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Atlas Shrugged Part 2


Movies

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Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Atlas Shrugged Part 2

Who's going to see this? How was it?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Andrew Turner wrote:

Atlas Shrugged Part 2

Who's going to see this? How was it?

Was there a "Part I"?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:
Andrew Turner wrote:

Atlas Shrugged Part 2

Who's going to see this? How was it?

Was there a "Part I"?

Ludicrously, yes, and it was a huge flop.

With a 20 million dollar budget it made less than 5 million at the box office and received overwhelmingly negative reviews (11% on Rotten Tomatoes), with even the most rabid of Objectivist reviewers struggling to find something positive to say.

Largely because it's an extremely dull adaption of a extremely dull book.


You can buy Atlas Shrugged money clips through their website; my...how appropriate.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

This is the one with the splicers and Big Daddies right?

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
This is the one with the splicers and Big Daddies right?

That's the movie I really want to see.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So they ended up replacing the entire cast? This whole thing has been one big mistake. If they seriously wanted to tell this story they should have done like an 8 hour mini series and took their time with it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Pan wrote:
So they ended up replacing the entire cast? This whole thing has been one big mistake. If they seriously wanted to tell this story they should have done like an 8 hour mini series and took their time with it.

They tried that, repeatedly.

This is one of those projects that's been in development hell for forty years now, with a couple of obsessive fans spending millions just trying to get the film off the ground.


Exactly. The people behind this, who love it so much, have trouble understanding that everyone won't realize the sheer genius of Ayn Rand's vision as soon as they see it.

Who needs a good script or cast or any knowledge of what actually works in movies? These are the words of the prophet.


Pan wrote:
So they ended up replacing the entire cast? This whole thing has been one big mistake. If they seriously wanted to tell this story they should have done like an 8 hour mini series and took their time with it.

With one whole hour episode being Galt's speech? Uncut?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Wow--a lot of bad vibes here. I only wondered if anyone had seen it and whether or not they liked it.

Sounds like none of the posters have seen it, but some have decided it sucks as a matter of course.


Andrew Turner wrote:

Wow--a lot of bad vibes here. I only wondered if anyone had seen it and whether or not they liked it.

Sounds like none of the posters have seen it, but some have decided it sucks as a matter of course.

Which is why I avoided the original question and only replied to some of the later comments.

And duh, it's a movie of part of Atlas Shrugged. It's not going to be good.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I worried that The Fellowship of the Ring would suck before I saw it, but I didn't pre-decide it would because it was too large of a story. I can't think of a movie (Uwe Boll wasn't involved with) that I was so positively sure would suck before even seeing it.

And I liked Part 1; not sure how anyone who didn't actually see Part 1 can qualify an opinion on it; not sure how anyone who hasn't seen Part 2 could do so, either.

Oh, well--whatever.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Turner wrote:

Wow--a lot of bad vibes here. I only wondered if anyone had seen it and whether or not they liked it.

Sounds like none of the posters have seen it, but some have decided it sucks as a matter of course.

Admittedly, I haven't seen it, but it's still hard not to be snarky at the sheer idiocy of trying to bring Atlas Shrugged to the screen.

You just want to shake people on the Right sometimes and yell, "you do realize that this book is dull, right? That Rand is just vomiting forth her Objectivism crap?"


After realizing part 1 was on Netflix, I just got done watching it.

Honestly; it could have been worse. I was surprised.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Pan wrote:
So they ended up replacing the entire cast? This whole thing has been one big mistake. If they seriously wanted to tell this story they should have done like an 8 hour mini series and took their time with it.
With one whole hour episode being Galt's speech? Uncut?

Oh stop you are making me laugh. To be honest I really liked about 2/3 of the book. The last 1/3 Rand totally jumped the shark though.

spoiler:
The magical gulch? John Galt's speech? Seriously nobody would sit and listen to that for more than 2 min. I actually stopped reading and skipped ahead to the point he finished. Then Ayn throws in a Jack Higgins rescue to conclude the story. wow


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A movie about what L. Ron Hubbard thought was a great idea was crap, while a movie loosely based on how full of crap L. Ron Hubbard was, is getting great reviews.

