We are all John Galt now … Here is a link to the official movie site and here is a link to theaters hosting the premiere
” Ayn Rand wrote an influential book, Atlas Shrugged, in the ’50s that seems to resurface in popularity with each new wave of government intrusion on the lives of our overregulated, overtaxed citizens. The book describes a world that was on a slow but steady path toward ever more central planning by meddling bureaucrats interfering with the entrepreneurial class who relied on one another for their production of output. As the pages of the book are turned, this “road to serfdom” (a phrase I borrow from Friedrich Hayek) reaches a peak with the last of a small subset of productive entrepreneurs dropping out of their respective professions and sealing themselves off in a secret location created by John Galt. Their isolation from government interference in Galt’s secret hideaway was designed to allow this subset of creative, hard-working individuals to pursue their dreams and live in a rational way, trading value for value with one another. The vision of Galt in his hidden refuge is consistent with the Ayn Rand objectivist philosophy that she advocated her entire life as an immigrant to America from the Soviet Union.
Rand never wrote a sequel to Atlas Shrugged, but I wonder where she would pick up after the first novel ends. We’re left with John Galt and his band of entrepreneurial cohorts waiting to eventually reenter the failed utopia created by central planners. Taking a peek out of his libertarian lair, I wonder what Galt would think of America today. Some of the current dismal economic statistics seem consistent with the world Ayn Rand created in her fictional novel. The latest Census Bureau figures show a larger percentage of people receive some form of means-tested public assistance than work full-time. Would this be a rock-bottom entry point where Galt and his band of entrepreneurial cohorts can once again return to the world and begin rebuilding America based on principles of limited government and free markets? Not quite yet. One last worn-out shoe has yet to drop: the U.S. stock market.
Unlike the beaten-down real economy, activity on Wall Street continues to flourish. Large banks and their institutional clients have benefited from the artificial stimulation promulgated by the Federal Reserve. By keeping interest rates near zero percent for the last five years, middle-income families receive next to nothing off their life savings, while institutional clients can borrow money at bargain rates from large banks. In a classic example of crony capitalism, banks have rewarded their institutional clients with cheap loans, enabling them to use borrowed money and speculate on stocks, driving valuations to levels not seen since before the bank bailout in 2008. The governor of the Bank of England recently commented that “banks operated in a privileged heads-I-win-tails-you-lose bubble.“[i] I believe Galt would be disgusted at this unintended consequence of government intervention that is driving a wedge between the elite on Wall Street and the average American struggling to make ends meet on a beleaguered Main Street. If Galt were a stock investor, would he trade in some of his gold for fiat currency, cozying up to this collection of institutions buying large-cap stocks on margin? At these nosebleed valuation levels, Galt would probably “flip the bird” at Mr. Market before sliding back into his hidden sanctuary until greener pastures emerged in the equity investment arena. Galt strikes me as the kind of independent investor that would keep his libertarian powder dry until the current statist experiment ran its complete course, waiting patiently to scoop up the right kind of stocks at a great price. Assuming the skeleton infrastructure of an organized stock exchange still remained on the day of Galt’s return to the investment arena, what stocks would he select from the rubble left on the corner of Broad and Wall? A review of the character’s profile might give us a few clues. Let’s go through a few stock categories I believe John Galt would avoid. Buying large company stocks would probably be out of the question for Galt. In the recent past, these stocks were the economic football the large institutions speculated on with borrowed money. As already mentioned, savers deposited hard-earned money in their bank accounts and received close to a zero percent interest rate, while money was loaned out in a speculative frenzy to the bank’s institutional buddies. Adding insult to injury, not only do retirees earn about the same interest rate as preppers get off of canned goods stored in their bomb shelters, their principal is being debased from continuous quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve. The stench coming off this large-cap football used by highly leveraged institutions in stock speculation would be too much for Galt to muster a bid order. “
” The countdown has begun. Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? hits theaters in 44 days. Help spread the word – Like and Share this post.”
