The Option of Multiple Imperial Powers Working Together to Achieve a World-State

The history of nations and empires is one of competition and confict.  So it is no surprise that the next potential direction for development of a world-state is even less likely than those which have been examined previously.  Yet, it cannot be entirely ruled out.  While it is clearly virtually impossible for one nation or imperial power to dominate the entire world, it becomes possible that several powers, seeking a common goal, could join forces to achieve what one nation alone could not achieve– dominance over the rest of the world.

Sri Aurobindo describes this situation:  “Conceivably, if the task of organising the world proved too difficult, if no lasting agreement could be arrived at or no firmly constituted legal authority created, the task might be undertaken not by a single empire, but by two or three great imperial Powers sufficiently near in interest and united in idea to singk possible differences and jealousies and strong enough to dominate or crush all resistance and enforce some sort of effective international law and government.  The process would then be a painful one and might involve much brutality of moral and economic coercion, but if it commanded the prestige of success and evolved some tolerable form of legality and justice or even only of prosperous order, it might in the end conciliate a general moral support and prove a starting-point for freer and better forms.”

A major factor which has changed since Sri Aurobindo speculated on this option is the development of technologies which can allow even the smallest nations to wield a threat so immense that it would effectively act as a counter-weight to the might of the imperial Powers.  The rise of cyber-hacking, crypto-currency manipulation, biological weaponry, climate altering technologies, and nuclear weaponry all represent avenues that can work to undermine or neutralize the economic, military and political power of even the greatest of today’s world Powers.  And it must be noted that there are more than 2 or 3 such world Powers and they have definitely not aligned their agendas sufficiently to contemplate such a step.

Humanity has always tended to develop an internal unity in response to an external threat.  Perhaps climate change, or perhaps massive global economic disruption will wind up acting as the motive force to bring humanity together for the sake of its general survival.

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

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