First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

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First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#1  Postby Alan B » Mar 08, 2019 5:34 pm

We all talk about 1st and 3rd world countries.
Was there ever a 2nd world country concept?
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#2  Postby scott1328 » Mar 08, 2019 5:52 pm

The soviet bloc countries were considered "second world" IIRC
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#3  Postby Alan B » Mar 08, 2019 6:20 pm

Hmmm! Didn't know that. But I suppose it figures.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#4  Postby Thommo » Mar 08, 2019 6:34 pm

Scott has it. First world was the West (essentially the USA + allies), Second world was communist countries and third world was the uninvolved countries.

Over the years the lines blurred a bit and in the post fall of the USSR era the terminology is completely outdated.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#5  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 08, 2019 6:50 pm

scott1328 wrote:The soviet bloc countries were considered "second world" IIRC


That was my take on it. Pure political allegiance originally.

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Blue= First, red = second and green= third and non aligned.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#6  Postby DougC » Mar 08, 2019 10:15 pm

The Second World was the nonaligned states, Sweden, Eire, Yugoslavia, Switzerland etc.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#7  Postby Macdoc » Mar 09, 2019 12:32 am

My understanding is different

Now - the economic basis

First world Japan , US, Canada Australia UK G20 EU

Second world ...emerging economies - S Korea India China Russia Indonesia, S Africa, Asian Tigers, Malaysia, Iran Iraq, Egypt, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Philipines
Now China is moving rapidly to First World status as is S Korea and India Taiwan and Putin is attempting a new empire.

Third World Ethiopia, Mali, Afghanistan, Haiti, Libia - the poorest states or the failed states N Korea, the Stans ( tho some emerging )

------------
Then -the political basis
The Cold war alignment I considered as

The East
Soviet Bloc and influence Warsaw Pact regardless of economy -
and China and associated states with Communist or pro communist govs
Cuba and anywhere communist world expansion had its effect or revolution was being fomented

The West
Western Bloc NATO, and those states aligned with the US or the Commonweath
again regardless of economy but primarily democratic
Japan , South Korea, S Africa ( tho it was a potential for a revolutionay gov )

There were of course battle ground states like Vietnam and some dictator states the US supported over revolution attempts. These were scattered in Africa, South America

my 2¢
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#8  Postby kiore » Mar 09, 2019 3:34 am

These terms rather outdated, now we tend to split between developed and developing countries, with failed states being the outliers. This kind of categorization very problematic with terms like 'tiger' economies being bandied around at some point, or ones like 'industrialized' being used even when the identified countries not actually industrialized just in the OECD group. If we want to be clear we maybe should speak of just GDP per capita categorizations, or other measures of success that have been used 'gross national happiness' has been been used although probably meaningless. Social mobility could be good but would perhaps make some of the wealthiest countries look bad. Surveys on corruption and functionality of states would give quite different measures again.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#9  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 09, 2019 7:14 am

kiore wrote:These terms rather outdated, now we tend to split between developed and developing countries, with failed states being the outliers. This kind of categorization very problematic with terms like 'tiger' economies being bandied around at some point, or ones like 'industrialized' being used even when the identified countries not actually industrialized just in the OECD group. If we want to be clear we maybe should speak of just GDP per capita categorizations, or other measures of success that have been used 'gross national happiness' has been been used although probably meaningless. Social mobility could be good but would perhaps make some of the wealthiest countries look bad. Surveys on corruption and functionality of states would give quite different measures again.


It's too bad economies are not treated the way corporations are (and maybe vice versa). Then failed states could be put in receivership. As it is, much of the population of failed states turns into population of states that haven't failed yet, so that the failed states just end up occupying space that could be used more productively, for example, as nuclear waste dumps. That would encourage the rest of the population to leave. Alternatively (or perhaps in addition), they could be made into tourist destinations, once the failures have been corrected.

Ask an international socialist, though, and social mobility always looks bad. A rising tithe miffs all boasts.

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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#10  Postby Hermit » Mar 09, 2019 7:43 am

Macdoc wrote:My understanding is different

Now - the economic basis

First world Japan , US, Canada Australia UK G20 EU

Second world ...emerging economies - S Korea India China Russia Indonesia, S Africa, Asian Tigers, Malaysia, Iran Iraq, Egypt, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Philipines
Now China is moving rapidly to First World status as is S Korea and India Taiwan and Putin is attempting a new empire.

Third World Ethiopia, Mali, Afghanistan, Haiti, Libia - the poorest states or the failed states N Korea, the Stans ( tho some emerging )

------------
Then -the political basis
The Cold war alignment I considered as

The East
Soviet Bloc and influence Warsaw Pact regardless of economy -
and China and associated states with Communist or pro communist govs
Cuba and anywhere communist world expansion had its effect or revolution was being fomented

The West
Western Bloc NATO, and those states aligned with the US or the Commonweath
again regardless of economy but primarily democratic
Japan , South Korea, S Africa ( tho it was a potential for a revolutionay gov )

There were of course battle ground states like Vietnam and some dictator states the US supported over revolution attempts. These were scattered in Africa, South America

my 2¢

During the 1960s and 70s the concept was known to me in crude GDP terms too. Alternative labels to 1st, 2nd and 3rd world were (economically) developed, developing, and underdeveloped nations. (socio-)political global divisions were east, west and non-aligned blocs.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#11  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 09, 2019 7:51 am

Hermit wrote:During the 1960s and 70s the concept was known to me in crude GDP terms too. Alternative labels to 1st, 2nd and 3rd world were (economically) developed, developing, and underdeveloped nations. (socio-)political global divisions were east, west and non-aligned blocs.


