Atlas Shrugged Miniseries

Oh noes, some morons are planning to create a Atlas Shrugged miniseries!

Gawker does a nice job summing up the story:

Charlize Theron would like to star as … Dagny Taggart, the lady who runs her brother’s railroad and enjoys violent sex with secretive entrepreneurial geniuses. But there is a problem: the book has not ever been filmed because it is terrible and involves a climactic 70-page monologue about radical libertarianism!

I’ve really dropped the ball on the development of the Ayn Rand Deprogrammer.


39 responses to “Atlas Shrugged Miniseries”

  1. The upside

    Mysterious benefactor (high net worth backer who will probably have some really lame stipulations) + Rand Estate + difficult sources material = so bad it’s going to be good.

    Keep us posted!

  2. Sounds like the Scientology movie debacle that John Travolta starred in to introduce the public to the true history of humanity by making their theology a scifi flick. It so crashed and burned. Let ’em make it so the public can scorn them and laugh at their philosophy that has helped ruin our society for the last 25yrs taking root in the Republican party.

  3. Funniest lines in the “risky biz blog” post:

    Theron has been eager to play the role but has been concerned that a feature would lose many of the nuances of the monster-sized novel.


    Among its most famous passages is a 50-page speech from mysterious character John Galt, regarded as a veiled expression of Rand’s own ideas.


  4. Blockquotes are broken, on this thread and others. I suspect a CSS error.

  5. Prescott

    It is worrying these things, because a time ago behind wise that the medical services were a problem for many persons and up to the moment they neither find they do not even give any solution, apparently the government forgot what promised and it is now where it is that to there be remembered, before that is very late, the medical assurance is important for many people, like that they indicate it in findrxonline, where they deliver a lot of information about this topic.

  6. Prescott, ol’ bot — is there a particular drug to cause bizarre, fractured syntax, or is it just a feature of the script?

    And Hollywood — as to dramatization of Atlas: sorry, but Scalzi’s beaten you to it.

    All tags, including links, are broken. Just Google for “scalzi ayn rand christmas,”

  7. You may not like Ayn Rand’s exposition on political freedom or individualism, but I would expect that you *would* like her staunch defense and advocacy of reason. She demonstrated that reason is man’s means of survival and discovered the link between reason and ethics.

  8. LanceR, JSG

    I would expect that you *would* like her staunch defense and advocacy of reason.

    Yes. Or rather, we would if any of Rand’s work actually did advocate reason, rather than her warped view of reason. Just because someone claims to be rational does not make it so. So much of her work is clearly irrational, and divorced from the reality she (and her followers) claims to worship.

  9. John M 307

    There is, of course, a world of difference between defending and advocating “reason,” and actually using reason. The noise last fall of “going Galt” leads one to imagine: suppose a bunch of the self-proclaimed best and brightest were to withdraw from society to a remote commune dedicated to the ideals of freedom and capitalism. What then?

    The rest of the world would plod on, oblivious to their absence. Meanwhile, the commune-folk would be down hard with their noses to the grindstone, working at what they routinely took for granted beforehand — building buildings, plowing land, building roads — and continually waiting for the promised End Times collapse of society.

    Eventually, the commune would break up one at a time, as people departed. The last ones, along with their Leader, would rail in vain at how the world never collapsed from their absence: “It’s anti-Life and anti-Man!”

  10. G Felis

    Ayn Rand discovered the link between reason and ethics? That has to be the most ridiculous of the many ridiculous cultish claims I’ve ever heard made about Rand. Ye gods, Rob! What do you think people like Plato and Aristotle were doing?!?! Here’s an itty-bitty philosophy lesson for you: The word ‘ethics’ comes from the Greek word êthos which roughly translates to ‘character.’ Many contemporary philosophers (including myself) argue that Aristotle’s analysis of the virtues has significant advantages over more modern rule-based approaches to ethical theory such as utilitarianism and Kantian deontology. All of these, of course, are attempts to provide rational support for ethical claims.

