“Atlas Shrugged” comes to the movies

After decades in limbo, Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand’s magnum opus about an increasingly collectivist society and corrupt government that punishes the successful business person and industrialist, and thereby causing the world’s producers to go on strike – is finally headed to the Silver Screen. 

Rand’s work, published originally in 1957, and which has enjoyed steady sales ever since, has received increased attention in recent years due in large part to massive government bailouts, mounting government debt, and debates over increased taxes – all issues identified more than half a century ago by Rand as factors in the demise of America’s historic free enterprise system and the progress that accompanied it.  Signs with the phrase “Who is John Galt?” – a question appearing throughout Rand’s novel – has become a common theme at tea party rallies across the country as concerned Americans protested Big Government, as exemplified by last year’s federal health care law. 

Sales of Atlas Shrugged have skyrocketed. Forbes recently noted that 125,000 copies of the book were sold in 2007, but by 2009 sales exceeded 450,000 – putting Rand’s most well-known novel back on the best-seller list more than 50 years after its original publication. 

This is not the first time a film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged has been attempted. Rand was first approached with the idea in the early 1970’s by Albert Ruddy, producer of The Godfather. But Rand wanted to ensure that her philosophy promoting individualism and rational self-interest was properly represented in film. Ruddy rejected Rand’s demand, and the project died.  A plan to turn the book into a miniseries fell through the cracks in the late 70’s. Rand was working on a screenplay when she died in 1982. 

In recent years, there have been rumors of a high-priced adaptation starring some of Hollywood’s most famous actors. However, producer John Aglialoro, who bought an option to make the movie in 1992, has opted to go with a low-budget approach, dividing the more than 1,000 page novel into three parts. 

There has been some skepticism about the film among fans of Atlas Shrugged.  The film’s main actors are not among Tinsel Town’s most well known – Taylor Schilling will star as Dagny Taggart, the novel’s heroine, with Grant Bowler appearing as industrialist Hank Rearden. 

In a July interview with Reason.tv, it was made clear the actors and director Paul Johansson all seem to understand the importance of the message in the new film, is to personify through their performance the nobility of man as a rational being. 

Johansson explained the reason it has taken so long to bring Atlas Shrugged to film, is because people either do not understand its message or have been intimidated with prospect of bringing such iconic characters to life. In response to concerns about the lack of big name stars or action sequences, Johansson says, “this movie isn’t about that.” 

It is fitting the movie is set to be released on Friday, April 15th, a day synonymous with government coercion, as Americans are traditionally required to file and pay their income taxes on that date. 

Rand’s work has helped mold philosophical and political viewpoints for well over half a century. Let’s hope Aglialoro and company got it right in this cinematic depiction of a philosophical celebration of individual liberty and rational thought.

- by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

137 comments Add your comment

Tom

January 19th, 2011
11:27 am

No doubt this film will be as hackneyed, trite, tendentious and tedious as the “novel” upon which it is based. Since no one has yet quoted the most trenchant of all criticisms of Atlas Shrugged, here goes: “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

killerj

January 19th, 2011
11:29 am

The option is not to play.

BC Alum

January 19th, 2011
11:30 am

@Joe the paleo: Maybe you’re right, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not one.

Davo

January 19th, 2011
11:39 am

“…involves orcs.”

Now that is funny! I’m thinking the director should have gotten Sarah Palin to play the part of Dagny, being as her political career is over. But who am I kidding…she would have quit half-way through.

LeeH1

January 19th, 2011
11:51 am

William F. Buckley said Ayn Rand was the intellectual’s pornographer. She did a good job of portraying women who scrape and grovel at the feet (more or less) of powerful men in this and her other writings. Borders on the S/M.

After she died, Gary Jennings got the title. Now I don’t know who has the title, “Intellectual’s Pornographer”.

