Ayn Rand Trashes America’s Liberal Critics
Liberal America is now howling, as they can hardly accept the fact that Ayn Rand is taking the United States by storm with the ongoing showing of Atlas Shrugged Part 1 in more than 300 theaters across the country. Here’s my only advice to annoyed liberals and statists: Get used to it!
I believe there’s one real enemy of all liberals and leftists, and it’s reality. First off, reality has it that more and more Americans would like to see the movie. I did some Facebook spying and found out that those who went to see the highly controversial film loved it. Even those who have not yet read the book gave positive, favorable personal reviews as opposed to those of liberal movie critics who simply let their political views blind their crappy verdict. Second, lots of people have said that the movie is a frugal, faithful adaptation of Ayn Rand’s novel. Despite budget constraints and a very limited time-line, Strike Productions produced a high-quality film that far exceeded public expectations. Third, liberal critics and Obama supporters have joined forces and exerted so much effort to downplay the film and to dissuade people from patronizing it. But who’s reading crappy, shitty movie reviews nowadays? Only brain dead liberals do!
Observe the arrogant elitism and dishonesty of the liberals and the left. Instead of debating the crucial issues presented in this film, they resorted to ad hominem attacks, context-dropping, downright lying, conspiracy theories and misrepresentation only to discredit Ayn Rand. The liberal technique is: If you can’t argue your case, try ad hominem attacks and misrepresentation. It is reality that these brain dead liberals and leftists try to evade. However, they cannot evade the consequences of evading reality. Reality is, nobody’s paying attention to their dishonest screeds. Only their fellow liberal zombies do!
Here are some of the dishonest tricks being used by liberals and statists (neo-cons included) to discredit Ayn Rand and her book.
1. They resort to statistics or numerical figures to evade reality.
Whether an issue involves economics or politics, liberal and the left love to use statistics and so-called peer reviewed articles by their fellow liberals in the academia and other think tank organizations to deny or negate the facts of reality and to push for the liberal agenda. For instance, most liberal critics love to point out how Atlas Shrugged Part 1 got a very low mark or rating (0 to 6 percent) from RottenTomatoes’ top critics, which include brain dead liberal movie critic Roger Ebert. Here are few examples:
From liberal Greg Mitchell of The Nation:
It takes a lot to get a 0% at the mass market critics’ consensus site Rotten Tomatoes. Pick an awful movie you can think of and it probably managed a 5% or maybe even a 25%. Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes! more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat.
In other words, not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit. I like the headline over the Chicago Tribune review: “Taxing Indeed.” Still waiting for “Don’t Go (Galt) There.” Or “Born Under a Bad Ayn.”
From Michael Phillips of Tribune Newspapers:
The tinhorn film version of “Atlas Shrugged” fails to rise even to the level of “eh” suggested by Ayn Rand‘s title. But with so little going on in cinematic or storytelling terms, we can cut straight to the fascinating tea-stained politics of the thing.
Conceived as the first of a proposed three-part series, director Paul Johansson‘s movie is the work of true believers in Rand’s pet theory known as Objectivism, which can be described as “Us? There is no ‘us’!” In Rand’s worldview, it is me-time, all the time. The capitalistic visionaries among us have been hounded and taxed and ground down so relentlessly by the federal government and other societal evils, there’s nothing to do but blow the whole thing up and start anew, in a civilization run by the mysterious John Galt, who respects the rapacious dog-eat-dog nature of humankind and the sexy, life-enhancing virtues of unfettered economic competition.
2. They employ conspiracy theories and baseless accusations.
Objective facts have no value to liberals and leftists. This is because they consider objective, unimpeachable facts as their enemy. To destroy Ayn Rand, liberal and even libertarian critics try their best to resurrect a highly dishonest, baseless urban legend that the author was a fan of a serial killer named William Hickman.
