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Arts and Culture

Ayn Rand Fans Mortified by DVD Slander

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Posted on Nov 13, 2011
Atlasshruggedmovie.com

The people behind 2011’s “Atlas Shrugged” movie adaptation (yes, they finally released the movie and no, nobody saw it) were “mortified” to discover that the DVD packaging for “Part 1” billed the film as a story of “courage and self-sacrifice.” As every Randbot knows, self-sacrifice is sacrilegious in the world of Ayn.

A statement from the production company responsible for “Atlas Shrugged” explains:

The 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, is known in philosophical and political circles for presenting a cogent argument advocating a society driven by rational self-interest. On the back of the film’s retail DVD and Blu-ray however, the movie’s synopsis contradictorily states “AYN RAND’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life … ”

“It’s embarrassing for sure and of course, regardless of how or why it happened, we’re all feeling responsible right now,” says Scott DeSapio, Atlas Productions’ COO and communications director. “You can imagine how mortified we all were when we saw the DVD but, it was simply too late—the product was already on shelves all over the country. It was certainly no surprise when the incredulous emails ensued. The irony is inescapable.”

Atlas Productions has pledged to replace the title cards of up to 100,000 DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Who will bother taking it up on such an offer? Don’t underestimate Ayn Rand fans. They are a devoted bunch.

Consider this: “Atlas Shrugged” came out in April. It took home a negligible $4.6 million at the box office and only 12 percent of critics as canvassed by Rotten Tomatoes thought it was worth seeing. However, the movie gets an 80 percent audience approval rating. That’s an awfully big disparity, but then that’s to be expected from the Randzone, where up is down, bad is good and selfishness is a virtue. 

—Peter Z. Scheer

 


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

I guess by your definition if I am against it it must be biased and therefor automatically wrong. I don’t use such criteria. It is limiting. And you call me “Leftist” is fine. But I’m not wholly of their ilk.

I had hoped you would save your money and read on line. And listen to Ayn Rand herself and those who support her and those who find too much wrong about her point-of-view not to. That is what I did. It only costs time that way.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said;

Mine isn’t an opinion of Ms Rand but a conclusion of analysis. Did you do any? Obviously not. As usual you are slippery in your responses always playing the trickster not coming clean. You demand I answer a question you haven’t done so yourself. “Would you vote for a Dominionist” you asked me and I answered “No.” Did you answer it? Not yet.

I wasnt trying to be slippery. You want me to answer this question: “would i vore for a Dominionist”?

If you thought someone was a Dominionist, it wouldnt matter to me at all, and i might vote for them because your opinion does not carry much weight to me.

If I thought someone was a Dominionist, I wouldnt vote for them.

As far as Rand is concerned i am not going to judge someone based on your biased, Leftist, anti-Fundamentalist opinion. Nor will i defend someone who i dont know(Rand), so i dont have an answer to your question. I stated from the start that i dont know yet. How is this being slippery? Its mere honesty.

I have ordered the book “Atlas Shrugged.” i havent read it yet. What more could you want from me? i dont have anything else to say about Rand or her book.

Hmm, but you say Rand promotes “psychopaths”... if its true… i wont like it. Yet that was your highly biased opinion, and if past performance is any indicator of future performance, I will probably find out that you are totally wrong.

I hope this answer make you happy, but if it doesnt, what more can i do?

<shrug>

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Mine isn’t an opinion of Ms Rand but a conclusion of analysis. Did you do any? Obviously not. As usual you are slippery in your responses always playing the trickster not coming clean. You demand I answer a question you haven’t done so yourself. “Would you vote for a Dominionist” you asked me and I answered “No.” Did you answer it? Not yet.

Getting straight answers out of you is like pulling teeth without anesthesia.

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By dancingrabbit, November 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Ayn Rand has two consistent and fallacious logical themes that dominate her writing.

The first is she(?) practices the argumentative technique “burning a straw man” to make her case. She argues that liberals want bring down anyone who is creative and hugely successful, probably out of envy and jealousy.  Modern counter examples to this assertion might include Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, George Soros to name a few.  What annoys liberals are those, like some on Wall Street, who use their wealth to rig the game in their favor through the purchase of politicians.

The second is what is commonly called the “fallacy of composition”.  She declares that selfishness is the highest virtue.  This logical fallacy makes the generality that what is good for the individual is good for the group.  As counter examples one could consider that evading taxes is good for the individual but if everyone were to evade taxes civil society would collapse.  The selfish person would avoid military service. If everyone avoided military service our nation would soon fall victim to any powerful nation who wants what we have.

Basically she is promoting “pure capitalism” unrestrained by meddling government.  It was practiced in this country back in the days of the robber barons, a time when entrepreneurs sold watered down milk for infants and added chalk dust to correct the color.

