Atlas Begged: Would Ayn Rand Approve Of Producers Asking For Handouts?

WIth parts I and II of 'Atlas Shrugged' making less a third of its $30 million budget, producers made a Kickstarter to fund Part III.

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New York Times Co. / Getty Images

Russian-born author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982) stands with her arms folded on a street in New York City, 1957.

Unbowed by the rather modest — less than $8 million — earnings on two films that took $30 million to make, producers of the three-part Atlas Shrugged are ignoring the free-market’s blatant decision to not buy movie tickets and asking for handouts to the tune of $250,000 on Kickstarter to make the third installment.

The Kickstarter notes that, in spite of Ayn Rand’s film aspirations, Hollywood wouldn’t move on Atlas Shrugged either out of “fear of failure or lack of courage.” (Although given the particularly deep shade of red of the movies’ balance sheets, it was probably the former.)

Of course, as the Kickstarter’s very own FAQ section states, many people are wondering: “Isn’t asking for charity antithetical to Ayn Rand’s philosophy?” and “Isn’t this ironic?”

But producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro answer:

No. Kickstarter represents a “free market” and the very embodiment of what Atlas Shrugged is all about.

The real irony is that detractors continue to use the word “irony” to describe a voluntary value-for-value trade amongst individuals as being in opposition to Rand’s philosophy.

Besides, as BuzzFeed points out, Rand herself was accepting government Social Security and Medicare payments in her old age, so who would she be to judge?

5 comments
inTEGraTOR
inTEGraTOR

Is using Kickstarter the same as begging now? 

I bet you think tipping your server is a form of charity..

GregoryZeigerson
GregoryZeigerson

The simple-mindedness of the suggestion that Kickstarter is in any way contradictory to Ayn Rand's concept of rational voluntary trade, the benevolent effects of capitalism and the mutual, voluntary pursuit of selfish interests proves once again that most Leftists and collectivists do not put any real thought into their positions, nor do they truly examine anyone else's positions.  Also, it is hardly necessary to explain that if Social Security moneys were stolen from Miss Rand's profits throughout her life by the government, she was entitled to and had every right to take the small portion of it that she could get back; she did not live in a laissez faire nation any more than we do today. She consistently called for the abolition of social security and Medicare and the taxes that they required, it is not her choice that they were in existence and withdrew money that was rightfully hers during her lifetime.

JohnDonohue
JohnDonohue

Political collectivists (liberals, progressives, social democrats, etc) do not understand that voluntary trade (money for a cause; money for cause+small participation) is indeed value for value, is honest and moral.

This is due to their core position: involuntary confiscation by government for redistribution by them.

donvon1204
donvon1204

They're suggesting that Kickstarter contributions represent a 'value for value trade'?  In that case, they of course plan to issue a profit-sharing plan with the contributors from Kickstarter, right?  They wouldn't think of taking the contributions and offering nothing of value in return...right?  

WSD
WSD

@donvon1204 Value for value needn't entail a direct monetary exchange.  The value given in return is the production of the film itself, which is what the contributors are voluntarily giving their money for.