    And, for the record, Ayn Rand understood none of the above – because she was too intellectually immature and arrogant to learn anything from anyone else. She insisted that she was a philosopher but was never accepted as one because she refused to make any arguments. She made lots of unsupported declarations of supposedly immutable truths, along with wildly exaggerated claims of her own genius (which she apparently thought allowed her to know these presumed immutable truths without bothering to do the hard work of finding evidence and making arguments in support of them). But she never produced anything which bore more than a passing resemblance to actual arguments.

  11. Ayn Rand spoke the truth courageously.

    Atlas Shrugged is indeed ponderous at times, but so is the bible, and unlike the bible, Atlas Shrugged outlines a moral philosophy for life. Anyone who’s against or ridicules this philosophy must support slavery and thievery and/or mysticism.

    Oh, and the violent sex is weird, but really from the The Fountainhead.

    Finally, the speech is insanely long and repetitive, but do you really think that’s a reason not to film an abridged version? It’s brilliant (no matter what you might “think”), it’s just the same brilliant speech 10x in a row. Not to hard to edit.

    So, you’re biased, wrong on Ayn Rand, ignorant of her books, and naive in even understanding how a book becomes a movie (start with how a bill becomes a law, you can sing that one).

    But, I’m sure you think you’re erudite and your friends pat you on the back. That must be fun for you. It’s “in” for intellectual morons to ridicule Ayn Rand, just like they loved Joe Stalin. Have fun with your circle jerk.

  12. LanceR, JSG

    @JohnGalt: Anyone who’s against or ridicules this philosophy must support slavery and thievery and/or mysticism.

    Sorry, but Ayn Rand’s stated philosophy is that the strong MUST rule the weak. If they are not allowed to rule, they should leave, sabotaging everything behind them to cause the collapse of civilization…

    How is this not slavery? How is trading one set of masters for another in any way rational?

    Go Galt. I dare you. See how long it takes anyone to notice.

  13. John Galt


    Typical leftist libel from someone who didn’t read the books, or god forbid did read them and is that stupid.

    Ayn Rand’s ethics FORBID “taking”, but are about trading/commerce/fair exchange. The weak would be far better off in this world as the prodcutivity of all would be through the roof, certainly better off than they would be in your Leftist world where they live on your crumbs.

    But either way, in Objectivism the strong can’t steal from or enslave the weak any more than vice versa. In your socialist system (I’m inferring, you might deny, but you’ll be lying) the weak enslave and rob the strong every day in the name of twisted pretend feel good but truly evil fake “morality”.

    The weak do not have to leave, they simply don’t get to steal from the strong. The weak in fact thrive. In fact, objectivism is not against charity if freely given as many do, it’s just against thievery.

    I’m not going Galt, I’m just going to win the argument like I just did. Now, sputter like Barney Frank, say something that sounds intellectual but is just group think liberal idiocy, and then curl up with a good Noam Chomsky tract.

  14. LanceR, JSG

    Ah, yes. The “Because I Said So” method of argumentation. Ayn Rand’s “ethics” do nothing of the sort. It simply rationalizes thievery as “I did the REAL work, it’s mine.” As ethical systems go, it’s about third grade level.

    Libertarian (Big L)/Objectivism is Fascism for One. You can insult me all you like, but it won’t change the basic moral emptiness at the heart of your creed.

    In the real world, anarchistic/Objectivist societies very rapidly break down into feudalism. We’ve tried it. It failed. Get over yourself.

  15. John Galt

    Fascism is the blood libel you Leftists tell. You want a big government to tell people what to do, we won’t liberty with almost nobody telling others what to do, and you dare, F-ING DARE, to direct the word Fascist at us.

    So, we’ve tried an Objectivist society (limited but enforced government a la the bill of rights) before and it’s broken down to feudalism? Really? Not in the last 10,000 years, perhaps you’re thinking of some other planet? And you have the temerity, the brazen balls, to attack my form of argument. Amazing.

