Toxic Timing: As Presidential Campaign Starts, Obama Parallels Will Be Obvious
“Reviews will split politically, as leftists seek to cover up their lies, and hope to divert Atlas Shrugged’s message that socialism enslaves and impoverishes, while freedom/capitalism liberates and improves the lot of even, or especially, the poorest”
“We’ve seen the utopian Obamacare legislation, which in the name of seeking to help spread health care more fairly, simply ruins it”
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged has finally become a movie, about 50 years after this amazing novel first hit the streets. The timing is interesting because of the revolutionary nature of the story, and the fact that its release will coincide with the start of the 2012 U.S. Presidential election campaign and explode all over it. The movie is released in the U.S. next month.
For those who’ve so far missed reading this magnificent work, let me try and sum it up. Rand, who escaped from the Soviet Union in the 1920s, developed a philosophy called Objectivism, which held that the people of the world would benefit if those with the talent to achieve great things in business and science or whatever field they chose, were allowed the freedom to develop their talents to the full. But she perceived that socialism, in the name of altruism, held back the talented achievers with diabolical and counter-productive results.
The novel stars Dagny Taggart, who runs the Taggart Transcontinental railroad. She faces down the corrupt, utopian forces of Washington. The politicians in Washington, led by lobbyist Wesley Mouch, want to impose notions like fairness and equality on the population and business. Rand shows that this inevitably leads to unintended consequences as the wealth creators are increasingly thwarted by the politicians “good” intentions. Businesses fail. Those who were supposed to be protected by new regulations are thrown out of work by them. The economy crumbles and poverty is rampant.
Where this story may have an incendiary angle in the Presidential campaign is the amazing and uncanny parallels with the Obama administration’s policies. We have seen the classically utopian Obamacare legislation, which in the name of seeking to help spread health care more fairly, simply ruins it. The Cap and Trade legislation, which thankfully stalled and died, sought to shut down coal production for electricity generation without finding an alternative.
No oil discoveries please
Obama has constantly sought to thwart any attempts to find new oil, at the same time as he says how much he is interested in energy security. His not so secret agenda is that because he believes humans are causing global warming by burning fossil fuels, he doesn’t want to actually find any oil. Obama has a backup to Cap and Tax, which sought to bankrupt traditional energy use without finding a viable alternative, by seeking to give the Energy Protection Agency (headed by a revolutionary socialist) the power to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2). As part of Cap and Tax, Obama drew in big business like General Electric, making sure that they benefitted hugely from government subsidies to produce “renewable” energy from wind farms. TARP funds from Washington have corrupted many of the nation’s big banks, forcing them to take money they didn’t always want and threatening to effectively withdraw their licenses to do business if they didn’t cooperate. The Obama administration, with a bit of help from the previous George W Bush team, have ruined America’s economy by printing vast amounts of money which will have to be paid off by future generations if not stopped and reversed soon.
This all eerily follows the script written by Rand 50 odd years ago.
In the book, the industrialists and business leaders eventually decide that enough is enough, and escape to some Shangri-La in the mountains, and leave the rest to stew in their own juice.
I find the Rand phenomena amazing for all kinds of reasons. Firstly, I can’t believe that I studied for a Politics degree for three years, and never came across this magnificent and heroic women. I also spent seven years working in the U.S., and never heard of her. I’ve spent the last 40 years as a convinced free marketeer and conservative and first heard of her about three years ago when I read Atlas Shrugged. Since then I’ve devoured her other massive masterpiece “The Fountainhead”, and her fabulous romantic novel “We The Living”. I found the latter beautiful and graphic. I’ve never felt so moved and bereft by a novel’s ending.
Another amazing factoid is that Hollywood has neglected this fantastic work for so long. On second thoughts maybe it’s not so amazing, because the left controls Hollywood, and won’t be happy to see the scales being lifted from the electorate’s eyes as the next Presidential election gets underway. John Aglialoro has produced the movie. Written in 1957, “Atlas Shrugged” has sold between seven and eight million copies in the United States. In 2009, sales suddenly spiked, thanks maybe to Obama’s attempt to prove Rand right.
The film, 102-minutes long and the first installment of a trilogy, is directed by Paul Johansson and stars Taylor Schilling as Dagny, and Grant Bowler as Hank Rearden.
Reviews will split politically, as leftists seek to cover up their lies, and hope to divert Atlas Shrugged’s message that socialism enslaves and impoverishes, while freedom/capitalism liberates and improves the lot of even, or especially, the poorest.