Clifford Notes

January 19th, 2011
11:52 am

If you don’t have the time or patience to read a thousand pages of Rand repeating the same idea in different ways–sometimes even in the same way–I’ll summarize Atlas Shrugged for you in three words: F*** everybody else!

atlpaddy

January 19th, 2011
12:38 pm

Great, now those who can’t read can be bored to tears by ‘Atlas Shrugged’ on the big screen! There is nothing more thrilling than one-diminsional cardboard characters spouting psycho-babble gobbledegook written by egotistical Russian amphetamine freak.

Personally, I would like to see Victoria Jackson play Dagny Taggart and Kirk Cameron as John Galt. Jonathan Lipnicki should come out of retirement to play the smart-aleck, but lovable kid.

atlpaddy

January 19th, 2011
12:40 pm

Rush can do the soundtrack.

Sam

January 19th, 2011
12:42 pm

Burn in big-brother collectivist controlled hell statists!!!

Haywood Jablome

January 19th, 2011
12:50 pm

Wonder if the movie will suck as much as the book and its message do?

Joe the paleo-neo-psuedo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
12:56 pm

BC, there, I fixed my typo. that aside, I never claimed to be an intellectual of any sort, but if you want to place me in the pseudo intellectual space, it’s better than non-intellectual in my book. Buckley nailed it with the “pornography” tag. use whatever adjectives you like; trite, ponderous, infantile, shallow, etc. and with all due respect to atlpaddy, had the novel been adapted to film in the 90’s, Victoria Jackson would have been a decent “Dagny” but I’m thinking Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, or some other pop tart/actress du juor is a better choice. better yet, let’s have a “reality TV” show where relatively unknown losers can ‘audition’ for the role.

AmVet

January 19th, 2011
12:58 pm

To dogpile onto that 12:50, the salient question appears to be, “Will the movie be as mind-numbingly boring and unreadable/unwatchable, as the book?

JoeFann

January 19th, 2011
1:03 pm

Ayn Rand was a novelist with an agenda, not unlike the posters here, myself included. I’ve always thought that “Atlas Shrugged,” in combination with “The Fountainhead,” provided an interesting alternative view to our seriously entitled society. I though it important enough to require both my kids to read it in high school and to discuss both its pros and cons. I don’t think any “rational” person desires to see Ms. Rand’s complete vision become reality here, but there is much in her books that points out how irresponsible we’ve allowed our elected officials to become, and what our future might resemble if we allow them to continue unchecked. Her books are the opposite end of the spectrum from the Marx and Engels tripe that was so hailed throughout much of our planet. We need LESS government intrusion, but not NONE. The Constitution authorizes the federal government to PROTECT citizens, not PROVIDE everything for them. Keep us safe–from attack, inside or outside, from abuse, personal or corporate. Does that have a price for taxpayers? Of course, it does. The question is how much and what should we be paying for? I provide for my own AND I help others, too. If enough of us do that, we don’t need the government to do it and wouldn’t have to pay more for it to do it.

Jeez, you people act like it’s all or nothing, politically. As usual, the answer is somewhere in the middle. We simply haven’t protected ourselves often enough–at the ballot box. At the risk of repeating myself–fire them all. Start over.

Patriot

January 19th, 2011
1:09 pm

The same folks that don’t get the book or the philosophy also don’t get that the power and corruption that enable business to exploit so much come directly from the power of government and not from some innate quality of business itself. Businesses do not embrace government to protect them from the ravages of the businesses they deal with, but rather to protect them from the competition they are unable to stand up to. Violations of land, water, air, offenses such as fraud, theft, and the like are all given a pass through the “regulatory” and licensing apparatus of agencies like the FDA, EPA, DEA, FCC, ICC, and the alphabet soup that is our government.

Ayn Rand certainly had her faults. She ascribed no value to altruism (though most who give freely of themselves discover the blessing of intangible rewards), she was ruthlessly dogmatic, she praised the horrible behavior of the state of Israel and would offer no criticism of their clear lacks of freedom, and many others.

But a clear understanding of the need for both personal freedom and personal responsibility were not among them.

It is clear from most of these posts that any argument in favor personal freedom, personal responsibility, or diminished government power is far too scary for most folks to even deal with, let alone understand. Our society abandoned all of these priciples way before most people were born, and the corporatist/fascist/socialist government/society/economy is all they know.

