Randex

Wednesday 14 December 2016
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

…taste in literature, and some of them like Ayn Rand a great deal. A few of those are true-believing libertarians and there’s the odd nutty Objectivist, but many people are attracted to Rand not…

Posted almost 2 years ago Publication date: 14 Dec 2016
Monday 27 June 2016
Neutral
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

Texas, with its relatively light regulatory regime, is sometimes regarded in the coastal cosmopoles as something between late-Seventies Hong Kong and the fever dreams of Ayn Rand, but it isn’t quite. Texas in fact regulates all sorts of things, some of them (mortgage lending) rather well.

Posted about 2 years ago Publication date: 28 Jun 2016
Tuesday 07 June 2016
Mixed
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

One need not go the full Ayn Rand here (reading your toddler Atlas Shrugged may not technically be child abuse) to appreciate that Alex’s original proposition was a value-for-value exchange. It wasn’t just panhandling, or high-tech panhandling, which is what “virtual” lemonade stands, as well intentioned and helpful as they are, amount to. Alex’s story was moving not simply because she was a sympathetic, charismatic, cancer-stricken little girl who was seeking help for others in her situation but because she was all of those things and — here’s the critical part — willing to do something. The labor involved in starting a lemonade stand may be mainly symbolic, but it is critically important nonetheless. This is not a Randian point but a Lockean one.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 07 Jun 2016
Thursday 10 March 2016
Negative
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

One of the great fictions we’ve perpetrated on ourselves is the belief that we ultimately face a choice between Ayn Rand and Thomas Hobbes: an atomistic, individualistic, capitalistic ethic that rejects the philanthropic impulse categorically vs. Leviathan, an almighty potentate to which we owe allegiance because the alternative is bellum omnium contra omnes, a life that is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

In fact, the opposite is closer to the truth: When you have a thriving free-market economy throwing off great gushing rivers of profit, the most successful people begin to look for satisfaction in something other than 22-bedroom beachfront estates. Donald Trump and his gold-plated bathroom fixtures are a relic of a dead culture — and good riddance to it.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 10 Mar 2016
Wednesday 27 January 2016
Positive
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

The Randian conception of the individual, heroic capitalist is in bad odor just now, in this populist moment, the People being one of the great enemies of the person. Not long ago, I asked a student with whom I was working what she wanted to do after college, and she answered: “Work for a nonprofit.” I asked her what sort of nonprofit, doing what sort of work, and she said she hadn’t thought about it. “So anything,” I asked, “just so long as it doesn’t turn a profit?”

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 27 Jan 2016
Tuesday 26 January 2016
Mixed
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

Thomas Aquinas cautioned against “homo unius libri,” a warning that would not get very far with the typical Trump voter stuck sniggering over “homo.” (They’d snigger over “snigger,” too, for similar reasons.) Thomas’s “man of one book” is a familiar type to conservatives; often enough, that book is Atlas Shrugged, or The Fair Tax Book, or, for the more sophisticated sort, Economics in One Lesson.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 26 Jan 2016
Friday 15 January 2016
Neutral
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

I like Ted Cruz a great deal and would rather hear my doctor telling me I have testicular cancer than hear Fox News reporting that Donald Trump has been elected president, but hating New York City and “New York values” — which is shorthand for hating Americans who live in cities — doesn’t seem to me like a very good long-term strategy.

National Review is based in New York. Norman Podhoretz is a New Yorker. The New Criterion is in New York. Irving Kristol was a New Yorker. Milton Friedman was a New Yorker. Hell, Ayn Rand became a New Yorker as soon as she could. William F. Buckley Jr. was a man of the Upper East Side.

America wouldn’t be America without New York, or without New Yorkers.

Posted over 2 years ago Publication date: 15 Jan 2016
Tuesday 22 September 2015
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

Whether you believe that financial firms are the nexus of evil in the 21st century or are the last outpost of heroic Randian capitalism, it is worth your time to understand what they are and what they do, inasmuch as solutions to problems you don’t understand aren’t generally good ones.

Posted about 3 years ago Publication date: 22 Sep 2015
Friday 11 September 2015
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online
Negative  

“A fanatic,” as Winston Churchill defined the term, “is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” They’re tedious company. As anybody who has spent any time around evangelical vegans, macrobiotic cranks, 9/11 truthers, Trumpkins, anti-Semites, Objectivists, Gamergate partisans, feminists, the Michael Brown Memorial Society for Riots and Sanctimony, or jazz aficionados can tell you, the Bible-thumping born-again Christian fanatic is relatively low on the list of unbearables.

Posted about 3 years ago Publication date: 11 Sep 2015
Sunday 01 February 2015
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online
Negative  

No doubt Miss Weeks will find an enthusiastic reception among the heroic Randian poindexters.

Posted over 3 years ago Publication date: 01 Feb 2015
Thursday 22 January 2015
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online
Negative  

While it is the case that the phrase “religious extremism” is of limited use (because it matters a great deal which religion is under discussion), the politics of religious extremist movements ranging from al-Qaeda to the sundry Ayn Rand cults have in common that apostates are always punished with far greater severity than are mere infidels.

Posted over 3 years ago Publication date: 22 Jan 2015
Sunday 23 November 2014
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review Online

My mother was, in her modest way, an Ayn Rand villain, someone who lived by the moral principle that John Galt mockingly summarized: “It is your need that gives you a claim to rewards.” She believed that being poor gave one a warrant to exploit any situation to one’s own material benefit.

Posted almost 4 years ago Publication date: 23 Nov 2014