Likewise, I wouldn't expect a movie based on what another modern charlatan crank with a shoddy history and a lifetime of bad personal choices might think is a great idea, would make a great movie. But I sure would like to see a flick about what a charlatan crackhead Rand was, get made.

Racist, adulterer, boastful crackpot, drug addict, alcoholic, and somebody who never worked out her demons. Not a person you trust with giving the world advice.

Or as the late great Christopher Hitchens opined, "I don't think there's any need to have essays advocating selfishness among human beings. I don't know what your impression has been... some things require no further reinforcement."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bruunwald wrote:


Racist, adulterer, boastful crackpot, drug addict, alcoholic, and somebody who never worked out her demons. Not a person you trust with giving the world advice.

To be fair, you've just described ninety percent of the world politicians and philosophers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Answer: Sadly no, I have not yet seen part II.

I was interested in Part II until I found out that the ENTIRE CAST was changed :(.

However, to address Part I for anyone who has not yet seen it. I expected Part I to be very poor quality, poor acting, and poor adaptation. It was decent quality with decent acting and good adaptation.

Part I begins in the near future and they updated it to reflect concerns similar to the stock market crisis of recent history and the concerns of peak oil, where oil goes to 40/gallon, thereby making rail relevant and thereby making the old 1950s story relevant about being about trains. Good decision on the directors part.

Dagny's actor is great. She is a strong character and she is very intriguing.

The pacing is done well. But because it's a part I... the rising tension...doesn't end in catharsis. It feels like the film is just getting started when it is cut to an end.

Some adaptation choices are a bit odd and some romance choices are also a bit odd. I won't say the decisions are wrong, though, and they do introduce some narrative tension.

Drawbacks- as in the book Rand's enemies are a little ridiculous, which may damage the movie's impact in two ways for some people. (1) people watching for entertainment may lose a sense of disbelief. and (2) people watching for a political diatribe may be disappointed in not having a robust discussion of political issues. I, however, prefer to watch the movie and the book in the following two ways: (3) futuristic science-fantasy bad guys Ming-the-Merciless or ridiculously evil Dr. Fu Manchu types versus buck rodgers (Dagny). If you can get over cringing because of some limited silliness, it can be entertaining to see the enemies be so ridiculous. And/or (4) as a political warning or political joke like a Voltaire's Candide or an Alice in Wonderland. Ask yourself, do you want your elected leaders acting as short sighted as the anti-industrialists, the collusive monopolists? (note that Dagny is against government-created monopolies but her brother is for them even when they promote inefficient operations).

Verdict: Whatever Part I was, it was certainly a better right-wing movie than the terrible and offensive An American Carol :( or the left-wing An Inconvenient Truth (and far more entertaining than the latter). I would not put it on the level of a Roger and Me or some of the financial crisis warning movies, but it's better than Election, In the Loop, or your run of the will political docu-movie and better than a B-movie. I laughed a lot and I enjoyed Part I.

For the person referencing Bioshock- I did actually laugh out loud at the end of the movie when they

Spoiler:
mentioned that Galt's oasis was under the sea... I don't know if I mis-heard, but I was just thinking Bioshock at that point

Final Notes: re: rand's book- the first 200-300 pages are gripping... I won't defend the rest of the book, but there is a lot of action going on in the terms of politicking and discussion about industry. Then again, many people don't like merchant-talk. But for a novel about business, it does things well. I'd be open to recommendations for a better novel about business- I think Atlas Shrugged beats Space Merchants (Kornbluth), but Vatta's War series (Moon) is more amusing without diatribe. Also, if you like hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas, around page 175 there is a great lecture that reflects the recent environmentalist tactic (which a recent pro-environmentalist TV special pointed out that the tactic was adapted from the tobacco lobbies) of spreading fear and denial so as to promote inaction... "we don't know if pollution could occur, but let us do no harm." to hold up an innovative type of economic development. The book, if nothing else, is food for thought, and I would argue that first part of it, at least, is entertaining--to her great disappointment, Rand sold more books because people thought they were fun reads than because people wanted to follow her philosophy.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Light Dragon wrote:
...[lots of awesome, thoughtful comments made without childishly belittling the topic or by extension anyone who doesn't childishly belittle the topic]...

