Progress in Capitalism

Science, capitalism, and empire are all linked by politics. If the majority of people think that something isn’t worth studying further, the study will not get any funding. Whereas, if the majority of people think something is worth studying, people will pour their money into studying the subject and hopefully coming up with a technological fix. An example of this is in industrial agriculture, when separating calves from their mothers. People found that, in separating the calves from their mothers, the mother cows were less productive than they were if they weren’t separated from their babies right away. Harlow’s experiments with baby monkeys (Harari, p. 345) showed that the animals required that social interaction in order to be productive. The science behind this was shaped by political interests because people wanted the animals to produce more so that more could be sold and more people could have access to those products.

Progression plays a pivotal role in science because without it, or without the idea of it, people wouldn’t feel the need to pour tons of money into scientific studies. Without the money to do those studies, scientists would have a harder and harder time coming up with cheap ways to research topics that are viewed as important in our society (ie. cancer research). If scientists don’t have that flow of money going into their projects things would take much longer to be produced, if they would be produced at all. I think Harari had a very valid argument in that without money, science would be inaccessible to many people, not only in practice but also in whatever science would produce. His argument (as I perceived it) is that, without capitalism, people wouldn’t feel the need to invest in science and if nobody invests, then nobody would also consume.