After a half-century of false starts, filming has finally begun on a film version of Ayn Rand's final and most explanatory novel, Atlas Shrugged. The timing of this independent production (prompted though it was merely by a filmmaker's potential loss of rights were filming not to have begun by last weekend) is rather splendid, as the election of Barack Obama and the consequent and confused perception that a free republic has now crossed some sort of line into statist tyranny has sparked a new round of interest in the novel on the part of conservatives - many of whom are in for some nasty surprises to the extent that they actually read and understand the book or make any further study of Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. To wit:
- Rand is a staunch atheist, and Objectivism denies not only the alleged "proof" of God, but also the possibility of any such phenomenon. Both her fiction and non-fiction works lump Christians together with socialists, fascists, and other "mystics of muscle." In fact, Rand quite accurately charges Christianity and related doctrines with providing the anti-intellectual foundations by which statism thrives.
- Equally accurately, Rand dismisses the American "conservative movement" as a ridiculous and dangerous hodgepodge of tribalism, blind tradition, superstition, and platitudes. She even singled out National Review for particular criticism back when National Review was a far better publication than it is today under the leadership of such people as online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez, the dumbest single magazine editor I have ever come across.
- Opposed to immigration on cultural grounds? Ayn Rand was a Russian immigrant intellectual who, in the grand tradition of Russian immigrant intellectuals, came to this country partly in order to mock the Judeo-Christian traditions upon which many conservatives wrongfully believe this country to have been founded.
- Keen on traditional family values? Rand not only advocated adultery but practiced it.
- Rand was a staunch proponent of absolute individual liberty -- unlike our conservatives, who regard themselves as such but nonetheless advocate or at least tolerate all manner of social legislation relating to drug use, "sodomy," and "obscenity."
- Atlas Shrugged is filled with over-the-top characterizations and ham-fisted dialogue. This will not be a problem for Palin fans, but the better sort of conservative might find it irritating that every villain in the book has some name like Moodley Spootie Gubbertushie, possesses a "soft, boyish face," and is forever shrieking out something about "the general consensus" while alternately panicking in the face of the steely example of the book's dozen heroes. At any rate, your children will find the sex scenes very instructive. I sure as fuck did.
In conclusion, Ayn Rand doesn't respect conservatives any more than I do.
And in actual conclusion, does anyone else remember a year or so back when all those conservatives were talking about how they were going to "Go Galt," denying the rest of us the fruits of their crucial productivity in response to the slightly higher taxes that some segment of the population may possibly end up paying under Obama? Neither do they, apparently.