Three Worlds Theory

Three Worlds Theory

The Three Worlds Theory is a theory developed by former Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong that suggests that the world is politically and economically divided into three worlds. Mao's theory differs significantly from the traditional ideal of "third world". Mao claimed that "the U.S. and the Soviet Union belong to the First World. The middle elements, such as Japan, Europe, Australia and Canada, belong to the Second World. We are the Third World." He argued that "the U.S. and the Soviet Union have a lot of atomic bombs, and they are richer. Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada, of the Second World, do not possess so many atomic bombs and are not so rich as the First World, but richer than the Third World."

According to Mao, the first world consists of the superpowers, the second world of the wealthy allies of the superpowers, and the third world of the nonaligned nations. It is notable for grouping the United States and Soviet Union together as exploiter nations. Former Communist Party General Secretary and Central Military Commission Chairman Deng Xiaoping brought this view to the world in his 1974 speech to the United Nations. It was used to justify Chinese alliances with right-wing reactionary governments during the late 1970s and 1980s.

Within the anti-revisionist political organizations and parties throughout the world, long debates and discussions around this theory caused major ideological disbelief to Maoist thought, generally signaling the end of its enjoyed popularity within international communist movement since 1968. Albanian Party of Labour, led by Enver Hoxha, held then a notable ideological critical alternative for a time, distanced both from Mao's Three Worlds Theory and USSR's Revisionism. Many political fractions following the debates on the theory among anti-revisionist parties allied with Communist Party of China found their way in the alliance with Hoxha's Albania.

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