Ben Bova's Moon Wars series is a great modern version of Atlas Shrugged.

Rand can be hard to reconcile: there's a lot she says (through her characters; with respect to her fictive works) that is absolutely spot-on, so patently American in ideal that it's almost un-Amewrican to disagree (neat irony there); but equally as much absurdity comes from her work, and those absurdities unequally burden the whole body.

Not to mention, so many other (much greater) writers/thinkers have opined her best thoughts long before she did, and successfully sprinkled their own more benign quackeries without much notice.

I think the movie could have been named The Gulch (or anything other than Atlas Shrugged), change all the names, call Galt 'The Mover' (or anything other than Galt), and, never using the "Who is John Galt?" tagline, there might have been a moderately successful political thriller with a bit of a sci-fi element thrown in for seasoning.

--the rich are too rich, the poor are too poor, and the Middle Class is paying the bills;
--energy is a global concern, with gasoline now literally too expensive to buy;
--government conspiracies abound; an elite few are actually turning the cogs behind the scenes, using the crisis as a means to establish a fascist regime; their efforts effectively strip the population of power by turning it into a society completely dependent on the government in every respect;
--an exotic machine exists that will change everything, but the shadow government works to suppress it;
--the remaining 'Innovators', whom the government has tried to enslave, self-exiles

Written like that, it sounds a lot like Beggars in Spain.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

“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.”

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Light Dragon wrote:


The pacing is done well. But because it's a part I... the rising tension...doesn't end in catharsis. It feels like the film is just getting started when it is cut to an end.

I guess I differ on the pacing. I found it to be break neck speed with no character development. The whole thing is a quick series of quips and one liners so everyone is so one dimensional except perhaps Dagny. It reminded me why I hated the Catch 22 film adaption so much. They tried to catch so many elements of a huge novel they end up going by in a blur. So I say once again this should have been a series and not a film but it looks like they barely got this off the ground so perhaps its for the best.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zombieneighbours wrote:
“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.”

Ninjaed...

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The first one got a 5.6 at IMDB and an 11% at Rotten Tomatoes.

The Sequel has a 4.8 at IMDB and 0% on the Tomato Meter at Rotten Tomatoes.

Zero.

For comparison, Miley Cyrus's classic "The Last Song" got a 5.1.

So I'll pass.

This is my suggestion for Part II.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

The first one got a 5.6 at IMDB and an 11% at Rotten Tomatoes.

The Sequel has a 4.8 at IMDB and 0% on the Tomato Meter at Rotten Tomatoes.

Zero.

If you look closer at the statistics you see that it's 0% out of only ten reviews, the movie was just released on a limited number of screens after all.

Mind you, I'm not expecting a high percentage from the film, but take that 0% with a grain of salt until there's a better sampling.


Andrew Turner wrote:
Light Dragon wrote:
...[lots of awesome, thoughtful comments made without childishly belittling the topic or by extension anyone who doesn't childishly belittle the topic]...

Ben Bova's Moon Wars series is a great modern version of Atlas Shrugged.

Rand can be hard to reconcile: there's a lot she says (through her characters; with respect to her fictive works) that is absolutely spot-on, so patently American in ideal that it's almost un-Amewrican to disagree (neat irony there); but equally as much absurdity comes from her work, and those absurdities unequally burden the whole body.

Not to mention, so many other (much greater) writers/thinkers have opined her best thoughts long before she did, and successfully sprinkled their own more benign quackeries without much notice.

I think the movie could have been named The Gulch (or anything other than Atlas Shrugged), change all the names, call Galt 'The Mover' (or anything other than Galt), and, never using the "Who is John Galt?" tagline, there might have been a moderately successful political thriller with a bit of a sci-fi element thrown in for seasoning.

