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The Anti-Davos, Anti-Capitalist Forum Bringing Thousands to Tunis

70,000 activists from all over the world will gather to find solutions to global injustice.

Image via the Forum Social Mondial 2015's Facebook page.

Over 70,000 anti-capitalists from all over the world are expected to descend on the capital of Tunisia this week for the 10th annual World Social Forum, where they will devise strategies for fomenting a populist revolution and distributing the wealth equally (probably). The conference was concieved as a rejoinder to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, an annual neoliberal gathering of people who like to make money at the expense of other people who have no money.

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Communism Never Looked So Groovy

A new photo book illuminates the visual culture behind the German Democratic Republic.

It’s been more than 25 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, but the specter of communism still lingers as a conflicting memory. Over the intervening decades, the legacy of the USSR has been oversimplified into irrelevance—either the loser in an epic battle of ideologies or a totalitarian regime that was destined to fail. In Beyond the Wall: Art and Artifacts From the G.D.R. (TASCHEN, 2014), a 900-page picture-filled tome cataloguing the massive collection of German Democratic Republic ephemera housed in the Wende Museum in Los Angeles, a new vision of the supposed black and white Cold War emerges. The book showcases a society that, much like our own, was both vibrant and complex, propagandized but human, and casts doubt on the “us versus them” narrative of the history books. Inside, a fuller picture of life in the vilified G.D.R. emerges in all its sad, beautiful, and occasionally humorous glory: spy-pen recording devices sit with neon busts of Lenin; ultra-modernist cooking utensils alongside homemade discotheque advertisements. The book paints an extensive portrait of life inside the repressive regime, revealing both the banality of authoritarianism and a nuanced view of life in the failed state.

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Meet the French Socialist Who Could Save Europe

A socialist president in France is inspiring jitters, but the Francois Hollande could be just what the doctor ordered for Europe—and the world.


Over the weekend, the citizens of France elected a Francois Hollande, a socialist, to be their president. Here in the United States, attempts to comprehend this may be futile, given national confusion over whether or not our own president is a socialist,* but there’s no need to panic over this particular European specter. In fact, Hollande’s election may be exactly what Europe needs.

The key issue in Europe right now is hashing out the financial crisis that has already brought low governments in Greece, Spain, and Italy. A simplified version of the story is that most European countries got together under one currency, like the U.S. dollar, but didn’t put the bulk of their government spending under one organ, like the U.S. Congress. Without those two tools unified, some European countries ran up more debt than they could manage and now find themselves in danger of losing access to funding for public spending while their banks teeter, drying up credit that entrepreneurs need.

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Why Does America Spend More on Health Care than Countries with Socialized Medicine?

The United States spends a higher percentage of its GDP on health care then countries with socialized medicine.

From 1978 to 2008, the United States has spent an ever-increasing percentage of its GDP on health care (with the exception of a flat period in the late-1990s). Since about 1980, we've spent a higher percentage of our GDP on health care than any OECD country.

For the last year or so there's been this sometimes deafening outcry over our perceived slip toward socialism. Meanwhile, we've already spending far more on health care than countries where health care actually is socialized. It makes sense that we would spend more, given that we're a richer nation, and most countries are trending upward in spending, but the gap seems to be getting wider, no?

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