Thursday, September 11, 2014

Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?

The final installment of the Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy will be opening at theaters tomorrow (September 12, 2014).

You can find a theater where the film is showing here.

It is a film that I had doubts would ever make the big screen. I went to see Parts 1 and 2 and both movies did poorly at the box office. Atlas Shrugged: Part I only grossed $4.6 million and Part II brought in $3.3 million.

It is a real testament to the producers and financial backers of the project that they have stayed the course and finished the series.

Were the first two parts of Atlas Shrugged a couple of the greatest films I have ever seen? Certainly not. They were fairly low budget films with no-name casts. However, Atlas Shrugged is a story worth telling and learning from. Especially in the country we live in today.

I urge all of my readers to support the effort of these filmmakers and see the movie. If you have not seen Parts I and II, try to see them on DVD.  Both are available through Netflix. I believe that only Part II is available on Netflix online.

I have written about Atlas Shrugged several times in BeeLine. Below you can see two of the most relevant posts for background on the book and the movies.

Who is John Galt?

Atlas Shrugged Again
(originally posted July 25, 2012)

I have finally shrugged and decided to actually read Atlas Shrugged.  I have written about the book and the movie previously but I could never commit to starting the 1,168 page tome. The eerie nature of how closely President Obama's remarks on "you didn't build that" parallels a book written over 50 years ago as a cautionary tale on the dangers of socialism and collectivism pushed me over the edge. I plan to begin reading it this week.

If you somehow missed Barack Obama's view of entrepreneurship and success here it is again...

"If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen."

Compare that to this dialogue in Atlas Shrugged written by Ayn Rand in 1957 that makes the same argument as to why the government is justified in heavily taxing and regulating a successful entrepreneur named Rearden...

“He didn’t invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?”


“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it’s his? 

Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.”

She said, puzzled, “But the iron ore and all those other things were there all the time. Why didn’t anybody else make that Metal, but Mr. Rearden did?

Is this life imitating art or art predicting life when we forget the principles that made America what it is?

By the way, Atlas Shrugged: The Movie-Part 2 is scheduled for an October 12, 2012 release.

I went to Part 1 when it was released in May, 2011. Apparently not many others went to see it as it only grossed $4.6 million per IMDb.

I enjoyed the film but was concerned when I saw the box office results that Parts 2 and 3 of the trilogy would never make it to theaters.  Thank you to whoever has backed this project financially! Putting this movie together in liberal Hollywood is not an easy task.

It appears that a different cast will play the main characters in Part 2 than we saw in Part 1. You can find out more at the Atlas Shrugged Part II web site.

I can only imagine what Ayn Rand is thinking as she looks down on us.  I don't think she is shrugging.

Who is John Galt? BeeLine Now Knows
(originally posted October 10, 2012)

Just in time for the theater release of Atlas Shrugged, Part II this Friday, BeeLine has completed reading Atlas Shrugged as I promised I would.

I have three general thoughts about the book that was written by Ayn Rand in 1957. Rand was a Russian emigre who saw first hand the dangers of collectivism, socialism and communism and could appreciate individualism and capitalism like few Americans.

It is ponderous.  It is wordy and weighty.  It is not an easy read.  Its seems as if some paragraphs go on for pages.  Many times I thought Rand could have used one-third the words and got the same point across.  However, it is well written and thought provoking throughout.

It is prophetic.  At times it was almost eerie in how Rand wrote about where the socialist, anti-capitalist mindset leads us.  I had to keep reminding myself that this book was written in 1957. Federal government outlays in 1957 were $77 billion.  We now spend that in about one week.  She is spot on in writing about the liberal intelligentsia and how they always "know what is right and fair". (Sound familiar?) She writes about a "Project Soybean" in the book the  purpose of which is to recondition the dietary habits of the nation. Wheat and corn are so inefficient. Everyone should eat soybeans. ( Sound familiar?)   She writes about getting oil from shale in Colorado. (Sound familiar?) She writes about top down government planning on technology (Sound familiar?).

It is philosophical.  The book is almost equal parts novel and philosophy.  It challenges the concepts of right and wrong and good and evil that we have become accustomed to.  Rand questions why we demonize the producers in our society who move the world and carry the masses to places they could not get to on their own. Is it evil to want to create, innovate and profit from your industriousness? How is it noble to produce nothing and add no value to society but expect that you should benefit from the work of others?

I can understand it if you don't read the book. It is a major investment of time. However, you need to think deeply about the message of Atlas Shrugged.  Rent the DVD movie, Atlas Shrugged, Part I, or go see Part II beginning this week at a local theater.

Who is John Galt?

All I know is that I will take as many guys like that as I can find.

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