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So... What Exactly is Happening with the Atlas Shrugged Mini-series?

Posted by GaltsGulch 2 months ago to The Gulch: General
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If you too have been wondering what the status is, and happen to be in Vegas for FreedomFest, be sure to pop into the Libertarian CEO panel featuring Atlas Shrugged Producer John Aglialoro at 3:30 (PT) on Saturday (7/22).

Trust us, you won’t want to miss it. ;)

Unfortunately, not all of us can be in Las Vegas for FreedomFest, so here’s a sneak peek for those who still want to be in the know….

Producer John Aglialoro has signed a development deal with John Fogelman and Ken Moelis to move the Atlas Shrugged mini-series forward. And… the mini-series is to shopped around to networks the likes of HBO, Netflix, Amazon, et al.

Stay tuned for more details very soon.


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  • Posted by johnlink 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    Please create contracts with actors to complete the project so that there are no characters played by more than one actor.

    One episode per chapter would be wonderful.
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  • Posted by rhfinle 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    I thought Aglialoro's crew did a pretty good considering the money and time restraints of even three movies, considering the sheer size and depth of AS. As did probably everyone else, I missed a few of the most powerful scenes from the book: Cherryl's suicide, Hank Rearden's last trip to his house, Eddie Willers' dead train. I always thought it should be a mini-series, though. Hope this works out. I'm concerned, though, as to whether any of the Liberal media outlets would ever host it.
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    • Posted by Rex_Little 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Cherryl's suicide. . . I think it's just as well to leave that out of a movie. Without the insight into her psyche that the book provides, her action makes no sense--and even with that, it seems off. I mean, if you discover your husband is a killer, you either divorce him, run from him, or kill him; you don't kill yourself.
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      • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        Jim said he wouldn't let her divorce him. How could he have stopped her? At the time the book was published (1957, divorce was very hard to get in some states; still, I think adultery was grounds in
        New York. But with all the government strings he could have pulled (and that Lillian wanted him to
        pull for her), perhaps that would have been enough to make Cherryl despair of being able to do it. Of course, there might have to be some sort of fantasy scenes following her, as she was wandering through the streets. (And flashbacks, in previous parts of the movie).
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        • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          It is enough to understand why Cheryl would go to the extreme of suicide for being endlessly trapped with Taggert if the reader or viewer understands the theme of the novel and what Jim Taggert represents. It requires correctly portraying the different senses of life of the different characters, which is much more than following parts of the plot.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 3 weeks ago
            The subject of suicide in AS is an important one, perhaps even more so now. A TV episode on Cheryl Taggart might get through to a lot of people who don't yet understand why they are so hopeless. On the other hand, it might encourage even more people to abandon hope that a society truly based on liberty may be forever relegated to late 1800s US history.
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            • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
              Cheryl didn't commit suicide over political liberty. It was more philosophical at the personal, emotional level of understanding the nature of the people around her and not realizing what else is possible and in fact existed. She was a good, morally idealistic person who didn't know much, was just starting to find out, and was suddenly overwhelmed by the enormity of the evil around her and how she had been pulled into it by someone who wanted to torment her because she was good and not like them.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                I didn't say that Cheryl Taggart committed suicide over personal liberty, but I agree with all that you said completely.
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                • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                  You didn't describe what drove Cheryl to suicide at all but juxtaposed a concern that others would follow her for political reasons. I don't think that follows. I haven't heard of anyone committing suicide over the political state of the country and would not expect the story of Cheryl to change that. It's more likely that they might commit 'suicidal' acts like trying to start a revolution against government force that would quickly steamroll them, but that isn't deliberate suicide like Cheryl's.

                  The tragic story of Cheryl, like that of Eddie Willers, was logically necessary in the plot, showing what happens to good people under bad philosophy dominating a culture, artificially fictionally accelerated in this case by the strike. It's important that these themes be understood and Atlas Shrugged not be reduced to a-philosophical conservatives' plot arguing over which regulations they don't like politically, as if the book were only a superficial political prediction.
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                  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                    You are quite correct. For me, reading AS was a sad dose of reality, not enough to make me commit suicide but enough to make me withdraw some of my production.

