While Sri Aurobindo identifies the free association of independent nations as a likely, and more ideal, outcome for the development of a truly functional human unity, he also points out that there are numerous obstacles towards the realisation of this ideal in the current status of humanity. The imperialistic tendencies, and the biases of various societies in believing they are superior to and therefore have the right to control, dominate and change other societies, are the biggest hindrances that must first be resolved before this direction can become a functional reality. The development of the European Union, as well as the founding of the United Nations, represent the first signs that such a path actually could become a reality for a more mature humanity in the future.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “Every established order, because it is imperfect, because it insists on arrangements which come to be recognised as involving injustice or which stand in the way of new tendencies and forces, because it outlasts its utility and justification, must end in malaise, resistance and upheaval, must change itself or be changed or else lead to cataclysms such as periodically trouble our human advance. But the time has not come when the true principle of order can replace those which are artificial and imperfect. It is idle to hope for a federation of free nations until either the present inequalities between nation and nation are removed or else the whole world rises to a common culture based upon a higher moral and spiritual status than is now actual or possible.”
Various intermediate stages are possible, as the imperial tendencies are modified to address the realities and characteristics of the modern world. “…while a federation of free nations is for the present impossible, a system of federated empires and free nations drawn together in a closer association than the world has yet seen is not altogether impossible; and through this and other steps some form of political unity for mankind may be at a more or less distant date be realisable. (The appearance of Hitler and the colossal attempt at German world-domination have paradoxically helped by his defeat, and the reaction against him entirely altered the world circumstances: the United States of Europe is now a practical possibility and has begun to feel towards self-accomplishment.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 10, The United States of Europe, pp. 79-80