The Idea of Progress

There is one idea that links science, empire, and capitalism together, and that idea is progress. Progress can be thought of in different ways but I believe that it is the way humans think, the belief that we are constantly moving towards progress. Harari says that capitalism started when people started thinking that the worlds wealth, or “pie”, is not stagnant. That it is constantly changing and growing. This made it easier for people to start trading with credit since it was easier to trust people with the credit (Harari p. 309). The same can be said in a way for empire as well, the reason why that kings and queens started funding research to make better maps and learn more about the world was really a way for them to conquer more land to increase their personal wealth and power. Harari asks whether a ship traveling to Australia is a research vessel with soldiers or a military ship with scientists (Harari p. 278). All of these are able to happen because of the change in human thinking from keeping the status quo, to that of looking to the future and making progress.

Harari’s argument of progress playing the big role linking science, empire and capitalism I agree with. The quote that Harari asks about the ship I believe was a military ship that just happened to have scientists, the reason the scientists were brought along was so that the kings and queens would have educated people give them information about the land they were looking to settle. The scientists would bring back the information which then would be looked at to see if the land is worth conquering. This all comes from humans pushing for progress and also leads to capitalism, kings and queens want more land to increase their physical wealth. This all leads to people understanding that the world doesn’t have a set wealth amount, that people can believe that they can make up more wealth, as long as science keeps progressing.

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