Atlas Shrugged II – the trailer

Rotten Tomatoes has it at an unheard of zero percent from its list of critics. Audiences give it a 65% which given the biases of the normal movie going public (say 30% ALP, 5% Green and the rest rational) means for those of our persuasion, a movie not to be missed. You only must hope that some money making capitalist dog distributor will actually bring it over. Never did see Part I. Must get a DVD player.

Thanks to Gab for bringing it up in the open thread.

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107 Responses to Atlas Shrugged II – the trailer

  1. Alfonso

    This Atlas long since shrugged and went fishing.

  2. Tony

    Loved the first one (although I am actually quite centralist.) really looking forward to this one.

  3. Allan

    Read the book about 1960 – while it had extremes, it provided stark contrast to totalitaranism, socialism etc. While we MUST care for the genuine unfortunate (as a society and within families), we cannot afford the march to entitlement for all. The book should (but won’t) be read at school/unis.
    In the 80’s there were “warnings” (I forget who was the main protaginist) about the dangers of Big Business, Big Unions and Big Government – throw in bias in education and the (non questioning) media and a dangerous legal system and ….
    I remind my grandson of an old saying – “Cut your own wood and you will get warm twice”. I am not sure if he will read Atlas Shrugged but I may encourage him to see the DVDs.

  4. Ellen of Tasmania

    throw in bias in education …

    “There is exactly one authentically radical social movement of any real significance in the United States, and it is not Occupy, the Tea Party, or the Ron Paul faction. It is homeschoolers, who, by the simple act of instructing their children at home, pose an intellectual, moral, and political challenge to the government-monopoly schools, which are one of our most fundamental institutions and one of our most dysfunctional. Like all radical movements, homeschoolers drive the establishment bats.”

  5. Rabz

    Was rand paul named after this controversial woman writer?

  6. AndrewL

    98th worst opening in US Cinema history, the only reason anybody would distribute this in Australia would be for political reasons. There is no money in political propaganda unless you are Al Gore. The market has spoken.

  7. Gab

    98th worst opening in US Cinema history,

    LOL well thanks heavens I can think and judge for myself. As with all movies of potential interest, I view the trailer online and then decide if it’s for me. I never rely on how much the movie made on the opening weekend nor do I rely on supposed movie “experts”. Twas no different with Atlas Shrugged, a movie I throughly enjoyed.

  8. Cuckoo

    Given the number of US movies with name stars which go straight to DVD in this country, are you really expecting a local distributor to pick this up? A good movie of AS has been a dream of mine since I read the book, but from what I’ve seen, this isn’t it. Funnily enough, something which comes close is Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator’. There are a couple of scenes in that which could have been scripted by Ayn Rand.

  9. St Hubbins

    Was rand paul named after this controversial woman writer?

    Doesn’t look like it –
    Wikipedia link

    Randal Howard Paul was born on January 7, 1963 ….. Despite his father’s libertarian views and strong support for individual rights, the novelist Ayn Rand was not the inspiration for Paul’s first name; he went by “Randy” while growing up.His wife shortened his name to “Rand”.

  10. dragnet

    I would like to see the movie in its entirety. I read the book and ….. well alright as a work of literature it is crap, it is three times longer than it need be, has minimal characterisation, that ridiculously prolix John Galt speech etc etc …..but I still liked it!!! I read it in about 2008 and have since seen a lot of the scenario unfolding before my eyes. Bring on the movie, hopefully it has been cut, polished and improved for the greater good….or is the last something of a contradiction when talking Ayn Rand?

  11. Chris M

    Are these movies available over here or is it only via torrent?

    I think Ayn Rand was a rather strange lady, she hated God yet the entire economic theme of her book mirrors the moral theme of the Bible (in a long-winded way).

  12. eb

    I saw the first part… thought it was pretty good.

    Looking forward to seeing the second part.

  13. Max

    throw in bias in education

    I taught my kids times tables before going to school. I made up huge Times tables Grids starting at a 3X3 grid, then a 5X5 Grid and so on. with tests in the car each morning.

