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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Friday, July 28, 2006

Nuclear Power and the State

Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance asks

whether, in a world without government, there would be many nuclear power stations.

His answer:

I do not think there would be many nuclear power stations in a world without government. Bearing in mind their actual—or just their suspected - dangers, the common law tort of nuisance would prevent any from being built in England. Would you be happy if one were built within 20 miles of your home? Would you knowingly buy property within that sort of radius? I would not—nor would even if they came with safeguards costing ten times what is now spent.

I say, therefore, that nuclear power can only be generated in a territory without much population, and elsewhere only when an enlarged government is able to sweep aside individual complaints and to indemnify the relevant big business interests with legal privilege or financial subsidy.

I would add that virtually every link in the production chain for nuclear power is heavily subsidized by the state, starting with research and development that are are almost entirely state-funded. The actual physical process is likewise subsidized, from the building of roads to the uranium mines on government land, to the disposal of waste. And of course, the above-mentioned subsidy and/or indemnification of liability costs.


Blogger Peter said...

Nobody would buy property within 20 miles of a nuclear power station??

I used to smoke crack, too, so I know what it can do to one's ability to hold onto reality, but I came over to this blog to read something different, not something batshit-crazy.

Maybe the cited author has all the riches he needs to buy whatever lands he wants in whatever tropical locales he wants, but most of the rest of us do not - like, about 99% of us Americans - the 'richest' country on earth.

Please excuse me while I go get my pipe. If everyone else is doin it, then I might as well partake, too. Better than living in this reality b.s.

July 30, 2006 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, schmmoth, would you live close to a nuclear power station by choice?

In any case, you have missed the substantial point, that nuclear energy is actually very uneconomical.

Kevin - I'm reminded of a number of anti-environmentalist peices that bemoan the "irrational" fear of nuclear power, which is supposedly "cheap". It's strange that so many libertarians arbitrarily pick their "free market" solutions without thinking about where they actually come from. It's really quite sloppy.
By the way, I found your rejoinders to the JLS symposium on Mutualist Political Economy to be quite illuminating in that respect.

July 31, 2006 1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by the way, shmooth, sorry about the typo on your nickname there...

July 31, 2006 2:02 AM  

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