WITH COVID-19 VACCINATIONS well underway in the United States, national attention has largely shifted away from supply concerns. On a global scale, however, vaccine access remains a massive problem. As of September 2021, only 2% of adults in low-income countries had been fully vaccinated, compared with 50% in high-income countries. Only about 4 in 100 Africans had received all required doses.
The deplorable character of this state of affairs, which many have labeled as vaccine apartheid, need not be repeated. It does not make sense from a public health perspective; it is bad for US foreign policy goals; and it implicates American society into yet another chapter of human suffering worldwide. There is also something genuinely sinister about how quickly vaccinated countries have normalized other countries’ lack of access to vaccines.
Continue reading “To Promote Social Democracy Globally, Export Vaccines”
A FEW DAYS before the end of 2020, progressives in Latin America got some of the only good news the year had to offer: after decades of feminist activism, the Argentinian Senate legalized abortion. In a region known for its conservative politics, it was a rare triumph.
Argentina is now part of a small group of countries in the region where abortion is legal nationwide. Meanwhile, in the US, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has widely been seen as a step toward the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Continue reading “What Progressives Can Draw From Argentina’s Pro-Choice Victory”
AS AN INTERNATIONAL student from Korea, I had an extremely uncanny experience watching Bong Joon-ho’s award winning film Parasite (2019). Set in Seoul, South Korea, the film begins by depicting the daily struggles of the Kims, a low-income family that lives in basement apartments. Ki-woo, the college-aged son of the family, lands the opportunity to tutor a student from the affluent Park family. One by one, all of the Kims find cunning ways to get employed by the Parks and test the limits of how much the rich family can be exploited. Built-up tension and pressure to keep the fraud hidden culminate in an ending that captures the quintessence of class warfare.
Continue reading “Parasite, or The Cozy Relationship Between the West and Korean Elites”
DERISIVELY KNOWN as “Bushmen,” the San people of South Africa suffered the fate of many other hunter-gatherer communities. First threatened by African farmers with a more settled way of life, San society was dealt its mortal blow by the entry of Europeans. Following their arrival in Cape Town in 1652, the Dutch treated the indigenous people of South Africa as vermin—massacring the San in the thousands and cowing them into submission. Little evidence was left of their culture, though the cave art that adorns rocks across Southern Africa gives us a momentary glance into their worldview.
Continue reading “How Climate Change Will Change Us”
IN AMERICAN politics, Bernie is something of an anomaly: a socialist above the age of thirty. In other parts of the world, politicians like Bernie fall closer to the political center—and, in a few notable cases, surprisingly far from the political center. So we asked the Sphere’s international writers (and Jacob Kuppermann) to answer the question, “Where would Bernie fall on the political spectrum of [Country X]?”
These are their responses.
Continue reading “As the World Berns: Six International Perspectives on Bernie”