    Then I added in algrebra simple x’s and y’s subsitutions.

    Teachers were not happy. Also were not happy with teaching my kids to read phonetically

  14. m0nty

    LOL, WTF is with that last shot of the shadowy proboscis snaking out of that guy’s trousers towards the kneeling woman. Suggestive!

    It is hilarious that none of the main cast from the first one are in this one. They couldn’t even afford Grant Bowler! They should have called it Atlas Shrugged II: Shrug Harder.

  15. Fleeced

    I thought the first one was ok, but not great. I notice this one has all new actors.

    I loved the book, though it needed a bit of editing – and Galt’s speech at the end some heavy chopping. The speech was basically Rand saying, “and the moral to the story boys and girls,” followed by a boring, long-winded essay.

  16. Rococo Liberal

    Mrs Rococo is a big fan of Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead. I can see her point from a political point of view, but not from a literary one. I find Rand’s novels really unsatisfying because there is no humour in them (or at least not intentional humour). All the characters are unremittingly po-faced and noble to such an extent that one is reminded of the worst kind of melodrama or romance novel.

    I know that a lot of Catallaxians will want to see ‘Atlas Shrugged ‘ because it will make a change to see a film free of the leftist moral assumptions that inform much of the cinema produced by the US. Far be it from me to discourage them. But please don’t try to tell us this is great art.

  17. Fleeced

    Teachers were not happy.

    Why on earth would they not be happy?!

  18. Rococo Liberal

    Fleeced

    You are exactly right. Rand forgot the first rule of novel-writing: show don’t tell.

  19. Rococo Liberal

    Teachers were not happy.

    When were teachers ever happy.

  20. m0nty

    Apparently Atlas Shrugged II stars the guy who played Danny Noonan in Caddyshack. So there’s that.

  21. dragnet

    You said it better than I, RL

  22. Gab

    But please don’t try to tell us this is great art.

    Who said that?

  23. Fleeced

    There are few movies I would consider to be great art… but they can still be enjoyable.

  24. Gab

    Apparently Atlas Shrugged II stars the guy who played Danny Noonan in Caddyshack. So there’s that.

    monty’s reduced again to snark.That all you got?

    So they couldn’t get the same actors, so what? Maybe they had other commitments? Maybe the Hollywood Nazis threatened them with being blacklisted – it’s not like they don’t have form in this.

  25. John Mc

    But please don’t try to tell us this is great art.

    I’ve never read Rand’s fiction, but I know she wasn’t a great writer. I sometimes think she would have been better off putting her ideas forward as essays or non-fiction works. Then I remind myself her work has been a best seller for fifty years, and she has penetrated the mainstream in a way that, say, Friedman or Hayek or even the libertarian sci fi writer Heinlein didn’t.

    But it’s not high art. It’s a move that puts forward some essential concepts that people should ponder.

  26. Rabz

    Also were not happy with teaching my kids to read phonetically

    Max, don’t get me started on the war on phonics.

    I was taught to read using phonics when I was four.

    My dad then said “here son, read this”.

    It was a copy of the silly moaning herald…

  27. From what I hear Rand’s writing sounds to be very much like that of the SF writers – interesting ideas and political philosophy, delivered somewhat clunkishly by means of pulp fiction techniques.

  28. Dead Soul

    There are few movies I would consider to be great art… but they can still be enjoyable.

    Fleeced, try “The Artist”, a modern silent movie. Great movie. Atlas Shrugged is facile compared to that gem. Team America is still a favourite. Matt Damon!!! (One must have diverse tastes and not let politics influence our choices too much.)

  29. Fleeced

    Fleeced, try “The Artist”, a modern silent movie.

    I dunno DS, that sounds a little too arty.

    Fact is, I’m probably averse to any movie described as art.

    Team America was great. I love the SP guys (who, incidentally, don’t seem to be a fan of Atlas Shrugged)

  30. Cuckoo

    The lesson of ‘The Fountainhead’ is that you have to film Ayn Rand as melodrama – this is why that film works so well. Few actresses could do wide-eyed hysteria like the lovely Patricia Neal. This version of Atlas looks very po-faced.

