No doubt you have heard about the Third World. Like most, you probably have a vague idea that the countries labelled as "third world" are not pleasant places to live when compared to cozy safe neighborhoods where you can take the kids on a snowmobile trip for the weekend. The defining characteristic most people attribute to third world countries is that they are impoverished; starvation is common and life spans are short.
These traits are typical of third world countries, but they are not all that defines the countries we label as third world. Through a series of articles, we are going to look at the third world and show some a little about what living in these nations is really like. Because of the nature of our site, we are also going to look at some ways in which third world countries impact the environment and how this can influence those of us who live in more prosperous parts of the world.
As an introduction, let's talk a bit about the term third world and what it means. The term actually did not originate as a way to distinguish the poorer parts of the world from the richer. Most people thing that living in a country where there are high paying professions lawyers and first-class medicine that means that it's guaranteed first world. Rather, it was intended to point out the countries in the world that were not aligned with either side in the cold war. Capitalist countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom were considered First World, Communists countries such as Vietnam and China the Second World, and neutral (some cynics might say "pawn") countries were Third World.
The drive to win the cold war stimulated a lot of industrial developments in the countries which comprised the first two "worlds", making everything from glass stair and deck railings to die cut machines development which did not occur amongst the majority of the nonaligned countries. There are different theories as to why, the most likely of which is that the nonaligned third world countries were primarily regarded as resource markets or colonies by the other two worlds during that time.
Today, the third world is generally thought of as under developed, poor, and in some cases quite desperate and dirty. In the articles of this series, we shall take a look at these concepts and try to uncover the true nature of Third World countries and their people. The truth is, if your buying clothes or getting help to build real estate websites, you might be dealing with the residents of these nations.