                    My juxtaposition was to emphasize that, although an accurate understanding of the reasons for suicidal thoughts would shine a light to the general society, that understanding might actually trigger more suicides. This is not an unreasonable juxtaposition.
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                    • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                      Why would a dose of reality make anyone want to commit suicide? Talking about anything might bring it to the attention of someone who is unstable and might do something crazy. But why the focus on suicide from watching an Atlas Shrugged movie? Atlas Shrugged is a liberating and inspiring source of understanding that only helps. The usual reaction to Cheryl's demise is anger and indignation at the cause, not self-destruction.
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                      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                        "Why would a dose of reality make anyone want to commit suicide?" Do I really need to answer this question? Suicide is a considered response to a hopelessly desperate situation, as AR illustrated clearly in several examples in AS.

                        Most people without psychological issues do respond angrily to Cheryl's demise, but there are some who will identify with Cheryl and repeat her actions.

                        You and many others view AS as liberating and inspiring. There are certainly many parts of AR's novels that are liberating and inspiring, and all of us enjoy those. However, my overriding reaction to most of AR's novels is depression that the ideals espoused by AR are not the ones espoused by society. I am far from alone in this reaction. Anthem, in particular, comes to mind as an example, but Rand's novels are often described outside of this forum as dystopic because ... they are. I went from being an example of what epitomizes American entrepreneurial optimism to being a frustrated realist as a result of reading AR's work. I ... shrugged.
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                        • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                          Ayn Rand did not write dystopian novels. She portrayed heroes fighting for values under conflict in the plots. Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged to portray her view of the ideal man and a new philosophy required for it. Life in the Valley was described to show how rational people interact within a proper social context. Their actions, whether struggling to continue in the outside world or in the Valley, were a constant productive enjoyment striving for the value of their own lives.

                          Life in this country, whatever else you can say about it, is not a "hopelessly desperate situation", and neither were the lives of the heroes in Atlas Shrugged. Here in the outside world the quality of human life has vastly improved over the last few centuries in spite of the injustices and despite some horrible situations, mostly not in this country. It is better because individuals with exceptional ability and motivation pursued values in spite of damaging politics, not just because relative freedom allowed it. There is much more to life and philosophy than politics.

                          None of the heroes in Atlas Shrugged considered suicide as a response to a "dose of reality". And none of them withdrew into depression over how much better things could have been. They fought to make it better. "Anyone who fights for the future lives in it today." Cheryl's fate shows what happens to good people of more limited ability without the proper knowledge and understanding when they cannot count on a rational social system.

                          Atlas Shrugged provides the principles necessary to understand. Of all the actions by the characters in the novel, why focus on Cheryl as an inspiration for what to do? Why would someone ignore the philosophy, the sense of life, and the inspiring actions of the heroes in the novel when all that is staring them in the face and instead choose to identify with Cheryl's suicide?

                          The plot was an accelerated fictional device to show how humanity depends on reason and exceptional individuals, not a political prescription. As Ayn Rand was writing it, she saw the parallels with contemporary society and vowed to try to stop the collapse described in the novel, not predict it or encourage it with a strike. She did not urge that people drop out or go on strike. On the contrary, she wanted those who agreed with her to become successful in their chosen professions and apply her ideas, stressing that a revolution in philosophy is necessary to change the course of a culture.

                          The state of the country is noticeably worse today than when Ayn Rand was writing (and she did predict this as a consequence of intellectual trends). Some people are hit harder than others because of their circumstances. Specific injustices can be discouraging and depressing. Yes it is discouraging overall that we continue to sink when so much more is possible for mankind and you can see what it is. But it has always been that way. That shouldn't change one's sense of life. Remember Howard Roark's "only down to a certain point".

