The north-south global communities’ divide can be defined as the socio-economic and political differences between those countries considered to be developed and those that are yet to be developed. This definition brings forth the global north which is made up of such countries as the United States of America, Canada, most of the western European countries, some parts of Asia, notably Japan, Brunei, and Israel. On the other hand, in the global south are countries found in Africa, most of the countries in the Middle East and Latin America. This paper aims to find out the justification for the say that rather than there being a single global community, there actually exist two completely different global communities; the north characterized with knowledge, prosperity, and power, and the south with ignorance, poverty, and weakness as its defining characteristics.
Originally, the idea to categorize nations based on the north-south divide began during the cold war era, first as the west or east. At the time, the east was made up of the Soviet Union and China while the United States and its political, ideological, and economic allies comprised the west. Meanwhile, there were other countries that were neither in the west nor the east, for whom the phrase ‘third world’ got coined. It is this third-world country that later began to be referred to as the Non-aligned movement. And these third world countries had some characteristics, which define them even in the present. They were generally economically underdeveloped than the west and east countries. Later on there came first-world countries which were mostly considered developed and in more control of the world resources, and another category, which called itself the second world-class, ranking between the developed and the underdeveloped. As these two countries scrambled for the first-class rank, there finally came to exist two major groups-the developed north global communities and the underdeveloped developing south (Mimiko, 2012)
These two extremes are said to be in co-existence. This is because there are no physical boundaries between these countries, such that in the Americas for instance, there are both north divide countries just well as there are in the south. And this is the very case in Africa where for instance, South Africa, though in a generally underdeveloped Africa, is one of the most developed nations in the world. The United Arab Emirates enjoys good economic prosperity and political stability though it’s found in the middle east Justas well as many nations in the largely developed Americas are in an economic depression, among them Paraguay and Uruguay. As well, though the relationship between these two extremes is not necessarily symbiotic, the two regions are such that there are occurring exchanges between them through such things as export of raw materials, import of finished goods, and even discussions on sustainable utilization of world resources.
A country is said to be in the north if it is developed, while it will be in the south if it is underdeveloped or still developing, according to the International Monetary Fund and The World Bank. The south is characterized by such things as insufficient right technology, political instability, a divided economy, and a great dependence on primary product export to the north. The north, being the exact opposite of the south enjoys a robust economy import of raw materials and a well-developed technology. As well, the north enjoys a stable political cycle hence has a lot of time and resources, which they use to develop themselves economically.
Another distinctive difference between the north and south divides is the control these two regions exercise over the world. The north, being more industrialized than the south has managed to control the resources in the south all to their advantage. The south’s little control over its own resources, therefore, leaves it at the mercies of the north and it therefore only remains conformed to the capitalistic imperialist system such that it only serves as a source of raw materials and an importer of the developed north’s product. It is worth noting that the north, with as little population, s it has, directly or indirectly possesses and controls over four-fifths of the world resources
Another basis of comparison between the north and south is the global digital. This seeks to categorize countries based on their ability to access and properly utilize technology, more particularly the internet. It was originally thought that the north had better access to the internet than the south. However, in the recent past, Asia, which is in the south of the global divide has been found to be leading in internet access and utilization.
Many have been theories brought forward to explain the north-south divides. One such theory has been based on colonialism in various parts of the world. Notable in these regions is Africa, where, after and during colonization by the Europeans, a lot of its resources got exploited and/or destroyed by the colonial masters. As well the colonialists for ulterior motives sought to destroy the stability of the global south so as to ensure underdevelopment. It is now established that the global communities in the north were in the south and vice versa originally. Initially, the countries in the global south had about four-fifths of the world resources, which is now the reverse, since the north, which makes up less than a quarter of the world population are now in possession and control of these resources (Mimiko, 2012)
As well, besides the colonization theory, the uneven immigration patterns in the world have contributed to the existence of the north-south divides. These patterns lead to economic inequalities. For instance, many people have decided to leave their countries to settle in the more developed countries, so that they can partake of the perceived wealth of these developed nations. This causes brain drain in the countries from which the people migrate and again to the recipient countries. Given what resource education is, those countries that suffer from brain drain remain disadvantaged in many ways, most notably being economical.
The north-south divide situation is thought to change in the near or far future. This is because it is thought that the free trade between the north and south countries is likely to automatically bring an end to the gulf between these countries. However, the leaders of the countries in the south, being skeptical of the sentiments have come up with alternative opinions. Key among them are demanding that there be a link between the prices of manufactured imports to commodity exports, rational transfer of enabling technology from the north to the south, and cancelation of debts of the countries in the south. As well, the leaders have called for proper representation of the underdeveloped and developing countries in international institutions such as the United Nations Security Council (Therien, 2010)
All these efforts- the representation at the international institutions, the efforts to stabilize the world economies, the government aid is given to the third world countries by the developed countries, and many more such efforts show a dependence on each other between countries. Though some countries appear to be disadvantaged, there still exists co-existence between countries. This is because, for instance, third world countries are sources of raw materials to the developed countries and a great market to the developed countries’ products, though this relationship may not be exactly symbiotic.