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Third world; what meaning be?


Hopefully, by now, we’re all savvy enoughto stop saying “third world” countries.But saying“developing nations” sounds condescendingtoo.We usually end up calling them “thosenations”, which might be even worse.Which nations?“Those nations... over there.Don’t touchthem.”So... what should we call “those nations”?First off, the term “Third World” is reallywrong.Itcomes from the 1950’s, and at the time,the First World meant countries aligned withthe Westor the United States.

The Second World was nations aligned withCommunist Russia.This onlysort of made sense then, and makes absolutelyno sense now.As for the “Third World”, that referredto everything else...it includes “thosenations” we meanwhen we say “third world”, but it alsoincluded places like Greenland and the UnitedArabEmirates.It was a real catch-all and as such it’snot super useful.So... what about the term “developing nations”?India, China, and Brazil are actively developingand sort of fit in to that category, but peopletend to call those “newly industrializedcountries.”Or just India, China and Brazil.“Developing nations” also include placeslike Syria and Somalia.But they aren’t developing atall.In fact they’re spiraling.So, the word “developing” in developingnations doesn’t actuallymean anything.

You could say “poor nations”, but notif you go off their GDP.Currently Iraq is 56 on the UN’s listand Iceland is 123.When you’re talking about poverty, you don’tmean Iceland.So for the last time: what should you say?Well, it’s awkward and long, but you shouldsayCountries On The UN’s List Of Least DevelopedNations.Which is a mouthful, but accurate.These 48 countries on the official and somewhatregularly updated list are “those nations”.Granted, it doesn’t include all the nationspeople mean when they throw around those otherterms.But when you’re talking about world poverty,it’s a place to start.

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