Movies

Kickstarting John Galt

A behind-the-scenes look at the third and final Atlas Shrugged movie

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Atlas Shrugged The Movie/Facebook

Last September, the producers of Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? launched a Kickstarter campaign that ended up raising $446,000 to help fund the final installment of the film adaptation of Ayn Rand's 1957 novel about a world driven to the brink of collapse by overweening redistributionist government. The predictable response was cheap jokes from people whose (mis)understanding of Rand only went as far as: "She's that scary chick who valorizes businessmen and the market." Detractors assumed that asking people to freely support something they valued was altruistic and therefore un-Randian.

Producer and main financier of the trilogy John Aglialoro sees it differently. (As would anyone who understands Rand, whose novel The Fountainhead is a paean to an architect whose work goes unrewarded by the marketplace.) Rand believed in the glory of trading value for value—in this case, money for a film that the giver wants to see made. Aglialoro says he's proud of the hundreds of $1 contributions he received from people who he says told him: "I want to take some value of mine and place it where I see value."

Aglialoro is a successful businessman, named by Fortune magazine in 2007 as the 10th richest small business executive in the country. The first two movies in the trilogy were financial failures, losing him millions. So what's the business sense of plowing ahead? He says his latest project isn't primarily about money, but love.

Still, "we don't know that the trilogy will not make money," Aglialoro insists. "We know Part I did not and Part II did not." The combined production costs for all three will come to about $20 million, he says. "But I believe with this third piece-it's like a symphony. The adagio, what do you get out of it? It's boring to many people. They want the crescendo."

In an effort to drum up interest and cement their connection with the audience, the Atlas production team has been very transparent, creating a "Galt's Gulch Online" for supporters, inviting dozens of donors to visit the set, and frequently broadcasting live video from set during the shoot.

Associate Producer Scott DeSapio, who runs the film's online strategy, notes the novel has sold steadily for decades and still pulls in six figures in annual sales, "and you know how high the advertising budget is for that? Zero. It sells because people talk to people. And if we can make an Atlas that a [fan of the book] will feel comfortable recommending, then we've succeeded."

I visited the set in early February. For days the team had taken over the entire old Park Plaza Hotel near Los Angeles' MacArthur Park, transforming it into the Wayne-Falkland Hotel, into the scene of a dramatic press conference, into the apartment and lab of Atlas hero John Galt, and into a torture chamber where the bad guys keep Galt trapped.

And yes, to answer a question the Atlas team is weary of fielding, they did entirely recast Part III, just as they did Part II. "The star of the movie is not the actors," DeSapio says. "The star is the ideas of Ayn Rand."

Atlas Shrugged The Movie/Facebook

The producers are high on new director James Manera, a veteran of the commercial world. "I think that if I were asked-and I won't be!-to form the curriculum of film school [on] what do you do to be a director," Aglialoro says, "I would say the graduate side should be knowing how to do a high-quality TV commercial. They have to get a lot of information and a lot of communication, a lot of art and visuality in that 30 seconds or 60 seconds, and Jim Manera has won awards in that world."

Dominic Daniel-playing Eddie Willers, the story's representative of a decent ordinary man-says that Rand's Fountainhead, which he'd been assigned in high school, "spoke about individuality, finding one's own path and taking responsibility for your own life and not listening to people who say 'you owe it to us,' is " a message that resonated as he chose a career in the arts instead of what his parents expected. He knows that curious feelings and hostility toward Rand's work exist, and admits he's gotten "a little of that" from suspicious friends. But "I didn't have any reservations," he says.

On my day on set, I watched for hours as they filmed the scene where John Galt's speech explaining the philosophical and ethical errors that lead society to its parlous state begins interfering with a planned televised address by America's national leader. Galt's speech is famously long-had they not condensed it, that one scene alone would have taken more time than most feature-length films.

