The Limitations of the Idea of a United States of Europe

It is evident that the pressure of human development is pushing humanity beyond the narrow limits of a national view to encompass the entirety of humanity in some framework or another.  The imperial idea seems to have expended its energy and humanity is seeking for other formulations that may balance the various needs of the different peoples, cultures, religions, economic systems, etc. that are found around the world.  The once dominant European nations have had to recognise that the world has changed and there is a rising awareness and energy in Asia, Africa, and in the Americas that does not permit European domination as the primary factor in world governance.

As the world reacted to the cataclysmic events of the Second World War, several concepts arose that remain active yet today.  One of those was the development of a large number of newly independent nations, and the joining of those countries into the development of the United Nations.   Another one was the development of the European Union into a coordinated economic bloc and the eventual removal of travel restrictions, visas, border controls and the development, for the major portion of the EU of a common currency.  This developed a powerful political and economic bloc that could rival the development of the United States as a major power, as well as the rise of the Soviet bloc.  Eventually Asia also awakened and we see the rise of Japan, China and now India as major world players economically and politically.  The world could be polarised by these large blocs, as was raised by George Orwell in his dystopian novel 1984 which foresaw 3 major world power blocs constantly grappling with each other and holding dominion over the entire world and its peoples.

Sri Aurobindo raises the question as to whether this development of major groupings is in fact the direction that humanity needs to follow, or whether it is an interim idea that must be overpassed in order to achieve a wider, more comprehensive form of human unity:

“…the chief objection to the idea of a United States of Europe is that the general sense of humanity is already seeking to travel beyond its continental distinctions and make them subordinate to a larger human idea.  A division on the continental basis might therefore be from this point of view a reactionary step of the gravest kind and might be attended with the most serious consequences to human progress.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 10, The United States of Europe, pg. 81

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