UPDATE: We are sorry to say that “A Socialist’s Worst Nightmare” by Christian Nagler has been canceled. More information is forthcoming. (19 July 2016)
In his performance “A Socialist’s Worst Nightmare,” artist Christian Nagler recreates a televised 1979 Phil Donahue interview with Nobel laureate economist, free market proponent, and late University of Chicago professor Milton Friedman. Friedman has been considered by many to be the embodiment of the kind of morality that has produced the crisis in higher education, the creation of maximum flexibility of the labor market, and the replacement of social welfare systems with debt subsistence (including varieties of predatory lending). Highlighting some of Friedman’s surprising positions—such as a universal basic income—Nagler’s performance as Friedman focuses on the economist’s public presence in which his manner and mode of argumentation speak to our current political moment and its forms of populism.