                          There are things that most of us can't do now. Who hasn't dropped something he wanted to do because it is no longer worth it? So did John Galt and the strikers. But they continued to produce with the same sense of life, not sink into depression. So have people throughout history. You aren't in a Soviet gulag. Do you want to look back on the course of your life as a progression of accomplishment, always doing the most you could despite the roadblocks, or as a state of depression over what else could have been, with an affinity to Cheryl's suicide because she didn't know enough even though you do?

                          We the Living was dystopian because it had to be: it was written to show what life was like under Soviet communism and what that collectivism necessarily does to good people no matter what they know -- where anyone worth anything has to become the equivalent of Cheryl. Kira's fate was meant to be inevitable. That isn't what we have now, and if it comes to that it would not imply you should withdraw into cynical resignation. With the right ideas and the right sense of life you can always live the best you can for whatever is still possible as long as it lasts, always fighting for values.
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                          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                            I will continue to produce in my own way for people who will exchange value for value, and do so happily. However, I could do more if properly incentivized. For example, recently a friend asked me to help him get a reaction engineering and catalysis consulting firm up and running. I seriously wondered whether a system that properly rewards production had been adequately re-established to make it reasonable to go back out into the world as the AS heroes did at the end. Between the FDA ruling, the failure to repeal Obamacare, and the Venezuelan situation, I have judged that my areas of expertise of tissue engineering, energy conversion, reaction engineering, and catalysis are being sufficiently encumbered and underappreciated that I will continue to not produce at the level I am capable of. When I was a graduate student 25 years ago, Venezuelan representation at professional society meetings in my field was about 15% of the total, more than any country besides the US. Now my excellent Venezuelan students beg me to hire them for the summer so that they do not have to go back "home". Venezuela is the embodiment of all the negatives that Rand described in AS. The US will never get to that point, but it continues to trend in that direction. As a chemical, biomedical, and materials engineer, I must have at least 20 years of a system that rewards production in order to make it worth my time to produce because projects typically take 7 or 8 years just to pay back my capital investment cost. As of 2008, I have not seen anywhere in the world where I can reasonably expect 20 years of production in my field to be rewarded.
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                            • Posted by ewv 1 month, 2 weeks ago
                              There are many thriving, profitable businesses in this country, many of them in engineering. If for whatever reason you don't think that is worth it to you, then don't do it. But this isn't Venezuela or the state of the country in Atlas Shrugged, and none of what you said justifies claiming that Atlas Shrugged causes depression or a concern that people reading it or watching a movie will commit suicide.

                              You wrote, "I seriously wondered whether a system that properly rewards production had been adequately re-established to make it reasonable to go back out into the world as the AS heroes did at the end." Why would anyone expect or even consider that the election of Donald Trump could "re-establish a system reasonable to go back out into the world as the AS heroes did at the end"? There is no connection between Trump, today's national situation, and the context, motives and actions of the strikers in Atlas Shrugged.

                              The strikers in Atlas Shrugged sought to bring the system down by accelerating the consequences of its own nature without the strikers to depend on. It was Ayn Rand's fictional device to show the dependence of society on reason and exceptional individuals, not a political strategy. She opposed as futile trying to change the system by dropping out and emphasized the need for spreading the right philosophy, not by electing anyone, let alone an anti-intellectual, ignorant wheeler-dealer like Trump. The heroes of Atlas Shrugged weren't sinking in depression or refusing to produce in a system like we have today, and knew better than to take Mr. Thompson's offers of "deals" as a reason to go back in any context.
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                              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 2 weeks ago
                                Although not with Objectivist values, Trump is an entrepreneur. He is a titan on the order of the heroes of AS. Quite contrary to his predecessor, he promised to make America great again, and in particular, to drain the swamp of Washington. As President Reagan once said, "Government is the problem.", and frankly it is not just American government.

