The U.S. has grown accustomed to a very luxurious way of life. While we still have a large class division, the vast majority of Americans are better off than most. But what about those countries that aren’t so well off? What makes a third world country different from ours?
The term third world country was coined during the Cold War to define countries that were not a part of NATO or the Communist Bloc. However, the word has been interpreted in different manners, and can now be used to describe extremely poor nations that have yet to be industrialized.
But what is the real difference? These third world countries have failed either economically or socially in a way that prevents them from being able to improve their nation’s condition, let alone become a part of the international theatre. Many of these countries are in continual civil wars that prevent them from advancing.
Uganda is a third world country that has been unable to advance due to civil unrest since the 1980’s. While the country may actually have the economic ability to leave this status, it does not have the social means. The country is currently caught in a civil war against the Lord’s Resistance Army, which we all know to be led by Joseph Kony. Through the various crimes against humanity it has caused, the LRA has prevented the country from being able to develop. This leads to another factor in what makes a third world country different.
The proper and humane treatment of human life will set any country apart from third world countries. In many of these countries, human life is treated as just another resource leading to inhumane practices and a lack of value in human life. The LRA is known internationally for its use of child soldiers. These children are hardened by being forced to watch, and even sometimes participate in, the deaths of their families. This horrific treatment of people is something that would never be found in a modern day, prosperous society. For a country to advance, the first step is for it to treat its citizens appropriately.
One of the most important factors in a non-third world country is its independence. No nation will ever be successful if it is completely reliant on another. One of the very first things that the U.S. did to become what it is today was fight for its independence from the British. Would the country be a poor failure of a nation under British rule? Probably not but this revolution and subsequent independence allowed us to become the super power we are today. There’s no problem receiving help from other countries, but a successful country needs to be able to stand on its own two feet.
The road to becoming a developed nation is a long and arduous one but it’s worth it. The factors that distinguish a non-third world country are what make nation a good place to live. All countries have this potential and there is always hope for a better world, no matter where you are.