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SOCTEC 2 Science, Technology and Society 2 Master Lecture: Dr.

Robert Javier, Department of Psychology, W602 DLSU-M Key Concept Points for Understanding: o Science, Technology and Capitalism The dominant economic system associated with the development process is a capitalist economy which replaced the traditional agricultural economy. This type of economy, which is an outcome of the industrialization process, accomplished such through the rise of new entrepreneurs and the expansion of markets. Underdeveloped and traditional economies are usually seen as closed and backward, in which there is an oversupply of labor which are not fully employed to their productive capacities. This type of economy is dominated by a subsistence sector, which is mainly based on family labor and with low labor productivity, and low levels of capital investments. Capitalism took off as an economic system through the emergence of the capitalist sector, which replaced the subsistence sector, as the dominant sector in the economy. This was attended by the effective mobilization of capital and productive resources which enabled productive investment in the manufacturing sector to become a significant part of national income. Soon after, these investments went to other sectors and led to a situation in which population growth was overtaken by economic growth. The increase in investments, which was supported by an increase in the rate of savings, is what drove the capitalist sector to grow significantly. The final stage of capitalism, as discussed by Rostow in his five-stage theory of growth, is a society of high mass consumption. This society is characterized by growth in employment opportunities, increase in national income, a continuing rise in consumer demands, and the formation of a strong domestic market. One of the key challenges which any development process always contends with is the incidence of poverty. This phenomenon has been characterized as a vicious cycle. On the demand side, low incomes of the general population lead to low demands for products. This then dampens the incentives for private investments that further lead to low productivity. Low productivity eventually leads to low income. On the supply side of the poverty cycle, low income leads to low savings. Low savings in turn reduce the levels of capital, which consequently leads to low productivity. Low productivity eventually leads to low income. In order for a system to break out of this cycle, a strong incentive system for investments needs to be created. There is also a need to expand markets by balancing capital investments in a number of key industrial sectors.

It is in this context that science and technology can play an important role. In addition to financial investments in labor and materials, expansion in industry can also be achieved by investments in science and technology. The industrial revolution in Europe was enabled by developments in science and technology, and capitalisms rise was influenced by advances in technological expertise. The development of new machines and methods enabled the development of new production processes. The increasing capacity of the capitalist economy to expand was enabled by the conversion of raw materials into commodities, and the search for new materials and sources of energy. Scientific and technological developments in agriculture, such as biotechnology and agricultural engineering, enhanced the land productivity and modernized agricultural production. Advances in information technology and developments in computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics have also enhanced the productivity of work.

Science, Technology and Globalization The decades prior to the early 1970s were characterized by a capitalist world economy dominated by growing commodity trade among capitalist economies, and the internationalization of commercial capital. This increasing internationalization of productive capital, manifested in the transfer of industrial production from the industrialized countries to the developing countries resulted to a new international division of labor. The transformation in the production process and the emergence of new patterns in industrial growth in the developing countries, formerly referred to as the Third World but has since become the South, were facilitated by the following social and technological developments: The emergence in the developing economies of an increasing reserve army of comparatively cheap labor. The emergence of subcontracting as a practice, wherein advances in technology enabled the splitting up of the production process into constituent parts, some of which can be executed even by unskilled or quickly trained, semi-skilled workforce. The emergence of the information superhighway, enabled by technological advances in transportation and telecommunication. Globalization is a process that is different from and goes beyond the process of transnationalization or internationalization of capital. Internationalization of capital involves merely the relocation of certain production processes to other countries, including developing countries. An example is a Japanese-based company relocating its assembly plants to the Philippines.

On the other hand, globalization involves a deliberate restructuring of manufacturing, trade, and services within a system that is global in scale. In this context, the actors are no longer national companies that relocate limited and specialized parts of their production processes to developing countries, but instead are globally oriented megacorporations or transnational corporations (TNCs) that organize their entire production and sales as a world-wide operation. This latter type of globalization is enabled both by a rapid growth of global financial markets resulting from the deregulation of financial transactions, as well as technological developments in information technology that allow corporations to run their operations on a global scale through computer hook-ups, teleconferencing, and the development of electronic banking and financial transactions. This development is called technocapitalism, and is associated with the enhanced movement of money, ideas, products, design and services within societies and across societies.