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By someonewhoactuallyreadherbooks, November 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To RandianNOmore!

Thank you for the correction.  If you will replace “breathing” with “eating”, that should satisfy your objection:
Eating is a purely selfish act, but I don’t recommend that you stop doing it, even if you have been taught to despise selfishness.

But more importantly, I am curious why you do not tell us: what is your disagreement with Rand’s philosophy?  All you do is criticize the people you thought were her followers.

I am sorry to hear that when you considered yourself an Objectivist, you hated everyone. I didn’t get that from her philosophy. I certainly don’t hate everyone. Also, I volunteer for and donate to charities, because it serves my values.

You must know that it is not possible to be a “mindless Objectivist”, and that Rand advocated against following anyone as a “guru”, herself and Peikoff included.

You seem better qualified than anyone else in this discussion to say where Rand’s actual philosophy is mistaken. Please do so.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said:

I am just interested in seeing if your galvanic reaction to us turns out to be dead wrong. I give you wrong wingers a chance all the time. Few of you measure up. But some do.

Its nice that i still have a chance, but I am not any more interested in measuring up to your opinion than you are to mine.

<shrug>

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By Truthdiggetydog, November 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Ralph Martin, you are the moron. I didn’t decry big business, but the
excessive greed of the executives at the top. In today’s Truthdig it states
Bloomberg is worth $19,500,000,000. He’s 69, so if he lives to be 100 (another 31
years) he’d have to spend $629,032,258.06 every year to blow it all. That’s
$1,723,376.05 every day. It’s this type of perverse wealth that has turned the US
into an oligarchic Empire.
Granted this has nothing to do with Objectivism per se, other than to point out the
glorification of greed implicit in that philosophy bolsters Wall Street’s heroic image
of itself. I would read Ayn Rand, but I’m not too interested in immersing myself in
methamphetamine-fuelled kitsch.

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By mendel, November 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

@truthdiggetydog. Ah, now I understand.  We need big business so we can keep
our jobs until big business can figure out how to export the jobs to Vietnam or
Myanmar. What then? Not to worry, the super rich will take care of you.

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By RandianNOmore!, November 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To someonewhoactuallyreadherbooks….
unfortunately I spent way too much time reading her books, attending Objectivist gatherings—Jefferson School, etc, and have discussed her philosophy over dinner with L.Peikoff and H.Binswanger. Regarding your comment: “In closing, please allow me to point out that breathing is a purely selfish act, but I don’t recommend that you stop doing it, even if you have been taught to despise selfishness.”  Since you are also well read in her books, you must know that to be a selfish act it must be a volitional act.  Breathing is not a volitional act,  otherwise you would die in your sleep. It is reflexive. Don’t worry I won’t hold it against you. I’m no longer a selfish Objectivist, so I can forgive you for that.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Well since I am not a “Leftist” your analysis is wrong there. But please read her swill. (It’s in bad need of an editor.) Better to see her interviews and read her writings on her “philosophy” and such instead of plowing through her horrible writing. (Just a warning from a friend.)

I am just interested in seeing if your galvanic reaction to us turns out to be dead wrong. I give you wrong wingers a chance all the time. Few of you measure up. But some do.

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By ralph martin, November 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

truthdiggitydog you are a moron. All those workers, what would they do without that big company to work for? Collect welfare, work for themselves? So few people have the desire or the ability these days they would just rot without big business to give them jobs in the first place. Everyone complains about big business then they complain when the big business goes overseas. Make up your stupid minds already do you HATE big business? Then dont complain about jobs going overseas.

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By OsborneInk, November 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most striking thing about the movie is its
mediocrity. The whole production reeks of amateurism;
hackery infects every scene. “Atlas Shrugged Part 1”
would make Ayn Rand spit with rage at her intellectual
children.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 16, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said:

I wonder what “merit” you think there is in Ayn rand? So psychopaths are the “superhumans” of human society? Or is it greed that is considered good part of it? Selfishness as a virtue? Please let us know. Your moral compass is as skewed as your politics at this point.

As i said, i dont know Ayn Rand yet, but i do know you Leftists here. I know that you misrepresent everything good that i say. i know you misrepresent me.

I make an inference from that. I figure that you are probably misrepresnting Ayn Rand as well. So i have curiousity about whether “Atlas Shrugged” is any good or not. It might really be good.

Or I guess I could just take your word for it and not read the book or watch the movie, acting as if you were an unbiased and fair person towards everything you disagree with. But we both know its not true. You are very biased and hateful to any dissent.

Thats why i figure there is probably some merit to Ayn Rand.

I dont trust your Leftist bias. Do you understand?

