Political Animal


March 21, 2013 4:22 PM Ayn Wouldn’t Have Apologized!

By Ed Kilgore

Not being a practitioner of yoga in any way, shape or form, I was only dimly aware of the brouhaha over the discovery that yoga apparel products sold by a company called Lululemon were too sheer and revealing for the social comfort of wearers.

So I also did not know that Lululemon’s founder and chairman, one Dennis Wilson, is a big-time Objectivist who not that long ago confused many buyers of his products by emblazoning shopping bags with the legend: “Who is John Galt?”

Now that Lululemon has itself a product-quality issue, it seems to be abjectly apologetic in a way that does not seem to comport with the self-righteous confidence of Ayn Rand’s capitalist heroes. So at New York’s Kevin Roose is quite naturally chiding the company’s execs for handling this all wrong:

The solution seems obvious: make sheer pants a feature, not a bug. Instead of recalling those transpara-pants, just make some new packaging, slap it on the defective pairs, and market them as a new line — “Sheer Nirvana,” or somesuch. Hell, make ‘em for men, too.
Lululemon was famously founded on the ideals of Ayn Rand. You think Ayn would have apologized for some see-through Spandex? Hell no. She would have defended the integrity of those pants with her life. “An inventor is a man who asks ‘Why?’ of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and his mind,” she wrote in Atlas Shrugged.
A real Objectivist yoga company would have looked at that sentence, replaced “the answer” with “sheer-bottom yoga pants” and “his mind” with “record-breaking profits,” and sold the damn things like hotcakes.

Perhaps this is what Rand had in mind in entitling one of her books (a collection of essays in which Alan Greenspan did a lot of the writing): “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.”

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on March 21, 2013 4:34 PM:

    "Dagny Taggart Wear."

    "Show 'em what they're missing. And if they were man enough, they'd come and try to take it!"


  • Dredd on March 21, 2013 4:45 PM:

    Those folk who worship Ayn Rand have not read closely enough. She did promiscuous sexual things they would condemn in the harshest terms (e.g. "swinging").

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on March 21, 2013 4:45 PM:

    Semi-sheer stretchy pants? That's actually my kinda thing. But then again I am a bit of gym slut like that anyway...

    Says captcha: pubWest ensure
    That's right!

  • Candy's Dog on March 21, 2013 5:08 PM:

    "Here Are John's Galts"

  • Anonymous on March 21, 2013 5:24 PM:

    Somehow this story reminds me of the emperor's new clothes.

  • Joe Friday on March 21, 2013 5:25 PM:

    See-through Yoga pants ?

    Gives a whole new perspective to a Downward Dog.

  • boatboy_srq on March 21, 2013 5:28 PM:

    There are two camps that revere Rand: the pseudolibertarian prudes (think Rand Paul) and the Brotherhood of St. Ayn (think Paul Ryan). The former is willing to shrug a bit when the market-based-faith clashes with the Book-based-faith; the latter, and far more common type, will spout the Shruggery when it's politically convenient, but always keep the Xtian shame not far from the surface. It seems Dennis Wilson falls into the latter category: unashamedly profiting until "indecency" rears its ugly (in the eyes of those beholders) head.

    Captcha: agoopri forward. I suppose in Sheer Nirvana it (they?) would be that way.

  • beb on March 21, 2013 7:06 PM:

    The phrase "enlightened self-interest" comes to mind. It always seemed part and parscle with Ayn Ryan. You do something wrong you own up to it. As opposed to the usual corporate-think which is that no matter how red-handed one has been caught, the company has done no wrong.

  • Alljack on March 21, 2013 10:26 PM:

    This must be the first time ever that sheep were ashamed to show their asses.

  • cwolf on March 22, 2013 12:08 AM:

    Ayn wouldn't have apologized because she was too busy cashing her Government Social Security checks and getting her cancer treated by Government paid for Medicare.

  • DONNA BENTON on March 22, 2013 3:38 AM:

    One cause may be that the function region is also hazardous for children. Yet another may be that your employer doesn’t allow youngsters to go to the perform region.Name a cause why you might not participate in take-your-child-to-work day?