Aglialoro thinks Rand was having an intellectual "bad hair day" when she decided to valorize the term selfishness. He thinks that word blunts her message of individual achievement through freely chosen market cooperation, not "self at expense of others." Thus, he tried to make the film's approximately four-minute condensation of Galt's speech more inspirational, less condemnatory, than the novel's version. It ended (from what I could hear) with talk of how you should not in your confusion and despair let your own irreplaceable spark go out, and how the world you desire can be won.

The most orthodox of Objectivists, like the ones associated with Rand's heir and enforcer Leonard Peikoff, will likely object. Aglialoro sums up his relationship with these controllers of Rand's estate from whom he bought the movie rights: "I wish them well-we share the same ideas-and they wish us extinction."

The financial prospects of the Atlas film remain uncertain-Part III isn't out until September. But Aglialoro says he never had any doubts that he had to finish what he started, regardless of potential profits and losses. Its "purpose," he declares, "is to change people's lives for the better," by helping them realize "the opportunity and responsibility of enlightened self interest."

NEXT: Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Fargo Rack Up Emmy Nominations

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  1. “The star of the movie is not the actors,” DeSapio says. “The star is the ideas of Ayn Rand.”

    And nothing says “the ideas of Ayn Rand” like casting Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

    1. Seems apt to me. Rand had a lot to say about Looters & Moochers.

    2. Uh, in what role are they cast? Because I’m sure you don’t know.

      Thanks for your continued Team Blue concern trolling, however.

      1. Accusations of “concern trolling” is the HandR version of telling someone to check their privelege.

  2. Isn’t that the part of the book where one guy monologues for three hours?

    1. I skipped that part of the book. Do i have to turn in my monocle?

      1. It took me a week to read that damn boring speech. You don’t deserve your monocle.

        1. I think that speech was 57 pages in the copy I had. I read it all but it was harder than a Nathan’s hot dog contest.

          I greatly enjoyed when in the Batman TV series, the Minstrel did a similar commandeering of the airwaves. If Part III could use that Van Johnson footage, it would be epic.

        2. I slogged through it just so I could say I did. About halfway through it I just laughed every time I turned a page and it wasn’t over yet.

          1. All of you who cannot appreciate the John Galt speech are unphilosophical philistines.

            1. The appreciate it, they just wish it were shorter so that they might appreciate it faster.

              1. ^THIS^

  3. they did entirely recast Part III, just as they did Part II.

    The actress they cast for Dagny is reasonably hot. No Taylor Schilling, but she’s hot enough that I’ll watch it.

    1. Harry Crane got her the job, I see.

  4. As those who’ve read the book know, Rand excoriates most businessmen as they are of the crony capitalist type. Is there a “Cliff Notes” on “Atlas Shrugged” and is it fair or does it repeat stereotypes we’ve all heard about AS?

    1. Judging by the first movie…the films ARE the Cliff Notes.

      John Galt’s Speech:

      Trade value for value. The end.

      1. And thank God! Every time he, or your namesake, would go on a monologue, I’d just reread the last one in the book, and then skip ahead.

        1. Meh. I thought the movie was a blur. I suspect no one, who hadn’t read the book, got anything philosophical out of it. I was expecting a life-changing epic three hour film and I got 90 minutes of highlights with no development.

          I was EXTREMELY disappoint.

          1. Nice cameos from some Fox News folks though 😉

          2. A liberal friend of mine has been watching the movies and relaying them. Without having read the book he’s lost watching the movies.

            1. Maybe he’ll read the book now. I drug a self proclaimed liberal from the dark side with it.

              1. I think we might be able to get some libs to commit suicide using the book as a torture device, but I can’t imagine it changing minds…I mean you’d have to get through that dense, repetitive drivel to get anything out of it…

              2. I dunno, the liberal friends I know who’ve believably read it still got so hung up on the egoism part that they hated the rest of it.

                I actually got slapped in a bar when a liberal friend who’d read AS complained that her bf wasn’t rough enough with her and I responded “Ok Ayn Rand.” Totally worth it for the look of horror on her face though.