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By RandianNOmore!, November 16, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Being a break away Objectivist, I find this hilarious!!  I spent years as a “thought filled”, mindless Objectivist. It taught me that the “virtue of selfishness” leads to unhappiness.  Every Objectivist that I met went around angrily spewing quotes from her books, and ostrasizing those around them.  Objectivists hate everyone, including Objectivists.  I learned that from the Guru (Leonard Peikoff) down to the lowest Rand serf. Boy are those parties fun! I’m sure many of them are squirming over this faux pas! It gives them more to complain about.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 16, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

I wonder what “merit” you think there is in Ayn rand? So psychopaths are the “superhumans” of human society? Or is it greed that is considered good part of it? Selfishness as a virtue? Please let us know. Your moral compass is as skewed as your politics at this point.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

I havent read any of her books or seen the movie, but anything you guys hate so much has to have some merit.

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By blackplates, November 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Romance Novelist and Self Help Guru, Ayn Rand”....
BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAH HA HAH HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
bet they really flipped their wigs over that one

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By someonewhoactuallyreadherbooks, November 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those reading the above article and the comments, be aware that most of these come from people who seem not to be very familiar with Rand’s philosophy. You can get some idea of Rand’s philosophy from her fiction, such as “Atlas Shrugged”. But if you really seek to understand it well enough to judge it, you will need to read her nonfiction works.

You might start with “Philosophy: Who Needs It”, “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology”, and “The Virtue of Selfishness”. Once you have read these you will begin to have an idea of her philosophy.

In closing, please allow me to point out that breathing is a purely selfish act, but I don’t recommend that you stop doing it, even if you have been taught to despise selfishness.

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, November 15, 2011 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

Who is Jerry Sandusky?

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By rumblingspire, November 15, 2011 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

smee18:

did he sacrifice his self for the greater good?  its been a while since i saw that movie.  did he value the greater good over his own life?  if so then it was a selfish act satisfying his need.  there is virtue in selfishness.  to act selflessly is impossible. 
the search for truth requires intellectual purity.

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By smee18, November 15, 2011 at 12:37 am Link to this comment

“show me the selfless act and i will show you my golden
turd.”

Dr Spock at the end of Star Trek 2 The Wrath of Kahn
... totally selfless.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

But these guys and some gals have the US war machine behind them. So they have the ultimate weapons at their disposal.

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By rumblingspire, November 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Big Bill H:

show me the selfless act and i will show you my golden turd.

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By Truthdiggetydog, November 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

The real parasites are those who fantasize that they are Emperors of The World simply because they control capital. They think that entitles them to steal relentlessly from those who actually produce wealth—the workers. These piggish parasites actually have the gall to shamelessly say to every worker, “$400 for me, $1 for you, $400 for me, $1 for you.” But are these Capitalist Godmen really 400 times more productive than an average worker? That would mean they would have to work 400 times as hard. Is that possible in a 24 hour day? I don’t think so. They wipe their ass just like everyone else. They don’t need 400 times more toilet paper!

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By stephan geras, November 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find her criticism and her philosophical reasoning
refreshing not because I accept them as true but
because I can argue and prove them wrong on the same
level as she, a reasonable, not emotional one. I
can’t argue with her reasoning that no group, no
majority or minority can justify the right, or claim
as reasonable, the need for controlling the bodies of
women or interfering with the sexual choices of any
human.
In other words, there is a contradiction in American
Liberalism. On one hand the belief in something
(someone) transcendent and on the other hand the
“belief” in the primacy and inalienable right of the
individual.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, November 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

How can you not be popular when you turn the 7 deadly sins into virtues? Take the baser, muscular, despotic route to success! Have as your icon psychopaths who do what they want and are ruthless because they have no “organ to feel another’s pain.” It is a psychopath’s creed of greed, dictatorship and oppression for the masses who aren’t pirates at heart.


Her lack of religion is really unnecessary to those who believe in the prosperity gospel, and deem the more wealth an power you have the more your god blesses you and the more superior you are to them. It works anyway for the selfish predators out there. Fits their mind set like “social Darwinism”(sic) does. Preconceptualism at its best, or worst.

That old Star Trek alternate world episode “Mirror Mirror” is a perfect example of an Ayn Rand world. Maybe Gene Roddenberry got the idea from her turgid prose.

However one doesn’t have to be religious to be giving. Not at all. People were doing that long before religion and will do so long after its end.

I’ll wait for the bargain bin for this one.

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By Big Bill H., November 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks, Robespierre115, for pointing out the reality of Rand’s
ideological heir, AynRon Paul.

rumblingspire: I’m sure you can’t get your head around the concept
of altruism because the former is still up your Randroid ass. I imagine
the view’s better from up there than out here with the rest of us,
right?