    You are a liar, and a totalitarian, and worse, you have the inhuman audacity to call people exactly the opposite of what they are, and pat your own ass in excited praise for doing it.

    I hope somebody introduces you to the 2nd amendment one day you f-ing looting totalitarian FASCIST. I won’t as it would be ethically wrong (really). But nothing is wrong with rooting for someone else to take out a fascist liar like yourself. I hope your last thoughts are “you know, freedom would probably have been a better idea.”

  16. LanceR, JSG

    Yep. The “I know you are, but what am I?” gambit from a libertarian. I’m shocked.

    You may wanna look up the word “fascism” in a real dictionary. Ask your mommy to help you with the big words… and getting it off the shelf. Read it twice, and you may understand why so many people call Objectivism “fascism for one”.

    Here’s a tip: fascism and Leftist are contradictory terms.

    Here’s another: Don’t assume you know anything about a person just because they disagree with you. I’ll bet my 1st amendment rights against your 2nd amendment revenge fantasies any day of the week.

  17. LanceR, JSG

    Some more topics for your next book report, John Galt:

    Robber Barons
    Laissez-faire capitalism
    Company towns
    Child labor

    Recommended reading:

    The Jungle
    It Can’t Happen Here
    For Us, The Living (Heinlein)
    The Right to Work
    The Great American Fraud
    The Bitter Cry of Children

  18. I’m just surprised that John Galt would take time off from yachting and ruling the commercial world to comment on denialism blog. Maybe he lost his job at a hedge fund or something.

  19. John Galt


    Liberal fascism is a fact, and that you think the Left is immune from that label, makes you a close minded dangerous fool. And as a libertarian I love the first amendment far more than you. So shove the fairness doctrine and McCain-Feingold up your commie ass ok?

    As to what to read, you are a joke. The world has been made so much better off by capitalism than any other force in human history. You think just saying the made up words “Robber Barons” is a point? You think citing a few books (some of them very good, keeping our humanity while pursuing capitalism is important) is an argument? Read “The Myth of the Robber Barons” and then shove that up your commie ass. We libertarians believe what we believe because we think it will make the world better off. You think the average writer at the Cato-institute is doing it to get rich? You may disagree, but the implication that we don’t care makes you a liar and a fool.

    And the Left, and Obama, and his Orwellian socialist desire to control our lives is far more resonant with “It can’t Happen here” (including the left’s gross anti-Semitism ignored amazingly by most Semites) than anything the right has come up with.

    They were called National SOCIALISTS by the way. That was not an accident or a mistake.

    But keep whining and acting all intellectually superior (hah) as your policies are responsible for the future death of billions.

    You are a joke, but sadly the joke is currently on the world.

    And as to your muck-raking “yacht” comment, I don’t own one, but people who own yachts can have opinions too. Just because you are a relative failure does not make your opinions any more valid. But enjoy the feeling of superiority.

  20. My point is that John Galt is mythical. A teenage fantasy. Galt wouldn’t spend his time on this blog because he is too busy having sex with strange women who believe that the common person is “as gray as dishwater.”

  21. LanceR, JSG

    Liberal fascism: oxymoron.

    Actually, the force that has made the world better is “socialism”. People working together in social groups for a common purpose. When primitive man found that twenty or thirty hungry hunters could bring down a mammoth, the world changed. The big problem with Libertarianism is that “no man is an island”. Unrestrained capitalism, especially of the Objectivist/Libertarian flavor, works counter to this most powerful of human forces.

    You keep throwing out the insults, but don’t seem to realize that I’m not a “commie” or a “totalitarian” or a “fascist”. Nor am I a Democrat. Not everyone who disagrees with you fits in your neat little pigeonholes.

    Typical Randite. Criticize his pathetic little goddess, and the anger boils out like so many wasps. Eventually he’ll grow out of this phase… his mommy will kick him out of the basement someday.