Here’s an except of a left-wing review written by uber-liberal Mark Ames:
One reason most countries don’t find the time to embrace Ayn Rand’s thinking is that she is a textbook sociopath. In her notebooks Ayn Rand worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” she promoted in her more famous books. These ideas were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
So when someone in the past wrote that Ayn Rand had this “interest” in a serial killer, the liberals jumped to the conclusion that Rand’s philosophy is all about murder or sociopathy. This is actually one of the most favorite materials being used by liberals and some Libertarians to discredit Rand. What did the author-philosopher actually say about Hickman? In The Journals of Ayn Rand, she is clearly quoted: “[My hero is] very far from him, of course. The outside of Hickman, but not the inside. Much deeper and much more. A Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me.” The fact is, Rand’s interest in Hickman was his unconventional attitude and the public’s reaction to it. Anyone who read her books would understand that the philosopher is against any kind of force, whether it be private force or legalized force. She was morally against the crime Hickman committed and throughout her life, she advocated for individual freedom over collective force. But of course, brain dead liberals and leftist don’t understand this concept, as their ideology is all about legalized government force against unarmed individuals.
3. The use of the popular cult or cultist mantra.
This “cult” accusation was originated by an alleged Ayn Rand associated named Murray Rothbard, who had to resort to name-calling and dishonest strategy in order to defend himself against accusations of plagiarism. The book Rothbard wrote, The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult, became very popular to Rand critics who were mostly leftists and anarcho-Libertarians. This “cult” mantra is now being used by liberals, libertarians and conservatives against Ayn Rand to discredit her without properly identifying which part of her philosophy is cultish. Perhaps “cultism” to them simply means agreeing with the idea or ideology of someone else. To me “cultism” means taking something or someone on faith. A good example of cultists are Conservatives who dogmatically believe in the Cult of Christ, and the socialists, communists and liberals who take the ideology of aristocrats Karl Marx and F. Engels on faith.
Here’s an excerpt of a hippyish article written by Leon Wolfe titled Rejecting the Cult of Ayn Rand:
While Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy had many useful things to say about liberalism, when applied as a positive philosophy to life, it leads to results just as monstrous as communism. No one who, as a mature adult, espouses it without reservation should be taken seriously or considered a leader of conservative thought. And, although I am admittedly not plugged in to the Tea Pary movement, I would wager that a vast majority of its rank and file members would be surprised to learn that the movement is supposedly animated by an atheistic and rabidly pro-choice materialist.
The first and most obvious objection to coopting conservatism in the name of Rand’s objectivism is that Rand herself rejected conservatism. She hated religion and all founding traditions. Anything that stood in the way of the accumulation of wealth and pleasure (for the few in this world who are fortunate enough to be beautiful and talented) is to be rejected. As Whittaker Chambers noted long ago in what is still the definitive repudiation of Rand, in this Rand was in fact not meaningfully different from the Marxism she sought to repudiate.
This brain dead conservative appears to have not read any of the works of Ayn Rand. His mention of the name Whittaker Chambers simply exposes himself as a fraud. He didn’t even explain how Objectivism will lead “to results just as monstrous as communism.” The fact remains that the source of their criticisms of Rand is her atheism. Several decades ago, the godfather of Conservatism, William F. Buckley, declared war on Ayn Rand. Today, only dogmatic neo-conservatives remember and worship Buckley.
Also, consider this review entitled Atlas Shrugged: A movie this demented ought to be against the law written by a liberal named Charlie Jane Sanders:
Every cult needs its own wacky trainwreck of a movie. Scientology got Battlefield Earth, and now the cult of Ayn Rand gets Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. But how does Atlas stand up to Battlefield Earth?
Quite well, actually. Atlas Shrugged Part 1, which just opened in theaters today, is a grand addition to the roster of movies that are both kooky and clunky. A movie this hideously wonderful really ought to be against the law.
This simply exposes the liberals as America’s neo-Fascists. Only fascist states ban books and free speech.
4. The fantastic accusation that Atlas Shrugged movie is a Tea Party and Conservative propaganda.
Observe that liberal critics try their best to paint Atlas Shrugged as a Tea Party and Conservative political propaganda against the Obama administration. If it were a propaganda, I’d like to call it propaganda for freedom and individualism.
Here’s how the NPR tries to link the movie to Conservativism:
Rand’s dystopian tale taps into the fears of conservative Americans about government spending, deficits and the social priorities of a Democratic president like Obama, Burns says. “On the one hand, Rand’s popularity points to the vigor and growth of the American right, particularly as seen in the Tea Party. On the other hand, it points to a certain intellectual weakness amid the conservative movement, given that their leading intellectual is a novelist who has been dead for almost 30 years.”
