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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Atlas Shrugged producers turn to Kickstarter for help warning others against moochers

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In an effort to further Ayn Rand’s message critiquing altruism and promoting the virtue of selfishness, rejecting all moochers who would dare claim your money by tears, the producers of the third Atlas Shrugged movie have launched a Kickstarter campaign asking for donations, predicated on reminding supporters of the critics who have hurt it. As reported earlier this year, despite the free market repeatedly determining it would rather not have any Atlas Shrugged movies, producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro boldly refused to relinquish their rational self-interests to a world that would dare take their ideas from them, chiefly by not paying to see them. And because of their indefatigable commitment to film Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? by the fall—and thus propagate its titular character’s manifesto to “never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine”—Kaslow and Aglialoro have turned to asking other men to give them $250,000.


Of course—using the same foresight that’s convinced them it’s the third Atlas Shrugged movie that will finally reach the masses, despite the first two earning less than $8 million combined—both have already anticipated that certain people may find something ironic about their asking others to give, all to create a movie that’s little more than one long speech decrying the act of asking others to give. “Isn’t asking for charity antithetical to Ayn Rand’s philosophy?” reads the FAQ, to which the answer is an obvious no, because Rand’s philosophy just had a problem with being forced to give through some absolute moral authority, which Kickstarter definitely isn’t (yet).

“The Atlas Shrugged Kickstarter campaign is of course a voluntary value-for-value exchange. You are not obligated to contribute,” it says, reassuring you that donating your money to a wealthy Hollywood producer and fitness equipment magnate who definitely don't need it still qualifies as supporting rugged individualism, because you ruggedly, individually made the choice to do so, rather than out of some sense of subservience to a larger ideology.

In fact, as with the world-stopping action that you’re being asked to pay to hear John Galt talk smugly about for an hour, their call to arms is less about the “value” of money or even entertainment than it is the value of pure spite. “The movie is actually already fully funded,” the FAQ says right up front, adding that the whole, give-$250,000-to-a-movie-about-self-reliance campaign is really just a marketing technique aimed at wringing negative publicity out of those who would mock it, apparently by giving them all the ammo they would ever need.

“We know from our experience with the first two films that there is an incredible amount of vitriol out there and, we have every intention of capitalizing on it this time around,” they write. “As we launch the Kickstarter campaign, those haters are going to come ALIVE. They're going to come after us in droves attacking us everywhere online. To them, we say thank you. Thank you for helping us spread the word.” Gratitude, after all, is what is owed to those industrious few who produce.

And indeed, what better way to ensure the production of your marketing message about the dangers of moochers—those who would demand others’ earnings by positioning themselves morally against, and expressing their resentment of, those producers whose work upon whom they bitterly depend—then by asking for money to help them spur the “hater” critics the rely on to produce it for them? It may seem contradictory to the small-minded, but, as Ayn Rand wrote, “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises” and make sure there’s not something self-serving and vindictive there you can use to justify it. [via The Hollywood Reporter]