Abrigo: Are we advancing to a second world country?

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OFTEN we heard first world and third world countries, but is there really a second world country? First let us know from the history who classified the economic status of a country and what these classifications mean to us. In the mid-50s, a French demographer and anthropologist Alfred Sauvy identified the masses belong to the lower class in the society or the commoners as “Tiers Monde” or Third World.

During the 45-year period of the cold war (1947 to 1991), the classification was adopted to describe US, UK, Canada and all allies of NATO as the Western Bloc or the First Word. While China, Soviet Union and all allies of the Eastern Communist Bloc that openly opposed to the first world are considered as the Second World.

And so, given that the superpowers were classified as First and Second world respectively, all neutral countries like Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and the rest who are neither allies to the Western Bloc nor of the Eastern Communist Bloc belong to the Third World. Economic wise these European countries are appreciable but they were considered on the Third World because they evade from the cold war.

By the way, cold war was the geopolitical, ideological and economic conflict between the world superpowers. During the Malta Summit on December 3, 1989, U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared to end the Cold War. The Berlin wall and borders were opened and subsequently, free elections all over the Western Europe took its way smoothly to oust the Communist regime leading to the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Cold War was a result of Stalin’s aggressive empire-building of Soviet.

Since then, including the other 3-World Theory of Mao Zedong was obliterated because there is no superpower to be classified as first world, neither there is a lesser power as second world. What only exist today are the exploited nations that Sauvy and Zedong described as the third world; and maybe to include the fourth world, the nomadic communities of hunters and gatherers as subpopulations.

Now, how is Russia after the stint of Gorbachev? The reign was taken by Boris Yeltsin who later resigned due to pressure and succeeded by his chosen comrade, Vladimir Putin. As to world economy, Russia ranked 11th while U.S. and China topped. Philippines is 36th in the world; 13th in Asia; and third in the Asean.

Recently, President Duterte visited Russia with two main purposes. First is to meet Putin, his hero, who was a KGB agent for 16 years with a rank of Lieutenant Coronel before joining politics in 1991; and second is to reaffirm our strong commitment to build a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation. With his visit and partnership to Russia, can we expect a gear up of economy? (Email: abrigodann@gmail.com)


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