                                Government interference in my areas through EPA regulation and through the Medical Device Tax component of Obamacare have made innovation and invention no longer worthwhile. I now have more than enough money to retire at age 50 and can afford to do what i want to do without enabling the government leviathan.

                                With Trump, there certainly appeared to be the possibility of reducing both corporate and individual taxes, both of which would have enough of an effect that I might return to production.

                                I most certainly could make a profit despite the governmental roadblocks, but to what end? So that I can my "fair share" of a $20 trillion and growing debt? That equates to over $160 K per taxpayer, and probably $500 K per taxpayer making over $1 million per year.
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                                • Posted by ewv 1 month, 2 weeks ago
                                  Slogans about vague Trump slogans do not justify either claiming that Atlas Shrugged causes depression and concern that people reading it or watching a movie will commit suicide, or "seriously wonder[ing]" after his election "whether a system that properly rewards production had been adequately re-established to make it reasonable to go back out into the world as the AS heroes did at the end."

                                  Trump has nothing to do with Atlas Shrugged other than to illustrate the variations in the decline.
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                                  • jbrenner replied 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Plus, the Wet Nurse didn't even get killed. That was
      a moving event in the book.--Also, I thought it was a mistake to make Eddie Willers black; given his com-
      plete subordination to Dagny, it would have made him an Uncle Tom stereotype, except that they didn't emphasise him that much in the movie.
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      • Posted by Rex_Little 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        I agree that it was a mistake to make Eddie Willers the only black character in the movie. One or two of the businessmen Galt convinces to go on strike could have been black. And if they could have found someone in the mold of a young Denzel Washington, he'd have made a much better Ellis Wyatt than the one they actually had.
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  • Posted by jterry4444 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    PLEASE do not mess up the series the way they messed up the movies! Get actors and actresses committed and under contract! Develop the characters! Do the book justice!!!
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  • Posted by Herb7734 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    I have no input to the producers of the mini series other than just this one: Please if you possibly can, Get the best writers for television that you can. If you have to wait for them, do so. Question them to see if they understand the substance of what they are writing about. Other than that, it's your football, run with it.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    What do you mean? Are you talking about that 3-
    part movie that came out in 2011? (Which, by the
    way, didn't begin to do justice to the book). Or are
    they making a TV mini-series (which I probably won't get to see, because their going digital ruined my TV reception? My sister did send me
    a converter box, but I haven't managed to find an
    antenna for it that isn't a piece of Communist
    crap, which I wouldn't buy).
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  • Posted by  $  Suzanne43 2 months ago
    Well, I hope that it is a lot longer and in more depth than the three part movie. I'd like to see something done about Dagny's early years. The chapter in the book with the "tramp" on the train having dinner with Dagny really needs to be included in the mini-series....best statement against Communism that I have ever read But I am pleased to know that the series is moving forward.
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  • Posted by Dan66 2 weeks, 2 days ago
    I hope by doing the mini series they can take their time and tell the full story (or as much as they can). I also hope the actors they hire will be able to commit to the entire series. I'm looking forward to it.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 month, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    I'm going on a four day vacation to Disney parks, a short term shrug.
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    • Posted by ewv 1 month, 2 weeks ago
      A good vacation isn't a 'shrug'. But four days at Disney World isn't enough unless you have been through the whole place before and just want to revisit a few specific features. In the 1990s we spent two weeks there and were amazed by the general positive sense of life and competence in everything they did from subtleties of managing large groups of people efficiently to attitudes and knowledge of the people working there to the engineering and esthetics. That's not fantasy. I hope they haven't lost that.
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  • Posted by sonsonsunny 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    What has been decided about the time period? Are they going to keep it with the railroads era? I think that would be more effective to showcase an industry that has for all intents and purposes "died" already....comments?
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      That wouldn't do; that would make it an entirely
      different story. One problem is that it was supposed
      to be futuristic, but a lot of the social conditions in
      the book are old-fashioned. Divorce is not as controversial as it once was; neither is out-of-wedlock sex.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        The railroad industry has basically "died already" compared with what it was in the 1940s and 50s.

