By Fabian Ommar
It’s time to review and update the unfolding of Thirdworldization, or the slow descent of First World countries into banana republic territory, in light of the latest local and global events and trends.
In Brazil, the new year only starts after the Carnaval, beginning February 10.
Everything is open, and everyone has been working since January 2. But – and this is kinda awkward and difficult to explain – the period between that and the end of the world-famous popular festive on Fat Tuesday (yep, like Mardi Gras) is sort of considered something of a “warm-up”, and not really the game. Or so dictates the tradition.
That little idiosyncrasy, a folklore typical of less-developed nations, might be the perfect introduction for my first post of 2024 for The OP.
Even though I don’t consider conflicts and geopolitical disturbances as Thirdworldization by themselves, no doubt wars can impact in more than one way the standard of living in countries not directly (i.e., physically) involved in the conflicts but by proxy or some other way.
That’s the pickle the US and its allies in Europe find themselves in at the moment, their governments intent on keep funding Ukraine against Russia with billions of taxpayers euros and dollars, on top of what has already been spent.
People at large have lost count of the total, and few are even following that much anymore. The media keeps covering the scam because it’s impossible to hide it and also to give an alibi so that, in the future, no one will be able to say the politicians did it on the back of the population.
Now, that could be some 4D chess strategy, or maybe these governments know something we don’t. Perhaps this time, it’s different. However, this process has led to more than one empire’s bankruptcy. Wars are costly.
Border and migration crisis
First, let’s call it what it is: an invasion.
Engineered or not, intentional or not, it’s past the point of crisis. Impacts are already being felt in the US, the UK, and countries in Western Europe and for some time now. Notably, there’s been a rise in all kinds of crime and violence. However, the actual plight is yet to come.
Borders and migration are being weaponized. Look at the Texas quarrel or how the US government uses the issue to hold the Senate hostage and get even more money for conflicts in distant lands. It borders on criminal, pun intended. The issue isn’t much better in Europe.
Other practical effects will come from that. Mass migration at this level is a time bomb. No one knows the true extent of the effects once it goes off. Sleeper cells, overburdening of the welfare system, cultural and religious conflicts, impacts on jobs, legislation, and the market – the list of potential threats goes on.
All that contributes to Thirdworldization, but there’s more: the reactions to those developments can be as harmful and damaging as the original problem and end up worsening it, things like extremism, nationalism, xenophobia, the rise of divisive populist leaders and politicians, and so on.