It would be nice to think that the release of this movie will get everyone thinking, but the government schools have pretty much destroyed even that basic ability too.

Haywood Jablome

January 19th, 2011
1:09 pm

Thanks for the lecture, JoeFann. It was very enlightening.

Please consider changing your screen name to I-Know-Much-More-Than-You

JoeFann

January 19th, 2011
1:15 pm

Gee, Haywood, thanks for the tip o’ the lid, but I doubt that everyone else would think that appropriate. But as long as you do, I’m honored.

EJ Moosa

January 19th, 2011
1:45 pm

@Darwin,

You are right that Greenspan’s Free Market Capitalism was flawed. He didn’t trust it and tinkered with the rates when he did not need to.

Greenspan was the flaw, and not Free Capitalism.

itpdude

January 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

Ragnar (yes, I know he was the Viking guy in AS), what the hell do you produce? You are on the AJC message boards all day. Really, what do YOU do for a living?

Next, Atlas Shrugged is horrible. I read that whole thing when I was a dumb teenager. It inspired me to go for a philosophy degree (later changed to econ). Funny enough, not one philosophy prof took Rand seriously. Education is the great killer of Objectivism. It is not a viable philosophy. It is Nietzsche with capitalism.

I am looking forward to the film being released. The lines will be filled with moochers. Objectivists are generally on disability (generally fraudulent) or computer geeks who can’t get laid and smell funny.

Bob Barr, I love ya, but Atlas Shrugged is a turkey of a book and it’s going to be a turkey of a movie.

Joe the paleo-neo-psuedo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
2:18 pm

JoeFann, I don’t disagree with you on a very basic level (encouraging you children to read and discuss Rand), but LSD and peyote “provide an alternative views” to our society. do you encourage your children to ingest mind altering substances? the problem with the Rand worshippers is they have venerated her to the level of free market goddess, and he works are presented as some sacred text, when she was merely a self-absorbed, chemically-addled, loathesome hag. as I said, I enjoyed reading Kerouac’s “On the Road” (he was a much better writer), which was published the same year (1957), fueled by the same substance (amphetamines), and embraced by the left (”Beats” and “Hippies”), as Rand’s tome(s) has been embraced by the faux-libertarian right, I find Keruoac’s observations no more immortal or divine than Rand’s. so as I said, bully for you for exposing your kids to diverse world views, but hopefully your discussions involved the concept of context and fact vs. fiction.

Nude-o Intellectual

January 19th, 2011
2:20 pm

Cheers to JoeFann’s 1:03 pm comment. And he’s right about some folks’ black and white political views. That’s one of the major problems with Atlas Shrugged, as Citizen of the World so aptly noted at 8:49 am.

Personally, I thought The Fountainhead was superior to Atlas Shrugged. It certainly was much more pleasurable and inspiring to read.

Citizen of the World

January 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

Patriot says that “any argument in favor personal freedom, personal responsibility, or diminished government power is far too scary for most folks to even deal with, let alone understand. Our society abandoned all of these priciples way before most people were born, and the corporatist/fascist/socialist government/society/economy is all they know.”

I’d like to know when in U.S. history he thinks these principles we now have abandoned were so prevalent? Until the Emancipation Proclamation, we had slavery. There was at one time indentured servitude. And let’s not forget Jim Crow laws that kept black people in their place. And the systemic anti-semitism that kept Jews, Irish, Germans, Muslims and others on the outside looking in depending on what was going on politically and culturally. So much for personal freedom.

And we could talk about personal responsibility, but absent personal freedom, that’s pretty much a moot point. Could a slave take personal responsibility? And where did you learn personal responsibility — perhaps from the example of your parents or the prevailing culture in your community? What about people who grow up without any options and advantages?

As for limited government, is this the kind that codified discrimination and even today wants to tell gays they can’t get married or a woman that she can’t terminate a pregnancy?