” “Who is John Galt?” Teaser Trailer featuring sand art by Joe Castillo.”
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Unintended Consequences And Atlas Shrugged
Published on May 2, 2012
” John Hospers was professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Southern California. He was also the first Libertarian Party Presidential candidate in 1972.
In this lecture from an International Society of Individual Liberty conference in 1996, Hospers compares John Ross’s novel Unintended Consequences with Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Hospers was a personal friend of Rand during her lifetime. He passed away in 2011.
Download the .mp3 of this lecture here: http://bit.ly/KvAzAh “
” On Thanksgiving Day, I’d like to share two selections from Ayn Rand’s writings. First, her description of the holiday’s significance (from an article called “Cashing In on Hunger” published in the Ayn Rand Letter):
Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. In spite of its religious form (giving thanks to God for a good harvest), its essential, secular meaning is a celebration of successful production. It is a producers’ holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production. Abundance is (or was and ought to be) America’s pride—just as it is the pride of American parents that their children need never know starvation.”
” A phenomena of the Obama economy is that labor force participation rates have been declining. In October 2013, a staggering 1 million people dropped out of the labor force. according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve data (above). It wasn’t due to the government shutdown, because they were still counted as employed in the data. The St. Louis Federal Reserve seems totally stumped at the what is happening in the U.S. economy.
Has it occurred to the brilliant “economists” at the St. Louis Federal Reserve that key provisions of Obama Care went into effect October 1? Have they considered the impact of Obama Care and zero percent interest rates on working and saving behavior?
Several theories abound, anything from a rise in stay at home mothers (reverse feminism), more students staying in school, and other hypothesis. However, what no one at the Federal Reserve wants to admit is this: John Galtism is alive and well in the U.S. economy. They are measuring the John Galt effect.
John Galt was a figure in the Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged who represented the social protest against socialism. It is a failure to participate in a regime that requires one to work for the betterment of others over the betterment of self. The only way to protest Obama Care is to minimize one’s participation in the economy that is so ordered. In the absence of sane policy responses, such as repealing the monstrosity known as Obama Care, the only recourse is to withdraw from the economy.
It isn’t a strike as such. It is simply a failure to comply, or a failure to launch. Even the website for Obama Care doesn’t want to participate. Why are we, as a nation, engaged in this madness? “
” Atlas Shrugged tells the compelling story of a country whose economic system is on the brink of collapse. Who is John Galt?
Ayn Rand is widely considered one of the most influential and controversial authors of the 20th Century. Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, was published in 1957. Thirty-five years later, a Library of Congress survey reported that Atlas Shrugged was the second most influential novel ever written – second only to the Bible.
For decades, her books have inspired millions while at the same time sparking vigorous debate in social, and at times, political circles.
What has made Atlas Shrugged withstand the test of time, and continue to sell hundreds of thousands of books every year, is just how relevant people find the message of the book to what they’re experiencing today. Amazingly, it is incredible word-of-mouth alone that continues to drive sales.
A message from Producer John Aglialoro
“I purchased the rights to Atlas Shrugged back in 1992 because Atlas Shrugged touched my life – in more ways than I can count. If you too have been touched by Rand’s work, if you feel an impact has made on your life as a direct result of reading her works, this is your moment to say ‘thank you’ and help spread the message of Atlas.” – John Aglialoro, Producer
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Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest Information
Eligibility: 12th Graders, College Undergraduates, and Graduate Students
Entry Deadline: September 17, 2013
FIRST PRIZE: $10,000
3 SECOND PRIZES: $2,000
5 THIRD PRIZES: $1,000
25 FINALISTS: $100
50 SEMIFINALISTS: $50
Select ONE of the following three topics:
- Atlas Shrugged contains both businessmen who are heroes, such as Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart, and businessmen who are villains, such as Orren Boyle and James Taggart. What are the differences between these types of businessmen? Is the story a celebration of business? How does this issue relate to the wider themes in the novel?