  22. LanceR, JSG

    From the man who coined the word “Fascism”, Mussolini:

    “…Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism”

    “After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application.”

    “Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary… does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal.”

    Fascism began primarily as a reaction to the perceived excesses of Communism. To throw around “Liberal Fascism” and “Fascist Commie” and “It was the National SOCIALIST Party” is to expose a terrifying ignorance of history.

  23. John Galt

    Sorry about the ad hominem attacks but you are indeed a moron so it’s hard to avoid.

    You quote Mussolini as your proof. Hilarious. What else does Mussolini’s wisdom tell you about the world today? Emlighten us.

    Capitalism requires and demands cooperation. Individuals act freely, but voluntary cooperation in both parties’ interest is what makes it all work.

    If one hunter was better than all the others, do you think he got the same share of the meat? If you say same you’re a liar (again). Do you think that’s early capitalism or socialism? Hilarious how easy this is.

    But, huff and puff and quote some smarter writers than you who still got it wrong, then have your liberal friends pat your ass for standing up to a conservative. Enjoy.

    And as insults go, you don’t exactly take the high road do you?

    Call it what you want, the government telling people what to do is totalitarian, and we should tolerate it only when absolutely necessary (e.g., courts, defense). All else is fascism (or whatever label you’d like), I’m against it, you’re for it. You can call yourself whatever you like but you’re a petty dictator.

    And I don’t think Rand was a goddess, I don’t care for Objectivists who see her as faultless, that’s as misguided religion as any other. I do disagree with you (as it’s so easy to) and think she was great, but I don’t worship every word. Unlike you, I think, I don’t recite and repeat.

    Finally, it’s not about the grey people being shunted aside. They’d be far better off in the vibrant growing paradise capitalism would create without you people and your rules (which are just power grabs), and Eddie Willers was a hero of Atlas Shrugged.

  24. LanceR, JSG

    Wow. Just… wow.

    The question is; What is Fascism. What better source than the man who coined the term?

    Fascist governments are totalitarian.
    Not all totalitarian governments are fascist.

    Making up definitions to make words mean what you want them to mean is not good debate practice.

    And the “grey people” would most emphatically not be “far better off” in your fantasy capitalist paradise. We have been there, done that, and ended up with company towns, child labor, and the massive abuses of power that lead to the formation of Communism.

    Nobody here is calling for the destruction of capitalism. Actually, I doubt anyone anywhere is still advocating that… but unrestricted capitalism is a cancer on society.

    You seem to have quite the fetish for inserting things anally… anything you’d like to share?

    Seriously. Crack a history book sometime.

  25. John Galt

    Moron. I feel it’s important to start all correspondence with you that way. Oh, and nice laying off the “uncivil” attacks you seem to abhor in me.

    Do you seriously think we have ever done the experiment on what would have developed from unrestricted capitalism? Or, are the problems you cite those of people who were in better shape (however bad) under NASCENT capitalism vs. the poor throughout human history? You seriously think the “sweat shops” made people worse off than their short, brutal existence before them? Are you that dumb? Do you think that was necessarily the end game of a free world?

    And fine, I’ll say totalitarian from now on instead of fascism (though Hitler coined National SOCIALISM so if you are into original sources as PROOF you lose again). You’re a totalitarian (not fascist god forbid) moron who would doom the world to darkness out of your stupidity and desired to be loved and lauded by other morons. Have your little masturbatory debate about the definition of the word fascism on your own.

    And, you say “unrestricted” like it’s a bad thing. Capitalism is just two people or groups trading freely with another. Who are you and your thugs to “restrict” them? I wouldn’t restrict artistic freedom, but you’d love to get your greedy useless unproductive hands on others and “restrict” them.

    And I noticed you didn’t respond to my utter destruction of your hunter analogy which supports capitalism not socialism. Nice dodge. Intellectually dishonest little worm.

    And, as for my fetish, what can I say, I like the butt. Plus you deserve large painful things jammed up yours. QED.

