The Journey 2 the Center of Progress

The link between science, empire, and capitalism is that they all benefit from one another. In the book, Harari notes that “most scientific studies are funded because somebody believes they can help attain some political, economic, or religious goal” (Harari,272). Here he points out that there is never any “true” science anymore, the willingness for countries or private companies to pay scientists to find the answer to a problem is not for the well-being of the population, it is rather to obtain the maximum profit. Harari also notes that all the colonialism and exploration done by the Europeans have traces of science, empire, and capitalism. He states that “the Spaniards conquered most of the Caribbean islands setting up chains of new colonies… colonists enslaved them [the natives] and set them to work in mines and plantations” (Harari, 292). The “discovery” of the new lands was pushed through political and fiscal interest. The Europeans were able to produce more food and other raw material and sell it to other countries for maximum profit, and that the control of more land meant that their country became more and more powerful. Exploration of the “New World” is covered with political and fiscal interest.

For Harari progress is an important part that drives his theory of the linkage of science, empire, and capitalism. Though, it is interesting to note that the term progress was unattainable. He notes that “Until the scientific Revolution most human cultures did not believe in progress” (Harari,264). The belief was that we were never going to find the answer to the big questions so many cultures believed that we could achieve an “X” amount of worth. I think that progress is a subjective term and that many times the use of the term overshadows the negative side effects of exploration.

1 thought on “The Journey 2 the Center of Progress”

  1. First, let me start by praising your title. I think it’s super clever and fits the theme of this week’s blog perfectly. Your first paragraph is really good, and you use the text well. You explain the capitalism and empirical aspects of the triangle in a way that is easy to understand. I would have liked to have the Scientific Revolution tied in a bit more, but you do explain your reasoning with the “true” science quote. I also agree with your views on the word progress. It’s true that progress was the furthest thing from most people’s minds before the Scientific Revolution, but I also think that while exploration in the name of “progress” produced detrimental effects on the world, the desire to learn new things, and progress into the future was a factor in linking empire, capitalism, and the Scientific Revolution.

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