, but only because it rides camel-back on its bizarre inclusion in the European Union. Immigration is pumped positive because it is the nearest pseudo-European nest for middle eastern refugees.
Thailand (69.3 M) – Growing, but only due to immigration.
South Africa (58 M) – A strong economy, positive immigration, but a political bloodbath.
South Korea (51.1 M) – Strong economy, positive immigration, but not suffering from typical Foist World ills.
The common denominator that no one cares to address is the world-wide growth of discontented greed in the Fist World, which spreads from country to country like the plague, waxing and waning in due season. Wherever the iron Fist of control and greed exploits, social disintegration, political corruption, and restructuring result, and this is soon followed by the spiritual rot of pride characterized by economic comparisons, and materialistic virtue signaling.
- Wikipedia: Third World
- Worldometers: Countries in the World by Population (2019)
- World Population Review: Worst Countries to Live in 2019
- National Sentinel: Expert: ‘Exodus’ from high-tax states like New York, California ‘just beginning’ (2019 June 21)
- Amerika (feat. Brett Stevens): How The World Is Changing (2019 July 6)