    “Crack a history book”, hilarious from a brown shirt. You’re past help, crack some crack and stop bothering people with jobs.

  26. Anonymous

    John, it’s worth thinking a little about how loaded the terms you use are. E.g. “groups trading freely.” Do you think that there really is such a thing? Even if you were to try the experiment with unrestricted capitalism, it will never be quite “free” enough to get to the utopia sought by libertarians. And along the way, you’ll learn that no one really wants unrestricted capitalism either. I’ve found it pretty ironic that so many libertarians live in San Francisco, one of the most controlled (and beautiful and rich) places to live in the world. Even that poppet of a man Friedman lived here.

  27. John Galt

    Have you ever thought that only a total moron would be so binary? I even admitted some things must be done by government. The point is government is by nature coercive and thus should do as little as possible. Just because perfect freedom might not be attainable should not mean it shouldn’t be the ongoing symbolic goal. Liberty is an end to itself, and only an ass who’d call a great and truly nice/benevolent man like Friedman a “poppet” would not agree.

    Under my system you can live anyway you like (join a commune for all I care). Under your system you need bayonets and internment camps to keep me in line. QED.

    BTW, you using San Francisco to bolster your point, as California descends into the chasm of it’s own overgrown socialism, and the real estate bubble being about the largest in San Fran because of the wonderful restrictions the STATE places on land use, borders on a parody of logical thought. Almost as bad as the dude who thinks cavemen hunting together proves socialism. He still won’t answer if the biggest caveman got more meat (capitalism). Hint, he got the most meat.

    This is too easy, but I’m sure you little men are congratulating yourselves on your superb rhetoric, but you have lost. I’m done now, bye.

  28. Anonymous

    I win! Because I said so! I’m the biggest, so I get the mostest!

    Yay! I’m the winner!

    Some people’s children…

  29. minimalist

    Haha. Kid, LanceR is going easy on you. He IS being polite, relatively, for him… and most definitely in comparison to you.

    And I noticed you didn’t respond to my utter destruction of your hunter analogy which supports capitalism not socialism. Nice dodge.

    Ah, yes, the “I can’t conceive of people acting outside of my small-minded viewpoint therefore I WIN FOREVER” style of argumentation you have used repeatedly to such, uh, great effect.

    Let’s see what experts say about existing hunter-gatherer societies:

    In the culture, a large focus is also placed on reciprocity and sharing of resources. Since game is not plentiful and sometimes hunters must travel great distances to find food, meat is usually sparse in the community. Within the village, any meat brought in by a successful hunter is shared fairly among the group.

    (Johnny’s predicted rebuttal: “NUH UH!!!11”)

    Really, as these things go, Johnny, the “ostrich technique” doesn’t really serve you well when you’re posting on the interwebs. Considering where just a few keystrokes in Google can take you, it just shows a stunning lack of intellectual curiosity.

    (Ditto your thundering ignorance of National Socialism.)

  30. minimalist

    Weird, the blockquote tags didn’t work.

    Oh well, the two quotes I included can be distinguished by:

    1.) fatuous stupidity, and

    2.) scholarship,


  31. Anonymous

    John, people are still buying homes here and they want to live in San Francisco. I’ve lived in places that border on unrestricted capitalism, such as the south. In the south, you often have no zoning, thus you can have a pig farm next to a church, because that’s “freedom.” Do you ever wonder why the libertarian/conservative demagogues live in places like Manhattan and San Francisco? Because they don’t want to live in the suburban walmart wasteland their ideologies create either. They want you to, and they want you to think you love it.

  32. John Galt

    The biggest hunter got the most meat – do you deny it? No links to broken academic liberal studies about how wonderful the indigenous people were now… I’d bet my life against your two dollar net worths that I’m right. Hilarious.