  31. JC

    Apparently Atlas Shrugged II stars the guy who played Danny Noonan in Caddyshack. So there’s that.

    If they ever need a double for John Candy, you’re be perfect Fatboy.

  32. A sampling of Randian style sex scenes:

    Dagny Taggert, in Atlas Shrugged has sexual encounters with the three main “heroes”:

    Francisco D’Anconia: “She knew that fear was useless, that he would do what he wished, that the decision was his, that he left nothing possible except the thing she wanted most—to submit.”

    Hank Rearden: “He seized her arm, threw her down on her knees, twisting her body against his legs, and bent down to kiss her mouth…he saw the shape of her mouth, distorted by pain, was the shape of a mocking smile. He felt it change to a shape of surrender…”

    John Galt: On sandbags in the underground terminal tunnels: “She felt her teeth sinking into the flesh of his arm, she felt the sweep of his elbow knocking her head aside and his mouth seizing her lips with a pressure more viciously painful than hers…”

    And from another book:

    It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be the act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from him—and she would have remained cold, untouched by the thing done to her body. But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted.

    Uhuh.

    She was a nut. Cult leaders sometimes arise from turgid writing; it’s a bit puzzling how this happens.

  33. Rabz

    Well, well, well – the semenblogger focuses on the sex scenes.

    How unexpected…

  34. Fisky

    I too read Rand’s sex scene depictions and thought they could be improved with a minor change to the casting.

    It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be the act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. Conroy did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made Roxon lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from Conroy-and Roxon would have remained cold, untouched by the thing done to Roxon’s body. But the act of a master (Conroy) taking shameful, contemptuous possession of Roxon was the kind of rapture Roxon had wanted.

    You see? Much better now, and knowledgeable insiders would hint that it might even be non-fiction.

  35. JC

    Stepford;

    The sex scenes resemble a greater majority of the sex bits in trashy romance novels you’ve admitted to liking and read.

    A few years back i read that up 50% of romance novels, which form the biggest share of books sales have at least one forced sex part.

    I don’t know why you’d find that sort of thing unusual seeing what you read.

  36. JC

    Well, well, well – the semenblogger focuses on the sex scenes.

    How unexpected…

    Of course.

  37. JC

    It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be the act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. Conroy did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made Roxon lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from Conroy-and Roxon would have remained cold, untouched by the thing done to Roxon’s body. But the act of a master (Conroy) taking shameful, contemptuous possession of Roxon was the kind of rapture Roxon had wanted.

    How about imagining Tubbsie Milne and Anthony Albanese in that sort of hot love making scene?

  38. Iron Man II had some libertarian themes.

    I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, the book. It had some memorable characters and it influenced me, a bit. I haven’t seen the film.

    Ayn Rand wrote sex scenes like a woman who is attracted to dominant men. Some women are, as the popularity of romance novels suggests to the acute observer.

  39. JC

    Team America was great. I love the SP guys (who, incidentally, don’t seem to be a fan of Atlas Shrugged)

    Team America was one of favorite movies of all time. Every side copped it really good. However they had a special kind of contempt for the Hollywood types.

    I think Atlas Shrugged is very prophetic though. There’s nothing in there that is outlandish about the present day left in terms of their envy ridden despicable fascist nature.

  40. John Mc

    Hey Shit for Brains, sometimes women want to be taken by men they respect. They can even find it a turn on to be dominated by a strong, capable man. I understand that you would never have experienced any of those situations (unless it was in the submissive role with a guy that looked like Freddie Mercury), so you’d find this notion confusing.

  41. Rabz

    they had a special kind of contempt for the Hollywood types.

    Ah yes, the Film Actors Guild

  42. Julian: I am very surprised.

    I am persuaded by comments like this:

    The thing is, most Catholics are repulsed by Rand’s philosophies. In the middle of reading Atlas Shrugged, my husband tossed the book at the wall and said “that’s enough of that; my soul can’t take anymore. And her prose is terrible.”

