Harari links science, empire and capitalism mainly by one thing: money. He spends a great deal of time explaining how nothing is accomplished truly without proper funding. Yes, the acceptance of ignorance has lead scientists to researching things that they don’t know about, but none of it is possible without money. Harari uses the example of Professor Slughorn and Professor Sprout to express this view (Harari, pg 273). He talks about how, in the hypothetical situation, Slughorn wants to research a disease within the udders of cows that causes a decrease in profits. Sprout however, wants to study the mental effects on mother cows when they are separated. The research of Slughorn is most likely to be funded due to potential political interests, where as even though Sprout’s research could still be very beneficial, there isn’t a distinct financial advantage to it. The same people with the abilities to fund a lot of scientific advancements are also the people that could benefit empire and capitalism. Capitalism leads to political agendas being pushed through lobbying and financial support, and imperialism, especially several centuries ago, lead to profits and riches that only the wealthy could invest in.
I agree with Harari that the idea of “progress” plays a pivotal role in the linkage of science, empire, and capitalism. He talk about how “until the Scientific Revolution most human cultures did not believe in progress” (Harari, pg 264). People believed that the world was at a stand still, metaphorically. They believed that the best of times were in the past, and that if they could, they should bring work towards bringing back whatever they felt made the past so great. However, it was progress, and the notion of moving forward that has lead to the worlds greatest scientific advancements and the greatest exploratory endeavors.