    National socialism’s defining characteristic was totalitarianism, so is any form of socialism’s, I understand it perfectly. You confuse things because the Nazis kept corporations around and thus you morons are fooled into thinking they were a corporate capitalist dictatorship (capitalist dictatorship is an oxymoron), and then laugh at others for “not understanding.” You all seek to talk, and cite, and seek refuge in academic specificity not truth, in order to avoid the perfect simplicity that you are dictating slavers, while I am for liberty. And you pretend you’re the good people!

    I won’t be checking back as your little love-in socialist circle jerk has bored and not challenged me, but winning does count, and btw, I won when I said:

    “Under my system you can live anyway you like (join a commune for all I care). Under your system you need bayonets and internment camps to keep me in line. QED.”

    You have the bayonets at other’s throats, as a libertarian I’m begging you to put them down. But you all cackle and tug on each other’s happy places and think you’re saints when you’re killers and jailers.

    You are all self-congradulating intellectual morons. Enjoy your own company.

    Oh, and shove this bullshit “ in drag” website up your asses, you know I love that stuff.

  33. LanceR, JSG

    You see any bayonets and internment camps? Did I miss those on my way into work this morning? I was a little groggy… coffee hadn’t quite kicked in.

    You hear that whooshing? That’s the goalposts being moved.

    No. The biggest hunter did not get the most meat. Try to learn to read sometime.

    You are not being coerced at all. If you ever get tired of living in a society of equals, feel free to leave. Seriously. Go Galt. I dare you.

    Not even your mommy will notice.

  34. Anonymous

    “Under my system you can live anyway you like (join a commune for all I care). Under your system you need bayonets and internment camps to keep me in line. QED.”

    You can live anyway you like until you zoom out just a bit and realize that you cannot live any way you like. We are not islands.

  35. minimalist

    “The biggest hunter got the most meat – do you deny it? No links to broken academic liberal studies about how wonderful the indigenous people were now…”

    Hey, Little Johnny, why would you assume that the source of that information is “liberal”?

    These were people who actually crawled out of their own heads, got out into the real world, and ACTUALLY INTERACTED with the hunter-gatherer societies to see how they really operate.

    As opposed to libertarians, whose only face-to-face contact with other humans tends to be with other pudgy, self-satisfied middle-class white folks who worship Rand. If even that.

    Oh, I guess I do see your point after all.

    But most of all, I think it’s awesome that, even after I predicted your response precisely, you STILL came right out and said “I don’t care what your pesky facts say! The !Kung-San that exist in my head are anarcho-capitalists!”

    And then pooping your Pampers and running away.

    Thanks for so adeptly illustrating the denialist mentality. Can anyone deny that Randroids are cultists?

  36. LanceR, JSG

    (quote, since blockquote is broken)
    Haha. Kid, LanceR is going easy on you. He IS being polite, relatively, for him… and most definitely in comparison to you.

    Oh, Minimalist… you say the *nicest* things! I think I’m blushing! {grin}

  37. I haven’t read Atlas Shrugged, but have seen most of the “This is John Galt Speaking” youtube videos. I thought there were some really nice things in it. It sounds like Rand had some pretty bad philosohpies, but there are some little nuggets of good in what is said in these interpretive videos:

    Again, I don’t know anything about the book, but the parts of Galt’s speak in these videos have a lot of nice things to say about reason and valueing life. “No one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it”.

    Has anyone else seen these? When you’ve only seen these vids, you get the vibe that what is being promoted is that reason is man’s greatest virtue, morals shouldn’t be attributed to the supernatural, and life and living is the BESTEST thing EVER! 🙂

    I’m dispointed to hear that Rand had all kinds of kooky political/economic ideas.

  38. minimalist

    It’s the same reason Scientology draws you in with feel-good pop psychology woo. Once they get their hooks in (and the money flowing), *that’s* when they hit you with the galactic overlords, brain-ghosts, and clam/human evolution.

  39. In the real world, anarchistic/Objectivist societies very rapidly break down into feudalism. We’ve tried it. It failed. Get over yourself

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