The Invention of Politics and Social Structure

Governments and religions should fear electrical machines and air pumps because that is what ends up shaping what governments and religions circle around. Time after time, Johnson shows us an “invention” or discovery from Priestley which shapes and molds what happens afterwards. What I took from the book is how scientific inventions and politics play off of each other. Most people would argue that religion and governments always have to adapt to the times of science and revolution. I see it as the governments and the religions being the driving force behind some of those scientific bursts of discovery and invention. However this book clearly shows that the inventions control the governments and religions of the day. Imagine if a new candidate running for the presidency, or a new minister at a church said a statement like “The world we live and breathe on is flat.” We would immediately discredit them for lack of knowledge of the times and not believing in what science has given us today. Johnson does a great job of showing how the “inventors” of the world manipulate it to their benefit.


Johnson sheds light onto a few of “electrical machines” of today’s world. On pg. 229, Johnson talks about how global warming, stem-cell research, intelligent design, neuroscience, atomic energy, and the genomic revolution discoveries are being bound up in our social and political affairs. Beliefs, religions, and politics are going to be directly affected by these discoveries because of how the social atmosphere will take in the information of these recent studies. Overall, it’s crazy to see how much the United States and the rest of the world today is consistently evolving its social aspects of life from these inventions and science. I think atomic energy has the most of the world’s attention right now, and you can see the social and political nature that comes with that. Global Warming also has a huge political attachment to it, and it will be interesting to see how the political atmosphere changes with more research always expanding


2 thoughts on “The Invention of Politics and Social Structure”

  1. I really appreciate your emphasis here on how interconnected science, technology, and religion are intertwined forces. I think you steer a little bit away on why Johnson says governments should fear them, but I agree that it is less about fear and more about understanding how and why things progress. I like where you are going on the issue of climate change being such an important political and scientific topic and I would like to hear more about why they are so strongly connected.

  2. I agree with you on the fact that scientific discoveries motivates Government change. I also thought that Government and religion motivated scientific discoveries instead of the other way around. I also agree with your opinion on Governments and religions being scared of our new discoveries and how they need to adapt to them like they have throughout history.

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