"In my view, the United States and the Soviet Union belong to the first world. The in-between Japan, Europe and Canada belong to the second world. The third world is very populous. Except Japan, Asia belongs to the third world. So does the whole of Africa and Latin America" - Mao
"From the perspective of the changes that have taken place in international relations, the world today in fact has three sides or three worlds in existence which are mutually related as well as contradictory. The United States and the Soviet Union belong to the first world. Developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other regions belong to the third world. And the developed countries in between the two belong to the second world". - Deng Xiaoping
During the 1970s Chairman Mao Zedong formulated his Three Worlds Theory. Since then, times have changed. The Soviet Union is gone and former third world nations have become neo-colonial puppets. Due to these changes, the Three Worlds Theory is now obsolete. It should simply be swept under the rug without any attempts at reformulating it. This is how some people - Marxists and non-Marxists alike - think.
Before we do this, lets ask: Can we really be so sure that this theory is obsolete? Perhaps the post cold war world isn't as different as we like to think. To get a more definite answer, we must look at the international situation since the end of the cold war.
Initially the Three Worlds Theory certainly did become obsolete. A bipolar world was replaced by a hegemonic one. With the fall of the USSR the very condition that allowed for independent and semi-independent Third World nations to exist in the first place was gone. Now the world was dominated by only two types of nations: the US and her allies. This New World Order is now beginning to crumble.
Starting with the election of Hugo Chavez in 1998, a so-called Pink Tide has swept Latin America. In this region, many US stooges have been replaced by independent leaders. These rulers have, in tern, established strong connections among themselves and with other independent nations. This growing group of nations that defy US hegemony are the new Third World. With this change in circumstances, it's imperative that we consider this theory, and reinvigorate it so that it's in line with present circumstances.
Anti-Imperialists of the world, UNITE!