In 1952 when the demographer Alfred Sauvy first used the expression "Third World" in an article titled "Three worlds, one planet" to designate the poor, recently decolonized countries or those due to soon break free of their colonized past, this new world struggled to define its own identity in a rigorous bipolar globe where both capitalist and communist camps endeavored to deeply organize the entire planet following their specific models of development. Yet in the fifties these developing countries presented a real unity. Stricken with an ever booming population explosion, they remained in majority rural countries, too often failing to nourish their starving populations and presented serious setbacks in infrastructure, health care and education, as well as withholding weak economies based chiefly on the export of primary or basically transformed primary goods and were very dependent on aid from the developed world, sharing the difficulties of massive debt. Plagued with political instability with numerous dictatorial regime attempts, beginning the country's road to development was often a rocky route full of setbacks and difficulties, and a sense of unity was established in the common experience of all these hardships.
[...] In this example we can nonetheless see that massive urbanization is an intrinsic and inevitable part of all nations' development pattern and is, to a certain extent, the path to progress. However, today such extensive urbanization appears chiefly as a mass transfer of poverty from the rural areas to the cities, incarnated most blatantly by the establishment of shanty towns, with today already one of the two billion people living in cities worldwide surviving in shanty towns. Brazil is approaching the end of the massive rural exodus it experienced during the most accelerated phase of its development as from the sixties. [...]
[...] The deleterious effect of malnutrition on human development is an established fact and therefore acts as a veritable destroyer of a nation's efforts to move towards development. Extreme poverty as well as leading to this disastrous hunger crisis also undoubtedly leads to heightened crime rates, furthered social inequalities and stagnates all efforts towards development. Brazil has a long and painful experience of this characteristic and in this sense escapes by no means its classification as a country of The South. [...]
[...] Today the Brazilian economy is emphasizing its internationalism and affirming its competitiveness, producing alone half of South America's gross domestic product, acting as a key member of the Mercosur, sometimes considered as a tool in Brazil's hands to reinforce its domination of the Latin American market, as it represents 75% of the Mercosur's GDP and 80% of its population. Nevertheless, Brazil today incarnates the role of one of The South's most economically developed nations with a modernized agriculture and the South's second economy, behind China, with a GDP reliant on the tertiary sector who contributes up to 60% of its value. [...]
[...] Putting hypothetical predictions aside, it is nonetheless clear that Brazil cannot simply be ranked as a nation of The South when it is undeniably much closer in its development to many countries of The North rather than to many countries of The South, notably most countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. However, a high human development index can be misleading if considered as the sole determinant of a country's belonging to The South or to The North, and must thus be considered with caution. [...]
[...] In the age of high mass consumption, a society is able to choose between concentrating on military and security issues, on equality and welfare issues, or on developing great luxuries for its upper class. Each country in this position chooses its own balance between these three goals. Therefore according to this model, a nation can be considered as belonging to The South when it conforms to either stage or 4. Although many consider Sub-Saharan Africa as incompatible with the type of development countries of The North are enjoying today, we must remember that only a few decades ago Asia was in widespread opinion an un- developable continent, which paradoxically today withholds some of the world's most developed nations such as Japan, Singapore or South Korea. [...]
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