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Atlas Shrugged III: A guest review and commentary

The following review of AS-III + commentary on our own times is by faithful reader (and even more faithful Outlaw) Mac the Knife:


I went and saw Atlas Shrugged – Who Is John Galt today. Thought you might like a few observations about the movie.

I thought it was probably the best of the three. While they stray from the book in places they capture the essence of what Ayn Rand was saying. Kristoffer Polaha plays John Galt and he does a very good job. Probably not the image most people would expect John Galt to look like, but he actually did a very good job. I also liked Laura Regan as Dagny. As expected they could not put everything from the book into the movie, but they really did not leave too much that was important out. The scenes in Galt’s Gulch were very good. The best part of the movie in my opinion. From Dagny returning to the end of the movie it seemed a little bit rushed to me. But they had a lot to convey in a short time. The speech was short; only a few minutes long but it held the essence of the 90 page or so speech in the book. Basically he asked do you want to live as a sacrificial lamb to the state or live life free and keep all the fruits of your labor.

When President Thompson was interrupted at the start of his speech by John Galt a woman sitting behind me told whoever she was with that she wished that would happen to Obama.

Two people that should not have been in the movie at all were Sean Hannity and Glen Beck in cameo appearances after Galt’s speech saying this will be the downfall of President Thompson. They are both statist to the core and I cannot stand to listen to them. Ron Paul also made a cameo appearance in support of the speech.

While they portrayed the crumbling infrastructure in the movie most of the characters were using modern cell phones and there were large screen TVs and computer monitors throughout the movie.

The audience was small, maybe 20 or 30 people in all, and mostly elderly. Not very many young people at all. But then this is not their type of movie to watch. With the education system in place today not very many young people would understand what they were watching anyway. And this is sad, because they are the ones that need to be woken up to what is happening and what their future will be like if present trends continue.

Since Ayn Rand wrote the book when there was still a semblance of a gold standard in the country she wrote about the physical destruction of the infrastructure being the result of the men and women of the mind being on strike. While you do see a lot of that happening today in stores being closed for over five or more years with no one reopening them, it has progressed no where near far enough to cause a collapse of the system as a whole. What I think will bring down the system world wide is the complete collapse of the financial system since every central bank in the world is in a race to see who can print the most money. 10 or 15 years ago I did not think I would live to see the financial system collapse, but now I think I will, and I will be 70 in Dec. I do not think the fantastic increases in wealth and gadgets in the electronics industries will be enough to stem the tide of the physical and financial collapse.

Personally I do not think the financial collapse can be stopped. The world is drowning in debt and there are only two outcomes. Complete dictatorship or a complete collapse with total chaos. Not a very bright picture is it. I would love to be proved wrong but somehow I do not think I will.

There is only one scenario that might get us through all this. A complete collapse of the financial system and the people realize that it was all brought on by governments and central banks. If they can be gotten rid of soon enough after the collapse and never allowed to make their reappearance, the world may have a chanche.

Sorry to be so down on everything, but the facts cannot be changed. But it is just great just to be alive and I enjoy and love every single minute of it.


End guest commentary. I’ll be waiting for the DVDs myself, since none of the AS movies ever play at theaters within 100 miles of me. And I may be less pessimistic than Mac about the state of the economy and freedom. But it’s another beautiful summer day and I’m going to enjoy it.


  1. Jim B.
    Jim B. September 15, 2014 8:16 am

    I think you rushed writing this article, you may want to go back over it. I think you meant ‘bring’ instead of ‘being’ and ‘chance’ instead of ‘change’. But what do I know? I’m not a writer. : )

    As for the movie, unfortunately I missed the second installment in the theater, so I’m waiting til I can get the boxed DVD set.

  2. Claire
    Claire September 15, 2014 8:18 am

    Jim B. — I didn’t write this one. But I should have checked for typos & such. Will do.

  3. Mac the Knife
    Mac the Knife September 15, 2014 8:25 am

    Sorry about that. Sometimes word completion gets the best of you.

  4. Curt S
    Curt S September 15, 2014 10:07 am

    To be honest. while I do agree that one of the two mentioned catastrophies will happen, it may be for the best ot have total chaos. Why? Well for one, the idea of a one world gov’t scares the crap out of me….the amount of high level graft would be enormous. Secondly, that type of gov’t would be horror beyond belief. As for the chaos, yes, it would be terrible, BUT it just might usher in a return to real values in society. As for the “cause” of all this, and I know this will be hard for some to swallow, I do feel that over population world wise is to blame. Think about it…increasing population and decreasing resources. Not to mention the larger the population is in any set area the more social problems. Add to this the overall common sense that people used to have has been taken away by the method and curriculum used in our schools. Any container, be it city or state….any vehicle be it boat, train, or car once overloaded…well….you get the picture.

  5. Archer
    Archer September 15, 2014 3:41 pm

    “Personally I do not think the financial collapse can be stopped. The world is drowning in debt and there are only two outcomes. Complete dictatorship or a complete collapse with total chaos. Not a very bright picture is it.”

    And a complete collapse with total chaos will, likely as not, be followed by a complete dictatorship. People, especially intellectually lazy and/or dependent people, generally don’t cope with chaos well, and will throw away everything to have someone – anyone – take charge. Whatever it takes to feel safe, regardless of whether they are safe.

    “Not a very bright picture” is the understatement of the year.