There’s this prevailing myth that things used to be great and everyone succeeded or failed on their own merit and the government just stood back and watched it all happen.

As I said before, yes, between big government and big business, it’s all become a bit unwieldy, but let’s stop pretending that there was ever a time when “personal freedom, personal responsibility and limited government” ruled the day.

JoeFann

January 19th, 2011
2:44 pm

Joe (the other one)–The decision on chemical recreation is theirs, not mine, as they are beyond the age of majority. I simply wished to give them a more accurate world view than the one loudest cried. The major point of Rand’s work that I emphasized was the juxtaposition of consumer against producer, that actions breed reactions and consequences, and that ultimately, each individual is responsible for producing more than they consume. I also taught them the virtue of using your excess to build up those around you, certainly not a Rand idea, as opposed to being exclusively self-involved, which I believe, frankly, is the major fault in our society. In my case, I reserve “worship” for only One.

Joe the paleo-neo-psuedo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
2:46 pm

Citizen of the World, very true. Americans would do well to read some of the writings of Thomas Paine (Common Sense, The Rights of Man, African Slavery in America, The Age of Reason, etc.). to wit; there was NEVER a time when personal freedom, responsibility and limited government ruled the day. who brought up the Buckley/pornography observation? some may “value” and consume porn as part of a larger entertainment marketplace, but it doesn’t make commercially produced copulation an academic study of human sexuality or biology, now does it? just as we all know JFK was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, but it doesn’t make Oliver Stone (or the Warren Commission) an expert on the subject.

Granny Godzilla

January 19th, 2011
2:50 pm

I don’t know the originator of this quote, but I offer my applause…

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

I started Rand at that age….and have re-read both Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead a number of times in the 40 years since.

Good story, silly selfish theory.

I hope the movie has that same brooding dark quality of the Gary Cooper/Patricia Neal film of the Fountainhead.

Brian O'Toole

January 19th, 2011
3:23 pm

As the primary screenwriter on the ATLAS SHRUGGED PART 1 film, I want to thank you for taking the time to write about our film. I found the comments left very intriguing, but unfortunately there is some misinformation.

I invite everyone to visit our official Facebook fan page for the latest information regarding our production. The address is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlas-Shrugged-The-Movie/144777702200729

I personally try to answer any questions and concerns left by fans about our production.

Again, thank you for your blog piece and helping us to get the word out about our wholly independent film.

Best,

Brian O’Toole
The Strike Productions

Joe the paleo-neo-psuedo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
3:34 pm

JoeFann, sounds to me like “chemical recreation” might have been necessary during some of your discussions (that’s a joke). again, I don’t know that it is possible for a parent (or anyone) to present or offer a “more accurate world view”. who is responsible for calibrating the “world view barometer” and who defines or determines what consitutes “accuracy” when discussing life itself? I don’t know that I buy into your take on Rand (”the juxtaposition of consumer against producer, that actions breed reactions and consequences, and that ultimately, each individual is responsible for producing more than they consume.”). so, when XYZ corporation decides to manufacture and sell widgets, it builds a plant, hires workers and operates freely… until the PCBs and mercury produced by the process contaminate the drinking water (in a community, which has no say, because there are no zoning regulations, and there is no local, state or federal EPA). of course, by the time the lawsuits are filed by the surviving family members (birth defects, cancer deaths, etc.), Dagny and her pals have taken their golden parachutes and jumped-ship, XYZ shareholders have lost their investments, and the retired XYZ rank and file (those still alive) have lost their pensions/retirement benefits neogtiated when the dangers of producing widgets were not known (to anyone beyond the Dagny and the board). now I know this is an extreme scenario, and completely hypothetical fiction, but as I said, so is Atlas Shrugged. and finally, is Dagny Taggart a “producer” or “consumer”? her railroad sure “consumed” a fair amount of labor (hers included).

