Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oops! Atlas Shrugged.

From TPM:
The producers of the film version of “Atlas Shrugged: Part One” apologized for an “embarrassing” error on the DVD cover that described the theme of their adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel as one of “self-sacrifice.” As disciples of Rand, one of libertarianism’s heroes, are supposed to know, Atlas Shrugged is actually all about “rational self-interest.” ...

Harmon Kaslow, CEO of Atlas Productions and the film’s producer, added: “As we all well know, the ideas brought to life in Atlas Shrugged are entirely antithetical to the idea of ‘self-sacrifice’ as a virtue. Atlas is quite literally a story about the dangers of self-sacrifice.”

“Atlas Shrugged” was released in April to paltry box office returns and terrible reviews (including TPM’s review here). The movie was independently financed and distributed by a conservative businessman, and was promoted by tea party groups like Freedomworks who see Rand’s themes as a natural extension of Tea Party principles.

Funny, huh? Atlas Shrugged exalts selfishness, not self-sacrifice. The idea that you should give up anything yourself - including paying taxes - just to help other people, or even society in general, is anathema to libertarians.

Really, I thought this was hilarious. Of course, I'm no fan of libertarianism or of Ayn Rand, despite her vigorous atheism (something that's conveniently forgotten by most of her followers).

And no, that's no problem for me. We atheists don't all agree on other issues. We don't have a dogma. We don't have leaders, not those appointed or elected to the task. We don't even necessarily agree about atheism, except in general terms.

You think that might be the same way with libertarians? Maybe. But from what I can tell, libertarians pretty well worship Ayn Rand. It really is a cult following. And my big problem with libertarians in general is that they go to extremes, following their beloved philosophy to its most absurd conclusions.

But then, as I say, I'm not a libertarian. And I'm rational enough not to tell other people what they think. No doubt libertarians are as diverse as the rest of us, huh? But it's still a crazy philosophy. :)

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