  6. david
    david September 16, 2014 6:48 am

    We now live with two economies – the ‘Main St.’ economy of production of goods and provision of services, and the ‘Wall St.’ economy of finance, speculation and monetarism. It’s kind of like an infestation of tape worms in an otherwise strong Main St. body. But the ‘market forces that affect Wall St. daily seldom touch working people.

    So I don’t worry too much about a banking collapse, financial collapse, or any of that stuff. While the high rollers take swan dives off the top of their companies sky-scrapers (and I hope they all do), production will continue – at a smaller scale of course and not without disruption and inconvenience. But per the feds themselves, we have some 7k banks in this country, most of them are your Main St. bank size, and they can and will continue to function, and lend money, and handle your deposits and payments.

    Yes, there will be a disruption there too because many of them pay the big banks for ‘correspondent banking’ services which might actually stop if the ‘crash’ is severe. But once the financial crash happens, the only way the biggies will have to generate any income is via those correspondent banking services. Even if they close up shop, there are many other banks in the tier right below then who may step up and buy the correspondent banking assets and provide those services.

    Basically, I’m saying that a US or even World financial collapse will not kill us off unless we are totally incapable to adjusting to disruption of routine – because all ‘economic activities’ which are truly economic and not speculative will continue. It’ll just be so much closer to a genuinely free market than any of us can imagine right now. And without billions going into commodity futures or welfare or wars. The cash won’t flow fast enough for those things – but who among you will miss any of it?

  7. david
    david September 16, 2014 1:03 pm

    OK, some edits and punctuation was required. My apologies.
    1) ‘market forces should have been ‘market forces’ – second apostrophe because I don’t think investor market manipulation is an economic product, merely a figment of fiscal imagination
    2) “…companies sky-scrapers….” should have been “…companies’ sky-scrapers….” indicating plural of both, possessive of companies
    3) “…right now. And….” might have been more clear if I’d written “…right now, and….”
    4) and “…miss any of it?” in the last sentence should probably have read “… miss any of them?”

  8. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas September 16, 2014 2:22 pm

    I see that this discussion has moved away from Atlas the movie, more towards our coming world. But back to #III for a moment, may I say that I pretty much agreed with the assessment in the guest commentary above?

    I said similar things, writing to friends after seeing the movie. (And I went to an opening day matinee, so my attendance would count for Atlas’s first-weekend stats. However I was one-of-four at that showing, probably the youngest, though one WAS female.)

    In any case, #3 seemed the strongest, clearest of the three to me. But while watching all three I’ve been aware that my reactions to what’s on screen will NOT be those of the typical viewer. From my first reading of Atlas Shrugged in 1965 until now, I have so thoroughly integrated those characters and their motivations into my psyche that I know I was being profoundly affected by disjointed scenes that will likely be meaningless to non-readers.

    I’ve only read one or two reviews since seeing the show. And I find I entirely agree with a fully negative review, too, never mind my comment above. (, for the curious.) In summary, Atlas III has been so simplified that there’s really no meaning left to be found, just a badly acted, low budget cliche. And that the writers would find places for Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to speak “noble” lines has me wondering if those writers understand the meaning of the word principle in the first place.

    I don’t remember if I thought this first or saw it in a review, but.. “that’s out of the way and now it’s on to the remake(s)! I’m agreeing with whoever is saying that Atlas Shrugged should be well suitable for a miniseries, say thirty or fifty hours long. Nevertheless, many thanks to the makers of Version I!

  9. Ragnar
    Ragnar September 16, 2014 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the write up Mr. Mac.
    I’ve been waiting to see who plays my favorite character in the novel, of course… it’s Ragnar.

    I related to him in so many ways… From ancestry, to his Han Solo-like privateering (I had every Star Wars toy made when I was young and Han was my favorite… Bobba Fett was right up there as well.)

    I had read Atlas long long ago and I can only picture Ragnar as looking much like myself. I guess now would be a good time to go search for cast pictures.

    As a side note, I’ve always wanted someone to ask me who my favorite Captain of The Enterprise was… Still hasn’t happened, I guess I need to go to a Trekkie convention and see if the get when I answer.

  10. markofafreeman
    markofafreeman September 17, 2014 8:50 am

    Though I’m most certainly not a Glenn Beck sycophant, I think the accusation that he is a statist to the core is a little off. He’s been evolving quite nicely. Though he still has a way to go. I remember not long ago he was defending the right to keep and bear cannons and tanks. And he wasn’t kidding. He was absolutely on the wrong side in the Bundy Ranch situation.

    I’m not trying to defend him in everything he says. But I think we should welcome individuals who are moving in the direction of the liberty. Heck, even Billy Beck at one point said that Glenn Beck’s heart was in the right place.

    Still it was a great review. I’ll be honest: I’m glad to hear the 90 page speech was shortened and still retained the important points. That was the hardest part of the book for me to get through. I just found it extremely repetitive. I just hope the movie covered the ending scenes well. I just love to hear statist scream in horror as they see their world collapsing around them. 🙂

  11. markofafreeman
    markofafreeman September 17, 2014 8:54 am

    (I think Billy said that about Glenn, but I can’t find it on his blog. I think it was comment on another blog. He’ll correct me if I’m wrong, I’m sure. ;))

  12. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau September 18, 2014 1:21 pm

    I think Beck is an employee of the Ministry of Propaganda whose job it is to funnel resistance into “safe” channels.

    I’m sure most of you have seen this but it is still worth a listen:

    “Jump, You F****rs”

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