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Die Atlasgesellschaft und Atlas Shrugged Teil 1

Die Atlasgesellschaft und Atlas Shrugged Teil 1

5 Min.
December 17, 2011

Editor's Note: The following article was written for the March 2011 Atlas Society newsletter.


As Atlas Shrugged Part I nears its theatrical release on April 15, the level of excitement is rising rapidly across the internet, among the fans of Ayn Rand’s great novel—and certainly here in our office at The Atlas Society. Since April, 2010, when our trustee John Aglialoro undertook his last-minute independent production of the film, we have been working with John and his team to support their efforts. We believe that the success of the film is a huge opportunity to spread our ideas—and to gain more visibility for all our work. I want to bring you up to date on what we have accomplished so far.

My role was to advise on whether the scripts were true to the philosophical themes, plot, and characters of the novel.

In late May, John sent me the initial script, written by Brian Patrick O’Toole with major input from John (who will share screen-writing credit). For the past ten years, I have been John’s consultant on all his initiatives to get the film produced, first with Turner Network Television, then with Lionsgate Studios. My role was to advise on whether the scripts were true to the philosophical themes, plot, and characters of the novel; I read and wrote detailed comments on at least six different scripts, all of which had major defects. In this case, thanks to John’s involvement, the script nicely captured the central story in Part I of the novel, and the themes came through loud and clear. That was fortunate, since there were only a few weeks until filming had to begin and no time for major rewrites. Nevertheless, there were problems we managed to fix before shooting began.

For our Sponsors’ Dinner on July 3rd, John prepared a short interview on the set for us to show attendees. He was then in the middle of filming, which was completed by the end of the month, when we posted our report on the project (“Filming of Atlas Shrugged Wraps Up” [], including the interview with John.

Filming the actors is only the first stage in production. Post-production involves filming all the external scenes to establish location, creating the score, and countless hours of editing. In preparation for editing, I gave the producers comments on the shooting script—the one finally used by actors and director. (Physicist Laurence Gould was generous with his time in advising me on the plausibility of the scene where Hank Rearden and Dagny discover the abandoned motor and speculate about how it worked.) In October, I watched the director’s cut, the first full version of the film, and again wrote comments recommending changes to make in editing.


Meanwhile, the staff worked hard to put on our December 7th New York City event, “Atlas Shrugged: The Making of a Movie.” In the historic Hudson Theatre, this evening to remember was a celebration of John Aglialoro’s achievement in bringing Rand’s great novel to the screen. Its highlight was a showing of ten minutes of clips from the movie, the first scene anyone outside the production team had seen. John also used the occasion to announce that the film would be released in American theaters on April 15th, Tax Day, a date that underscores the struggle between producers and looters.

We expect a surge in demand from viewers who want to know more about the novel and its ideas.

Aglialoro joined other members of his production team—fellow producer Harmon Kaslow; screenwriter Brian O'Toole, who also manages the movie's Facebook  page; executive producer and second-unit director Mike Marvin; and post-production supervisor John Orland—in a panel discussion about the joys and challenges of the project. The panel was moderated by John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, who also spoke about the new Republican Congressmen inspired by Atlas Shrugged.

Weitere Programmpunkte des Abends:

  • I outlined the narrative elements and essential themes I looked for as a consultant on the script.
  • Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal explained the genesis and extraordinary impact of his 2009 article “ Atlas Shrugged: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years .”
  • Der Vorsitzende der Atlas-Gesellschaft, Jay Lapeyre, verlieh einen besonderen Atlas-Preis für unseren emeritierten Vorsitzenden Frank Bond.

The Atlas Society was pleased to have the support of Leadership Sponsors whose support made the evening possible: John Aglialoro and Joan Carter; Cliff and Laurel Asness; Frank and Shelda Bond; Scott and Leslie Jacobs; David Kelley; Jay and Sally Lapeyre; Ed Snider; Ashwin and Mari Vasan; and Fred and Sandra Young.

Reports about the event created an online buzz. Of special note was the powerful, and evocative account by Atlas Society trustee Walter Donway.


The producers are using online and social media to get the word out about Atlas. Edward Hudgins and I helped compile lists of influential organizations, blogs, and individuals who might post links to the movie’s website and use their own distribution channels to excite the public about the picture.

Your donations will help us at this crucial time to make the movie a powerful force in our politics, economy, and culture.

At this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Ed and I made the rounds with Harmon Kaslow and Scott DeSapio, the movie’s Web site manager, to make sure they met representatives of organizations with an interest in the movie. The “tea party” group FreedomWorks sponsored a session for the first showing of the film’s trailer, with Kaslow and Kelley offering comments about the themes of Atlas.

We also worked with Alexander McCobin to set up a showing of film clips at this year’s Students for Liberty conference in Washington, D.C., where some 500 student leaders will also hear Ed, Will Thomas, and me explain the meaning and urgent significance of the movie. Ed is also organizing an advance screening of the whole film in here in Washington in early March.

