Its hard to decide on whether which choices are correct, but it is important to understand the basic implications of the choices we make or the choices we do not make. We cannot analyze the situation until we begin to comprehend the situation. With that being said, I do not intend on giving a pro vs con argument in terms of whether Nuclear power is good for us, but I intend on exploring the implications of Nuclear power on human history.
First of all, it is important to note that there is a important relation between productive power and destructive power; they both are the artificial manipulations of power. Fire and wood have little potential for productive energy but also has little potential for destructive energy. Nuclear power however, both fission and fusion, is understood to be a pandora’s box of enormous energy. It is due to this fact that it posses some risks. However it is not only the risks of harnessing electricity from Nuclear power that we are concerned with. It is also important to note the correlation between the use of nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.
At the moment, one of the major setbacks for Nuclear energy is that it is not cost-efficient. It requires heavy subsidies from governments worldwide. However this is only a temporary problem. It is not hard to assume that with advancements in technology that the efficiency of such procedures will increase bringing costs down. However this will not only make nuclear energy more affordable and more accessible but this will end up having the same effect on nuclear weaponry.
The democratization of such powerful firearms would have adverse effect on civilization globally. George Orwell’s philosophy is that the accessibility of “the mode of warfare” effects the level of organization in human systems. This means that when more powerful weapons become more accessible it tends to democratize civilization because it gives power away from dictators/authorities and gives them to the masses. The discovery of gunpowder and the gradual accessibility of it, in the eyes of Orwell, led to the establishment of democracies in the West. Orwell thus believed that there would be a pendulum of power between centralized powers and the masses between eras of discovery and eras of the democratization of those discoveries.
I propose however that there might be a much larger trend at play. It is the tendency of technological advancement under the current motives set by the current system to make more and more powerful tools at a more and more affordable/efficient rate. At first this allows for the construction of centralized systems and civilization in general, but at a certain critical point it begins to become deconstructive. The democratization of nuclear weaponry would surely make it harder for governments to retain centralized control. This includes even democratic systems which are ruled by the majority; democratized nuclear weaponry will give enough potential power to the minority to offset this balance of power. And here is my one critique of Orwell’s perspective: there is a point at which the power of new weapons become no longer relevant; there is no difference between the effects of a weapon that can destroy a planet and a weapon that can destroy the galaxy in perspective of our civilization at the moment. The democratization of either weapon would have the same calibre of effect on the formulation of governments. So it does not matter if a government discovers a more powerful source of energy then nuclear power; it will not necessarily lead to more authoritarian control. And this is the theory of “constructive/deconstructive civilization”.
Fig. 1 is a graphical representation of this concept. The x-axis represents technological advancements from very weak tools (left) to very powerful ones (right). The y-axis represents the formulation/organization of human systems from decentralized (bottom: anarchy) to centralized (top: authoritarian). The “construction/deconstruction curve” (CD Curve) directly correlates with technological advancement until a critical point is reached (LT) at which it becomes indirectly related. Although such a theory has yet to be proven or seen I’m sure there is enough empirical and rational evidence for it to be considered as a plausible explanation for the phenommenon.