Creative Destruction

April 28, 2006

This is depressing

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Popular Culture — bazzer @ 1:41 pm

As if the rumor about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck redoing "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" weren't bad enough, now I have to contend with the prospect of Brangelina desecrating Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I don't think you have to be a devout Objectivist to feel some measure of apprehension about this project.

I'll confess that I have less patience for Rand's writings than I did in my college days. Her rigid, pedantic prose quickly wore thin on me. Moreover, despite Rand's personal hostility toward religion, she ironically managed to create a religion herself, one that's every bit as unyielding and dogmatic as any other kind of fundamentalism.

Still, if I'm being totally honest, she probably had as big an influence on my own political philosophy as any one, single person. When I first encountered her work some 20 years ago, it changed my way of thinking in profound ways, as only a small handful of books have ever done.

Despite her hidebound dogmatism, I still find her straightforward, across-the-board skepticism of the modern, collectivist state to be more appealing and intellectually honest than the convenient piecemeal antistatism of modern-day conservatism and liberalism, both of which can talk a mean game about individual liberties… except when it comes to all those unpleasant activities which they really, really want to regulate.

Rand still occupies a soft spot in my heart, and I have a feeling that her work deserves a better treatment than Mr. Pitt and Ms. Jolie are likely to give it. Bummer.


  1. Rand still occupies a soft spot in my heart

    If you still have soft spots in your heart, you must not have been reading properly. 😛

    Comment by Robert — April 28, 2006 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  2. Hmm, perhaps there is a bit of collectivist in me (gasp) because I can not stand Rand. And I can not stand the pretentiousness of the term “Objectivist” (for similar I hate “Scientology” with it’s bunk science).

    While I don’t generally agree with socialist dogma: “society is built on the backs of the oppressed workers” I find Rand’s assertation that the it is built on the backs of the gifted equally troubling. Probably most people have their place (and contribute), and it is not a zero-sum game (hmm, I’ve been using that term a lot lately).

    However, I agree that she was straightforward and honest at least.

    Comment by Tuomas — April 28, 2006 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

  3. Correction:
    …similar reasons I hate…

    (Great, I spammed the recent comments full of my comments. ¤#! only shows five recent comments)

    Comment by Tuomas — April 28, 2006 @ 5:34 pm | Reply

  4. I think I’m the only person on the planet who finds Rand’s political agenda reprehensible, but still thought that Atlas Shrugged was an entertaining story.

    Comment by Stentor — April 28, 2006 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  5. I thought Atlas Shrugged was a terrific story! It’s just that the writing was such crap.

    (Uh oh, here come the objectivists to kill me…)

    Comment by Robert — April 28, 2006 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  6. The story of Atlas Shrugged was terriffic.

    The Objectivist philosophy behind it has a big enough logical hole to drive a battallion of M1A1 tanks through.

    And the writing was, at best, sophomoric.

    I personally would think Pitt as being a good male lead for this one, but Angelina doesn’t have the right look for Dagny Taggart. More along the lines of Reese Whitherspoon, perhaps.

    Comment by Off Colfax — April 29, 2006 @ 1:26 am | Reply

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