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By Hasan, November 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who is Marion Parker?

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By John Sullivan, November 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Apparently they made the mistake of trying to market the film to the non-asshole demographic.
Is it in the “rational” self-interest of hypocrite libertarians everywhere to perform an act of self-sacrifice and help finance the sequel?

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By Wildeye, November 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

“Self-sacrifice” is the very definition of volunteering for military service in this country. In other words, followers of Rand hate the troops.

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By jdean, November 14, 2011 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Too bad the Bolsheviks didn’t just let her and family stay in their house and save us all the blather.

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By laundro, November 14, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This isn’t an Onion article?

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By GradyLeeHoward, November 14, 2011 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Realism is always a problem in depicting
fantastical delusions. I’m glad they weren’t smart
enough to issue this insanity as a digital cartoon,
a la Dreamworks or Disneytoon. It could never be an
entertaining game though, because it lacks internal
logic. But then again, our military adventures that
cost trillions also lack any logic but short-
sighted greed. If we live, all of us are going to
be dependent on others at some point, and I’d hate
to be waiting for some church weirdo to get me a
cup of water. They might make me pray first. The
civil society Rand rejected is our greatest asset.

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By cclark81, November 14, 2011 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read both of Rand’s tomes when I was in high school…some 40 odd years ago.  Loved them.  What adolescent full of himself or herself and in full rebellion wouldn’t?  And that’s pretty much the point.  Teenage rebellion, sado-masochistic, overwrought.  And now we find out that both Rand and von Mies were parasitic welfare queens, taking advantage of the taxpayers by scarfing down all the SS bennies they could get their grubby little hands on.  Note:  von Mies was advised to pursue SS by no less than one of the Koch Bros.  Moreover, Rand, having finally lost her paramour and her cuckolded hubby, died a lonely drug-addled death, a meth doper to the end.  I dare anyone to read those books or see the Gary Cooper/Patricia Neal version of Atlas Shrugged and not see the fulsome if revolting “love affair” for what it truly was - neurotic as all hell.  Too bad one of Rand’s prime philosophical children was Alan Greenspan.  Oh well.  It’s just a nation.

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By siamdave, November 14, 2011 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

Atlas Shrugged is, as most here understand, for the juvenile mind. For adults - Green Island   http://www.rudemacedon.ca/greenisland.html  (even John Galt grows up on Green Island ..)

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By joegod, November 14, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ll give Rand credit for one thing,and that’s predicting the future collapse of
what is called the “welfare state”....there is corruption run amok and today it
seems to not be a priority for the govt. to weed out,on all levels of the social
ladder, those who are leeching and those who genuinely need and deserve
the support. Yet the Randian disciples today have seen their ideologies in
action over the last 30 odd years, and that’s bred even more corruption,more
pain, more suffering, more leeching….plus it doesn’t take a genius to predict
the possible failures of an over-reaching govt. program…the woman is over-
rated. She was a sexually frustrated,apathetic soul whose “selfishness as
virtue” philosophy is helping to destroy this country, if not the world.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, November 14, 2011 at 4:23 am Link to this comment

I tried to read Atlas Shrugged earlier this year, and although what I read did indeed fall into the category of “so bad it is good”, I just didn’t have the gumption to make it past about page 70.

Yes, I am weak and contemptable. What will I whine about next???

Anyhow, this preview almost fills me with enough vigor to try it again. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Who is John Galt???

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, November 14, 2011 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

Ayn is a self-proclaimed philosopher not worth any serious academic attention - her views are incoherent at best - but she is Alan Greenspan’s hero - figures.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, November 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Robespierre115 - You know that Ron Paul’s vision would never come to pass because for every John Gault out there today, there are far more evil bastards that would make the world an even uglier place.

Also, I can’t help myself. Here’s an oft quoted slap-in-Rand’s-face tidbit:

“There are two novels that can transform a bookish fourteen-y­ear-old’s life: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionall­y stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs.” (lots of people are cited as the author of this wonderful quote!)

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By Gee, November 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

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.
- Hotter Perry

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, November 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

This bullshit movie and its bullshit philosophy are only worth checking out to get a glimpse of what Ron Paul’s vision of the future is.

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By rumblingspire, November 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i’ve struggled with the concept of altruism and i still can not grasp it.  i suspect it is an idea only, one that is apart to nature.  ayn rand seemed to not understand that self interest might include the spiritual that comes with giving. and lets mention the practical part of giving, in that what goes around comes around.

ayn rands “virtue of selfishness” was right but she did not see far enough.  maybe politics clouded her judgment.  but i still like her strong respect for the individual so she will always have a seat at my table.

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