    He objected, as most of us do, to Rand’s philosophy of “rational self-interest” which she takes to arid, inhuman and inhumane extremes. Objectivism, she claimed, is “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” Or, as one character in Atlas Shrugged vowed, “I swear by my life, and by my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, not ask another man to live for mine.”

    It follows, of course, that such a philosophy would also refuse to die for the sake of another man’s life.

    And besides, her prose style absolutely stank.

  43. John Mc

    It is possible to accept the concepts that Rand put forward, and still investigate the nature of humanity through the context of religion. In fact, it’s quite common. All an objectivist would tell you is “be wary of people who tell you that it’s good to die for God. Probably best to ignore them completely.”

  44. Of course, I get the “women attracted to dominant men” shtick; but you will note that the extracts listed above also involve physical pain, and at least in the one extract, a desire not only to be “conquered”, but also to be “defiled” and treated “contemptuous possession”.

    This is well beyond the Mills and Boon “I wish he would ravish me – Oh! he is!” style of sex.

    She was a nut, and remains a puzzling poisonous influence on the Right in America.

  45. John Mc

    Well, SfB, Rand also used the notion of a ‘gulch’ to remove the capable people from society. Those who have pondered Rand’s work understand she’s not really saying we should form some sort of capitalist commune, but her metaphor for how productive people should live is correct and pertinent. Same same her understanding of “woman qua woman”.

  46. So say you, John Mc. She will always remain a nut and a poisonous moral influence to me.

  47. Steve

    A lot of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey were sold at the local Coles supermarket.

    I said that Rand influenced me. Of course I think her philosophy was fundamentally wrong. In fact, I think it fails even in its own terms. Or at least has weaknesses. But she was an interesting author.

    I know a few people who swear by Ayn Rand. They tend to be very intelligent, although with prickly personalities.

  48. JC

    Of course, I get the “women attracted to dominant men” shtick;

    In your dreams Stepford.

    but you will note that the extracts listed above also involve physical pain, and at least in the one extract, a desire not only to be “conquered”, but also to be “defiled” and treated “contemptuous possession”.

    So does every trashy romance novel you find an entertaining read… as you’ve said here a few times Stepford.

    This is well beyond the Mills and Boon “I wish he would ravish me – Oh! he is!” style of sex.

    Oh how? The man takes her schtick is eggsactly the same.

    She was a nut, and remains a puzzling poisonous influence on the Right in America.

    She was eccentric, but so what?
    Atlas shrugged was prophetic. Almost everything she wrote about that was supposed to make us gasp for breath is exactly what the modern left believes in these days, you fuck knuckle. You do.

  49. JC

    So say you, John Mc. She will always remain a nut and a poisonous moral influence to me.

    lol

  50. They tend to be very intelligent, although with prickly personalities.

    Heh. Intelligent nuts, in other words.

    I have honestly never read any detail about the content of the “Grey” novels: I assume they are controversial for “rehabilitating” mild-ish S&M?

    I would also assumed it is done consensually, but correct me if I am wrong.

  51. I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey. But a LOT of women have. They were selling it in display bins at the local Coles.

    The book is apparently very – what’s that word defined in the Macquarie Dictionary? – misogynistic.

  52. John Mc

    I would also assumed it is done consensually, but correct me if I am wrong.

    I think the point is domination may be consensual but the fantasy is that it is not. You know, like when you wear the gimp mask while being led around by nipple clamps.

  53. Dangph

    She was a nut, and remains a puzzling poisonous influence on the Right in America.

    I don’t think she has had that much influence. Lefties like you have a stupid cartoon picture in your heads that libertarians think of themselves as Randian superheros. I really don’t think we do in general.

    Personally I’ve never read Rand. I saw her in a couple of interviews on YouTube, and she seemed like a cool and impressive lady, but reading her books aren’t a high priority to me.

    Which reminds me, you should go and read your books. You’ll never get through them at this rate.

