Penn Jillette

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A popular libertarian entertainer, with some glib, bullshit explanations of how he is in favor of libertarianism because he is ignorant of what is best for all people and because he wants to reduce violence. A typical wealthy entrepreneur who doesn't understand what ordinary people need, and conveniently overlooks that what he needs from government is violence to protect his fortune and create the environment in which he earns it.

Penn very conveniently forgets that all his freedom, rights, security and property are only enforced by men with guns. He wants to freeload on that system by pretending that his blissful life is natural, and not a product of force in society. This is a basic philosophical problem of pacifism: that it ignores the reality of the violent basis of freedom, rights, security and property. Pacifism is like avoiding vaccination: a certain amount can be tolerated without losing herd immunity. Too much pacifism, and the population is at risk. We can afford to allow Penn and the tiny minority of pacifists their delusions of non-violence: we don't need everybody to hold a gun.

Links

Fail Quote: Penn Jillette calls social welfare “immoral self-righteous bullying laziness” [More...]
"Look, I’m all for encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their own actions and to do things themselves rather than rely on others, but this sort of libertarian “government is bad and shouldn’t be relied on for nothin’!” rhetoric is as ridiculous as any other fringe schtick."
Libertarians and Charity [More...]
Leo Buzalsky debunks Penn Jillette's "Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness" claim.
My Favorite Entertainer Penn Jillette is Fucking Wrong about Libertarianism [More...]
Points out that Penn Jillette disastrously oversimplifies morality and freedom. "But the problem with freedom is that morality is complicated. And certain freedoms are more important than other freedoms."
Penn Jillette on libertarianism [More...]
Points out that many of Penn Jillette's arguments overlap the liberal side of the Venn Diagram, and yeilds on a few on the libertarian side. Then points out some prime bullshit about education.
Penn Jillette’s Deceptively Simple Rhetoric of Libertarianism [More...]
Debunks Penn Jillette's two major claims "Libertarianism as Penn describes it claims to offer principles that relieve us from having to actually think through specific, complicated cost-benefit scenarios, but there is no philosophy that can deliver us from thinking."
Regarding Penn Jillette's Libertarianism [More...]
Shreds the claim that not knowing how to help the poor and sick justifies libertarianism. Also dissects the bullying claim. The first commenter points out also: "Regarding the use of force to redistribute food to the poor as bullying: Isn't it also bullying to use government force to protect private property? " Another commenter observed: "Shouldn't the response to the answer of "I don't know" be "Let's find out?""

Quotations

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