Tonight I went to the Arclight in Hollywood for a special screening of “Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged.” The documentary, although falling short, in my opinion, artistically and in editing, was food for my soul (despite the fact that Ayn Rand was a strict objectivist and atheist and may not have believed in the concept of a soul).
One of the best treats of the evening (other than a packed, large theatre, in the middle of Hollywood of all places!) was that Chris Mortensen, the director, and Yaron Brook, the president of the Ayn Rand Institute, were there for the screening and held a Q&A session after the film. I raised my hand. They called on me. I cleared my throat, leaned forward, took a breath, and asked, “Do you think, or do you think Ayn would think, that it’s too late, that we can’t come back from this, that we’ve gone too far?”
Silence. “Well…” Mr. Brook began, “I think it will have to get a lot darker before it gets better.” I agree. If it is possible to come back from this, it will not happen anytime soon, and certainly not under Romney’s watch or Gingrich’s, let alone Barak Obama’s. “Atlas Shrugged” is prophetical, but all of it will have to come true, not just the decline of society, not just the all controlling, ever-present government, not just the loss of freedom, enterprise, and private property, but the very lights of New York City will have to go dark in order for us to turn around, wipe the slate clean, and start over. I pray that I will not have to see this, and at the same time, hope that I do.
The tiny silver lining that Brook offered was that “as long as there is free speech, there is hope.” No matter how dark it gets, if there is even a dim, little light, a tiny spark of truth and reason, it may, one day, have the power to overcome the darkness and cover the world in its bright, glorious light. There can be no light without dark, so although I fear it, I want us to fall, if only so we can climb and rise back up and triumph once again.
You knew the truth, Ayn. You knew it all too well. I wish you were here to see us now. You would be devastated to see how far we have fallen, and yet, you would not be in the least bit surprised.