Bill Bucko

"Atlas Shrugged" documentary

2 posts in this topic

I recently joined the mailing list for the forthcoming "Atlas Shrugged" documentary. My impression that it was an ARI production is apparently false. I was concerned to see the film's makers are including such pretentious, uninformed critics as Heller and Burns (the latter of whose book Betsy Speicher said "reads like a biography of Howard Roark as written by Peter Keating").

Tonight I got an e-mail presenting director Chris Mortenson's "take" on what he is doing. I replied:

Mr. Mortensen:

What in hell is wrong with you?


"As for the ideas that greed is good and selfishness is a virtue – she enjoyed throwing those bombshells around simply to get a rise out of people and to get them to think about the difference between earning something on your own and stealing it or having it handed to you. In that sense, even a liberal stooge like – well – me has to admit that, given that choice, greed is the more desirable trait."

Egoism is a serious ethical issue, and was always treated as a life-or-death matter by Miss Rand--which it is. Did you ever meet her or spend time around her? I did. I defy you to document any instance in which she treated philosophical issues as the sort of cocktail party game that you describe.

You say you are a "liberal stooge." I accept your self-description. You have given me a very good reason not to see or buy your movie.

I don't think I'm being overly picky. Obviously that jerk Mortenson would never qualify as one of the thinkers Miss Rand describes in her 1969 essay "The Inexplicable Personal Alchemy" (reprinted in The New Left: the Anti-Industrial Revolution and Return of the Primitive):

There is a fundamental conviction which some people never acquire, some hold only in their youth, and a few hold to the end of their days—the conviction that ideas matter. In one's youth that conviction is experienced as a self-evident absolute, and one is unable fully to believe that there are people who do not share it. That ideas matter means that knowledge matters, that truth matters, that one's mind matters.

But if he ever read Atlas Shrugged shouldn't he at least have noticed these words from the author's note at the end: "And I mean it." ?

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