Science, Empire, and the Pursuit of Capitalism

Science, empire, and capitalism obviously manage to coexist as seen in centuries of evidence. Though the three coexist, are they actually linked? According to Harari, they are. By advancing one, others are also able to grow and develop. One example of this is the discovery of America. According to Harari, Columbus did not realize he discovered a new continent and it was not until Amerigo Vespucci that anyone realized it was an entirely new continent. “The discovery of America was the foundational event of the Scientific Revolution.” (Harari, 288) The desire to expand european empire led to the discovery of a new continent. This discovery led to an increase in scientific curiosity, creating the Scientific Revolution. The scientific revolution itself led to an increase in capitalistic enterprises around Europe. Harari makes it clear to see that science, empire, and capitalism all push each other along.

I believe, as Harari argues, the idea of “progress” plays a pivotal role in the linkage of science, empire, and capitalism. Human beings are and have always been caught up in the idea that there is always something better. People are always looking to find the next best thing. This directly corresponds to what we have deemed progress. Through advancements in science, the expansions of empires, and capitalistic endeavors, we are able to find what we deem “better.” The desire to find something greater is how we justify science, empire, and capitalism.