Sarewitz, Daniel R.  Frontiers of Illusion

ISBN 1566394155
Page 124

The raison d’etre of both the basic research system and capitalism is the pursuit of growth of knowledge and insight in the one case, and of productivity and wealth in the other. And the key to growth in each case is the self-interested motivations of the individual—of individual scientists pursuing their curiosity and individual consumers maximizing their utility. The cumulative effect of all this selfish action is progress for all. But the analogy goes deeper, in that the rhetoric of both basic research and the free market is rooted in an efficiency ethic that gives primacy to magnitude of growth while viewing direction of growth as intrinsically unpredictable and thus outside the domain of government control. From this perspective it is the job of the government to encourage growth of the knowledge base and of the economy but not to try to influence the character of this growth in any way.