As England and then the United States took up the fight against the imperial German ambitions during both the First and the Second World War, they had to adopt systems and efficiency methods to compete effectively. The traditions of individual liberty which were previously the hallmark of these societies were modified to bring about an organised, highly disciplined approach to military and economic affairs, with the inevitable effect over time of a political effect as well. We can see today, looking back on that period, that the substantive changes brought about through the two world wars have had a lasting influence on modern day society throughout the world.
The development of a more cooperative form of mutual benefit in society has occurred to some degree everywhere, while it appears in more extreme and repressive forms in other places. The melding of the democratic ideal, starting from the principle of individual liberty, with the socialistic idea of providing for the needs of all citizens in a society, has brought about innovations such as labor laws, child labor laws, national health care programs, retirement programs, and, today, various controls on business to ameliorate the worst excesses of unrestrained liberty of businesses taking advantage of the people and the resources of the world without concern for long-term consequences or societal benefit.
Sri Aurobindo emphasizes the impact the war against Germany had on the eventual victors, in terms of their own societal developments: “Even if German militarism and Junkerism were destroyed, the collapse of the imperial form of government can only hasten the more thorough development and victory of that which has been working behind them and forcing them to minister to it, the great modern tendency of the perfectly organised socialistic State, while the evident result of the war in the nations opposed to her has been to force them more rapidly towards the same ideal.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 10, The United States of Europe, pp. 77-78