JD

January 19th, 2011
3:41 pm

6 financial firms control more than 60% of GDP — Atlas Shrugged is a red herring… Goldman Sachs is not exactly quaking over govt control…

Jake

January 19th, 2011
3:46 pm

Seems that many people missed the other important theme in the book – Self-Interest as opposed to living for others.
Why is that so important in today’s society to do “community service”? Just try to get into a good college if you dont put on your application that you performed a number of hours of beach combing, homeless feading or some other such service to supposedly help “community”,,,,
Why is that that the values of living for someone else is so heavily promoted as a self-evident truth ?
Ayn Rand has a lot to say about that ….

dbm

January 19th, 2011
4:15 pm

@ Joe the paleo-neo-Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
9:37 am

You obviously don’t understand Miss Rand’s views on government and individual rights. Try reading “Man’s Rights” and “The Nature of Government”, both reprinted in both The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism the Unknown Ideal.

You also don’t understand self interest very well.

dbm

January 19th, 2011
4:18 pm

@ LeeH1

January 19th, 2011
11:51 am

Are you sure that what you were reading was Ayn Rand’s work? What you say certainly doesn’t apply to Dagny Taggart. It doesn’t really apply to any of Ayn Rand’s female characters.

dbm

January 19th, 2011
4:20 pm

@ Citizen of the World

January 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

Certainly our system has always had serious flaws and inconsistencies. However, there was a time when government came a lot closer than it does now to leaving business alone and letting people take responsibility for their own lives.

Joe the paleo-neo-pseudo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
4:22 pm

Jake, I have an idea, why don’t you remove the word “important” from your first sentence. Oh, and you have to help me out, as I am a mere pseudo intellectual, but it seems to me that those who embrace “self-interest” require OTHERS to live for them (excuse the “irrational” prose). as I said earlier, ’self-interest’ is a code word for infantile, petulant, narcissism; they idea that the ’self’ is the center of the universe. homo sapiens are social creatures. we (well, the healthy ones anyway) form social units (families, clans, neighborhoods, communities, etc.). I know “co-operation” sounds a lot like “co-operative” and “social unit” sounds dangerously close to “socialist” but as I said, Rand’s narcissistic world view is infantile. who fed her as a child? who clothed her and protected her from disease, predators, and her own ignorance? it is nothing short of AUDACIOUS for people like Rand to benefit from progress; then selectively and subjectively (as opposed to “objectively” PUN INTENDED) opine about what is wrong with “progress”). people like Rand are sel-absorbed “horders” of the human experience. it’s no wonder she was chemically dependent; ALL narcissists are first and foremost addicted to their own egos.

Shmoe the paleo-bla-bla-bla-whatever

January 19th, 2011
4:22 pm

Joe man you are a really smart guy to be so dang impractical. You’ve got astounding arguments but you’ve got no solution. You’re spouting fantastic jargon but it all just leads to nowhere. Take a look at the world around you, what would you have it do? Purge ourselves of big business in order to cleanse and reduce government? How many flags you feel like living under in your lifetime? One’s enough for me. You offer cynicism in boat loads, you make some very good points about the problems of our society, but you offer no alternative. Let’s hear the fix bro. Dont’ dance around the subject, i wanna hear some clear cut answers. And for the record, I’m no Rand fan. I read Anthem as a teenager but reading Atlas Shrugged was like trying to pull a bag of heavy rocks up a steep muddy hill. I bailed.

nora

January 19th, 2011
4:24 pm

Cool! Looking forward to it. When I was reading it, I always pictured Demi Moore as Dagney Taggart.

dbm

January 19th, 2011
4:24 pm

Patriot

January 19th, 2011
1:09 pm

Actually Ayn Rand did not object to voluntarily helping others or giving to others as long as the recipients were worthy and the giver could afford it. What she objected to was the altruist morality, i.e. the notion that helping or giving is an obligation or a primary virtue.

