We used to divide the countries of the earth into the first, second, and third world. In particular the term “second world” has fallen out of favor, even though it is still widely used. It used to mainly refer to the Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain. I think it is more descriptive to speak of the developed world, with the developing world in second place, followed by, as Donald Trump called them, “shithole countries.” I’m only quoting the guy, so don’t tell me about my foul language!
Speaking of developing countries is misleading for various reasons. One is, as is often quipped, the developing world is not developing. They tend to be in perpetual limbo. Likewise, there is not much happening in the third world either. We have pumped trillions of dollars into Africa, with dubious effects. Another issue I have with the trifecta developed — developing — shithole countries is that it implies a progression. In the American dream, due to hard work, a dishwasher rises up to become a millionaire. In modern UN mythology, third world countries rise up to the status of developing countries, until they finally join the first world. The American dream normally only works out in Horatio Alger novels, just like bottom-tier countries with their countless doctors and engineers only ever prosper in some imagined future, but never in reality. (Note that I am explicitly excluding cases like Singapore, which transformed from a mosquito-infested swamp to a first-world country within the span of one generation. IQ is destiny.)
We may lament the fate of struggling countries all we want and sit back in our first-world complacency. However, there is an aspect that does not seem to be discussed in political science at all: what if a country slides from a seat at the high table with the other first-world fat cats down to the second or third world? Clearly, it does not make sense to say that a first world country such as France, Belgium, Germany, or Sweden has been turning into a “developing country”. Pointing out that some of those countries are closer to the second world than the first would be more fitting, but such terminology is no longer seen as polite.
Instead, I propose an alternative term. A country that is moving up can justly be called a developing country, even if it may never really develop and reach first-world status. On the other hand, a first-world country that is falling apart should be referred to as a degenerating country. That a large part of the population in those countries have become (morally) degenerate is another issue that is possibly related. I still prefer this term over alternatives such as “declining countries”, though, as this would sound too clinical. It also does not quite capture that conditions in such countries are rapidly deteriorating.
A degenerating country quite simply goes downhill. Sure, the powers that be may resort to statistical tricks, such as France when they count the number of cars set ablaze and ignore secondary fires. If one car goes up in flames and, in turn, five others catch fire, this leads to only one more entry in the official governmental statistics. Germans are not known for their sense of humor, but when the minister of the interior tells the baffled nation that Germany in 2018 has not been safer in decades [German], you really wonder what they are smoking. As it turns out, people learn that the police have no interest in prosecuting crimes, so you don’t bother reporting them, and if you get beaten to death by a non-white immigrant, you’ll simply die of “heart failure” and thus a natural cause [German].
No matter where you look, a degenerating country seems to have lost control. It has lost control of its borders, of its culture, of its institutions. In Germany, Arab clans have managed to infiltrate the police. In England, gangs of Pakistanis were free to rape white underclass girls for a quarter of a century, and in Sweden, police stations get bombed. Meanwhile, the tax burden gets increased further and further because the unproductive members of society need their gibs.
While it has been said that developing countries never develop, I posit that degenerating countries are not so lucky to remain in relative stasis. Instead, they can very easily slide down into third-world status. If this sounds completely outlandish to you, then you may want to be reminded of the fate of South Africa, a country that was founded by whites, i.e. Dutch settlers, and which used to be an ethnostate. It is now firmly in the third world.
It seems almost too easy to bring a first-world country down to the status of a degenerating country. All it takes is giving up control of your borders and building up a welfare state that promises more and more gibs to more and more people until the net taxpayers have had enough. This is a particular problem for Germany, by the way, which has been experiencing an enormous brain drain to countries like Austria, Switzerland, and the United States. Genuine doctors and engineers are leaving, to be replaced by “doctors and engineers” who may be illiterate.
If I look at the state of the world, I think chances are high that within a few decades, of the current crop of first-world countries only Japan and Singapore will remain, joined by China. If you live in a first-world country that is not Japan or Singapore, ask yourself if you notice anything turning to the better. Seriously, if you look at the direction your country has been going, do you think the future is a hopeful one or not? If it is not, your country is most certainly already on a downward slope, and if you think it is not, you probably have not been paying attention.
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