  54. I don’t think she has had that much influence.

    Oh yeah. It’s not like a VP candidate has said that his views on monetary policy are influenced by what one of her characters says in Atlas Shrugged [/sarc]:

    In a great catch by Dave Weigel of Slate, Ryan said that he “always goes back to” Francisco d’Anconia’s speech from Atlas Shrugged when he thinks about the Fed. The speech in question consists of a rant against paper money and an ode to gold — in other words, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from this to Ryan’s championing of a commodity-backed dollar.

  55. Yah: a Colbert clip I can view in Australia.

    Colbert effectively mocks Paul Ryan’s attraction to Rand (and his recent backtracking) in this clip from a couple of months back.

  56. Dangph

    Well, that’s one individual, and he appears to be talking about money rather than about Rand’s philosophy in general.

    I doubt that many people would follow her philosophy that selfishness is good.

    It’s important to understand that we are selfish by nature, but that’s different to taking selfishness as a goal.

  57. The Mitt Romney “47% percent” comment was a clear and insulting echo of Rand’s “moochers and looters” terminology, Dangph.

    If I recall, bizarrely, some people here had to have that explained to them.

  58. You see what I mean, Steve? Her ideas, some of them, stick in your head, don’t they?

  59. Dangph

    But it’s not as if she came up with the idea of freeloading and rent seeking. She just came up with some catchy terminology.

    People quote from Star Wars all the time. That doesn’t mean they think of themselves as Jedi.

  60. John Mc

    I doubt that many people would follow her philosophy that selfishness is good.

    Who’s done more good in the world, Bill Gates or Mother Theresa?

  61. John Mc

    The Mitt Romney “47% percent” comment was a clear and insulting echo of Rand’s “moochers and looters” terminology

    Any society that has 47% of the population receiving handouts from government is sick. Any society that goes much beyond that is probably doomed to failure.

  62. Rex

    I don’t think she has had that much influence. Lefties like you have a stupid cartoon picture in your heads that libertarians think of themselves as Randian superheros. I really don’t think we do in general.

    Greenspan?

    Personally I’ve never read Rand. I saw her in a couple of interviews on YouTube, and she seemed like a cool and impressive lady, but reading her books aren’t a high priority to me.


    Well if you can comment without having read any of her books, then maybe you can watch some more TV?

  63. No, it’s worse than that. By my reckoning, she tried to teach a moral and economic point of view that encouraged not just disagreement, but contempt and moral outrage towards those who disagreed with her philosophy that self interest always wins the day.

    As said by someone else recently:

    Rand’s “thought,” such as it is, boils down to two propositions. One is that selfishness is the highest of moral virtues. The other is that the masses, above all resentful of success, are parasites living off the hard work of capitalists far superior to them in every way.

    The first point is easily dismissed by most people as just a bit silly.

    The second point is more offensive, because it is easier to believe, and wrong.

  64. Dangph

    Who’s done more good in the world, Bill Gates or Mother Theresa?

    Bill Gates. Like I said, we are selfish by nature. That is our nature. The good thing about the free market is that it is compatible with that selfishness.

    Acknowledgment of selfishness however is different to pursuing it as a personal philosophy of how to live your life.

  65. Rex

    I personally like her books, very thought provoking and with decently fleshed out themes. Now whether I agree with her 100% I am not sure, but there are certainly some valid observations she does make.

    I am suprised the movies haven’t done better, but by all accounts it is the fault of the film makers and not the writer.

  66. I should say:

    The second point is more offensive, because it is easier for the Right wing to believe, and wrong and politically and morally corrosive.

  67. Yobbo

    Rand’s sex scenes still sexier than any of Thomas Keneally’s.

  68. Dead Soul

    It’s important to understand that we are selfish by nature, but that’s different to taking selfishness as a goal.

    Even lower mammals demonstrate altruism. I read this two days ago. Rat presses a lever to receive a food pellet but at the same time see the rat in the next cage receive an electric shock. So the rat stops pressing the lever, goes hungry. I would love to see this experiment extended to include different species of rats and then rats unknown to each other. The latter may have been true in this experiment but the author did not make it clear.

