Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Third World War

DISCLAIMER: this isn’t about World War III.


In the 1960’s, the USSR and United States were engaged in the Cold War.  One of the “battles” of this conflict was the struggle for influence in the Third World countries; a battle that the Soviet Union dominated.  But how did they manage to gain such positive relationships where the United States could not?

The Soviet Union was seen as the ‘good guy’ in this dimension of the war by the Third World, as they were anti-imperialist, supported the struggle for independence, and supplied these revolutionary countries with weapons and financial assistance to carry out their plans.  The United States represented the imperialist west that dabbled in foreign affairs and caused the problems that the Soviets were now helping to fix.

At the 19th General Assembly of the United Nations in 1964, Che Guevara spoke on behalf of Cuba.  His anti-imperialism sentiment was explicitly stated as he called for peaceful coexistence among all nations, not just international superpowers.  However, he spoke very highly of the Soviet Union, as if they had done no wrong.  It was very clear that his opinion of the United States was equivalent to that of a ‘carnivorous animal that feeds on unarmed people’.  The Third World had great reason to think poorly of western nations at the time, but his high regard for the Soviet Union was suspicious.

While the Soviet Union did not engage in colonialism as the west did, they were much sneakier when seeking influence with Third World countries.  They practiced imperialism in a much less invasive way.  Rather than taking over the government of a developing nation, they aided them with weapons and money, thus winning positive influence.

Guevara and other revolutionaries might not have noticed or cared that the Soviet Union was sneakily winning influence just like the United States was trying to, just in a different way.  Either way, the Soviet Union won the “Third World” War against the United States in the 1960’s through subtle, sneaky tactics.

Third World Friendships
Che Guevara At The United Nations


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A Transitional Time For Women

After Stalin’s death in 1953, the strict, forced way of life waned and old thought crept back into Soviet culture.  One transition of thought was the shift of Soviet understanding of gender roles, particular of women.

There was a transition of women into a more welcomed role in society.  The ban on abortions was repealed, allowing women a choice over that aspect of their life and taking the stern emphasis off of having a family as a woman’s number one priority in life.  Women were also allowed back into the same classrooms as men after co-education had disappeared in 1943.  This inclusion of women back into a normal educational setting shows that Soviet culture was readjusting its values and was going through a liberal transition in regards to many things, especially women.

The housewife and the school teacher became role models for women as they took on work and home life.  However, there was fine line between a women’s role in work and becoming a public problem.  Frida Vigdorova was dubbed as a nuisance by Soviet leaders as she became renown for her work in journalism.  She was well educated and published many works in major Soviet newspapers.  It was okay when Frida began using her fame to advocate for co-education, as Soviet leaders were on board with that; when she insisted on recording the Joseph Brodskii trial is when she ran into trouble with authorities.  This is not meld well with the Soviet system and made her into a public problem.

While culture and gender roles were transitioning in the Soviet Union and women were finding more and more freedom and relative equality, there were still clear boundaries that the nation was not ready to cross.

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