Harari Part II: The Empire Strikes Back

Science, Empire, and Capitalism, these three constructs all influenced, and continue to influence, one another. As Europeans of the 17th century began to expand and conquer, their thirst for knowledge began to grow exponentially. Harari states that they began to discover so much that fields “such as anthropology and botany cannot avoid crediting the European empires” (p.301). The drive to create large empires and to become international superpowers lead to a scientific revolution. An example of science driving imperialism is scientists began to translate old Persian and Arab texts and manuscripts. This new understanding of the world westward allowed Europeans to easily conquer and maintain rule over middle eastern city states.

I agree with Harari, there’s this unspoken driving force behind both capitalist gains and scientific discoveries, and that’s progress. The drive to further society through either scientific or economic means. Both are important, and both have huge impact on our lives. They intertwine as well. A scientific breakthrough could cause an economy to boom or have an effect on a market for certain products. The same goes for capitalistic progress. A successful economy could allow fields of research to test and develop things that they might not have the funding for or could allow a society to focus more on sciences because of the successful economy.