Why is Gap Between Third and First World Widening?


In the words of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, a politician and revolutionary who served as Prime Minister and then President of Cuba, more than 820 million people in the world suffer from hunger; and 790 million of them live in the third world. Question remains why? Every nation has something good to offer and the word ‘under’ makes the difference between developed and (under)developed nations. It kept bugging me for a long time, especially when I was a kid, what is the difference between “third world” and “first world.” I had this imagination that may be first world is in a different planet, somewhere in the solar system; but in-fact the countries that make the first world exists on this very planet, yes the same planet or may be is it that the people living there are different, but in-fact they are same people as the ones in third world, they eat, they drink, they sleep, and they work pretty much same way. They have the system of governance in place; they also have some system of management, and they too have dreams for the better future. Then what is the difference? To dig into this difference there are many aspects to look take into consideration. The next couple of paragraphs will explore some of the possible reasons. 

At the very outset, it’s up to the people of any nation to change their destiny as nations are build on the concept of nation building philosophy. When populaces of a nation are committed to their philosophy of nation building, there is every chance that such nations will prosper and deliver best for their future generations. Japan is the best example of this philosophy, how they have overcome the nuclear destruction especially in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how in the twenty first century they are representing the strongest economy of the world. 

The nations need leaders to build and prosper and lead. Leaders with vision and foresight to think ahead of their time and be competent to contemplate what is going on in and around the world. Third world hasn’t produced such leaders to change their destiny that why one sees so much disparity on every front from birth to death, from top to bottom and from bottom to top at every level of life. Exceptions are always there. Irony of the third world is that leaders sell their nation for personal gains and leave the nation at the mercy of others. VIP culture is best to describe this paradox; where there is VIP entrance and VIP exit for everything from schools to hospitals not to mention other spheres of life. Otherwise why are there different laws and rights for different classes of people? 

The first world cares about their people, for them people’s lives matter, they have some degree of justice unlike third world; where people’s lives have no value and no one cares about them. Take the issue of child labour as eye opener and how it affects the third world in every sense of development while fact remains that the end user of such a labour is the first world as Noreena Hertz describes child labour may be distasteful to westerners, but does boycotting goods made with child labour improve or exacerbate the lot of third world children? Trusting the market to regulate may not ultimately be in our interest. As a bolt from the blue one of the westerner told me that South Asia is called the “dust bin” of the world. Again the question remains why? 

Furthermore, third world nations are lagging behind in taping their natural resources, while as the first world not only taps their resources but have reach to the resources of third world countries. With huge natural water resources people still struggle to have clean drinking water as Bjorn Lomborg said, my suggestion is that we should first work to ensure the third world has clean drinking water and sanitation. Such things look trivial for the development but it’s these issues that make first world “first”. If water resource management and conservation is properly implemented, people won’t be left thirsty.  

Moreover, in the third world, ‘people’ think about themselves first and then about their nation, resulting in corruption and mismanagement at every level of life, while as in the first world, nation comes first and then personal interests, although exceptions are always there. Take an example of corruption in third world countries, if a child is born; to get the birth certificate, people bribe and if someone is dead; to get the death certificate, people also bribe, so one sees the pattern of corruption from birth to death. There is disparity in the wages, people don’t get paid rightly for the amount of work or efforts they put in a particular job; while as others get paid hefty for no reason.   

When all such things are missing, the difference will remain. 

Take another example of “Brain Drain”-what is happening in the third world countries, the best brains don’t feel honored and valued; they find their honour and respect in the first world countries. Rather than helping their own countries, they are making the first world countries more strong and developed, and this trend is increasing day by day. It appears this difference will remain; in fact it will grow more, only time will tell for how long. There are many more reasons to talk about and space of this newspaper will probably be less to cover all that. I will let readers to ponder on rest of the reasons.

Let me conclude with the words of Aristotle: “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival”. Why would people be exploited in the third world countries if they strive to contemplate rather than prefer to get exploited for their survival? Question remains how long it will take third world nations to realize the importance of contemplation. Time will tell when they will stand up against the exploitation. Till then disparity will exist in the third world nations whether we accept it or not.   

You can post your comments at k dot tawseef (@) gmail.com.

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