--the rich are too rich, the poor are too poor, and the Middle Class is paying the bills;
--energy is a global concern, with gasoline now literally too expensive to buy;
--government conspiracies abound; an elite few are actually turning the cogs behind the scenes, using the crisis as a means to establish a fascist regime; their efforts effectively strip the population of power by turning it into a society completely dependent on the government in every respect;
--an exotic machine exists that will change everything, but the shadow government works to suppress it;
--the remaining 'Innovators', whom the government has tried to enslave, self-exiles

Written like that, it sounds a lot like Beggars in Spain

Sure, you could take some of the basic elements behind Atlas Shrugged into a decent plot, but that's not the point. The people pushing this aren't interested in that. They're trying to spread the gospel of Ayn Rand to the masses. The anti-Communist paranoia masquerading as economic and philosophical theory is the whole point.

The book isn't about the rich being too rich, the poor too poor and the Middle Class paying the bills. All the major sympathetic characters are rich, the middle class barely appears, the poor or working classes are written off as moochers. Some of the rich are looters, using the government to steal from the handful of real creators, who were (mostly?) born into wealth. It's not quite clear what Dagny is doing among the innovators and inventors. She seems to be basically a competent manager, but nothing special. Except she's apparently hot enough that two of the elite fall for her. I guess that's how women qualify for Rand's brave new world.


>> Ben Bova's Moon Wars series is a great modern version of Atlas Shrugged.

Thank You. I will make a note to check that out!

*One amendment to my earlier post; turns out I meant "Recount", not "Election". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1000771/

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Sounds like a few of you may not have read the book or seen either movie, so here's the story:

--the rich are too rich, the poor are too poor, and the Middle Class is paying the bills*;
--energy is a global concern, with gasoline now literally too expensive to buy;
--government conspiracies abound; an elite few are actually turning the cogs behind the scenes, using the crisis as a means to establish a fascist regime; their efforts effectively strip the population of power by turning it into a society completely dependent on the government in every respect;
--an exotic machine exists that will change everything, but the shadow government works to suppress it;
--the remaining 'Innovators', whom the government has tried to enslave, self-exiles

In Rand's near-future dystopia, she has classified society into two basic sets: the Producers and the Consumers.

Producers are people who actively contribute; people who invent new things, have new ideas, innovate and improve old things, and generally improve the material and intellectual worth of the society.

Consumers are people who produce nothing, invent nothing, have no new or better ideas, and, generally, contribute nothing positive to the material or intellectual worth of society; and more specifically, people who 'leech' from society.

Amongst the Producers and Consumers, Rand takes special exception to:
-the super rich Inheritors, those who are rich from their ancestors' efforts but who do nothing to continue the Family success and who themselves deliberately fail to Produce.
-the Consumers who knowingly take and refuse to Produce while vocally espousing the notion of Entitlement.

In this world, the government is run by a shadow group with the agenda of subjugation. Ultimately, this government removes all rights to private property; takes state ownership of all current and future copyrights, intellectual property, and inventions; redistributes the total wealth of the nation by means of wage freezes and taxation; and establishes a special state committee that controls the manufacture and distribution of all new products (thus destroying the Free Market and stymying innovation).

The Producers rebel by going into exile.

The protagonists are made up of the richest innovators of the world, and are significant in how they built their wealth and businesses from absolutely nothing. Dagny is significant in that she is an example of the second generation continuing to Produce, while her brother is an example of an Inheritor. The greatest Protagonist is the inventor of the Device; who is already in exile.

*this is the situation at the novel's beginning; soon into the story, the government takes steps that will disenfranchise a set of the upper class; crony-ize the the remainder, eventually removing all Classes and creating a new structure of Government and Everybody Else.


It's been some years since I read it and I've certainly not going to do so again. Nor have I seen the movie.

But I think you're reading a lot into it that isn't there and leaving out a lot that is. Particularly with this:

Quote:
--the rich are too rich, the poor are too poor, and the Middle Class is paying the bills*;

As I said before, I recall very little about the poor or middle class. Concern for them is not a significant part of the book, though Dagny has some before the end when she decides Galt is right and joins the Gulch.

In general they are abandoned to the general collapse of the world, suggesting that they are in fact largely worthless.