Joe the paleo-neo-pseudo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
4:38 pm

dbm, I am no longer a paleo-neo-Plutocrat. as amended, I am now a paleo-neo-psuedo intellectual Plutocrat. I have not read either of the texts you recommend. be that as it may, I have my own opinion of ‘the nature of government’ (Plutocracy) and the nature of “rights” as it relates to the United States (if these “rights” are by virtue of a Creator, and I do not believe in a “Creator” I have a hard time understanding the concept of “rights”). you watch (socially organized) animals behave? I’m talking everything from ant colonies and bee hives to a herd of elk, a pack of wolves (hunting the herd of elk), a pride of lions or a colony of feral cats. words like “justice” and “rights” and “producers” and “consumers” do not exist. and yet, these creatures can be a ruthless, soul-less, “ammoral” and duplicitious as the most shallow Randian politician or “industrialist”. there is not “self” in the word “community”. self-interest produces corruption and cheating, as opposed to “progress”. “self-interest” is a parasite which feeds off a host communtiy. I’m not saying this is fair or unfair, but the idea that excercising one’s self-interest makes us all equal or improves the lot of the entire herd is, again, infantile.

Hemispheres

January 19th, 2011
4:49 pm

This is an interesting either or argument. But it really comes down to checks and balances. I have to fall back to the message I heard as a young man when listening to the Rand influenced group – Rush (specifically Neil Peart). The battle is to seek balance between the heat and the mind. Unfettered government and unfettered free-enterprise both lead to the loss of life, liberty and eventually sanity. I agree to an extent that goverment’s job is to check business, but if government gets out of balance who checks it? Current events show that government cannot be trusted to check itself.

Joe the paleo-neo-pseudo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
5:02 pm

Schmoe the paleo-blah, blah, blah. wow, you have placed upon my shoulders the burden of resolving or answering the fundamental riddle of mankind; why can’t humans treat each other humanely? no freaking idea, and I doubt there is an answer. ever heard of a cat named Adam Smith? faux “free market” capitalists view his work The Wealth of Nations as the definitive treatise or “Bible” of capitalism. but prior to this, he wrote a screed called “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” (I think), which observed that “sympathy” (”moral sentiment”) was the glue which held societies together (not “self-interest”). he further suggested that “labor” is the key to building wealth (as opposed to mercantilism). think he was silly? consider relationship between the manufcaturing jobs which have left the USA and are now producing “wealth” in China. also consider that it is rationally self-interested mercantilists like Rand’s heroine Dagny Taggart, who place their own “self interests ahead of those of the herd. you’re right, I’m rambling and unfocused. were I ever to dial-in on this stuff and study it with some passion, I’d find Rand’s grave and go take a dump on it.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 19th, 2011
5:07 pm

Dear Patriot @ 1:09, well-written.

Dear Brian @ 3:23, if you check back in, when my younger son was an 8th grader I gave him a copy of the book and told him there was a $100 bill for him at the end. He practically memorized it, quoting long sections and citing minor characters in conversation even today, 12 years later. He and I both anticipate your movie with great hope. (And if you wrote the first section, you had a grim task indeed – unrelenting social deterioration.) Talked with a friend earlier today who is going through Atlas for the first time now, and he is picking up on all the nuances in the book. I should sit down with it again.

LeeH1

January 19th, 2011
5:16 pm

DBM 4:18:

Try “Kira Argounova” in “We the Living”, who has her dress lifted up by the Communist student who thinks she’s a whore.

In “The Fountainhed,” Dominique sleeps with Roark, Wynand and marries Keating, but spends the first wedding night with Roark.

There are a number of scenes between Dagny and Francisco, and Dagny and Galt. She appreciates that Galt takes her as his right, rather than letting his friend woo her instead.

She wanted to break the bougeoise sexual mores as much as the fiancial mores, and wrote well on both subjects.

If you missed all of this, you haven’t been reading Ayn Rand very carefully. You can’t change financial transactions without changing society.

