In the early 20th Century, Sri Aurobindo correctly foresaw both the potential of a free grouping of independent nations, maintaining their separate ways, but collaborating together in the world to address the larger issues of humanity on the planet, and the impossibility of realisation of such a dream as long as the spirit of conquest and imperial domination remained active.
After the end of the First World War, there was, to be sure, the attempt to develop a League of Nations; yet this attempt failed, as imperial ambitions still dominated the relations between nations. It took the Second World War, and the subsequent dissolution of the hold of European nations over their far-flung colonies, to usher in both the development of a large number of new independent nations, and the founding of the United Nations, and more recently the development of the E.U.
Despite these forward movements, however, the imperial force remains active and thus prevents the true realisation of the potential of these developments.
Sri Aurobindo notes the ideal as “…a new ordering of the world on the basis of a system of independent but increasingly organised national States associated together more or less closely for international purposes while preserving their independent existence. Such is the ideal which has attracted the human mind as a yet distant possibility since the great revolutionary ferment set in; it is the idea of a federation of free nations, the parliament of man, the federation of the world.”
“But the actual circumstances forbid any hope of such an ideal consummation in the near future. For the nationalistic, democratic and socialistic ideas are not alone at work in the world; imperialism is equally in the ascendant.”
“National egoism, the pride of domination and the desire of expansion still govern the mind of humanity, however modified they may now be in their methods by the first weak beginnings of higher motives and a better national morality, and until this spirit is radically changed, the union of the human race by a federation of free nations must remain a noble chimera.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 10, The United States of Europe, pp. 78-79