September 6, 2017 to March 4, 2018
What kind of society do we want to live in, and what alternatives to the capitalist system are there? Is capitalism fair, and do we even understand today’s capitalism? To celebrate 150 years since the original publication of the first volume of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (published in English under the title Capital: a Critique of Political Economy) the Hamburg Museum of Work is holding a controversial exhibition that looks at the history, impact and current relevance of this classic in the history of political ideas. It took four whole years for the first 1,000 copies to sell, but today it counts alongside the Bible as one of the biggest-selling books in the world – and without doubt one of the most influential and controversial. The exhibition traces the history of this seminal work, the first to extensively analyse capitalism. It made waves across the world like no other German book, and even now provides a cornerstone for critical debate on the capitalist character of today’s global societies. The exhibition stretches from the Industrial Revolution and labour movement of the 19th century, examines its contradictory reception throughout the 20th century, and considers the present-day issues of production and the distribution of wealth and poverty.