There's also little indication that she thinks the rich are too rich. The looters who get their wealth from government are criticized, but there's apparently nothing wrong with the Producer's wealth. (And actual working people, the ones who make things and do things aren't producers. Producers are only those who not only can invent new technologies, but also market them and run successful businesses. Actually, judging by Dagny, just maintaining a successful business with no innovation is sufficient. Scientists who take government grants are disqualified whatever they come up with.)

You also leave out that the protaganists do not merely revolt by going into exile, but by carrying out a long campaign of destruction, destabilization and piracy. It's questionable how much of the world's troubles are caused by their terrorist operations.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

This is one of the reasons the book (and the films) is controversial and more hated than loved: the general idea of the book is awesome, but the logical extensions of the idea are often reprehensible (like abandoning the world to its fate--an interesting irony, since Rand and her protagonists always preach about never giving in).

Rather than reading too much into the 1,000+ page novel, I think my hundred or so words synopsis is largely deficient.

Your argumentative style* actually sounds like one of the antagonists in the novel (I assume, for example, you have Wyatt in mind when you say terrorist).

*(note: I don't necessarily disagree with you)

Andoran

The problem is that we have read the book, and we think Rand is wrong and her ideas are every bit as dangerous as the Stalinism she is raging againts.

And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.


ciretose wrote:

The problem is that we have read the book, and we think Rand is wrong and her ideas are every bit as dangerous as the Stalinism she is raging againts.

And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.

Yeah, what I didn't realize about Rand's work before I read Atlas Shrugged when I was just arguing with the Objectivist fan boys online was that it really was just an anti-Communist screed written at the height of the Red Scare. All the references to "People's States" and similar language just make it so obvious when you read it.

Soviet Communism was horrible and it screwed up her life, but that doesn't mean that every other government is going to go bad in the same way.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.

Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.


pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.

Oh, that's American enough. Deciding that the American system is doomed to be just as oppressive is not.


thejeff wrote:
pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.
Oh, that's American enough. Deciding that the American system is doomed to be just as oppressive is not.

Then what does her being born and educated in Russia have to do with that?


pres man wrote:
thejeff wrote:
pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.
Oh, that's American enough. Deciding that the American system is doomed to be just as oppressive is not.
Then what does her being born and educated in Russia have to do with that?

Because her experience in the revolution and early soviet days (loss of her father's business, flight to Crimea, education in soviet russia etc) seems to be a source of her opposition to statism and collectivism. Perfectly understandable, but suggests her theories are as much rationalization of personal emotional responses as the pure reason she claims.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Atlas 2: Shrug Harder?


While I don't normally like to give Rand any credit for anything, I do have to admit that something good came out of "atlas shrugged."

I derived my gamer tag from the title, and put my own spin on it

gamer tag:
Eris Shrugged

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bruunwald wrote:


Likewise, I wouldn't expect a movie based on what another modern charlatan crank with a shoddy history and a lifetime of bad personal choices might think is a great idea, would make a great movie. But I sure would like to see a flick about what a charlatan crackhead Rand was, get made.

Racist, adulterer, boastful crackpot, drug addict, alcoholic, and somebody who never worked out her demons. Not a person you trust with giving the world advice.

I believe there is a documentary which includes an interview with Rand on Netflix.

P.S. I never even knew there was a part 1. Was this made by the same producers of the successful Fountainhead movie back in the days of classic BW noir? (which is a pretty good flick despite it's source)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Honestly, Francis from Left 4 Dead summed up my feelings on Rand and Objectivism rather succinctly. I have no interest in giving her cause any of my money for the same reasons I don't like to enable Tom Cruise or John Travolta movies.*

I think the thing that bugs me most about Rand beyond her grave sins as a writer** is that far too many people associate Art Deco with her. Leave Art Deco alone dammit.

Bioshock spoiler:
And personally, my biggest disappointment with this game besides not being System Shock 3(which is unfair really) was that it assumes I wouldn't golf club Ryan of my own free will. The man was as much a monster as Fontaine.

"Yeah, yeah. 'A man chooses, a slave obeys, yadda yadda yadda.' If the game gave me a choice I'd still be doing this Captain Corpse Impaler."