                1. jesse: https://xkcd.com/1049/ seems relevant (see the mouseover text in particular).

        2. Francisco’s money speech is well worth the read.

          … Hobbit

    2. Yes, there is a Cliff’s Notes, and it’s actually very good (unless they’ve revised it and screwed it up). It was written by a Rand specialist, IIRC.

  5. I always thought that We The Living would make a way better film than Atlas Shrugged. Less massive monologues and more actual visual descriptions of how the Soviets were crippling everyone. There’s this thing in film called ‘show, don’t tell’ that make Rand’s later novels a lot harder to convey.

    1. There is a foreign film of We the Living, from the ’40s IIRC.

      1. Yeah the Italian one that was banned by the fascists. I’m more talking about a modern version of some kind.

  6. They should have made it a musical.

      1. ^^ Im filing the serial numbers off this and calling it my own. Is that anything like The Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

  7. Can we stop pretending that Ayn Rand was talented now?

    1. She takes a lot of crit for being a bad writer. I coulda used less of that speech, but the end of Part II when she runs through the litany of persons on the train and how they deserved what they got…brilliant and riveting.

      1. With her, people keep confusing intellect with talent. The ability to understand and explain with the ability to keep a reader interested.

      2. A lot of progressives don’t get that part. They think it shows she is cruel and hates people, especially those with really good ideas about social justice.

  8. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this. I especially want to see how they handle the SPOILER ALERT WMD that makes the sheep ‘splode.

    1. A warcraft player clicking too many times?

      1. Me not that kind of orc!

  9. The predictable response was cheap jokes from people whose (mis)understanding of Rand only went as far as: “She’s that scary chick who valorizes businessmen and the market.

    I’m too lazy to find the link, but I’ve read in a couple of places( and observed for myself) that progs simply don’t understand their opponents. Libertarians and conservatives generally understand the POV and know the arguments of other sides in a debate. While progs assume anyone who doesn’t agree with them is a subhuman Nazi monster.

    1. Of course. Because only a monster could possibly oppose puppies and rainbows and blacks and whites and Muslims sitting together in harmony at a lunch counter.

      1. And all should sit together in harmony, because that’s the LAW!

  10. I’m not one to join the band wagon and say these movies are terrible and deserve the 5% they got on rottentomatoes.com? It’s *how* you see it. I got opening night tickets, got righteously baked, laughed myself through the entire set of stilted dialogue, pissed off the few Randroids that we’re in attendance, and went home thoroughly satisfied. As an expert on what drugs to take to see movies I would say atlas shrugged is definitely a thumbs-up smoking pot movie– though definitely not an acid-taking movie. Eh, maybe coke… I have to think about it.

    Why does a rich business man engaged in a labor of love have to go begging on kick starter? I say in movies that it’s important to be entertaining first and make politically points second, but it’s interesting to see a director switch up these directives. Brian, can you guys at Reason get me some opening night tickets? I live a little ways away, but I’d love to come to visit the right-wing glitterati that are going to be showing up for the finale in, by far, the worst trilogy in film history. I’ll bring the drugs.

    1. For a total bro, you sure do have a strange blog.

    2. You know that not busting people for doing drugs is kind of a libertarian thing and not a socialist thing.

    3. People don’t laugh at your ideology it’s true, given it’s laundry list of crimes the emotion tends to range from anger to sadness. By your website, I see that you’re some sort of Stalin worshiper. I didn’t see the Holodomor in your list of genocides. I didn’t see any reference to the mass murders perpetrated by Stalin, whose death toll exceeded even Hitler’s. But revising history and reality is the core of your belief system so I guess that’s par for your course.

      1. “I see that you’re some sort of Stalin worshiper”

        Nah. I just put that there for libertarians who think Norman Thomas killed 100 million people.

        1. No one gives a fuck about Norman Thomas. All the socialists worth writing about killed a shit ton of people, that was their great contribution to humanity after all.

