Factors That Support Increasing Unification of Humanity

Sri Aurobindo has identified a number of factors that are driving humanity towards unity.  Subsequent to his analysis early in the 20th Century, we can see additional critical issues that require all of humanity to work together.  Specifically the impact of the industrial revolution on the climate, and the increasing challenge the entire world faces from climate change, along with the societal and economic and human disruptions that result therefrom, is in the forefront.  But there is also the increasing impact of technology to bring people all over the world together instantaneously, the speed and ease of world travel, and the increased danger of weaponry that could destroy the entire planet if unleashed through conflict between various nations.  There is also the enormous increase in world population and resource utilization and the resulting environmental impacts.

Sri Aurobindo observes the following trends that were evident at the time and which are, if anything, more visible today:  “…we see that a certain sort of unity or first step towards it appears not only to be possible, but to be more or less urgently demanded by an underlying spirit and sense of need in the race.  This spirit has been created largely by increased mutual knowledge and close communication, partly by the development of wider and freer intellectual ideals and emotional sympathies in the progressive mind of the race.  The sense of need is partly due to the demand for the satisfaction of these ideals and sympathies, partly to economic and other material changes which render the results of divided national life, war, commercial rivalry and consequent insecurity and peril to the complex and easily vulnerable modern social organisation more and more irksome both for the economic and political human animal and for the idealistic thinker.  Partly also the new turn is due to the desire of the successful nations to possess, enjoy and exploit the rest of the world at ease without the peril incurred by their own formidable rivalries and competitions and rather by some convenient understanding and compromise among themselves.  The real strength of this tendency is in its intellectual, idealistic and emotional parts.  Its economic causes are partly permanent and therefore elements of strength and secure fulfilment, partly artificial and temporary and therefore elements of insecurity and weakness.  The political incentives are the baser part in the amalgam; their presence may even vitiate the whole result and lead in the end to a necessary dissolution and reversal of whatever unity may be initially accomplished.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part I, Chapter 11, The Small Free Unit and the Larger Concentrated Unity, pg. 85