Who is John Galt? Or Why Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1 Should be a Lesson to The Venus Project.

The Venus Project has been begging for donations to start this movie about life in an RBE. So far, they managed to milk 33,000 USD for this project. Peter Joesph posted a huge letter detailing why this is a bad idea, but I will go a little further.Let’s look at Atlas Shrugged and compare it to TVP Movie.

Atlas Shrugged is a novel that is based on the political philosophy ‘Objectivism’ and free-market economics. In the book they explore how the philosophy works in the US system before it’s collapse and how it works in a society where there is no government outside of a few courts. This is very similar to what Fresco wants for his movie; what life would be like according to his philosophy in his world.

Now just for the record, I tried reading this book an failed. The long soliloquies about objectivism got to be too much to bear and never finished it. Because I saw this movie, I’m attempting again just to get the story that was cut off in the movie. So my bias exists, but is minimal at best.

Atlas Shrugged is revered amongst conservatives and libertarians. Recently the book has been enjoying a renaissance as it hit the Amazon best seller list recently. So you do have a very large fan base to pander. Far larger than TVP or TZM, I’m sure we can agree.

Hollywood has been struggling to get this into a movie made for years. The big studios wanted nothing to do with it. Look at this clip from the movie and see if we can understand why:

Now remember in Hollywood everything is unionized. Actors, screenwriters, directors, producers, video and sound guys all have their own union. Tell me what would happen if Warner Brothers made this move? Would the unions not protest that an anti-union movie is being made? You bet your sweet ass!

Now not to say big studios do make these movies our of these overly political books. Take V for Vendetta for example. In the graphic novel, Alan Moore explains in great detail the philosophy of anarchism. Warner Bros. stripped all of it’s pro-anarchist leanings, and left with a nice popcorn film without a tinge of pro-anarchism ideals whatsoever. Then there’s the clearly liberal/progressive movie Avatar. This is what is known as a cause movie. Cause movies can work, but only if they are done right like Avatar. However, what impact did that movie really have on you?  Think about it.

What Atlas Shrugged took was a business man to invest 10 million dollars to fund this movie though an independent studio to make it. The result? A mediocre film that put too much emphasis on the politics than the story. This is reflected from the book well, but in a movie that’s preachy, you’re only going to attract like minds and alienate people who already object to the philosophy. You’re preaching to the choir.

I did find the movie entertaining, but only because I agree, for the most part, with the ideas of her philosophy. I think we need to admit this whether you you liked the movie or not; it was a disaster. In fact, most movies are. This only got on 300 screens nationwide, pulled in a little more than 2 million the first weekend, which isn’t too bad, but considering the 10 million invested we can safely assume the chances for part 2 or 3 coming out anytime soon is unlikely.

I submit, TVP Movie will be worse. They will not pull in more than 100,000 dollars. Big studios will turn it down because of it’s message some will think is communist and will be forced to produce it independently. The result will be corner cutting in CGI (as we saw in Atlas Shrugged) and a story that plays second fiddle to the philosophy. The people who will come to see it, are those who are already interested in the philosophy already. The people like me who will see it, my be annoyed by it’s blatant political message that gets in the way of the story.

This is a bad idea. I suggest you abandon it. The libertarians tried your method for you in advance, learn from our mistakes before repeating them.