Atlas Shrugged: Now, Non-Fiction

I’ve been involved with literary driven “think-tanks” for several occasions in years past covering everything from James Joyce to Thomas Mann. All those authors were wonderful in their own way, even the collectivist Victor Hugo and Russian recluse Leo Tolstoy. But they were not as good as Ayn Rand who changed the literary narrative with her larger-than-life characters. Rand’s characters are not like Marvel Comics superheroes, they are every day people lacking magical powers, but they are non-the-less super. They are an inspiration to all who ever wanted to be a superhero as a corporate businessman or woman—and continue to resonate particularly in America as a mold to follow. Ayn Rand is one of the most prolific and most important writers in American history which is saying a lot. Her work of most importance was Atlas Shrugged and began as a kind of science fiction fantasy in 1957 and has proven itself to be astonishingly prophetic in 2014 just prior to the third release of a movie adoption based on John Aglialoro’s interpretation of the novel. The movie hits theaters on September 12th, but the book continues to sell, and sell, and sell because the content which appeared sensational at first—and unrealistic is occurring almost on queue just as Rand always thought it would. The producers of the new movie have put together a wonderful little documentary which features clips from the new film seen below called Atlas Shrugged: Now, Non-Fiction and is well worth watching. In addition to clips from ASP3, this video includes commentary from liberty leaders including Ron Paul, Matt Kibbe, Jonathan Hoenig, Phil Valentine, David Kelley and more.

Atlas Shrugged is not for everyone. It is however for the kind of people who work hard and try every day to be the best they can be. If you are the kind of employee who usually works later at the office and is the first to arrive in the morning—you will like Atlas Shrugged. If you are the kind of person who runs over rate in a union shop—even though there is intense opposition against you for doing so, Atlas Shrugged is for you. If you are the kind of person who is constantly hounded by family and friends to step down off your “high horse” so that you are more “likable” and approachable, you will like and enjoy Atlas Shrugged. However, if you are the kind of person who hates those who do all or even part of the above—you will hate Atlas Shrugged and will do everything in your power to disgrace the literary work from being recognized as a literary endeavor.

For the same reason that the co-worker who feels guilty by leaving the office before the star of the company does attempts to put pressure on that person by saying “it’s time to get out of here” Atlas Shrugged is slammed and ridiculed.   Not because it is a bad novel written poorly—but because it makes guilty people feel bad about themselves. They feel bad because they have sold out. Their ideal of a superhero has been regulated to someone who is bit by a magic spider—or someone who comes from another planet. They don’t look in their mirror and see anything super about themselves and they are too lazy to develop it on their own. Atlas Shrugged   shows how average people are super just by having values and fighting to maintain those values. It is also about how it is that adherence to value which makes the engine of the world run, culturally, economically, and philosophically.

When John Galt proclaims that he will stop the engine of the world in the new film version titled Atlas Shrugged Part III he is stating that by removing his value from an organization, or society in general that the parasites of reality will have nowhere to hide and civilization will collapse. What prevents this collapse from occurring is that the few protect the masses with their values. But over time it gets harder and harder leaving the looted few to eventually become depleted and perish. The masses expect this sacrifice to occur—they expect the few to serve the many and those with value to give it to them in their vacancy. It is this belief that destroys the world and why the classic novel Atlas Shrugged has now been declared non-fiction—because it has all come true.

The people who hate Atlas Shrugged are also the same people who hate those who try to be good—too good. They are advocates for complacency—for setting the bar low so that they can easily achieve success in life. Ayn Rand’s novel points to that tendency as the invisible destroyer of the world and spits on it placing value where it deservedly always belonged with the heroes of creation—those who work late, early and often—who don’t live their lives through others, but in spite of the efforts to stop them. That hatred is very real. The masses of existence—who advocate so loudly for democracy are the same people who wish to believe that because they outnumber the truly good they can capture the definition of good, and bad, profitable, and unprofitable, and of success or failure. Atlas Shrugged was not written for those people—it was written for those who see heroic deeds in getting up in the morning to face the troubles of the world as an individual without apologizing for working every day to do the best in every aspect of their lives that they can. Ayn Rand’s heroes are not drunks, sexual deviants, or crooked politicians. They are not truly fearful of anything—because they know that it is they who are ultimately in control—so they trust themselves to overcome any problem that comes their way. This gives the heroes a god-like presence in the Atlas Shrugged novel as interpreted by the weak, frightened, and complacent.

Atlas Shrugged was so brilliant because it goes literally against thousands of years of sacrificial belief by the human race. Rand could have played it safe and given the world a novel reminiscent of War and Peace. But she didn’t instead she wrote an epic book of similar length and content but along the way tackled directly the philosophical failure inherit in human beings ridiculous belief that achievement of anything is caused by “sacrifice.” Rand challenges that premise and her heroes refuse it revealing the true success of all societies that prosper. It is literally the best kept secret—and Ayn Rand exploited it putting it in story form so that it would be easy to understand. It has taken literally a half of a century for most of America to figure out the meaning of Atlas Shrugged. Even today, after decades of contemplation, only a handful of the population anywhere in the world understand the message because in any company, any institution, any endeavor what-so-ever, there are only a few who work 12 hour days for the joy of it, get up before the sun even considers rising, because they are trying to squeeze more life out of daylight once it arrives, and do good work not for the pat on the head, or even a pay raise—but because it makes them feel good to do good work.

Atlas Shrugged is essentially the first major literary work in human history that recognizes the benefit of good work and productivity over the emotional pleas of the democratic masses who lobby with every effort to stop the productive who make them feel guilty for being less than robust. It is for that reason that Atlas Shrugged continues to draw scorn from intelligentsia because they want a monopoly on social opinion built upon the foundations of laziness. It is also why Atlas Shrugged is only playing in a few hundred movie theaters and why even in those theaters there will be only 5 or 6 groups of people seeing the movie. The people attending will tend to be the last to leave at their places of business, and the first to arrive, they work hard and take pride in doing a good job—and they can relate to the kind of society that John Galt builds in Atlantis during the film. And as every organization in the country knows, there are always those few who do most of the work. Atlas Shrugged is made for them, not the other idiots who stand at a time clock five minutes before the end of a day and flee to the parking lot like escaped convicts once their work is over for the day only to complain and bitch about how sucky their lives are for the rest of the evening. What happens when people stop doing the extra work for the pure enjoyment of it? You get the events of Atlas Shrugged—now-nonfiction.

Rich Hoffman