    4. I got opening night tickets, got righteously baked, laughed myself through the entire set of stilted dialogue, pissed off the few Randroids that we’re in attendance, and went home thoroughly satisfied.

      So you’re a fucking troll in real life as well as on the internet. It figures.

      1. Getting baked for a movie and expressing honestly held opinions is trolling?

        1. People chose to watch that movie in theaters. Not have some self-righteous snark spewed into their ears while they watch it.

  11. Will it be a new cast? I would contribute to a Kickstarter project to CGI the same actors into all three parts.

    1. Marionettes, like Team America: World Police.

      1. Works for me.

        Galt’s Gulch! Fuck, yeah!

      2. Hey! That was my idea, you second hander!

  12. For that much cash why not make me electric-start?

      1. Ahhh ha ha ha! I see what you did there.

      2. Who who…
        Who who…
        Cause I really wanna know…

        1. “Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? Who are you? Who, who, who, who?” –The Who

        2. I was listening to this on the radio the other day and was wondering how they got away with saying “fuck” on the airwaves for decades?

  13. Aglialoro sums up his relationship with these controllers of Rand’s estate from whom he bought the movie rights: “I wish them well-we share the same ideas-and they wish us extinction.”

    Not trying to start a pissing contest here,but I’ve noticed that some objectivist can get really brutal with people who have many of the same goals as them. I’ve seen one website dedicated to Rand that stopped just shy of calling Nathaniel Brendon(sp?) a false prophet.

    1. Who are those controllers of Rand’s estate? And how much is it worth? Atlas Shrugged still sells, where do the profits from those sales go? To those “controllers” of the estate?

      1. They asked Atlas once, he shrugged.

        1. *shrugs*

      2. ARI has a lot of it. I think Peikoff transferred ownership of a bunch of it to the board, IIRC.

    2. objectivist can get really brutal with people who have many of the same goals as them

      It’s the main reason I’m not an Objectivist. When we have liberty we can argue about whose flavor of liberty is the best. Until then, we need to defeat the statist hoards. Hell, I’ll even tolerate anarchists. 🙂

      1. Hell, I’ll even tolerate anarchists. 🙂

        It makes good sense to tolerate the anarcho-capitalists that consistently apply the NAP and principles of liberty.

        As supporter of statism yourself, you stand among that hoard.

        1. Foreseeable outcomes are foreseeable.

          All human interaction devolves into government. Bad people exist. Do you want a republic or a dictatorship?

          1. All human interaction devolves into government.

            No it doesn’t. Chances are you spend 99% of your time interacting with other people with no justifiable need to involve a government in those interactions.

            Governance need not be a political monopoly. The protection of life, liberty and property are services rendered from the labor of other people. As such, they are all poorly administered by a monopoly, like virtually all products.

            1. Chances are you spend 99% of your time interacting with other people with no justifiable need to involve a government in those interactions.

              Agreed. That’s because 99% of the time I deal with good people. It’s the 1% that’s in question. There will and must be a last word in force (IOW…government).

              The foreseeable outcome of your system is warring factions a la Afghanistan as one “clan” will not recognize the authority of the other to apply force.

              1. Agreed. That’s because 99% of the time I deal with good people. It’s the 1% that’s in question.

                You act like the criminal element would be completely unaddressed in a free society. But hey, that’s a great objection to an argument no one is making.

                There will and must be a last word in force

                Again. Systems of polycentric law, common law and market-based mechanisms all allow for mechanisms that are “the last word on force”. You haven’t demonstrated how only statist judicial monopolies can arbitrate disputes.

                1. Systems of polycentric law, common law and market-based mechanisms all allow for mechanisms that are “the last word on force”.

                  So…government. How will this new government enforce its will? Guns?

                  1. So…government. How will this new government enforce its will? Guns?

                    Outlawry and exclusion mostly, violence just a little.

