Consequences of Growth

Harari describes that science, empire, and capitalism are directly linked through growth and are dependent on one another. Science fuels empire and capitalism by creating new, faster, and better ways to solve problems, thus promising to expand profit. Empires support science by giving funds and a foundation to begin research. Science could not exist without the generosity of empire. The need and desire to expand and conquer new territories allowed for science to flourish. As Harari states, “most scientific studies are funded because somebody believes they can help attain some political, economic or religious goal”. Pg. 272 An example of how scientific discovery shaped and was shaped by political and fiscal interests from the text is the Christopher Columbus expedition. It was fueled by the Spanish Empire in their desire to find a faster and more profitably spice route. Harari states that “the discovery of America was the foundational event of the Scientific Revolution.” Pg. 288 This was a turning point where people started to challenge traditional methods. Maps started being made with empty holes in them to represent unchartered areas, later to be filled in once discovered. People began to claim their ignorance and the possibility that humans don’t know everything there is to know.

I believe Harari is correct when he states “science, industry and military technology intertwined only with the advent of the capitalist system and the Industrial Revolution.”pg 264 Before the scientific revolution there was not a strong belief in progress. Many cultures believed that the good times were in the past and that the future would never be as good. As science evolved, people began realizing what was once thought impossible suddenly became possible. This change in mentality people began to think they could overcome any obstacle, maybe even death.

1 thought on “Consequences of Growth”

  1. I very much like how you use the text to back your argument, you went in a different direction than I did and I like it. It is always great to get the different perspectives. I agree that science developed quickly and that it can be used to overcome, nearly any obstacle. I guess the real question is, when will it become too much, when will people say that enough is enough. Where is the line?

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