Another Possibility for the Evolution of a World-State

Sri Aurobindo systematically explores a variety of potential lines of development for the evolution of a World-State.  While some of these lines are not highly likely, it is valuable to review them so as to understand both the complexity and the variables that could lead to one result or another. Sri Aurobindo looks back at the development of the nation-state concept to show that where there were a number of relatively equal but separate powers vying for dominance and continually challenging one another, Nature eventually created the super-dominance of a feudal king to bring the disparate power-centers under a unified centralised control.  Similarly, there might need to evolve a “king-nation” which would play such a role.   This has a low likelihood both because finding a nation that has both the power and the will to take such a role without abusing the position (and thereby gaining the animosity of the rest of the world, with the attendant consequences), and which is able to leverage its position to one of dominance over other power centers in the world, is not easily envisioned in any view of today’s world.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “…so conceivably, if the empires and nations of the world failed to arrive at a peaceful solution among themselves, if the class troubles, the inter-commercial troubles, the conflict of various new ideas and tendencies resulted in a long confusion and turmoil and constant changing, there might emerge a king-nation with the mission of evolving a real and settled out of a semi-chaotic or half order.  We have concluded that the military conquest of the world by a single nation is not possible except under conditions which do not exit and of which there is as yet no visible prospect.  But an imperial nation, such as England for example, spread all over the world, possessing the empire of the seas, knowing how to federate successfully its constituent parts and organise their entire potential strength, having the skill to make itself the representative  and protector of the most progressive and liberal tendencies of the new times, allying itself with other forces and nations interested in their triumph and showing that it had the secret of a just and effective international organisation, might conceivably become the arbiter of nations and the effective centre of an international government.  Such a possibility in any form is as yet extremely remote, but it could become under new circumstances a realisable possibility of the future.”

When this was written, England was a dominant world-power with colonies or affiliated nations stretched across virtually all continents.  While it is clear that the breakup of the British Empire forestalled England as the possible lynch-pin of such a development, the concept remains one that Nature could take up at some point in the future through some other powerful entity existent at that time.

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part One, Chapter 15, Some Lines of Fulfilment, pp. 132-133