                    Imagine two machines designed to produce “justice widgets”: one is the “Voluntary Interaction Machine” and the other is the “Involuntary Interaction Machine”. The Voluntary Machine’s systems has vastly more redundancy to prevent the breakdown of essential functions relying on only a few parts and requires far far less violence to lubricate it’s actions than is required by an Involuntary Machine. I hope you’ll forgive the silly metaphor but I think it fits.

            2. I come home to witness my neighbor dragging my TV out of my house, across the lawn, and into his house. I duitifully call Private Police Company A, and they send over a squad of guys over to my neighbor’s house, where upon they encounter a squad of guys from Police Company B who tell them the TV rightfully belongs to my neighbor and to get lost.

              What happens now?

              1. What happens now?

                Courts/arbitration. Police Company A and Police Company B both have contracts with courts and insurance companies. Suppose each Police Company prefers to use a certain judge/court, so they arrive at one that both parties can agree to or otherwise are contractually obliged to use.

                Insurance companies have a financial incentive to ensure that Police Company A and Police Company B play by a set of standardized rules governing their conduct with each other, and with the public in general.

                The process involves private police protection services with courts to arbitrate disputes and distribute justice with insurance companies providing oversight to all involved. All of the aforementioned parties have a financial incentive to serve consumers well and not to appear unjust to a highly informed market (since justice is their product, they want it to be something of quality).

                1. I’m “Bad Company C”. I don’t recognize the authority of CA or CB.

                  Arbitration requires consent of both parties. I don’t consent. I do not respect your rules. I think I’ll just take your shit for a living. To do so, I’ll amass an army. Whatchu gunna do bout it?

                  1. Arbitration requires consent of both parties. I don’t consent. I do not respect your rules. I think I’ll just take your shit for a living. To do so, I’ll amass an army. Whatchu gunna do bout it?

                    Well hypothetically Company C gets the shit kicked out of them by a conglomeration of courts, insurance companies and other protection agencies working for the courts and insurance companies.

                    But do you care to explore how it got to the point where your company makes it’s money with such business practices?
                    -Who are your customers? Why would they buy your product? What insurance company will insure your actions? What court would lend your company credibility? Who is arming your people? Who is selling you guns? Food? Who is working for you when you don’t have insurance coverage or legal support? Even with all that, how could such a company with a such a handicap in it’s relationship with the rest of the market, become more powerful than the rest of the cooperative market combined? A whole lot more questions than that need to be answered before you can use your hypothetical worst case scenario as a deal breaker.

                    Not even modern governments can last long if they don’t pay for things they consume and convince a whole shit-ton of decent people that they are providing them with some kind of value.

                    1. But do you care to explore how it got to the point where your company makes it’s money with such business practices?

                      Sure. I make my money legitimately and then decide to go bad later. When my army is big enough, I’ll start stealing shit.

                      Two points to your argument.

                      1. Once I can steal with impunity, I don’t need to conduct legitimate business. I can get everything I need at the end of a gun.

                      2. Are you implying that no one did business with Al Capone?

                      So now, we are right where I said we’d wind up…with warring factions. So you asked me earlier to demonstrate:

                      how only statist judicial monopolies can arbitrate disputes.

                      This is the reason. The force of governance must be big enough that it cannot be readily challenged by rogue elements within its citizenry. (I might also note that Company A and B can also come to blows either through corruption OR disputes over laws…IOW…war.)

                      FS, we want the same thing, I think. Maximized liberty. I realize government is the problem, but I’m fairly certain that lack of government not only doesn’t solve the problem but brings another set of problems. I think the way to go is a highly restricted Republic with a strictly defined role of government (to protect individual rights) is the best you can do, knowing full well it won’t last forever.

                    2. Sure. I make my money legitimately and then decide to go bad later. When my army is big enough, I’ll start stealing shit.

                      That doesn’t solve who will be continuing to insure or which courts will continue to legitimize you or which companies will do business with you or which group of people will persist on being your customers.

                      1. Once I can steal with impunity, I don’t need to conduct legitimate business. I can get everything I need at the end of a gun.

