Ayn Rand is not for everybody. Her philosophy is rooted in objectivism, which, Wikipedia says, "holds that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception ... that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest and that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in laissez faire capitalism."
Objectivism is a philosophy devoid of God and the opposite of what Thomas Jefferson rightly believed to be the source of our rights, that they are "endowed by our Creator."
This religious vacuum does not mean Rand was not on to something, just as Dwight Eisenhower was when he warned in his 1961 Farewell Address against the dangers of the "military-industrial complex."
Like a human body that is bombarded with viruses, some of which manage to penetrate the immune system, freedom, capitalism and entrepreneurship are under constant assault, not just from foreign enemies, but also domestic ones.
The film has some problems; chiefly it's setting in an age when trains reigned supreme. Younger people will need some historical background before seeing it, or some context afterward. I had to explain it to my daughter, but once I did, she "got it."
Some will inevitably conclude "it can't happen here" and this is just more conspiratorial posturing from the Far Right. It can happen here and, in fact, with a country so much in debt to the Chinese and that no longer celebrates individual achievement, but seeks to punish, regulate and tax it to death, it is happening here.
Go see "Atlas Shrugged." It's in theaters, appropriately, starting April 15.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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