        The time period is not a problem. There have many popular novels and movies set in different time periods across the entire span of civilization. history. Readers of Atlas Shrugged have no difficulty relating to the era in the book and its 'futuristic' setting, and see now more than ever what it predicted, with more to come. Why should a movie with the same time setting be any different?
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        • Posted by sonsonsunny 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          I would love to see them keep true to the book and use the Railroads in their heyday. One of the worst things that we "let go"....if we still had them, and hadn't torn up so many rail lines and beds, we could be conserving energy. We can relate to "old" stuff..There are a ton of movies that do just that. My favorite mini series was Rich Man, Poor Man....had me hooked from the get go! Or the one with John Slattery and the unions and the after the war years....can't remember the name....Youth might not "get it", but if the story is done well, it will be followed
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  • Posted by minesayn 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    Agreed. As much as I liked the movies (and even contributed to the last), the changes of the actors was discouraging. Especially those changes in which there were a discernible age difference from one movie to the next. Francisco and Reardon were particularly difficult to reconcile.

    I don't know about one chapter/one episode though. I think it could move along a bit faster.
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  • Posted by Storo 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    I hope you guys will NOT sell the series to HBO because a lot of us don't have HBO. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, FXM, or other cable outlet would be better to reach as many people as possible. You might even try to sell it to Network TV or Fox News.
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      They'll never buy. Time to get onto the Internet Stream. Though I suggest Atlas Productions develop its own streaming servers, apps, and so on, and distribute the series independently of the Big Boys now emerging on the stream.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 month, 4 weeks ago
    It's 4pm Pacific now. I wish I were there.

    I would like for the mini-series to turn into a show with stories about average people living their lives in the universe where AS takes place. They might only have occasional contact/interaction with any big players in the book. When shipments of food spoiled because bureaucrats stole them and used them in their political chess game, these would be the people working out a plan to steal back some of that food under the radar allowing life to go on. It would just be an environment that stresses people, making a good backdrop for stories about people overcoming adversity. I imagine it kind of like how the re-imagined BSG was a mini-series that became a dark several-series show with good stories.

    I welcome any new AS films or TV shows because most people, including me, are unlikely to try a 600 page book but will try a new TV show.
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  • Posted by Ragnars_Crew 1 month, 4 weeks ago
    Awesome! Keep us informed. It would be great to watch a decent sized Atlas Shrugged mini-series on cable. Maybe 1 hour per chapter over 30 episodes, 10 chapters a year? Like Daredevil, or Jessica Jones.
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      It could be decently done in a few 3-hour episodes.
      I have thought a lot about how to write such a script.
      Not making a brag of being a great writer, but it would be a matter of knowing what to discard and what to keep. Some flashbacks of Dagny's childhood; and a few of Rearden's courtship of Lillian, showing her and her family as a bunch of
      snobs, but her fooling him into thinking her a woman who appreciated industry; the disappoint-
      ing wedding night; one scene of his natural desire driving him to her bed, with her resuming
      reading a book before he is out of the room, etc.;
      The scene with Jeff Allen telling Dagny about the
      Twentieth Century Motor Factory, perhaps with
      silent scenes with him narrating in the background (and maybe one or two scenes of
      Ivy Starnes uttering her nasty remarks); a few
      things like that. It would be much longer than a
      movie, but as a mini-series, it might go. The
      Winston Tunnel incident could be an excellent
      episode in itself.
      Also, where Philip tries to threaten Rearden into giving him a job, and Rearden, walking
      away, stops and looks at him; showing the dangerous machinery, liquid metal being poured,
      etc., and Philip breaking out into a cold sweat.--Sort of straight copy from the book.
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  • -1
    Posted by Davidbergeron 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    Ayn's bent for personal immorality is antithetical to the social character necessary for a Galt's Gulch society. Such a society requires a very high level of morality and responsibility, which just won't happen if everyone is committing adultery. I hope the series writers will consider that. And I very much looking forward to the series!
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    • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      AS was a book that was meant to parallel REAL LIFE scenarios, and at the same time get a strong Objectivist message across. Was sex involved? You betcha. Greed? Natch. Intrigue? Um Hmm... Infidelity? You think?