Joe the paleo-neo-pseudo intellectual Plutocrat

January 19th, 2011
5:21 pm

Hemispheres, have you (Rand or Neil Peart) considered the circular logic of your position? any form of government is contrary to the concept of a “free market” and a free market is contrary to the concept of government. my beef with Rand and her followers is; it ignores reality. for example, the United States of America is presented as a republic, or ‘Constitutional democracy’ when in reality it is a plutocracy. so, half the folks yammer about encroaching, overly zealous government (and their fears are valid). the other half warns of the dangers of an unregulated private sector, and their warnings are equally valid. so who is to blame? look up the word PLUTOCRACY and report back. as I said, if you (and Rand) want a true unregulated world, you’d better be prepared for Mad Max stuff. ironically, this is what we have (those with power excercise it for their own self-interest). we just wrap the whole thing in the Constitution and the flag and talk about “god and country”, which makes it easier to swallow. kind of a form of sociological foreplay.

jconservative

January 19th, 2011
6:57 pm

“Rand’s work, published originally in 1957, and which has enjoyed steady sales ever since, has received increased attention in recent years due in large part to massive government bailouts, mounting government debt, and debates over increased taxes…”

Remarkable. For a former Republican, you Mr Barr, have just written one of the biggest indictments of Republican rule I have ever read.

“…massive government bailouts…” A Republican plan created by the Bush 43 administration. But continued by the Democrats.

“…mounting government debt…” A creation of the Reagan administration when the Republicans cut taxes and allowed spending to mushroom beyond anything imagined before 1981. But continued by the Democrats and every administration since Reagan.

“…debates over increased taxes…” I have not seen much of a debate on this item but will give you the benefit of the doubt. What little debate there has been would give the Republicans the edge on the side of “Read my lips, no new taxes”. (Oh darn, my bad, he did raise them didn’t he?) But they would probably lose the edge on reducing spending in practice – that’s practice, not rhetoric.

But nice column. Enjoyed it.

Tom

January 19th, 2011
7:38 pm

Ragweed @ 5:07: It’s really a wonderful idea for you to reacquaint yourself with Rand’s worthless novel and ludicrous “philosophy.” That would mean you’re only squandering your own time and not that of all of us.

GB

January 19th, 2011
8:01 pm

The Republicans should hate it as much as the Democrats, Both are guilty and this film, if done right, will expose both for the looting charlatans they are.

Preston

January 19th, 2011
9:06 pm

Can’t wait for this movie to release although I’m sure it won’t do the book justice. Movies never do. But due to my understanding of the general public’s unwillingness (or just plain laziness) to take the time to read a 1,000+ page book, I’m hoping it will be strong enough to get the intended message out there to the masses. Ayn Rand wanted to oversee the production so she could see to this but she died before finding a producer willing to give her that much control. She even wanted Farrah Fawcett to play Dagny Taggert back in the 70’s because she came to know her from being a fan of Charlie’s Angels. Angelina Jolie has expressed interest in playing the same role recently but the producers decided to go with a very low budget and obviously couldn’t afford her price tag. Knowing the significance of this movie, it would have been nice to see Jolie either donate her talents to this project or work for the same money that Schilling did. At any rate, for the first time in my life, I can’t wait for April 15th!

Preston

January 19th, 2011
9:09 pm

GB, you’re right. Dems are evil but Reps aren’t much better. They just talk a better game. We need an Objectivist Party.

jrock

January 19th, 2011
9:18 pm

There’s a phrase I read somewhere, I wish I could remember where: “They hiss and bare their teeth at you from their rat holes . . .”

I am always reminded of that phrase when I encounter the seemingly endless stream of spittle directed toward Ayn Rand, one of the true heroes of the 20th century.

Tom

January 19th, 2011
10:24 pm

jrock @ 9:18: That’s truly hilarious. Ayn Rand thought of herself as Aristotle, when she was really just L. Ron Hubbard.

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Preston

January 19th, 2011
11:02 pm

Tom, that’s ridiculous. Rand was a fan Aristotle’s philosophies but never gave the impression that she was an equal to him. If you’re a collectivist that’s fine but don’t come to a public forum that’s celebrating the long overdue film of the best novel from the brilliant mind of Ayn rand and spew your BS. Hubbard was an idiot and your attempted likeness of Rand to Hubbard is baseless. Scientology is a cult, not Objectivism. There is no REASON in scientology.