                      It’s called “diminishing returns.” If you steal far and wide and somehow keep doing this, you’ll run out of things to steal because people don’t produce anything in that sort of enviroment. Secondly, you’ll still need to do business with someone. That’s the whole point of stealing! The jewel thief doesn’t eat the jewelry he steals, he sells those jewels. And if this jewel thief steals everyone’s jewelry with impunity, he’ll run out of things to steal almost as quickly as he runs out of people to trade with him. It’s not a situation that would replicate itself across a whole marketplace because companies that do this won’t last nor could they stand up to the power protecting those who trade voluntarily.

                    3. 2. Are you implying that no one did business with Al Capone?

                      That example proves my point. People did business with Al Capone because the government wouldn’t let them do business with John Q Liquor-Owner. Al Capone’s business wasn’t the distribution of Law and Order. If that was his business, he’d be out of business. A business of his type and scale would not have been possible outside of the state system that supported him by artificially driving up the cost of his wares.

                    4. This is the reason. The force of governance must be big enough that it cannot be readily challenged by rogue elements within its citizenry. (I might also note that Company A and B can also come to blows either through corruption OR disputes over laws…IOW…war.)

                      The market is plenty big enough. Demand for law and order is high, nearly universal in fact. It seems natural that there would be no need to coerce the existence of it.

                      And if rampant warfare is the thing you fear, I’ll direct your attention to the 260 million murdered civilians by force of arms last century. I’ll point you to the state, which martials the industrial age resources of the entire productive market place and gear them towards the mass murder of other people. At least Private Protection Agencies would not be able to finance such giant wastes of human life like states can. States need not trivialize their time worrying about people’s consent to finance their murders.

                    5. FS, we want the same thing, I think. Maximized liberty. I realize government is the problem, but I’m fairly certain that lack of government not only doesn’t solve the problem but brings another set of problems

                      Yet I remain fairly certain that political government is precisely the reason. I assume you heard of the study that showed how if regulations were halted in 1949, and no new one had come into being, every American would have a salary equivalent to the purchasing power of $330,000 per year. And that’s just halting the regulatory machine. The world would he healthier and wealthier without state. Governance yes, state no.

                      I think the way to go is a highly restricted Republic with a strictly defined role of government (to protect individual rights) is the best you can do, knowing full well it won’t last forever.

                      I used to feel the exact same way. But an exploration of morality and my expanding understanding of markets led me to another conclusion altogether. The moral arguments though however, are far more important to that end since morality is the core of human interaction.

                    6. And if rampant warfare is the thing you fear, I’ll direct your attention to the 260 million murdered civilians by force of arms last century. I’ll point you to the state, which martials the industrial age resources of the entire productive market place and gear them towards the mass murder of other people.

                      Just because this happened under government doesn’t mean it wouldn’t ALSO happen under anarchy. In fact, I contend it would be worse. The difference being the killing would be at the local rather than international level (see Afghanistan).

                      I guess we will agree to disagree.

                      FS, I enjoy our discussions.

                    7. Just because this happened under government doesn’t mean it wouldn’t ALSO happen under anarchy. In fact, I contend it would be worse. The difference being the killing would be at the local rather than international level (see Afghanistan).

                      Well I think scale would certainly be different. I have my doubts that a private protection agency could wage World War 1 or Vietnam or most any other war. Wars are costly and destructive and to the detriment of all involved. The fact that states externalize the cost of war, makes them possible on tremendous scale.

                      FS, I enjoy our discussions.

                      I’m glad and so do I, my friend.

                    8. There will always be people who would rather steal for a living, simply because they perceive it’s easier.

                    9. There will always be people who would rather steal for a living, simply because they perceive it’s easier.

                      They’re called government workers 😉 But the system we have now doesn’t address this. It doesn’t even always require compensation to victims. The state, one could easily argue, creates most of the economic situations that perpetuate crime.