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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#12  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 09, 2019 8:20 am

It was political and only after the fall of the soviet union was it economical.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#13  Postby Hermit » Mar 09, 2019 8:22 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:It was political and only after the fall of the soviet union was it economical.

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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#14  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 09, 2019 8:25 am

Hermit wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:It was political and only after the fall of the soviet union was it economical.

News trickle slowly into the nether regions.


To your arse?
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#15  Postby Hermit » Mar 09, 2019 9:19 am

The three world concept - as in first, second and third world - was born with the publication of an article by the demographer, anthropologist and historian of the French economy, Alfred Sauvy. In the article, published in the French magazine, L'Observateur on August 14, 1952, Sauvy said: "...because at the end this ignored, exploited, scorned Third World like the Third Estate, wants to become something too". It was analogous to the third of the three estates of pre-revolutionary France, as described by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès in a 1789 pamphlet titled What is the Third Estate?, the first two estates consisting of clergy and nobility respectively. Sauvy's sentence alluded to the following passage in Sieyès's pamphlet:
What is the Third Estate? Everything.
What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing.
What does it want to be? Something.

With the coinage of "Third World" in 1952 Sauvy left the cold war confines of associating the First World with the Western and the Second World with the Eastern Bloc.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#16  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 09, 2019 9:46 am

Plus the rest:

Origin and shift of meaning

The term "Third World" arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either NATO or the Communist Bloc. The United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Western European nations and their allies represented the First World, while the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and their allies represented the Second World. This terminology provided a way of broadly categorizing the nations of the Earth into three groups based on political and economic divisions. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term Third World has been used less and less. It is being replaced with terms such as developing countries, least developed countries or the Global South. The concept itself has become outdated as it no longer represents the current political or economic state of the world.

The Third World was normally seen to include many countries with colonial pasts in Africa, Latin America, Oceania and Asia. It was also sometimes taken as synonymous with countries in the Non-Aligned Movement. In the dependency theory of thinkers like Raúl Prebisch, Walter Rodney, Theotonio dos Santos, and Andre Gunder Frank, the Third World has also been connected to the world-systemic economic division as "periphery" countries dominated by the countries comprising the economic "core".[6]

Due to the complex history of evolving meanings and contexts, there is no clear or agreed-upon definition of the Third World.[6] Some countries in the Communist Bloc, such as Cuba, were often regarded as "third world". Because many Third World countries were economically poor and non-industrialized, it became a stereotype to refer to poor countries as "third world countries", yet the "Third World" term is also often taken to include newly industrialized countries like Brazil, India, and China; they are now more commonly referred to as part of BRIC. Historically, some European countries were non-aligned and a few of these were and are very prosperous, including Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.


I will put in my source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#17  Postby Hermit » Mar 09, 2019 10:03 am

In my previous post I made it abundantly clear that the definition of First World and Second World started off as differentiating the Western from the Eastern Bloc. Read its last sentence. This changed with Sauvy's 1952 article.

I note your source does not contain a single date, and the solitary reference it cites is no more than a pointer to a journal rather than the actual article by Tomlinson it is based on.
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#18  Postby Macdoc » Mar 09, 2019 10:07 am

First World and Second World started off as differentiating the Western from the Eastern Bloc.


Designating the Communist bloc "second world" seems more a product of Western hubris, in particular the US.

Asked my partner if she's heard the Soviet et all called second world and it was news to her as well.

East vs West
Communism vs Democracy
Free Market vs Central planning

not first and second world .. :roll:

Hence the question from the OP who actually lived through the era. :coffee:
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#19  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 09, 2019 10:33 am

Hermit wrote:In my previous post I made it abundantly clear that the definition of First World and Second World started off as differentiating the Western from the Eastern Bloc. Read its last sentence. This changed with Sauvy's 1952 article.

I note your source does not contain a single date, and the solitary reference it cites is no more than a pointer to a journal rather than the actual article by Tomlinson it is based on.


What is your source? Your netherregions? I thought so. That was a primary interpretation and nothing to do with the final result.
Read the whole thing will you there are plenty of dates.

During the Cold War, unaligned countries of the Third World[6] were seen as potential allies by both the First and Second World. Therefore, the United States and the Soviet Union went to great lengths to establish connections in these countries by offering economic and military support to gain strategically located alliances (e.g. the United States in Vietnam or the Soviet Union in Cuba).[6] By the end of the Cold War, many Third World countries had adopted capitalist or communist economic models and continued to receive support from the side they had chosen. Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the countries of the Third World have been the priority recipients of Western foreign aid and the focus of economic development through mainstream theories such as modernization theory and dependency theory.[6]

By the end of the 1960s, the idea of the Third World came to represent countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that were considered underdeveloped by the West based on a variety of characteristics (low economic development, low life expectancy, high rates of poverty and disease, etc.).[3] These countries became the targets for aid and support from governments, NGOs and individuals from wealthier nations. One popular model, known as Rostow's stages of growth, argued that development took place in 5 stages (Traditional Society; Pre-conditions for Take-off; Take-off; Drive to Maturity; Age of High Mass Consumption).[9] W. W. Rostow argued that Take-off was the critical stage that the Third World was missing or struggling with. Thus, foreign aid was needed to help kick-start industrialization and economic growth in these countries.[9
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Re: First World, Third World. Is there a "Second World"?

#20  Postby Hermit » Mar 09, 2019 10:57 am

Macdoc wrote:
First World and Second World started off as differentiating the Western from the Eastern Bloc.

Designating the Communist bloc "second world" seems more a product of Western hubris, in particular the US.

Which is precisely what it was. I very much doubt that the Soviet Union regarded itself as (a part of the) Second World.
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