*inb4 lawsuit

**She's about as heavy-handed with her straw antagonists as Terry GoodkiOH WAIT

Andoran

pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.

So you've changed your position on immigration then?


ciretose wrote:
pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.
So you've changed your position on immigration then?

I have no idea what you are talking about here friend. Are you confusing me with someone else?

Andoran

pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.
So you've changed your position on immigration then?
I have no idea what you are talking about here friend. Are you confusing me with someone else?

Really?.

"Now what I think is more reasonable, is that as long as the child is a dependent of the parents, the child can not fully benefit from their natural born status. In that case, they will be considered citizens of their guardians' nation until such time as they are capable of fully claiming their citizenship rights." - Pres Man

You aren't quite Bitterthorn, but you don't get to play the "Immigrants are the most American, Americans!" card either when you are on record saying children born in this country to immigrants shouldn't get the full rights of citizenship.

Andoran

pres man wrote:
thejeff wrote:
pres man wrote:
ciretose wrote:
And the "patently american" view you seem to think she nailed came from someone born and educated in Russia during the revolution years.
Someone coming from an oppressive country to make a better life in America. Nope, nothing remotely American about that.
Oh, that's American enough. Deciding that the American system is doomed to be just as oppressive is not.
Then what does her being born and educated in Russia have to do with that?

Being born and educated in Russia in a wealthy secular jewish during the Russian Revolution would have a lot to do with shaping anyones world view.

Her family's buisness was seized by the Bolsheviks, forcing her to flee to land controlled by the White's during the Civil War, and when her family moved back home they nearly starved to death.

Ironically was lost that because of the revolution she was able to enroll in college (prior to that Women were not allowed). Of couse, later she was nearly purged from school because she came from a "bourgeois" family.

Saying that wouldn't effect her world view is like saying Anne Frank's experience wouldn't have made her look unfavorably on Nazism.

Ayn Rand hated what happened to herself and her family in Russia and wrote an entire ideology about it as a counter-narrative to Marxist writings of the time.

And it is just as vapid as the Marxist diatribes that ignore all the problems of collectivism.


You are distorting the meaning of my comment.

My comment was about, how do we treat families where the parents are in the country illegally but have a child in the country who is a natural born citizen. My comment was specifically a rebuff of those people that wanted to deny that child natural born citizenship recognition (the whole anchor baby issue).

Instead I suggested that until such time as the child can claim full benefits of their rights, they should be consider to have citizenship of their guardian (de jure US citizenship, de facto citizenship of parents). Thus if the US decides to deport the parents, the child would go with them. That way we wouldn't have to break up families, nor would have to allow the parents to stay in the country because their child is a citizen.

Of course the parent could give guardianship rights to a US citizen, family member probably, of the child and thus the child would be both de facto and de jure a US citizen. Or the parents could get legal citizenship status (my personally preferred outcome).

We already limit the rights of minors. But I would never suggest limiting the rights of an adult US citizen merely because their parents were in the country illegally.

Now what does any of this have to do with Rand? Well Rand was giving a visiting Visa and she did start working. That is definitely not something that would be looked at okay now a days. Rand did though become a legal citizen, so ultimately maybe the Visa violation isn't that big of a deal to people. My comment was more about the legally nationalized Rand's ideas.

In that case, her background is irrelevant to the issue of her ideas being "unAmerican". Nationalized citizens have greatly contributed to the culture of this country. Their background doesn't disqualify there contributions as unAmerican. Also many naturally born citizens support Rand's ideas, thus her ideas might not be so unAmerican in themselves.


ciretose wrote:

Being born and educated in Russia in a wealthy secular jewish during the Russian Revolution would have a lot to do with shaping anyones world view.

Her family's buisness was seized by the Bolsheviks, forcing her to flee to land controlled by the White's during the Civil War, and when her family moved back home they nearly starved to death.

Ironically was lost that because of the revolution she was able to enroll in college (prior to that Women were not allowed). Of couse, later she was nearly purged from school because she came from a "bourgeois" family.

Saying that wouldn't effect her world view is like saying Anne Frank's experience wouldn't have made her look unfavorably on Nazism.

