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Baby Marx Town Hall: Who Will Survive In America?

Baby Marx Town Hall: Saturday, August 13 at 2pm. As a part of the forthcoming exhibition Baby Marx, which opens on Thursday, August 11, the Walker is collaborating with the University of Minnesota Political Science department to host a Town Hall-style debate that explores some of the issues embedded within the project, loosely inspired by Gil […]

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels puppets during installation. Photo: Gene Pittman

Baby Marx Town Hall: Saturday, August 13 at 2pm.

As a part of the forthcoming exhibition Baby Marx, which opens on Thursday, August 11, the Walker is collaborating with the University of Minnesota Political Science department to host a Town Hall-style debate that explores some of the issues embedded within the project, loosely inspired by Gil Scott-Heron’s “Comment #1″ . Moderator and event co-organizer Ben Ansell of the University of Minnesota’s Political Science Department gives more detail about the event.

“The Baby Marx Town Hall asks ‘Who Will Survive in America?’, re-animating the debate over the merits of capitalism that has been fought for centuries between the proponents of Adam Smith and the followers of Karl Marx. Inspired by artist Pedro Reyes’ re-imagination of the seminal figures of political economy – Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Mao Tse-Tung and others – the Town Hall asks whether the great motivating questions about how the economy does work, and should work, remain the same today, centuries later. In a world of debt ceilings and debt crises, mass affluence and massive inequality, how much have things really changed? And who wins and loses in contemporary American and global capitalism?

Walker guests are invited to join the audience and to ask pointed questions to debaters Professor Joel Waldfogel of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, and Antonio Vazquez-Arroyo of the University of Minnesota’s Political Science Department. As moderator, I will ask the debaters to explore the workings of contemporary capitalism.

The town hall has three sections, building from the personal to the global. The first section – The Personal – examines the ‘lived experience’ of capitalism and communism. Here the participants look at the interplay between family, work, and the free market. The second section – The National – examines the consequences of capitalism – and the promise or threat of socialism – for the American economy and American society. The third section – The Global – looks at both the promises and perils of global capitalism, focusing on the unique role of China as an allegedly communist country thriving in a capitalism global economy.”

The Baby Marx Town Hall event is presented by the Walker Art Center in conjunction with the Political Science Department of the University of Minnesota. The event begins at 2pm Saturday, August 13th.

Participant Bios:

Ben Ansell is Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Minnesota and is the author of From the Ballot to the Blackboard: The Redistributive Political Economy of Education.

Antonio Vazquez-Arroyo is Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Minnesota and is the author of dozens of articles on post-colonialism, imperialism, and neo-liberalism and is currently finishing his book manuscript entitled Scenes of Responsibility: Power and Suffering in a Post-Political Age.

Joel Waldfogel is Frederick R. Kappel Chair in Applied Economics at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and is the author of Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays and The Tyranny of the Market: Why You Can’t Always Get What You Want.