The Power of Knowledge in the Era of Globalization: Conquering Nature, Manipulating Humans, and Controlling Society

Victor Shaw


Knowledge produced by individual academicians in various disciplines provides legitimization and knowhow for established institutions and dominant practices in the era of globalization. This paper explores how scientific discoveries are used to exploit and control nature, how technological inventions are applied by corporate management to turn human and material capitals into maximum profit, and how theories and policy strategies are developed by powerholders to deal with people and rule society.
Scientists study nature in physics, biology, and other disciplines to understand the environment in which humans live. But once knowledge about the universe is obtained, it is used by the military, government, and corporation to conquer nature. Researchers study human body and mind to alleviate suffering, raise productivity, or maximize potentials. However, as soon as knowledge about humans is learned, it is applied to attain practical goals in profit, management, and social control. Scholars study group dynamics, social movements, and conflict resolutions to minimize human friction for a harmonious social life. But when knowledge about society is gained, it is employed by one group to take advantage of another, generally by the rich and powerful to supervise or oppress the poor and powerless.
In all, individual academicians discover, create, and expand knowledge. Corporations, militaries, and governments accumulate wealth, gain power, and win control when they use knowledge to transform natural environments, exploit human capitals, and manipulate social processes. While everyone cheers on the success of knowledge, nobody sighs at the belittlement of individual knowledge seekers at the mercy of dominant social organizations.


Knowledge. Power. Conquest of nature. Human manipulation. Social control.

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Revista Diálogos Possíveis. ISSN impresso 1677-7603
ISSN eletrônico 2447-9047