Nuclear Deal

Here is a hilarious post on the nuclear deal that makes the point that “common people” have no clue of what the whole nuclear issue is all about.

And that is as it should be. Issues such as “energy security”, the extent of availability, nature and feasibility of various energy sources cannot properly be the concern of “common people”, i.e, those who are not involved with the energy industry. All that common people need to do is to vote with their money for the best producer of energy and these complex issues will be taken care of by those who are best equipped to deal with them – the energy producers in a free market – who have the necessary information, the ability to understand and interpret it and most importantly the motivation to do so. 

That these issues are going to be decided by the political circus that is going on is not as it should be. No matter what decision the government takes, the right of some people (companies) to act on their economic judgements will be violated. This fact has gone unnoticed in all the commentary and debate that the nuclear deal issue has raised, mainly because energy is usually considered far too important to the nation’s economy to be left to the free market. But as Ayn Rand eloquently noted in this speech in Atlas Shrugged

When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men.

An industrial economy cannot survive without trade. The only choice that a society has is whether the trade is in money, goods and services in a free market or in favors, cabinet seats and MP’s. And once the latter is chosen, the original issues lose significance. The issues shift from “What is to be done?” to “Who gets to decide?”. That is the irony of this debate – the debaters who want a voice they have not earned in the running of an industry they know very little about have made the result of the debate inconsequential.

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2 Responses

  1. The “nuclear deal debate” really depends on the frame of reference. Most people debating, and the government, are not exactly concerned with ideas like freedom. Only the naive (I don’t mean any disrespect, since you are talking in relation to free trade in energy from an Objectivist POV) still believe that the deal is about nuclear energy and energy security. It is about strategic relations between the US and India. Hence the usual suspects have lined up on both sides.

    Keeping that issue aside and coming to the point of energy security, present day geopolitics is basically anti-freedom. The tight control on fissile material, and if Gore has his way, upcoming controls on carbon emissions, makes free trade in energy impossible.

    Basically, the deal and energy security are mutually exclusive, whatever the outcome.

  2. Ah yes, strategic relations. I wonder what that means though. A strategy presupposes a long term goal and the possibility of principled, unwavering action. When the first “principle” of foreign policy today is to ignore all ideology and act on the expediencies of the moment, what do strategic relations mean? I suppose they are similar to the strategic coalitions formed by various parties. And we all know how long they last.

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