Re: Science & State Funds

Max More (
Sat, 07 Jun 1997 09:59:08 -0700

At 10:06 PM 6/6/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Does anyone have any figures describing where the money used to finance
>all scientific research published in a year, in the US and other countries?
>What percentage of that money comes from private vs. gov't funds? What
>happens if all of that gov't money goes away? Can strictly private science
>funding under anarcho-capitalism produce the swift scientific and technical
>advances so many of us here would like to see?

I think about half the research money comes from private sources, but my
poor memory of this is not worth much. I'm sure someone will have the real

In discussing this question--what happens to research without state
support--I think it's important to put it in a broad context. We would get
a seriously wrong picture if we imagine the govt. research money going away
while everything else stayed the same.For us to get to the stage of no
government science funding, we would probably have also got rid of much of
government in general. In that case, I believe, economic growth would be
much higher and so private-only investment would very soon exceed what
private + state investment would have been in a more state-regulated and
taxed economy.

In a free market, I don't think we'd have the absurd spectacle of
ex-Randian Alan Greenspan pushing up interest rates every time economic
growth reaches 3%. WIth faster growth and resulting greater wealth, we'd
soon see greater investment from private only sources. I think "soon" could
be very soon if you take into account the economic drag resulting from the
millions of regulations currently weighing down our semi-free economy.

Speculation and theory aside, there's only one way to really test the idea:
Let's put our robots and nano to work, build a space colony, and make sure
it's real free market. The challenge is how to do that and how to prevent
the economic system decaying into statism. One of the panel discussions at
EXTRO 3 will address that.


Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute:,
EXTRO 3 CONFERENCE on the future: