After World War II, the world split into two large geopolitical blocs, separating into spheres of communism and capitalism. This led to the Cold War, during which the term First World was often used because of its political, social, and economic relevance. The term itself was first introduced in the late 1940s by the United Nations. Today, the First World is slightly outdated and has no official definition, however, it is generally thought of as the capitalist, industrial, wealthy, developed countries that aligned with the United States after World War II. This definition included most of the countries of North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan. In contemporary society, the First World is viewed as countries that have the most advanced economies, the greatest influence, the highest standards of living, and the greatest technology. After the Cold War, these countries of the First World included member states of NATO, U.S.- aligned states, neutral countries that were developed and industrialized, and the former British Colonies that were considered developed. It can be defined succinctly as Europe, plus the richer countries of the former British Empire (USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand) and Japan. Countries were also placed into the First World based on how civilized the country was. According to Nations Online, the member countries of NATO after the Cold War included:
- Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, West Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Including others is like comparing apples to oranges and is purposely misleading. It's an obvious attempt at obscuring the inconvenient huge differences.