The extensive hatred shown toward the “Atlas Shrugged” movie from liberal critics, so out of proportion to its message and impact, is strange indeed when one looks at it from a global perspective. Ayn Rand was very much within the parameters of secular, liberal society—if on the neoliberal end of that narrow spectrum. Liberal secularism is adhered to by a distinct minority of the world’s population.
Where is feminist opinion of the flick? The Best Actress Oscar this year went to Natalie Portman, who played a weak, disturbed character in a movie of weak or disturbed women characters. Is this the model? By contrast, the Dagny Taggart character played by Taylor Schilling in “Atlas Shrugged”—intelligent and self-assertive—should be a feminist’s dream. Obviously, something else is going on.
It tells me the extent to which feminism has allowed itself to become part of a narrow orthodoxy, in which if you deviate in one part of acceptable thought, you’re guilty in total. Liberalism itself has become an orthodoxy. Seeing that the term once meant the acceptance of a wide variety of viewpoints, one has to wonder whether the liberal concept any longer has meaning.