Ayn Rand's epic political screed Atlas Shrugged has long been sought as to be made into a film, because reasons. In the last few years, somebody actually got around to financing and making the film on this book, which projected Rand's political philosophy of Objectivism down people's throats. However, the book's giant size meant three films had to be made, and the first and second were shown to be, well, unable to stand on their own, especially as examples of film-making. Now the third part of the Atlas Shrugged film trilogy is in development, and the filmmakers are asking for money from supporters via Kickstarter. Wait a minute...one of Objectivism's core tenets is for not asking for the help of others. So does that not make this film ironically a moocher or looter in Ayn Rand's eyes?
The Kickstarter for Atlas Shrugged Part III is asking for $250,000. The producers claim, in hipster logic/reverse psychology fashion, that they do not actually need the money — because the film is already funded — it is more for the publicity. Sound logic, except that the amount is $250,000, rather than something impossible to reach, meaning that the intent of asking for someone's money is still there, not to mention the money IS going to the film's budget. As of press time, more than $100,000 has been pledged in the Kickstarter over the first 24 hours, making it plausible that they will reach their goal by October 23.
Atlas Shrugged's filmmakers claim that this is to take on the haters of the film, saying "As we launch the Kickstarter campaign, those haters are going to come ALIVE. They're going to come after us in droves attacking us everywhere online. To them, we say thank you." Riiiiiiiight. The trolls do not need to make much effort on this, given that both Parts I and II of Atlas Shrugged earned less than $8 million, while Part I's budget was around $20 million. It should be noted that the final part of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy has been given half that budget. This might make some sense: Given that John Galt, the key figure in Atlas Shrugged, should appear in the final part and give his 70 page long speech defining and praising Objectivism, his appearance and speech could be shot in a day, yet take up about half the film.
Of course, the problem with all this is Ayn Rand's belief that there is no moral right to seek help from others, a claim against altruism and begging. Obviously, the filmmakers are asking for money, which could be considered begging. The filmmakers, knowing the corner they just placed themselves into, attempt to explain away their efforts by (rightly) claiming that Ayn Rand explained that there is nothing wrong with giving money to something they deemed worthy, it is the moral duty of doing so that is the problem. However, in posting what Ayn Rand said in full, they fail to see the fatal flaw in their argument:
"The fact that a man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his right) does not preclude or prohibit good will among men and does not make it immoral to offer or to accept voluntary, non-sacrificial assistance." - Ayn Rand
Emphasis mine. In seeking help, the filmmakers have ironically failed to follow the principles they intend to uphold and spread. So, yeah, Atlas Shrugged filmmakers, perhaps we are giving you attention. But it is not out of hatred or spite, but out of pity that you have no idea what you're doing. None. And nothing is worse than being pitied.