However, I believe that America’s Tea Party Movement should embrace the ideals of Atlas Shrugged if they are to fight collectivism, tyranny and big government.
It is reality that America’s liberals and advocates of big government fear. The fact that they’re now resorting to ad hominem attacks, misrepresentation and downright lying clearly reveals their utter inability to properly argue their case. Atlas Shrugged is everything these brain dead liberals and statists denounce: the morality of self-interest, reason, individualism, and capitalism. On the other hand, Atlas Shrugged tells exactly the political and social agenda of these liberals and statists: anti-reason ideology, collectivism, big government, and socialism or dictatorship. Those who hate it love big government, public dole-outs, and tyranny. Observe that all of them are moochers, parasites, and looters.
Can these liberal critics negate or suspend the forces of free markets? Let’s look at the figures first. BoxOfficeMojo.com reported that the film, which was produced with a modest $5 million budget, brought in $683,000 on Friday, the film’s opening night. Surprisingly, it placed 13th overall in total box office receipts for the day.
The good thing about this figure is that Atlas Shrugged was only shown in 300 theaters in the United States. Compare that to Hollywood blockbuster film Rio, which was in 3,826 theaters. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, Atlas Shrugged’s per theater gross was $2,277, ranking third for the day. On the other hand, Rio’s per theater gross was $2,666. This simply means that the film would have grossed more if it would have received a wider release. Now we all know that Atlas Shrugged is number 3 in box office despite no studio support or paid ads.
Here’s the breakdown of top four films’ estimated gross on a per theater basis on Friday, the official release of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1:
- Rio — $2666 per theater, 3826 theaters, total $10,200,000.
- Scream 4 — $2421 per theater, 3305 theaters, total $8,000,000.
- Atlas Shrugged — $2277 per theater, 300 theaters, $683,000.
- The Conspirator — $1542 per theater, 707 theaters, total $1,090,000.
Ayn Rand understood that ideas shape society. A society that values reason, the individual, and freedom creates the United States of America. A society that denounces the mind, preaches self-sacrifice, and worships the collective creates Nazi Germany.
Thus, once Rand identified the basic ideas driving American society in the 20th century, she could predict the course we would take. She could not predict the details, or the timing, but she could see where in principle a country committed to the ideas that prevail in the United States would have to end up—if it did not reject those ideas.
Above all, Ayn Rand understood that our culture’s dominant moral ideal, altruism, is incompatible with freedom.
Virtually no one in Rand’s time or today questions the precept that we are our brother’s keeper, that self-sacrificially serving others is good, and that being selfish is evil. What Rand saw was that this was irreconcilable with the vision of man as an independent, self-sufficient, sovereign being who deserves and requires freedom. If a society believes man’s duty is to sacrifice for others, then it cannot countenance capitalism—a political-economic system that enables and encourages men to pursue their own interests, their own profit, their own welfare.
The deepest reason Rand saw America as moving toward statism, however, was our deteriorating respect for reason. A culture that respects reason, such as the Enlightenment culture of the 18th century, will embrace a political system that leaves men free to exercise their own reason. But for more than a century now, our intellectuals have been preaching that reason is limited, that faith is superior to reason. What’s the result?
Well, as just one journalistic example, take the recent bans on allegedly unhealthy foods [see Stella Daily, “Of Freedom and Fat”]. The bans are based on the idea that we are irrational beings incapable of running our own lives, and so we need an authority to tell us how to live. Rand understood that a culture that rejects reason has to reject freedom.
Indeed, this is the theme of Atlas Shrugged: the role of reason in human life. What Ayn Rand shows is that reason is the source of human values. Businessmen, for instance, use reason to produce the goods and services—the food, the cars, the medicines—that enable us to live healthier and happier lives. To defend capitalism, Rand argued, one must defend business as a rational and therefore profoundly moral undertaking.
Unfortunately, the ideas Rand identified as destroying America in 1957 have not changed. Indeed they have taken hold in stronger fashion today.
- SOURCE: Yaron Brook’s above statement is lifted from The Objectivist Standard article entitled Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the World Today.