One might suspect that science, empire and capitalism are three completely separate entities unrelated to one another. It is difficult to imagine how powerful their connection and its influence in the shaping of our society. Harari really breaks it down for us and gives us a real understanding as to why the link between science, empire and capitalism is so influential. Harari explains, “Most Scientific studies are funded because somebody believes they can help attain some political, economic, or religious goal” (Harari 272). An example of this outlined in Harari’s text talks about two biologists, one biologist wants to study and cure a disease that affects the utters of cows and the cows ability to produce milk. The second biologist wants to study how a cow may be psychologically impacted when her calf is taken away. Harari’s question is which biologist would receive the funding if they were competing? The biologist who can cure a disease in cows that results in more milk production and more money? Or the biologist that wants to understand the cows mind? Clearly the first biologist would receive the funding because his study would have a much greater financial return. Throughout history, science has been used to grow empires and fuel our capitalistic societies. The level of importance we place on scientific research is directly related to how great of an impact it can have financially or how much power the scientific discovery can generate.
I agree with Harari and his idea of progress and its role in the linkage of science, empire and capitalism. I think that the more we succeed as a society, and the more power we behold as a result of scientific achievements, the more emphasis we place on scientific discovery. We have the ability to create nuclear bombs that can wipe out entire continents in the name of empire and rule. We have robots in factories replacing humans, self-driving cars, artificial intelligences… all in the name of capitalism and profit. Financial and political interests as well as empire and capitalism will always have a major influence on the scientific endeavors we choose to undertake.