The global economy is on the brink of collapse. Unemployment tops 24%. Gas is $42 per gallon. Railroads are the main transportation. Brilliant creators, from artists to industrialists, are mysteriously disappearing. Dagny Taggart, COO of Taggart Transcontinental, has discovered an answer to the mounting energy crisis - a prototype of a motor that draws energy from static electricity. But, until she finds its creator, it's useless. It's a race against time. And someone is watching.
Directed by: John Putch
. Starring: Diedrich Bader
, Jason Beghe
, Jordana Capra
, Jennifer Cortese
, Rebecca Dunn
, Patrick Fabian
, Mel Fair
, Kip Gilman
, Martin Grey
, Arye Gross
, Michael Gross
, Bug Hall
, Alexa Hamilton
. Music by: Chris Bacon
After watching 3 hours (part 1 and 2) of trying to make sense out of two parts of a trilogy on Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy, I will say that I can't make heads or tails about how any of it makes sense.
In the near future, resources will become so scarce that the governments will force large businesses to share in a very socialistic manner, and in the process somehow that causes economic collapse. Impeding on people's "rational self-interest", and forcing everybody to have the same way of life despite some working harder than others, the only solution is for all the innovators and entrepreneurs and industry moguls to strike and disappear.
Oil costs are at $40gallon and so railroads are the predominant form of transportation, with a bizarre shortage of engines and nobody anywhere thinking of running diesel engines off vegetable oil or grease. The saving grace to it all is some magical steel and experimental engine that is fuel-free. Saves the entirety of humanity.
The government not impeding on the success of entrepreneurs is what will save us all. Except it forgets to mention that the work isn't DONE by the entrepreneurs, but the thousands of people who work for them who get paid lousy salaries. (Oh how socialist)
To warn newbies to Objectivism and Rand, this was a philosophy developed by a pro-capitalist Russian in the 1940's and 50's. Times were different back then. Way different. The government didn't cater to corporate interests so easily, unlike today. I will say that nobody benefiting from hard works sounds a lot like the workforce these days, in our capitalistic country. The middle class is shrinking, education is becoming irrelevant, both men and women of the household need to work, and computers doubled our efficiency, and yet our lives are busier than ever, none of it is good enough. Blame the government and it's intervention.
The movie has basically become a tout for Libertarian philosophy, which I can understand why no major production company would finance over the 20 years that was attempted by the proprietor of the rights. It shows off a certain pride in being selfish, focused 100% on money, and not caring about the well-being of others, whatsoever. Without greed, society would crumble.
From what I can tell, Objectivism (and perhaps Libertarianism) is basically a justification for being a narcissist. People do deserve to benefit from their hard work, but not at the cost of manipulating and deceiving a workforce in the process. I will say that it's not so easy as capitalism vs socialism. We're in an age that Rand could not foresee where there are the very few who dominate over the very many. Despite the hard work of the masses. I think with the invention of the Internet, we're seeing the importance of voluntary collaboration, how much more we can accomplish when we work together. I will say that individual accomplishment is important, but only to the point of balancing the tables and earning a fair life. I would think anyone who has the capacity for empathy would find a way to invest any excess money into making our communities, our jobs, and a life of less stress and less poverty. The last 60 years and all the politicians and businessmen who have passionately followed Rand's philosophy (which bears a striking resemblance to the deregulation of the Reagan era) haven't made an improvement (if not made things much worse). But the reality is that 'profit' in itself is something that means you earning more money than what you pay people for things. Honestly I don't see why more people don't realize how that just (eventually) makes a small percentage have almost everything while most people have nothing.
As per the movie, I felt like the script was rushed and it wasn't terribly compelling. Part 2 didn't actually progress much. They discovered a potential new kind of engine, and a bunch of political weirdness which I didn't grasp.
Somehow engines were simply scarce, more so than steel or iron ore.
I mean what the heck about diesel engines, ie running them on vegetable oil, especially if we stop eating animals raised on factory farms - a large quantity of grains and beans (for ethanol and oil) would become available.
And how hard is it to builddesign an engine? It doesn't take rocket science, just some engineering grasp. Mechanics fix engines every day, and they are everywhere. It seemed to have a certain opinion that true genius and intelligence was very scarce in the world and that justified the few entrepreneursmonopolists to do as they pleased, that they are saving humanity. Hah! People aren't that hopeless. I'd like to believe that every "village" or small community could have a few engineersmechanics, etc and everyone in every major field required to maintain a lifestyle for everybody. Suggesting only an elite few could save humanity is preposterous.
It's insulting to the human potential available in everybody.
I will say that everybody deserves prosperity for their hard work, and can see why it's so popular of a philosophy, but doesn't that mean prosperity for EVERY hard worker, even those who do manual labor? Should the CEO get 98% of the money when he accounts for only 1 out of 100,000 people doing the work? This all somewhat pretends that "sharing" is bad because everybody twiddles their thumbs all day and don't work 50+ hours per week (and a joint of 100+ hours per week in a married household).
It obviously comes from the mind of a woman who was very deeply scarred by socialism at the time. When you are deeply wounded by something, you usually cling to an extreme opposite, even though reality is that it's usually an illusion if you learn to let go of your pain.
Review by Tomas Maly
from the Internet Movie Database.