Ayn Rand hated what happened to herself and her family in Russia and wrote an entire ideology about it as a counter-narrative to Marxist writings of the time.

And it is just as vapid as the Marxist diatribes that ignore all the problems of collectivism.

I never said her background didn't color her perceptions.

But would those exact same ideas suddenly be considered validly "American" if they had been instead espoused by a natural born citizen? Is her personal background what disqualifies the ideas as unAmerican or are the ideas in and of themselves unAmerican regardless of the background of the person presenting them?

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Andrew Turner wrote:

Atlas Shrugged Part 2

Who's going to see this? How was it?

Was there a "Part I"?

Ludicrously, yes, and it was a huge flop.

With a 20 million dollar budget it made less than 5 million at the box office and received overwhelmingly negative reviews (11% on Rotten Tomatoes), with even the most rabid of Objectivist reviewers struggling to find something positive to say.

Largely because it's an extremely dull adaption of a extremely dull book.

I just clicked on the site for the link in the OP. All I can say to the producer would be. "Have an axe to grind much?"

As far as Part 1, I guess not even a million Randists could be found to buy tickets? I assumed that it was released mainly to boutique theaters, not your average mall outlets. As I never knew that it was out. Not that I probably would have shelled money out for it.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:

Sure, you could take some of the basic elements behind Atlas Shrugged into a decent plot, but that's not the point. The people pushing this aren't interested in that. They're trying to spread the gospel of Ayn Rand to the masses. The anti-Communist paranoia masquerading as economic and philosophical theory is the whole point.

The book isn't about the rich being too rich, the poor too poor and the Middle Class paying the bills. All the major sympathetic characters are rich, the middle class barely appears, the poor or working classes are written off as moochers. Some of the rich are looters, using the government to steal from the handful of real creators, who were (mostly?) born into wealth.

That's exactly right. In a Rand world, there are three classes of people.

1. The Heroes. (Roark, Galt, et. al) who are heroic because they live for their own terms and no one else.

2. The Villains The direct and indirect antagonists, or basically as Rand saw them the majority of the population who existed by feeding off the work of the Heroes.

3. The Incidentals, people who don't quite fit in to either 1 or 2, but don't really matter because they never took a stand. Not necessarily "evil" as Group 2 is but they make the cardinal sin of not making the choices to be in the first group. The choices made by Randian heroes frequently don't bode well for this group either.

The collateral damage that the first group does to the third while contesting the second is simply not an issue in a Rand story. I myself can't figure out where the female leads in her books fit into place, but they do have one thing in common that they consider the only true form of love to be something on the order of rape by the heroes in the first group.

Andoran

Andrew Turner wrote:

Producers are people who actively contribute; people who invent new things, have new ideas, innovate and improve old things, and generally improve the material and intellectual worth of the society.

Consumers are people who produce nothing, invent nothing, have no new or better ideas, and, generally, contribute nothing positive to the material or intellectual worth of society; and more specifically, people who 'leech' from society.

Amongst the Producers and Consumers, Rand takes special exception to:
-the super rich Inheritors, those who are rich from their ancestors' efforts but who do nothing to continue the Family success and who themselves deliberately fail to Produce.
-the Consumers who knowingly take and refuse to Produce while vocally espousing the notion of Entitlement.

In this world, the government is run by a shadow group with the agenda of subjugation. Ultimately, this government removes all rights to private property; takes state ownership of all current and future copyrights, intellectual property, and inventions; redistributes the total wealth of the nation by means of wage freezes and taxation; and establishes a special state committee that controls the manufacture and distribution of all new products (thus destroying the Free Market and stymying innovation).

You see, this is the very heart of what I find so reprehensible, so morally bankrupt, about Rand's philosophy. Presuming that there is any kind of philosophical and political agenda at all behind Atlas Shrugged, and I think it would be extremely disingenuous to say that there is not, it seems clear that Rand's dystopian future society is meant to act as an extreme example of what she sees as the evils in present-day societies. By exaggerating these evils, she hopes to bring the ways in which they are damaging to society into sharper focus.

