Does This Me/We Stuff Really Matter?
If you’re a fan of Donald Trump or Rick Perry (Governor of Texas,)
you really, really, really need to quit reading right now.
Seriously. Please. I want us to remain friends.
Go. The time to go is now. Right now.
Ayn Rand is a writer of romanticized fiction that became a religion, though none of her devotees think of Atlas Shrugged as the bible of the religion of Self Worship.
But it is. The premise of the book is that a small party of brilliant, farsighted visionaries and inventors – strong and silent individualists, all – are carrying the world on their shoulders. These are the “providers.” Each of them is Atlas. The rest of us are moochers, parasites, “looters” who feel entitled, but who, in truth, are lucky to live in the land of John Galt, the great Atlas who is carrying the rest of us on his mighty shoulders.
Do you remember what the wizard said in this week’s Monday Morning Memo? “We’re attracted to reflections of ourselves. A salesperson points out this reflection, ‘That’s you, isn’t it?’ and then gives the intellect the facts it needs to justify the purchase.” Ayn Rand was a salesperson. She holds the image of John Galt before us as a mirror, hoping that we’ll see ourselves in him and embrace her religion of self-worship as a result.
Men read the story of John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, lift their chins and say, “Yes. That’s me. I’m that man. Strong. Smart. Confident… Dammit, I’m superior. People should obey me because I, alone, am worthy of obedience. But I don’t want to be adored. No, I just want to be unencumbered. I require freedom from restraint. If you hold me back, you only damage the economy. I am the great provider, subject to no law, no government, no social constraint.”
That kind of thinking is popular when society is in a “Me” cycle. But the recent Ayn Rand movies were made during the upswing toward the zenith of a “We.” Uh-Oh.
Production and marketing budgets for Atlas Shrugged Part 1 (2011) and Atlas Shrugged Part 2 (2012) were between $10 million and $20 million apiece. Both films combined brought in box office revenues of only $8 million.
Amazingly, Atlas Shrugged Part 3 is in the works. But here’s where it gets funny: The producers are asking for donations on Kickstarter.
John Galt, that fiercely independent individualist, is crowdsourcing for a bankroll. Heh, heh, heh. That’s just plain funny.
They say they’re doing it for publicity. Okay, I’ll play along.
Here’s the video they’ve posted on their Kickstarter page: