History has witnessed the attempt by various societies to impose their culture, religion, and economic and political systems on others, in many cases with the justification that one group or race or society was superior to others and thus had both the right and the duty to impose itself on the inferior society for the uplifting of those who had not previously had the benefit of the “enlightened” approach of that which claimed itself superior. Much of the 20th Century was occupied with addressing these issues and resolving them to such a degree, that long-standing imperial actions based on this concept were dissolved and numerous self-standing nations arose out of the ashes of empires. While there remain obviously some latent or occult remnants of this attitude, it is clear that in the interaction of the nations, such a stance can no longer be upheld and defended.
At the same time, the shrinking of the world through instant communications, high speed travel and ease of access to virtually any part of the planet, along with the growing recognition of common concerns that impact all of humanity, such as the environmental and climate issues, the allocation and availability of resources, and the need to address the impacts of the industrial revolution with respect to the air, land, and water, all act to push mankind beyond the old and worn out modes of thought that condone domination and control by one culture over another.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “This change in the movement and orientation of the world’s tendencies points to a law of interchange and adaptation and to the emergence of a new birth out of the meeting of many elements. … The recognition of the new truth had already commenced as a result of increased communication and the widening of knowledge. The value of variations had begun to be acknowledged and the old arrogant claims of this or that culture to impose itself and crush out all others were losing their force and self-confidence when the old outworn creed suddenly leaped up armed with the German sword to vindicate itself, if it might, before it perished. The only result has been to give added force and clear recognition to the truth it sought to deny.”
“The theory of “inferior” races, an inferiority and superiority measured by approximation to one’s own form of culture, has received what may well turn out to have been its death-blow. The seeds of a new order of things are being rapidly sown in the conscious mentality of the race.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 6, Ancient and Modern Methods of Empire, pg. 50