Atlas Shrugged

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Entertainment

Anyone who has read my philosophical autobiography knows that I began my ideological journey as a follower of Ayn Rand.  I read The Fountainhead when I was 15 and Atlas Shrugged shortly afterward.  It was an excellent way in which to sharpen young, rationalist teeth.  The details of how I evolved from that world view is in the first chapter of that autobiography, accessible above and hopefully to be expanded shortly, so I won’t go into that here.

Atlas Shrugged has become a flagship for the current Tea Party, Neo-conservative movement, -which is a bit of a surprise as Ayn Rand was about as anti-religion as anyone could possibly get.

And now we have “Atlas Shrugged”, the three part mega-movie.  Rotten Tomatoes gives it 16%, but conversely the audience rating is 80%.  The reviews, at this time, on Cinema Clock are even higher, but there have only been a small handful of people who have rated it.  After this weekend it will be interesting to see how the ratings run.  It isn’t hard to see that the early raters will be the fans who would flock and sit at Ayn Rand’s feet were she still alive.  I sincerely hope that Canada can muster far fewer of those than can the U.S.

So, do I go and see it or not, as a nostalgic, intellectual curiosity, …like one would go and see Graceland or the bearded lady at the circus?  It is only playing at the Yonge/Dundas AMC, so it will likely sputter out quickly.  Well, this is one that I’m unlikely to make a trek for.  The reviews mostly say that it is low budget and boring.  Even some Rand supporters are saying that it depicts her philosophy in a poor light.

Maybe it would make a good double feature if I go down to see “Machine Gun Preacher”.

  1. Michael says:

    I read Ayn Rand around the same time, although I can no longer recall if it was at your prompting or another. I felt, ultiimately, that the society she envisioned was barely social, and not much worth living in. In it’s own, different, way, as oppressive and barely better than 1984.

    It’s funny that you write about the tea partiers as religious. I don’t think they are. Not in any true sense. They pay lip service to Christian ideology, while being seemingly bereft of what I understand to be christian charity. A very strange group, worrysome in their own way.

  2. pwiinholt says:

    Hi Michael, If you take a look at the three posts on religion (and I know it’s a bit of an opus) you’ll see that what Integral Theory calls “Red” religion is what the Tea Party people are attached to, along with an unfortunately sizable percentage of American society. You, clearly, must have a different world view pertaining to religion, which would explain why you are not seeing them as “true Christians”.
    And I agree with you about Rand’s stark and cold society. Nathaniel Banden, who was her principal supporter and protege has released a series of lectures exposing how he came to re-evaluate Rand’s philosophy. I’m looking forward to listen to it to see whether it is similar to my own deconstruction of Objectivism.

  3. Michael says:

    Is that like “Nature, red in tooth and claw”?

    • pwiinholt says:

      Wilber colour codes his sociological strata. You can find a good chart in a link within the first “religion” post. Red is the stage that is largely ego-centric and very mythic, tribal oriented, with a preoccupation for dogmatic rules and laws. Sound familiar?

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