Frum has come to embrace some quintessentially liberal ideas about the role of chance as opposed to virtue in economic fortune. “Success is not always a matter of luck,” he says. “But as I get older, even the ability to work hard is itself a product of luck. Being born with a certain set of mental attributes, brain chemistry. Every once in a while you encounter a little kid who’s not that likable. Their life is going to be so much worse because they’re not that likable. Did they ask to be not likable?”
It’s scary to think about the effect the “genetic lottery” has on the course of our lives. I was born with a properly-functioning brain into a family that nurtured my intellectual curiosity from a young age and had the economic resources to move to a better-than-average public school district in Florida to ensure that I received a decent education. Millions of people my age didn’t have that luck.