      The scenarios in the book - from affairs to backroom deals to suicide to all the other stuff - was (and still is) a very real part of the very real world. That Dagny had more than 2 lovers, and was sleeping with a married man before her later involvement with JG... worked around her conniving brother, the dishonest government lackeys, and an evil system? That she would do whatever it took to do what it takes?

      I hope the mini-series follows the same flavor and feel of the book, because - and this is important - the book felt real and believable because it drew not from a "Television Code Approved" story line, where everything is sanitized and syrupy sweet and innocent, but from real life. THAT'S why it was a success back then, and remains relevant today.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        Atlas Shrugged was and still is successful because of the values it illustrates in abstract, stark form. It isn't a naturalistic novel just mirroring 'real life' plus a strong message. Ayn Rand described this in The Romantic Manifesto, The Art of Fiction, and elsewhere.

        Dagny's romantic life in particular was based on values, not sleeping around and 'doing what it takes' regardless of the 'it'. It's very important that a miniseries capture the sense of life of the characters, not just borrowed plot lines with or without TV codes (which at least in their written form don't seem to be very restrictive now).
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    • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Ayn Rand did not have a "bent" for "personal immorality".
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      • Posted by Davidbergeron 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        In the movie about her she was having an affair. Was this part fiction?
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        • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          Yes Ayn Rand had an affair with Branden, but the account you got depends on what movie you are talking about. If you mean the Barbara Branden version, the whole thing was a smear job. This topic and the broader context have been discussed on this forum several times.

          One from a few months ago is at https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

          An earlier one from a few years ago is https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

          The rather peculiar affair with Branden was done openly with their spouses' full knowledge but they otherwise kept it private until Branden publicly attacked her much later, exploiting it to misrepresent and undermine her as a diversion from his own actions.

          The affair itself was badly rationalized, but not the typical cheating, dishonestly secret affair you would ordinarily think of. She later strongly rejected the practice in a public forum, in answer to a question, as unworkably improper, and she never did advertise or publicly advocate it.

          You can get some insights into why at the time she thought they had to try it, and read the account of the rest of the break with Branden and its cause (which was not the earlier affair) in James Valliant's The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, based on her personal journals contrasted with the public accusations from the Brandens.

          I don't know why at the time she did not realize the personal harm the affair with Branden was causing because she always loved her husband, but she thought it was justified at the time. She generally lived a principled life, with great integrity, adhering to the principles she publicly espoused. She had no "bent" for "personal immorality".

          But she also did not condone conventional views on morality; don't confuse rejecting religious duties with personal morality. The Objectivist ethics is based on individual pursuit of happiness in accordance with rational values and causal principles, not submissive duty in accordance with dogma dictated by others.

          You can read more about her personal life in several books based on accounts of people who knew her, including Scott McConnell's 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand, Jeff Britting's Ayn Rand, and Mary Ann and Charles Sures' Facets of Ayn Rand, and watch the Paxton film documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life. You will not find a "bent" for "personal immorality".
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        • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          Who really cares what she did in her personal life? What difference does it make? Really, in the grand scheme of things... is the world going to end because she was in an open marriage? We think... not.
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          • -1
            Posted by Davidbergeron 1 month, 3 weeks ago
            Of course the world will not end. That is a false argument.

            Who said the world was going to end? You said it, not me. And you said it to distract from the real point.

            Further, you said "We", but is there someone with you writing your post? Or are you trying to fake false support for your position?

            The real point is that the idea nature of the Gulch is not possible when adultery is common.

