On September 30, five minutes before midnight, the Atlas Shrugged Movie Kickstarter Campaign
reached its fundraising goal of $250,000 for Part 3
, called Who Is John Galt?
The movie's crowdfunding project had been active for only one week when the goal was achieved, and still had 23 days before its deadline of October 23.
As of today, the campaign has raised $295,753, a number well over the mark.
The announcement of the Kickstarter campaign spurred a flurry of media attention, both against and in defense of the method, as the movie team had anticipated. While some criticisms were mere scorn, others raised the valid question of whether a Kickstarter campaign was in line with the capitalist messages of Atlas Shrugged .
In The Virtue of Selfishness
, Ayn Rand called on the principle of the trader:
"a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. He deals with men by means of a free, voluntary, unforced, uncoerced exchange—an exchange which benefits both parties by their own independent judgment."
In the Atlas Shrugged Movie Kickstarter Campaign video
, producer John Aglialoro explained that a mutually beneficial exchange does
take place: the opportunity for fans of the movie to improve a project that reflects their values, and for the production team to make the most of those contributions.
Nick Gillespie offered commentary in Time Magazine,
in an article called " Ayn Rand Would Have Loved Kickstarter ",
taking the premise of the Kickstarter campaign yet another step further. Not only is the Kickstarter method an appropriate method in the traditional sense of trade and capitalism, said Gillespie, but it is a uniquely appropriate tactic for this historical moment.
"In a post-war America that emphasized conformity and consensus [...] it made sense to conceptualize freedom and the pursuit of happiness in terms of a physical escape—of going someplace where you could start over with people [who] understood you. It's not coincidental that just as Rand was pushing the concept of going Galt that another iconic malcontent, Jack Kerouac, was constantly talking about going "on the road." Freedom and fulfillment were always someplace else.
Due to a combination of technological and cultural advancements, 21st-century America no longer requires us to think in such metaphors [...] You don't have to go on the road to find freedom these days. You can go online instead.
In such a world, crowdfunding represents a new, high-tech way of going Galt. It allows creators and funders to escape conventional financial, ideological and aesthetic gatekeepers who have long suppressed heterodoxy in media, business, the arts and more. Arguably more important, it allows for the creation of a virtual community of like-minded folks who may live thousands of miles from each other."
Just as Dagny Taggart embraced the new technologies of Rearden Metal and Galt's motor as resources for her business in Atlas Shrugged, John Aglialoro and the Part 3 production team embraced Kickstarter as the promising technology of their own time, for their own project. Their boldness has paid off spectacularly.