“Atlas Shrugged Part II” is Even Worse Than Objectivism

The American Conservative absolutely destroys the movie Atlas Shrugged Part II. 

[Producer]Aglialoro seems to believe that the critics would have gushed over the film if he had produced a collectivist version of Atlas Shrugged. He is, apparently, unwilling to entertain the notion that his movie just sucks. But one of the uncomfortable truths hanging above the production is that the free market will never produce an adaptation of the book with the production values to which the American moviegoer is accustomed.

The generally terrible quality of the movie is used as a metaphor for Objectivism:

 it doesn’t matter if the critics are separating the unremarkable, mostly green-screened movie from the ideas of the unpleasant émigré novelist. They are inseparable, especially given the rigor with which the creators assure us they brought to the adaptation. Besides, Aglialoro and others have said themselves that the whole point of making the movie was to get Ayn Rand’s ideas out there.

Moreover, and perhaps this is a cheeky thing to bring up, but making such a distinction is very un-Randian. To Rand, appreciation of artistic works is a rational process related to the ideas conveyed therein. The Ayn Rand cult, during its early days, took this godless Thomism to extremes, blacklisting certain books and proscribing Rand-disapproved music. An Objectivist is supposed to approve or disapprove of things precisely becauseof the ideas conveyed.

The problem is that they’re bad ideas, and bad ideas wrapped up in a cult of personality. Rand wrongly castigated libertarians for plagiarizing her ideas, but it was really the other way around. She turned a political philosophy into a easily-sold comprehensive philosophy based on simplified moral precepts. It’s a common technique among hucksters, to bundle unoriginal or unappealing thinking beneath a complete, marketable View of the World. In that she has more in common with L. Ron Hubbard or Edgar Cayce than Aristotle.

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