    In humans altruism can even have positive physiological and psychological effects. But hey, if you want to accept Hamilton and Triver’s ridiculous notions about kin selection being the determinant of altruism then you are about 60 years behind the science. Catch up. I hope Rand was not that naive because even common sense observations mock the altruism themes of neoDarwinism. When I first read about Hamilton’s explanation I thought: here we go again, another stupid excessively reductionist attempt to explain the good in us. And don’t get me started on The Selfish Gene!!!!

  69. tbh

    I’ve read three Rand novels, The Fountainhead, Anthem and Atlas Shrugged and the first of the list is by far the best as a piece of literature. RL’s comments are spot on I think. As much as I find the ideas of individualism and free markets resonate with me, I find Rand’s sale of those ideas in her books to be utterly without humour or any sense of nuance. She’s so doctrinaire that I find it off-putting.

    Reading her work did make me sympathetic to the ideals of libertarianism, but certainly not objectivism which I find a bridge too far.

  70. Dangph

    In humans altruism can even have positive physiological and psychological effects.

    So altruism feels good? That’s kind of selfish.

    But yes, I agree with you. We are complex beings. Selfishness is just one motivating force.

    In any case, I am saying that not many people take Randian selfishness as their personal philosophy, so far as I can tell.

  71. John Mc: and what would Rand have said of Bill Gates walking away from running his spectacularly successful company to devote the rest of his life to charitable work, often aimed at improving the lot of the poorest people in the poorest countries?

  72. dover_beach

    Why would he or she care?

  73. Kin selection was mostly Hamilton. Trivers came up with reciprocal altruism, IIRC.

    The “selfish gene” is just a metaphor.

  74. Gab

    SFB misses the bleedin’ obvious again. His business is the reason he can walk away from it to do charity. idiot.

  75. John Mc

    John Mc: and what would Rand have said of Bill Gates walking away from running his spectacularly successful company to devote the rest of his life to charitable work, often aimed at improving the lot of the poorest people in the poorest countries?

    That would depend whether he felt if there was another Microsoft in him. If there was he should pursue it. If there wasn’t, and he had so much money that he wouldn’t know what to do with it, he should try to use it to change the world in other ways.

  76. Rand:

    My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.

    This is deeply, deeply contra to a Christian view.

    She would not condemn (say) Bill Gates’ charitable works; but presumably, nor would should say that he is any better a person for it than a billionaire who spends his last days only concerned for increasing his own family’s wealth.

    By the way, Gab, are you all for women who like to be thrown to the ground and hurt before their lover takes them forcefully and treats them as a contemptuous possession?

  77. Gab

    SFB misses the bleedin’ obvious yet again: the difference between fantasy and reality.

  78. Gab

    I’m bored with you now, SFB.

    Go read some books.

  79. John Mc

    I got the time. Let’s do it!

  80. I think I might have to give CL credit for something (although he might just come along and ruin it): as often as Rand comes up at this blog, I do not recall him ever coming to her defence in any respect.

    I assume we might be on the same page on the topic.

  81. John Mc

    By the way, Gab, are you all for women who like to be thrown to the ground and hurt before their lover takes them forcefully and treats them as a contemptuous possession?

    Please don’t describe your latest fantasy to us.

  82. And yes, darkness has fallen. Time to go home. Pick up a book.

  83. JC

    The Mitt Romney “47% percent” comment was a clear and insulting echo of Rand’s “moochers and looters” terminology, Dangph.

    Insulting? He spoke up and bravely never tracked back. Good for him.

    Living off others is what you ought to be insulted about. You have it arse backwards.

  84. John Mc

    SfB, you miss two main points that Rand made:

    1. The ‘common good’ is when the ‘common’ – i.e. everyone – is better off. When you are sacrificing the rights of one group to provide something for another it’s not the ‘common’ good. It’s actually making people unequal under law.

    2. If you are truly ensuring that no one is worse off, how do you do it? If they deal with each other voluntarily, so they can disengage if they are going to be worse off, then we can conclude if they trade value for value voluntarily, and disengage if it doesn’t work for them, everyone should become better off. What do we call this? Capitalism!!

