Towards a Theory of the Fourth World
In the history of homo sapiens a world was generally confined to their immediate environment. As members of racial groups began to migrate to various parts of the world and cultural contact was established, worlds lost any mono-racial significance. Members of different racial groups inhabited the same continent and lived in relative harmony.
During the 20th century, worlds have been divided by ideology and color. The first world was conceptualized as North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, ostensibly political democracies with a capitalist ideology. The second world consisted of Eastern European nations with a communist ideology and a collectivized economy. The third world comprised underdeveloped nations inhabited largely by peoples of color in Africa, Asia and Latin America, who had mixed economies and were nonaligned with either first or second world nations, particularly the United States and the Soviet Union. Third world nations were largely underdeveloped.1
The precise criteria for categorizing nations were rarely consistent, especially those nations that belonged to the third world. Japan, for instance, is a non-white nation that is the third most industrialized country in the world while Ireland, a white country in Europe, is one of the most underdeveloped nations. During the 1960's, racial minorities in the United States began to refer to themselves as third world people because most were descended from Latin America, Asia and Africa. They saw themselves as suffering from a variation of colonialism that had beset their ancestral homelands and tried to forge an identity with those countries. While the commonality with the oppression and subjugation by white colonizers existed, it was never clear how the linkage would produce any