Capital Consequences

In his book, Harari claims that Science, empire, and capitalism are linked because of how one can support the advancement of another. Science effects capitalism by making tasks easier or fast, both key ways to make it more profitable, and capitalism helps encourage empires to expand their reach by giving them the resources to do so, and the desire to support capitalism by finding more resources, and scientific inquiry by giving it a structure under which to function. One example that Harari mentioned, but that anyone would be familiar with if Christopher Columbus’s expedition to the Americas. It was motivated by capitalism on the part of the Spanish empire which funded it, as they wanted a better spice route, and spices were highly profitable, but on the part of Columbus, the motivation was to prove this new amazing fast route he believed to exist to India. Columbus would not have been able to do his expedition without the Spanish empire agreeing to fund it, which they wouldn’t have done if they didn’t believe it could have been a potentially highly profitable endeavor.
I agree with Harari’s idea that the desire for progress is required for the linkage of the science, capitalism, and empire. While some may still be drawn to science without the pressure of empire or capitalism, they do still have a question they want answered, and any work towards that would be considered a form of progress. Scientific inquiry as we know it today wouldn’t be the same without capitalism and empire serving to pressure and fund it, but neither would they be the same if it wasn’t for science changing the society at a rapidly increasing rate.

5 thoughts on “Capital Consequences”

  1. Hi Natalie! I like your example of using the fact of Spain having funded Columbus’ expedition as an investment to further grow their empire. I think this is a crucial point in why some rule the world and others do not. The ability to make long-term investments that seem straining at the time, or as Harari says “growing the pie”, is what sets empires that much more ahead. Thanks for hitting that point. I would however suggest a bit of a proofread of your post next time to check for small errors such as typos and run ons. I think your points would be that much stronger!

  2. Hey Natalie

    hope you having a good week 🙂
    I like that your summary is neat and easy to follow. After reading Harari sometimes my thoughts are so jumbled I have to take a break and read it again for good measure. While I think that he may be a really interesting person to talk to the way he jumps around from example to example is kind of hard to follow sometimes. I am honestly really glad we are moving on to the invention of air as his writing style is much easier to follow along with and understand. As for Ellie’s comment on spelling and grammar the Grammarly app is good and what I use for my homework.


  3. Hi Natalie, I think your post is very well laid out and organized. I like your use of Harari’s Columbus example as it is something most people are familiar with which in turn makes the connection you make easy to follow. I like how you mention the fact of people being drawn to science independently in that empire and capitalism don’t interest them. This is what makes Harari’s point so strong. Most people didn’t see exploration as a means of growing empire or producing money. They just wanted to explore for themselves. However, this is near impossible because they require money to make the journey, and in order to be sponsored by your nation (empire) you must have something that they need. In this case it would be discovering new lands for expansion. Good job!

  4. Hey Natalie, your post uses very and key points of information that are effective with your opinion. I agree with your opinion that they are all linked but I feel that there is little to no science funded or used without the help of empire, or without some kind of capital pushing it in a certain direction that could give some benefit. I really do like that you wrote about science and society today would not be the same or as advanced without the other two links pushing science faster and further ahead. One last thing I really like that you added to your blog would be how its not just science but exploration is extremely fueled by capitalism and empire as in the Christopher Columbus example.

  5. I think you’re completely right, without the capital motivation and economic drive, certain scientific research would be completely lacking funding for certain projects. As a nation we put emphasis on certain projects that will be beneficial to research for our nation. What do you think about what how Harari links these things through progress? When Harari wrote about The scientific revolution he said it was a revolution of ignorance. That we had to first see that we didn’t know everything and had so much to learn before we could actually start learning. I thought that was super interesting and your writing was too.

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