            Learn to argue fair and rationally if you want to live in the Gulch.
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            • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
              "The world will not end" is a common phrase meaning that something over emphasized is not that important, not that the earth will literally disintegrate. It is not a false argument. You left out everything else Susanne wrote and jumped on that out of context.

              You seem to be fixated on adultery as a central issue, without regard for context, and equating it with personal immorality, all to the point of wanting it expelled from the plot of Atlas Shrugged. It would be of more value to you to understand the theme in the Hank Rearden-Lillian-Dagny conflict, including why Hank Rearden but not Lillian was moral and why he didn't realize it.
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            • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 month, 3 weeks ago
              Why not? The idea that (a) the gulch is not possible because (b) adultery is practiced there is equally as false - because were it not, NO community could survive where adultery is practiced. It's like saying humans cannot eat meat because bananas grow on trees and submarines are not made of cardboard.

              There ARE an abundance of successful, thriving communities worldwide where some of the residents participate in adultery – in fact, I would gather to say that the majority of large communities have at least one couple practicing what you define as “adultery”. By some community standards, those who divorce and remarry are committing adultery, and yet the communities they live in have yet to dissolve.

              I have 3 issues with your current (and apparently false) assertions -

              (1) One is a morality argument, where you claim your personal view on morality is the only one possible, and that those who do not subscribe to your personal assignment of what is "moral" must fail.

              (2) Two is the false conclusion that community and adultery cannot co-exist, that one MUST preclude another.

              And of course, (3) is the absolute deflection and attempt at derailment of this thread (which is about the AS miniseries) to a personal morality crusade, which is, in my OPINION, seems less like a contribution and more like an attempt to stir up emotions by introduction of a subject entirely unrelated to the topic at hand.
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              • -1
                Posted by Davidbergeron 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                You're still not arguing well.

                Who said "community and adultery cannot co-exist"? I did not say that. Again you are trying to put words in my mouth.

                This is a classic argument tactic used by those with weak arguments. You twist something I said into a clearly false statement thereby trying to prove my real point to be false. That kind of tactic will not work here.

                I said you can't have a Gulch were adultery is common.

                You are right about one thing, "Adultery is common", you just need to put that together with the fact that Gulch's are not, because,...

                No morality, no gulch.

                You are free to think anything you like, just don't believe everything you think.
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                • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                  It isn't true that the community of the Valley can't exist with adultery. It depends on the nature of the person who has been rejected and why. There is no duty to never commit adultery no matter what. That perversion is not "morality", as the Hank-Lillian-Dagny subplot illustrates.

                  You ignored almost everything Susanne wrote, taking a fragment out of context while claiming to analyze her arguments as faulty -- all while you rely on a false duty premise of your own which does in fact seem to be invoked by what Susanne characterized as a "personal morality crusade". You are objecting to an important part of the plot of Atlas Shrugged whose crucial moral theme rejects your own premises. "No morality, no gulch" is true, but it implies that the 'Valley' could not exist with subservience to a duty of loyalty to Lillian Rearden.
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                  • Posted by Davidbergeron 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                    I understood her argument, but I disagree. I'm not saying that an occasional 'sin', like lying, stealing, adultery, etc. will destroy a gulch immediately, it will just damage it and make it more like current society, with more and more government rules and regulations. You want freedom and liberty? It takes character and responsibility. Prisons have little freedom for exactly the same reason. You really think you can do business with someone that is sleeping with your wife? Or focus on your business in that situation?

                    You seem to think that things in the movie somehow represent truth. I disagree, but let's assume they do. Hank developed Rearden metal married to Lillian, and supplied the tracks to Dangy all before the affair.

                    But the movie is not truth. Truth is that many small businesses fail when the owner goes through a divorce. Adultery is very damaging and Ayn supporters have a blind spot to this, because she did.
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                    • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                      Your post didn't just disagree, it focused on one out of context fragment and 'concluded' that the whole argument was baseless. You did that twice, ignoring everything else Susanne wrote, and then accused her of getting value from the nonsense. That was itself a fallacious argument, which is in fact based on a false duty premise of your own in your opposition to Atlas Shrugged.

