We here at The A.V Club are perversely fascinated by GaltsGulchOnline, the official “Collective” of the Atlas Shrugged movie series. The website unintentionally provides a fascinating insight into the humorless, paranoid, self-aggrandizing psyches of the Objectivists who have made spreading the word about the Atlas Shrugged film series a heroic quest.
The idea behind the Collective is to provide a digital online version of “Galt’s Gulch,” the utopia of unimpeded free trade and rugged individualism found in Ayn Rand’s doorstop of a novel. According to its About page, the purpose of the site is threefold: First and foremost, it’s designed to promote Atlas Shrugged Part 2. It’s also designed to spread the ideas of Ayn Rand. Lastly, the idea is to “conduct value-for-value exchanges exclusively with like minded individuals,” whatever the fuck that means.
“The Lack Of Shame,” a post promoted on the website’s most recent email blast, offers a characteristic bit of site commentary. The post begins with a commenter who goes by “Shrugger” in line at McDonald’s on election day, where he’s subjected to the nonsensical braying of a dedicated leech who tells some old-timers in line that Obamacare made it possible for him to pay for health insurance by cutting costs 80 percent.
“Shrugger” then asks the Obamacare-loving human parasite if he’s proud of himself. He replies that he is. Shrugger says, “In other words, you’re proud of the fact that instead of paying for your health insurance yourself, you and Obama have ganged up on ME and have forced me, at the point of a gun, to pay for part of your health insurance. You’re actually PROUD of the fact that you are mooching off of me and all those people working behind the counter in McDonald’s… that you’re part of a gang that is using the power of the government to FORCE us to pay for your healthcare. Instead of feeling ashamed… instead of bowing your head and cowering in front of all the people you are depending on to pay for your healthcare insurance… instead of meekly thanking them for the sacrifices they are being forced to make in order to benefit YOU… instead, you stand there claiming that you’re PROUD! What do you have to be PROUD of? Are you proud of the fact that you’re unable or unwilling to take care of yourself? Are you proud of the fact that you’re stealing part of their wages for your own personal greed? No… shame is what you should feel. Disgrace… embarrassment… and gratitude… along with a strong dose of remorse… because YOU can’t or won’t take care of yourself and so you joined a mob of others who can’t or won’t take care of themselves… and together you’ve figured out how to force US to take care of you. Shame on you.”
According to the post, the crowd reacted with stunned silence that quickly morphed into sustained, restaurant-wide applause. That might sound like a hilariously preposterous story, but bear in mind that the post begins with the words “This is a true story. It happened exactly as described.” So obviously it’s a documentary account of a real-life incident, and not some manner of paranoid Libertarian fantasy.
You can find plenty more rhetoric of that sort over at GaltsGultchOnline, but you’ll have to visit the web store atlasshruggedmovie.com to purchase an official Atlas Shrugged money clip for $79.95, or an official Atlas Shrugged Rearden Metal Bracelet for $159. They’re the perfect gift for the cold-blooded capitalist in your life, or at least they would be if this whole gift-giving thingdidn’t reek of socialism.