According to Harari science, empire and capitalism are all connected. Essentially, he says for one of those to be successful, you need the other two. You won’t have a strong empire without the exploration of science, and a capitalist market. This trio has proven to be the most successful since it’s what’s used today around most of the world. One example of scientific discovery being shaped by political and fiscal interests, is the Cook expedition to observe the Venus transit from Tahiti. This scientific operation was extremely expensive, so they decided to explore several Pacific islands including Australia and New Zealand. This led to the British settlement of these islands. Harari shows the connection by stating, “Much of the information collected by the expedition – particularly the astronomical, geographical, meteorological, and anthropological data – was of obvious political and military value” (Harari, p. 277).
Progress is a hard word to define when comparing it to humanity and its evolution to current day. Some questions are easy to answer such as, are there more people now than before; yes. When you start to ask the hard questions progress becomes very hard to define, such as, are people happier now than before; a lot of science says no. Knowing that we work more, are generally unhappy(depressed), have larger populations in poverty than ever before, and a mental health crisis leading to the highest suicide rate in human history, can we actually say we’ve made progress? I don’t think so. I believe humans have the ability to make progress happen but unfortunately, we live in a materialist, profit driven society where the size of your house or bank account are more important than your community or social relationships required to allow progress to occur.