Atlas Shrugged: Part I, an adaptation of the first third of Ayn Rand’s 1957 bestseller Atlas Shrugged, is hitting theaters.
The movie has been awaited for decades, but some say it’s more than timely. Political commentator Robert Tracinski suggests that its portrayals of the themes of the state stomping the productive individual and the productive individual “going on strike against the creed of self-sacrifice” are being multifariously echoed in the real world.
Tracinski relates how one moviegoer saw the film at a giant mall built with millions in government subsidies that now stands nearly empty — much like the many empty buildings in the socialism-ravaged cityscapes of Atlas Shrugged. Other parallels Tracinski sees:
- The federal government demanding that companies not locate operations in states relatively free of onerous regulation.
- Environmentalists and regulators seeking to thwart innovative ways of extracting resources from the earth, like hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale.
- Government punishing successful companies in order to provide bailouts for failing companies (General Motors, Chrysler).
And entrepreneur Jerry Della Femina just sold his famous eponymous restaurant and abandoned other business ventures. “I’m just not ready to have my wealth redistributed,” Femina explains. “I’m not ready to pay more tax money than the next guy because I provide jobs and because I work a 60-hour week and I earn more than $250,000 a year. . . . Read a brilliant book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged, and you’ll know.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.