- Hank Rearden says that the killer tenet which destroys a man is the soul-body dichotomy—that this wrong idea has been the source of his life’s pain. What do you think this dichotomy is? How has it wreaked havoc in Hank’s life?
- What is the meaning of money to Francisco? To James Taggart?
Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
The winning applicant will be judged on both style and content. Judges will look for writing that is clear, articulate and logically organized. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged. Essay submissions are evaluated in a fair and unbiased four-round judging process. Judges are individually selected by the Ayn Rand Institute based on a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Ayn Rand’s works. To ensure the anonymity of our participants, essay cover sheets are removed after the first round. Winners’ names are unknown to judges until after essays have been ranked and the contest results finalized. The Ayn Rand Institute checks essays with Ithenticate plagiarism detection software.
- No application is required. The Contest is open to students worldwide, except where void or prohibited by law.
- Entrant must be a 12th Grader, College Undergraduate, or Graduate Student. To avoid disqualification, mailed in essays must include a stapled cover sheet with the following information:
- your name and address;
- your e-mail address (if available);
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- topic selected (#1, 2 or 3 from list above);
- your current grade level; and
- (optional) the name of the teacher who assigned the essay, if you are completing it for classroom credit.
- Essay must be no fewer than 800 and no more than 1,600 words in length, and double-spaced.
- One entry per student. No purchase necessary to win. Essay must be postmarked no later than September 17, 2013, no later than 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard time.The Ayn Rand Institute has the right to provide contest deadline extensions when deemed appropriate.
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NY Sun on Paul Ryan’s worthiness to be an Ayn Rand disciple .
” Let us savor the irony of the New York Times complaining that Paul Ryan is an unworthy disciple of Ayn Rand. The irony was on display yesterday on the paper’s op-ed page, which ran out a column headlined “Atlas Spurned.” It’s by a history professor, Jennifer Burns, who reckons that Mr. Ryan has betrayed the ideas of the author of “Atlas Shrugged” by believing in God and a strong defense in the war against terror. “As a woman in a man’s world, a Jewish atheist in a country dominated by Christianity and a refugee from a totalitarian state, Rand knew it was not enough to promote individual freedom in the economic realm alone,” writes Professor Burns. “If Mr. Ryan becomes the next vice president, it wouldn’t be her dream come true, but her nightmare.”
This is almost touching. It’s probably the first time the Gray Lady has put the creator of John Galt up as a model to be emulated. When “Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1957, the Times ran out a review by Granville Hicks that complained the novel “howls in the reader’s ear” and asserted: “Loudly as Miss Rand proclaims her love of life, it seems clear that the book is written out of hate. … Perhaps most of us have moments when we feel that it might be a good idea if the whole human race, except for us and the few nice people we know, were wiped out; but one wonders about a person who sustains such a mood through the writing of 1,168 pages and some fourteen years of work.”*”
7.) He’s a big fan of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand — even saying that he has made Rand’s magnum opus “Atlas Shrugged” required reading for his staff and interns. Recently, however, the Catholic Ryan noted that he didn’t subscribe to Rand’s atheist philosophy, at least not in its totality.
” Kayla Harrison had two goals: win a world championship and win an Olympic gold medal.
She accomplished the first in 2010, winning the 78-kilogram (172-pound) weight class to become the first U.S. woman in 46 years capture a judo world championship. If she reaches her second goal, she’ll become the first American — man or woman — to win gold in judo at the Olympics. ”
Now this is “war on women” . Please remind me why , according to our Progressive friends , I should show the same deference to the beliefs of this cretin as I should for the creed of the Pope .
“A man is under arrest in Germany after killing his wife in front of his six young children and cutting her into pieces.
Orhan Sircasi then ran on to the roof of his apartment building clutching her severed head in one hand and a butcher’s knife in the other.”
Coming in October to a theater near you . If you are a fan , and any lover of liberty should be , take a look and give a like to the AS2 Facebook page . On the page you will find , behind the scenes news , interviews , photos , artwork and other interesting facts on the making of the trilogy .