  85. Rafe

    As much as I find the ideas of individualism and free markets resonate with me, I find Rand’s sale of those ideas in her books to be utterly without humour or any sense of nuance. She’s so doctrinaire that I find it off-putting.

    I often think of the doctrinaire Randoids as speed bumps on the road to serfdom. They may be prepared to put their bodies on the line to defend freedom but they will not make the effort to communicate effectively with people who don’t agree with them to start with.

    For a start we need to explain how voluntary charity could deliver health and welfare services to chronically disabled people who cannot make their way in the market.

  86. Rococo Liberal

    I still say the Rand books are great political pamphlets, but terrible novels with cardboard characters and sex scenes that would win the Literary review bad Sex Prize at a canter if they were written now.

    I sometimes get the impression that the Liberatarian admiration for Rand is a symptom of the sort of philistinism of those who are somewhere low on the autism spectrum. The same can be said for lefties who like modern art. The left wing and right wing nerd ahve much in common.

  87. Rococo Liberal

    Brilliantly put, Rafe!

  88. Rafe

    Thanks RL I wanted to say something about the dreadful way she wrote about sex.

    Hayek explained the common features of the left and the economically illiterate, authoritarian conservatives like Malcolm Fraser in his paper “Why I am not a conservative”.

  89. John Mc

    I sometimes get the impression that the Liberatarian admiration for Rand is a symptom of the sort of philistinism of those who are somewhere low on the autism spectrum. The same can be said for lefties who like modern art.

    For someone who adopts an extreme elitist position you don’t strike me as all that smart.

  90. dover_beach

    One of the best political fables is Oakeshott’s second essay with the title “The Tower of Babel”. It brilliantly satirizes the folly of utopia.

  91. Dead Soul

    For a start we need to explain how voluntary charity could deliver health and welfare services to chronically disabled people who cannot make their way in the market.

    I’d go further than that RAFE. Employers can help, or at least in my early years could help. When there was enough industrial freedom employers were more willing to take a chance on a problematic employee. Give him a chance and if it didn’t work out then send him on his way. But now, sending an employee on his way is nigh impossible. As a friend told me years ago when he was going to court over some “unfair dismissal” his solicitor said to him before the hearing: bring your checkbook, you’re going to lose because that’s what usually happens.

    We have a situation in this country where a lot of people who can work can’t find work because employers can’t take a chance on a problematic employee, where they have to aim for the best possible candidate, thereby making the risk of giving someone a chance not worth it.

    Employers should be allowed to exercise productive charity by having provisions to employ people of questionable credentials on a week by week basis, even if is only occasional work. The loss of industrial\employment freedom is a serious limiting factor in giving people a chance to enter the workforce.

  92. Amortiser

    My favourite quote regarding Ayn Rand came from John Singleton back in the late 70’s after Malcolm had been elected.

    ” Malcolm Fraser admires Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand admires Malcolm Fraser. All this shows is that neither knows what the other is talking about”.

    He was absolutely spot on and 35 years on nothing has changed to alter that view.

  93. .

    I sometimes get the impression that the Liberatarian admiration for Rand is a symptom of the sort of philistinism of those who are somewhere low on the autism spectrum. The same can be said for lefties who like modern art. The left wing and right wing nerd ahve much in common.

    Seeing you used “of” three times in the same sentence, I guess you’re not a great admirer of literature?

  94. wreckage

    I sometimes get the impression that the Liberatarian admiration for Rand is a symptom of the sort of philistinism of those who are somewhere low on the autism spectrum.

    Possibly the dumbest thing I have read all week. Do you actually have any idea what the characteristics of high-functioning autism are?

  95. wreckage

    This just in! Internet cognitive expert links high functioning autism to “philistinism”.