                      I imagine a world where outlawry alone, exclusion from the social order, would be enough to deter most crime from ever taking place. For the obstinate few there is still the legitimate use force in store for them. Market Anarchists don’t argue for non-punishment of crime, we argue for the ultimate deterrence and a swift resolution to the issue of crime. I just don’t think that legitimate use of force should be restricted to an unaccountable monopoly.

                    10. I used to think like you. Then I started asking myself what prevents your supposedly limited (but with a monopoly on force) government from taking on the role of bad company C, and whether or not this was actually worth comprimising the NAP. My answers were respectively “very little” and “no”, but I can still understand where you’re coming from.

                    11. I used to think like you. Then I started asking myself what prevents your supposedly limited (but with a monopoly on force) government from taking on the role of bad company C, and whether or not this was actually worth comprimising the NAP. My answers were respectively “very little” and “no”, but I can still understand where you’re coming from.

                      If the worst that can happen is the eventual re-rise of statism then I see little reason to compromise the NAP. I see that re-rise as possible, but as unlikely as the re-rise of slavery.

                      Slavery was extinguished by the greater moral understanding of people than was the case historically. The same principle can work on statism.

                    12. Then I started asking myself what prevents your supposedly limited (but with a monopoly on force) government from taking on the role of bad company C

                      Nothing. It most certainly will. I concede this.

                      My point is that anarchism isn’t the solution to that problem. I simply contend that anarchism will devolve into a dictatorship much faster than a Republic will.

                    13. My point is that anarchism isn’t the solution to that problem. I simply contend that anarchism will devolve into a dictatorship much faster than a Republic will.

                      I contend that the untapped potential of markets and human freedom is vast and has the capacity to right most of the wrongs we endure in this world as it stands. My contention is that states can only obfuscate moral truth and exacerbate injustice in the world.

                    14. I have many problems with anarch-capitalism but most may boil down to the same thing. Even if we knew (somehow) that it would all work fine (I can understand that argument), we will never get there in practice, not in 200 years. It takes 50 years to even start getting rid of bad laws against things like marijuana and they continue to make new bad laws against decongestants and bath salts. The few people like Reagan that even talked about cutting costs get blamed for things they did not do. (like cut spending) The most Reagan ever did was to cut the rate of increase of spending in a few areas while sharply increasing it in others like defense.

                      So my biggest complaint about those arguing for anarch-capitalism is that they are unrealistic and few non-libertarians can comprehend how the system would even work. Therefore such arguments tend to make libertarians appear to be loons and thus are counter-productive to achieving even the simplest aims in the right direction.

                    15. I have many problems with anarch-capitalism but most may boil down to the same thing […] The few people like Reagan that even talked about cutting costs get blamed for things they did not do. (like cut spending) The most Reagan ever did was to cut the rate of increase of spending in a few areas while sharply increasing it in others like defense.

                      That’s pretty much my objection to minarchism. You work so hard to gain so little, only to have the work of generations of people undone during with a single term of the Woodrow Wilsons and FDRs of the world (whose fallacies are in abundant supply to this day). Tyranny is a cunt hair from reality. I believe market anarchism provides a better buffer than that.

                      Therefore such arguments tend to make libertarians appear to be loons and thus are counter-productive to achieving even the simplest aims in the right direction.

                      At least you’re acknowledging we’re libertarians. I’ve learned that minarchist libertarians can be every bit as aggressive in their defense of the state as when I debate progressives. I’m not calling you guys progressives or anything, just that “defense of state” arguments come from the same place with same logical basis and often the same amount of emotional attachment. (also not calling ya’ll emotional per se)

                      Best regards. Thank you for the respectful conversation so far guys. I’ve grown accustomed to being called every name in the book.

    3. Don’t you know a cult when you see it?

      1. I know a mentally deficient person when I see one.

  14. Just to vent, back when the Atlanta freeway ice storm debacle was going on in the winter, a co-worker claimed to have Teathuglican (conflates libertarian with Tea Party but whatever) friends living in Atlanta and he was joyous that their freeway was clogged due to, in his mind, Atlanta going total “free market” by cutting funding to DOT. So he joyfully ranted “Where’s their John Galt now to come and plow their roads?” Made no sense then or now. /rant off.

