Friday, July 3, 2009

What is the Third World?

Learned this the other day, thought it was worth sharing ....

Many of us use the term 'third world country' to describe poor, backwards nations. There is actually a definition of the term 'third world', and we've been misusing it all of these years.

First World refers to capitalist democracies.

Second World refers to the Soviet Union and countries that fell into their sphere of influence.

Third World refers to neutral or non-aligned nations, such as Switzerland and Sweden.

Fourth World refers to countries whose economy cannot survive without outside assistance.

By this definition, we should have been using the term 'Fourth World countries' all of this time.

These definitions date to the '50s, when the US vs. USSR was the driving force behind almost everything.

1 comment:

Kath said...

F'real? I had no idea.

Wonder why we did that?

(From Princess Bride, remember? Darn it, now I have to go look, what's his phrase, that does not mean what you think it means. Isn't it nice that I can just ramble away here????) Sorry.

I'll go look. Be back in a minute.