  96. Eyrie

    TimT: to call it SF instead of “sci-fi” betrays more than a little familiarity with the field. Who have you been reading? Heinlein(early stuff particularly) is pretty smooth. Libertarians generally love “The “Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. Anderson is SF’s poet, more modern writers like Greg Bear and Greg Benford have a lot to say and say it well. Try Mike Flynn too.
    Ayn Rand qualifies as an SF writer for “Atlas Shrugged” in the “if this goes on” tradition. Pal of mine phoned me a few years ago during the aftermath of the GFC. “I’ve read this marvelous book!It’s all coming true” yep AS.

  97. Jeremiah

    Iron Man II had some libertarian themes.

    So does Transformers. Lots of Optimus Prime speaches about freedom etc etc. If you check out the fight scenes they are spectacularly brutal as well, the only reason they get away with it is because they’re robots.

  98. Jeremiah

    To be honest I’d say most blockbuster action movies othat than the anti-war types like Apocalypse now, Platoon etc are Libertarian themed.

    Throw in movies like Rocky where the little guy fights his way up to the big time, perfect family man etc.

  99. Jeremiah

    The book is apparently very – what’s that word defined in the Macquarie Dictionary? – misogynistic.

    Yeah lets face it, we’re living in the post metrosexual world, there is always a reversal at the end of every “fad”.

  100. tbh

    Rafe, I totally agree with your comment at 7:51. There is a lot to like about the spirit of private charity and getting the government out of peoples lives generally, but a lot of Randians just don’t make the case very well.

  101. Rafe

    Thanks tbh, and what Dead Soul said, supporters of wage flexibility point out that if you can employ slow, or untrained, or inexperienced people for what they are WORTH they will have the opportunity to learn some skills and get some experience and be worth MORE.

    The other thing about wage flexibility (and individual agreements) is that you can reward productivity or whatever it makes sense to reward, rather than rewarding people for just being there and belonging to a strong (read standover) trade union.

  102. Hugh

    “For a start we need to explain how voluntary charity could deliver health and welfare services to chronically disabled people who cannot make their way in the market.”

    Good point, Rafe. My own experience as a partial answer.

    1. As a hospital theatre tech in a Melbourne hospital 20 years ago I know that quite a few of the surgeons (and anaesthetists) would spend six weeks a year on Pacific Island countries giving of their services totally free of charge to communities who in no way could afford the expense. Sure, in their spare time, they lay on beaches and drank cocktails – so what? 2. I also had knowledge of the Knights of Malta in England a few years back – the “Hospitaller” knights, going back to medieval times. They raise funds (often from their own incomes) in Britain for their hospitals in the Middle East and through Africa and administer the whole operation. These hospitals are entirely free of charge and are crack outfits. One of them is a maternity hospital on the West Bank. Open to women from all religious and ethnic backgrounds), and very highly esteemed and patronised, it is of such a standard that medical students from the UK and Europe are sent there as a priority for internships. It’s inspirational stuff, but you never read about it in the msm. 3. Ron Paul, despised (by the left) libertarian/republican candidate and gynaecologist/obstetrician, tells of his own experience in the alleged “bad old days” before nationalised medicine. When people were really poor, the prevailing attitude amongst his peers was: you just didn’t charge them! That rings true for me on this basic level: where are the John Steinbeck/Jack London novels bemoaning doctors standing over problematically birthing women demanding “Cash on Delivery” (sic)? (Not that I would trust Steinbeck or London anymore than I would trust Dickens re. accurate economic history.)

    I have no idea what Ayn Rand would say about all this. But there’s also a lot of goodwill even amongst the pell-mell of humanity, let alone our saints. Unfortunately, it’s all too often stifled and stymied by the overweening state.

    How to put all this into an answer that would impact the sceptic … well, that’s another question.

  103. DrBeauGan

    Eyrie, there is some vaguely libertarian SF written by an Australian lady called Jessica Q Fox. Her latest has the heroine travel back in time to the twefth century which leads to her trashing Magna Carta and western civilisation. It’s very funny but a bit soppy for my austere tastes.

  104. On Rotten Tomatoes, the critics’ score has risen from 0% to 11% — but the audience score (which had climbed to 83% to days ago) is now 73%.

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