The Arab oil embargo was not the cause of the energy crisis in this country: it was merely the straw that showed that the camel’s back was broken. There is no “natural” or geological crisis; there is an enormous political one. It is in the nature of a mixed economy that its policies are rationally inexplicable.
Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, known to the world as Ayn Rand, (1905–1982) was a philosopher attuned to the workings of the mind, the economy, and politics. Best known as a novelist, she wrote fiction based on fact and wrote on contemporary issues later in life. She is the inspiration of “free minds and free markets” through her philosophy of Objectivism.
When asked by a Random House salesman to summarize her philosophy “while standing on one foot,” she answered:
1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality
2. Epistemology: Reason
3. Ethics: Self-interest
4. Politics: Capitalism
Rand translated her response into simple language in her inaugural column for the Los Angeles Times in 1962:
1. Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed, or Wishing won’t make it so
2. You can’t eat your cake and have it too
3. Man is an end in himself
4. Give me liberty or give me death 
Rand’s commentary about Richard Nixon’s wage and price control program of August 1971 (the public acceptance of which represented a “moratorium on brains”), remains biting.  And from Nixon’s beginning, she diagnosed the “energy crisis” in terms of the failed mixed economy where distortive regulation expands from its own shortcomings.
If only Ayn Rand were here to write about the global warming/climate crusade. And the energy industry’s back-pedaling and “greenwashing” of the issue, trying to placate its enemies. (It did not work, and signs of change are in the air.)
“The Energy Crisis”
Excerpts below come from “The Energy Crisis,” published just weeks after the Arab Embargo in 1973. As you read Rand below, substitute “fossil fuel” for “oil” and “climate regulators” for “Arab OPEC” to come to the present.
“The oil industry is being destroyed by a bombardment of paper–of governmental rules, regulations, directives, edicts, commands. But that bombardment is more effective than other kinds of air raids: it blasts your power stations, extinguishes your lights, freezes your homes, stops your motors, locks your factories, wipes out your jobs, and leaves a barren land on which nothing will grow again for generations.”
“The result of our present economic system is that the men who do the work – in this case, the oil industry – know the state of their production at a given moment, but do not know what edict will shatter them next month or next year. The government officials do not know the state of the industry they are controlling – nor what edict they will feel like issuing next week.”
“The Arab oil embargo was not the cause of the energy crisis in this country: it was merely the straw that showed that the camel’s back was broken. There is no “natural” or geological crisis; there is an enormous political one.”
“It is in the nature of a mixed economy that its policies are rationally inexplicable, that there are no identifiable causes, no accountable initiators, no ascertainable villains–and that you are losing your jobs, giving up your automobiles, catching pneumonia in unheated bedrooms, not because some giant evildoers are plotting your destruction, but because some seedy hack wanted an unearned salary, and some crummy professor wanted an undeserved prestige, and some measly shyster wanted a chance to fish in muddy laws, and none of them cared to or could watch the state of the country’s economy, and the sum of such termite aspirations has eaten through the pillars of the structure so that one kick from a sheik was sufficient to make it crumble.”
“Price controls have wrecked the natural gas industry, stopping exploration for new domestic fields; at present, we import increasing amounts of [liquified] natural gas from Algeria, at prices substantially above the price permitted to domestic producers.”
 The Ayn Rand Institute, copyright holder of these two essays, has chosen not to make the content from the Ayn Rand Letter available online. Formal citations are as follows:
Ayn Rand, “The Energy Crisis: Part I” (November 5, 1973). Reprinted in The Ayn Rand Letter: Volumes I–IV (1971–1976). Palo Alto, CA: Palo Alto Book Service, 1979, p. 258.
Ibid., p. 260.
 Rand, Ayn. “Introducing Objectivism” (1962). In Rand, ed. The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought. New York: The New American Library, 1989, p. 3.
 Rand, “The Moratorium on Brains: Part II.” The Ayn Rand Letter. Vol. 1, No 3 (November 8, 1971). Republished in The Ayn Rand Letter: Volumes I-IV, 971–976. Palo Alto, CA, 1979, pp. 9–14, at 13.