Science: A Great Weapon & A Fantastic Hope

In Sapiens, Harari asserts that science, empire, and capitalism are inextricably linked to one another, each driving the other to be bigger and greater than it has been in the past. Science has been the at the root of nearly all human innovations since the scientific revolution took place roughly 500 years ago. It has become one of the most powerful forces in today’s society, and this is something that nearly all empires recognize and attempt to harness. Whether it be developing weapons of mass destruction or harnessing energy through sustainable sources and means, science is one of the greatest weapons and hopes that humanity has ever encountered. Empires are the greatest source of funds for scientists to continue furthering their work, and in return, science provides benefits such as longer life spans, higher quality of life, and the opportunity for geographic and political dominance. Capitalism drives science through its necessity to constantly provide consumers with new technologies and goods. The atomic bomb became reality as a result of political interests and the presence of war and succeeded in changing the global political landscape. It also shaped science by changing the field of nuclear science away from just producing energy and into a world where the field could be used for good or for harm.


I think that Harari’s argument that progress plays a pivotal role in the linkage of science, empire, and capitalism is very true. Scientific progress has become synonymous with economic progress in capitalist societies and increased lifespans and quality of life for people in many empires around the world. One cannot take strides forward without having the others accompany it, and in today’s society, it appears that science is at the forefront of this and is constantly creating new opportunities for empires and capitalism to follow in its progressive strides.