Now, since these are exaggerations, I'm going to give Rand the benefit of the doubt and assume, for the sake of argument, that she doesn't actually believe that the majority of present-day human beings are "Consumers" who produce nothing of worth to society, have no good original ideas, and yet consider themselves entitled to the produce of their betters. I hope I don't have to explain why I feel that this is such a patently misanthropic and undemocratic idea that anyone genuinely espousing it would have to be some kind of deranged megalomaniac. One of the foundational truths of American government and culture is that all people are created equal; that, given the same opportunities, all have an equal capacity to do good and to contribute to society. While getting into an argument about the basic nature of humanity is way beyond the scope of my ability and of any kind of discussion we could reasonably have on these forums, it is my understanding that, as products of the Enlightenment period in European thought, the engineers of our society believed that all people were essentially rational and good. I, for one, feel that this is the only sound foundation on which any good government can be built.

So, assuming that Rand doesn't, in fact, think that the majority of humanity is skum, what reality is she criticizing, exactly? Who are the real-world "Consumers" who are propping up evil government programs that unfairly "redistribute the total wealth of the nation" out of a sense of "entitlement"? Assuming she's writing about this country, I can only imagine that she is describing those among the poor who receive aid from the government in the form of welfare money, food stamps, and the like, which are paid for by taxes paid mostly by people much wealthier than themselves. This is where the whole allegory of Atlas Shrugged seems to break down, however, because if these people are, in fact, mostly good, hardworking, honest individuals doing the best they can with what they've got, it seems cruel to begrudge them the assistance that they need.

Now, I'm not poor. I've never cashed a welfare check or been eligible for food stamps or, indeed, for any kind of monetary government assistance. I think I can say, honestly, that the main reason for this is that my parents had the money to provide me with a great deal of support, as did their parents have the money to support them. On the other hand, I have several close, personal friends who are basically homeless right now, living on the couches of their more fortunate friends and relatives. These are not bad people. They have jobs; in fact, they're all looking for additional work. I can say, without a doubt, that they all show a stronger work-ethic than I ever have. Moreover, they're every bit as smart and creative as I am, though for the most part they haven't had the benefit of as much higher education as I've received. And, in fact, not one of them qualifies for the kind of government assistance that might help them get back on their feet and, at the very least, house themselves. How much less fortunate must those people be who do qualify for such assistance?

Although I have, perhaps, not done the best job of explaining it, my point is that Rand's allegory in Atlas Shrugged doesn't work. It only makes sense if one imagines that the poor are, in fact, stupid, dishonest leeches on the hardworking middle and upper classes. Now, I've also tied to make it clear that I don't think everyone who buys into the political underpinnings of the book is a horrible misanthrope. But in order to think that they have any direct application to the real world, one would have to be, I think, completely out of touch with the reality of what it is to be poor in this country.

Most people who receive government assistance aren't con artists or welfare cheats; they're single mothers, the physically or mentally ill or handicapped, or just unlucky enough to have lost their jobs at a time when nobody's hiring. There is no government conspiracy to steal from the "Producers" of society in order to support a horde of evil "Consumers"; our government has just shown enough compassion and dedication to its own principals to realize that different people have had different opportunities, and that those to whom chance has been very kind can afford to assist the equally intelligent and hardworking people who haven't been so fortunate. Indeed, it seems to me that there are a lot more good people in need who should be getting more help than they are, and since the wealthiest members of our society have no direct way of providing that assistance on their own, the government needs to continue to work to provide the less fortunate with new opportunities to thrive. After all, it's hard for anyone to give back to society when all their resources are devoted to merely surviving from day to day.

Andoran

pres man wrote:


I never said her background didn't color her perceptions.

But would those exact same ideas suddenly be considered validly "American" if they had been instead espoused by a natural born citizen? Is her personal background what disqualifies the ideas as unAmerican or are the ideas in and of themselves unAmerican regardless of the background of the person presenting them?

The standard was not that she was "Unamerican" but, that her writing was, and I quote "...so patently American in ideal that it's almost un-Amewrican to disagree."

Which is a bar not even close to being met, unsurprisingly because it was written by someone who didn't come to the country until they were more or less fully formed intellectually.

Which was my point.

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