    1. That’s because they got it mixed up, it was “John Salt Halite (and snow removal)”

      1. John Salt. Yes it all just fell into place for me

  15. If Rand could’ve envisioned the enormity of the future surveillance state we presently live in, then she would’ve known that no one can hide from our overseers’ unless our overseers choose to allow them the illusion of hiding. No one can really disappear today.

    1. Well the “secret community no one knows about” wouldn’t work, but IIRC there was a striker who didn’t know about Galt’s Gulch who was just working at a hamburger stand in the middle of nowhere. I could see that sort of “hiding in plain sight” strategy still working.

      1. The striker who was working at the hamburger stand – a diner actually – was Hugh Akston, one of Galt’s former professors. He knew all about Galt’s Gulch.

        1. I hated that crappy actor they got to play him in Part II. What a douche.

  16. So how will the movie handle John Galt’s implied adult virginity?

    And I don’t see how you can interpret the character’s situation otherwise, given his buddy Francisco d’Anconia’s apparently permanent celibacy after his turn with Dagny in their youth. In Rand’s world, the ethical male characters apparently go without sex for much of their lives, or even their whole lives, in Eddie Willers’s case.

    Galt’s masterful handling of Dagny in the novel at their first meeting also rings false for a man in his 30’s who has a crush on a woman but no sexual experience.

    1. My favorite part of the book was when Hank rams his big piece of Rearden Metal in Ayn’s…ahem…Dagny’s private boxcar.

    2. They added a whole flashback subplot, going back to John and Francisco’s college days, studying Physics. There’s this hot blond living in the apartment across the hall, and there’s an inexplicable chemistry between her and John.

  17. I think most people get turned off of Rand largely because of her use of the word selfishness. Since before pre-school we’re taught we need to share (or taught the self-sacrificing model of Jesus if you’re raised Christian). What’s interesting is that the idea of living for yourself and those you value is what most people largely do anyway despite the sharing and self-sacrificial mantras, so more people could have been open to Ayn Rand’s philosophy with the use of different terms or phrases, such as rational self-interest, which is how she explained what she meant by selfishness anyway.

    1. I think there are more people turned off by Rand who haven’t the slightest clue or care of what words she used. Rather, they know the “right” people don’t like her and that’s all that matters.

      Since before pre-school we’re taught we need to share

      This is why leftists are so childish.

    2. Nobody needed to come along to tell people to be selfish or to act in what they perceive as their rational self-interest. Philosophy is about how people (plural) should live. Individuals muddle along in their given environment quite selfishly on their own.

      1. No one argues that individuals live in a vacuum. Philosophy discusses the just ways that those individuals co-exist. Your preferred version is serfdom.

  18. I understand with a tight budget that this was likely, but? a full recasting AGAIN???

    Could they have at least kept Samantha Mathis for Dagny? I liked her in the role better, she didn’t look too young to be an executive of Dagny’s stature, unlike the prior actress.

    The character that suffered the most from cast changes was Francisco. The former actor didn’t really get the opportunity to come out from behind the billionaire playboy mask. And the 2nd actor didn’t have that playboy spendthrift contradiction that was important to the mysteries of the story. Real discoveries of the layers of the character between the parts is lost amongst the differences in the two actors style.

    Then again, it could have all been far worse. The film only went into production, because they were up against a hard deadline. If they didn’t start shooting the first film when they did, the production company would have lost the film rights to the book.

    A less hap-hazard approach should have involved locking up a director and actors for all the films. A new concept in the film business, and one that is limited to big tentpole franchises (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Hunger Games, etc.). But certainly adaptable to lower budget productions.

    I don’t know the nature of the contracts with the Ayn Rand estate, but hopefully the completion of the films would free up the rights. Hindsight being 20/20, I think it would have been better as a TV series, even if just a single season for the whole story.

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