More than a month after the Occupy Wall Street protests began, Karl Marx has come to Zuccotti Park to see what the hubbub is all about. Admittedly, the 19th-century political philosopher was not there himself, but was present in the form of a small puppet from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
The puppet is the brainchild of Mexican artist Pedro Reyes, whose cast of characters includes Mao, Che Guevara and conservative economist Milton Friedman. In this case, scholars preferring the less scientific, early Marx will be pleased: It doesn’t get earlier than “Baby Marx,” as the artist has called him.
A film clip of the visit opens with Marx tripping over free market advocate Adam Smith, who is dozing in a sleeping bag in Zuccotti Park. They spar over the future of socialism. Smith soon takes the helm of a bank and becomes the self-described “treasurer of the movement.” Smith offers to print copies of Marx’s Manifesto and encourages Marx to go and “converse with the people.”