                      Your equating 'adultery' with 'immorality' regardless of context is false. If rational individuals sneak around betraying each other that is wrong could not exist in the Valley. An improper adultery would be one form of that. But there are no duties and no out of context principles. It would have been immoral for Hank Rearden to continue to sacrifice himself to the despicable Lillian. She caused the destruction. The only question was how long it would take him to discover it and stop blaming himself by remaining trapped in a false morality and unearned guilt he had been indoctrinated with and uncritically accepted.

                      Ayn Rand rejected the entire notion of duty ethics, out of context floating abstractions, and the demands to bind people to sacrifice to destructive dogma in the name of morality. Such rejectiion is not a "blind spot", it is part of the moral revolution in Atlas Shrugged as the proper moral alternative to traditionalism. Freedom requires rationality, not a supposed "responsibility" to destructive dogma as a character trait.
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                • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 month, 3 weeks ago
                  I don't come here to Argue, poorly, well, or otherwise. I come here for fun, for enlightenment, for enjoyment, not to spend a portion of my life in a circular diatribe where semantics of conversation are dissected, torn apart, and debated, apparently for the sake of another. That is neither enjoyable for me, nor do I find or gain value from it.

                  As such, continuing in this portion of this redirected (or misdirected) thread serves no valuable purpose to me. Have a good day.
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Let's talk about the adultery angle. It would have been better had Henry Rearden divorced Lillian a lot earlier. You could even argue that Lillian engaged him in marriage through fraud.

      That said, Rand (and Branden, too) upheld serial monogamy as the standard. That is, one relationship at a time. And perhaps she did not think through, fully, the lessons that adult behavior teaches to children. But even in the Gulch you did have children. Furthermore, Galt himself says he and his fellow strikers hoped at first to establish a generational community. They could not have predicted--so he said--that the outside society would collapse as quickly as it did, allowing them to make the changes in one generation instead of two or three.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        It would not have been better for the plot of Atlas Shrugged if Hank Rearden had divorced his despicable wife Lillian earlier. His mistaken adherence to conventional duties and what it took for him to resolve the conflicts it caused is a central theme that progresses through the novel. It would have been better for such a person to have dumped Lillian sooner, but not for the plot of Atlas Shrugged, which should not be changed in film productions to satisfy the traditionalism that Ayn Rand rejected and replaced with a moral revolution that took time for Hank Rearden to grasp..
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        • Posted by Lucky 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          Good comments ewv.
          One of the key themes is the internal struggle going on in Rearden's life.
          To Rearden, the voluntary contract is sacrosanct, even tho' a mistake, even
          tho' it protects the 'despicable' Lilian.
          This gains him great sympathy from readers especially as a resolution evolves.
          Rearden puts his work above his personal happiness.
          Changes in the plot- agreed, not for satisfying traditional mores, but to appeal
          to a bigger market, but do not weaken the themes or the philosophy.
          Rearden again- one of my favorite characters because of this anguish and suffering
          due to mistaken values.
          Decisions are thought thru carefully and once a decision is made it is flat out action.
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    • Posted by  $  Temlakos 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Personal immorality? Are you sure? You have to admit one thing above all: her heroes and anti-villains do not lie, cheat, steal, or murder. Those are the basics of morality, without which no society can hold together.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        The purpose of moral principles is to provide the standard for choices and actions in one's life, not to hold society together, which is a collectivist standard. The basic principles of a rational moral code for the individual precede the principles of how to interact rationally with others.
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    • Posted by Davidbergeron 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      No Morality, no Gulch. It won't be sustainable.

      You want to do business with someone sleeping with your husband or wife?
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        The heroes in Atlas Shrugged were moral. Immorality was not invited to the Valley. The purpose of the scenes in the Valley was to show how rational, moral people interact with each other. It was based on values, not random, hedonistic sex and not traditionalist duty ethics.
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