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Scientific Contribution to Militarization Essay

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Updated: Jun 22nd, 2020


Since the discovery of the modern day science, it has been used to advance the societal welfare in a similar way in which it has been applied in activities that contribute to the destruction of the societies. The later argument has been utilized by most socialists to attack the purpose of modern day science on ethical grounds. Since the turn of the 20th century science have been used to change the global social life mainly through the militarization process, which as argued by is not the main aim of great scientific inventors such as Louise Pasture (Latour 1983:143-169). The main argument in this paper is that the modern science has been primarily used to advance militarization process. The paper will be utilizing the arguments of Bruno Latour on his famous article “Give me a laboratory and I will raise the world” to contend that the current scientific laboratories, as opposed to the views of great inventors, are primarily used by the society to advance their political ideals through the militarization process, which results in the global transformations of social life.

Science shape the society

Latour argued that science shapes the society. Science enables the discovery of the solutions to the main societal problems. Scientific inventions and discoveries have shaped the social beliefs, goals and the direction of the life processes (Latour 1983:143-169). Latour argued that all the economic, social and political elements of the society are based and shaped by science. Whether examined from the micro-level, which is the scientific approach, or macro-level, the social approach, the whole idea culminates into science (Latour 1983:143-169). Latour argued that science stops and begins at the laboratory walls. In other words, scientific experiments conducted in the laboratories are used far and wide in various fields to advance economic, political and social agenda. Latour argued that even though great scientists and inventors main intentions were not to come up with products that may change the societal goals and norms, the outcome of their laboratory activities have resulted in the transformations the societies have experienced (Latour 1983:143-169).

Even though the context of the argument of Latour is between scientific view and social view, the whole idea is to bring forth the importance of science in shaping the societal goals. Latour argued that scientists make politics by other means. The means through which scientists make politics is within the laboratories (Latour 1983:143-169). Latour asserts that the laboratories make the future political power (Latour 1983:143-169). In other words, whether through inventing new products that will raise the economic wellbeing of the society or inventing weapons of mass destruction, the scientific laboratories are the main source. The inventions would finally be controlled by politics.

Latour used contradictions and irony to present his argument. For instance, Latour argued that “the challenge of laboratories to sociologists is similar to the challenge of laboratories to the society” (Latour 1983:143-169). In addition he argued that “laboratories can dismantle society and recompose it by the very content of what is actually happening inside” (Latour 1983:143-169). In other words, just the same way sociologists cannot make out the scientific processes, the same way the scientific actions remains abstract to the society. The similar manner in which scientific processes can be used to destroy the society is also the similar way through which scientific actions can be used to reshape the goals and objectives of the society through economic actions.

The modern day scientific activities promotes the militarization process

Basically, Latour presented the manner in which science have been used to advance the interests of the political class. Through the economic and political processes, science has been used in the militarization processes. In other words, scientific actions within the laboratories shape the powerful ideals of the day both politically or militarily. The arguments presented by Latour are critical in understanding how these processes interrelate. The argument by Latour is also supported by various authors such as Baader et al in their 2005 article “Pathways to Human Experimentation, 1933-1945: Germany, Japan, and the United States”.

In fact, Baader et al (2005) argued that the political classes have used scientific laboratories to produce military weapons used to advance their political ideologies. Baader et al (2005) viewed the laboratories used during the first and second world wars as critical examples through which science have been used militarily to advance the political ideals. Baader et al (2005) also argued that the militarization process still continue even up to today. Most of the countries spend huge sums of money on the military science laboratories to manufacture weapons or to test ways through which the effects of the weapons can be countered. Further, Baader et al (2005) argued that some of the scientific tests in the military laboratories involve lives of both animals and humans, which is unethical. Whether used to produce the weapons or counter effects, scientific processes within the military laboratories contributes hugely to the militarization due to its mass production of violence.

The possibilities of science militarization

From the Latour arguments, it can easily be deducted that scientific militarization is a process that originate from the very invention of science. Latour arguments rotate around the connections between science and other processes that form the core of society including social, economic and political. In other words, Latour argued that science is the fabric that connects all these processes (Latour 1983:143-169). Military actions arise from political ideologies, which are connected to the economic activities. The economic goals give rise to political ideals, which must be pursued through military means (Guesterson, 1998). The economic elements mainly arise from scientific inventions. Moreover, in order to attain the military objectives, science has to be involved. Such as the interconnectedness between these processes that bring about the complexity in the militarization progression within the wider context as argued by Latour. Therefore, Latour arguments remain critical in the understanding of the possibilities of science militarization that occur even today. The reason is that militarization through the modern day science is eminent than previously thought amidst increased awareness and ethical concerns (Michalczyk, 2003).


Since its invention science has been used in the militarization process. Through its institutions, science has been the main militarization tool. In fact science has been used in militarization just in the same way it has been used in shaping the society in terms of social, political and economic ideals. As argued by various scholars, science is still being used in the militarization process even currently. The only difference is the manner in which it is used in the process. However, the main objective remains the same. While in the last century science has been used to propagate violence, it is used currently to produce weapons that result in a widespread violence.

Reference Cited

Baader, Gerhard, Lederer, Susan E., Low, Morris, Schmaltz, Florian and Schwerin, Alexander, V.

2005 Pathways to Human Experimentation, 1933-1945: Germany, Japan, and the United States. OSIRIS, 20: 205-231. Guesterson, Hugh

1998. Nuclear Rites: A Weapon Laboratory at the End of the Cold War. California: University of California Press Latour, Bruno

1983 Give Me a Laboratory and I will Raiset he World. London: Sage. Michalczyk, John J.

2003 In The Shadow of Reich: Nazi medicine; The Cross and the Star. Web.

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