As I write this in mid-February, the trailer of the film has drawn over half a million viewers just a few days after its release online. It has begun generating widespread commentary, pro and con. The left is already taking aim at the movie, and we are preparing our response. After the release in April, we expect a surge in demand from viewers who want to know more about the novel and its ideas.

We have waited years for precisely this opportunity to help realize the potential of Atlas Shrugged—just as we know you have waited years to see the film. The producers are counting on us as the resource for understanding the philosophy of open Objectivism founded by Ayn Rand and embodied in her great novel. They are counting on us for the intellectual ammunition to counter the inevitable attacks. We are leading the charge for a film that will bring a new, wider audience to our ideas. Your donations will help us at this crucial time to make the movie a powerful force in our politics, economy, and culture.


David Kelley


David Kelley

David Kelley ist der Gründer von The Atlas Society. Als professioneller Philosoph, Lehrer und Bestsellerautor ist er seit mehr als 25 Jahren ein führender Verfechter des Objektivismus.

David Kelley Ph.D
About the author:
David Kelley Ph.D

David Kelley founded The Atlas Society (TAS) in 1990 and served as Executive Director through 2016. In addition, as Chief Intellectual Officer, he was responsible for overseeing the content produced by the organization: articles, videos, talks at conferences, etc.. Retired from TAS in 2018, he remains active in TAS projects and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Kelley ist ein professioneller Philosoph, Lehrer und Schriftsteller. Nachdem er 1975 an der Princeton University in Philosophie promoviert hatte, trat er in die Philosophieabteilung des Vassar College ein, wo er eine breite Palette von Kursen auf allen Ebenen unterrichtete. Er unterrichtete auch Philosophie an der Brandeis University und hielt häufig Vorträge an anderen Universitäten.

Zu Kelleys philosophischen Schriften gehören Originalwerke in den Bereichen Ethik, Erkenntnistheorie und Politik, von denen viele die objektivistischen Ideen in neuer Tiefe und in neuen Richtungen weiterentwickeln. Er ist der Autor von Die Evidenz der Sinneeiner Abhandlung zur Erkenntnistheorie; Wahrheit und Duldung im Objektivismusüber Themen in der objektivistischen Bewegung; Ungetrübter Individualismus: Die egoistische Basis des Wohlwollensund The Art of Reasoning, ein weit verbreitetes Lehrbuch für einführende Logik, das jetzt in der 5.

Kelley hat zu einer Vielzahl von politischen und kulturellen Themen Vorträge gehalten und veröffentlicht. Seine Artikel über soziale Fragen und die öffentliche Ordnung sind unter anderem in Harpers, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman und On Principle erschienen. In den 1980er Jahren schrieb er häufig für das Barrons Financial and Business Magazine über Themen wie Gleichberechtigung, Einwanderung, Mindestlohngesetze und Sozialversicherung.

Sein Buch A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State ist eine Kritik an den moralischen Prämissen des Wohlfahrtsstaates und eine Verteidigung privater Alternativen, die die Autonomie, Verantwortung und Würde des Einzelnen bewahren. Sein Auftritt in John Stossels ABC/TV-Sondersendung "Greed" im Jahr 1998 löste eine landesweite Debatte über die Ethik des Kapitalismus aus.

Er ist ein international anerkannter Experte für Objektivismus und hat zahlreiche Vorträge über Ayn Rand, ihre Ideen und ihre Werke gehalten. Er war Berater bei der Verfilmung von Atlas Shruggedund Herausgeber von Atlas Shrugged: Der Roman, die Filme, die Philosophie.


Hauptwerk (ausgewählt):

"Concepts and Natures: A Commentary on The Realist Turn (by Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl)," Reason Papers 42, no. 1, (Sommer 2021); Diese Rezension eines kürzlich erschienenen Buches enthält einen tiefen Einblick in die Ontologie und Epistemologie von Konzepten.

Die Grundlagen des Wissens. Sechs Vorlesungen über die objektivistische Erkenntnistheorie.

"Das Primat der Existenz" und "Die Erkenntnistheorie der Wahrnehmung", The Jefferson School, San Diego, Juli 1985

"Universalien und Induktion", zwei Vorträge auf GKRH-Konferenzen, Dallas und Ann Arbor, März 1989

"Skeptizismus", York University, Toronto, 1987

"Die Natur des freien Willens", zwei Vorträge am Portland Institute, Oktober 1986

"The Party of Modernity", Cato Policy Report, Mai/Juni 2003; und Navigator, November 2003; ein viel zitierter Artikel über die kulturellen Unterschiede zwischen vormodernen, modernen (aufklärerischen) und postmodernen Ansichten.

"I Don't Have To"(IOS Journal, Band 6, Nummer 1, April 1996) und "I Can and I Will"(The New Individualist, Herbst/Winter 2011); begleitende Beiträge zur Verwirklichung der Kontrolle, die wir als Individuen über unser Leben haben.

Atlas Shrugged