Transitional Stages Toward a Free and Natural Grouping of Humanity

The heterogeneous imperial grouping has been attempted several times in the past.  This involves bringing together under one administrative, economic and political system diverse peoples and cultures.  This has generally been accomplished through military force and has also generally dissolved at the point that the military and economic controls weakened, because no true psychological unity had been actually created, or at least, it was only partial in nature.  This unit however may be part of Nature’s attempt to test the principles of the unification of all of humanity with the wide diversity of cultures, languages, religions, social and economic systems and political ideas.  It would however necessarily be purely a transitional stage as the creation of the true psychological unity among diverse cultural traditions must necessarily go beyond the principle of enforced unity.

Sri Aurobindo has identified the ultimate form of human unity as being a free and natural grouping of humanity and in order for this to occur, the diversities and cultural uniqueness of the various peoples of the earth must be respected and honored.  Otherwise, force and suppression must be utilized and this does not lead to psychological unity or long-term stability.

Sri Aurobindo observes, with respect to the transitional role of heterogeneous imperial units:  “Imperial unities of this kind must be admitted as a possible, but by no means an inevitable next step in human aggregation easier to realise than a united mankind in present conditions; but such unities could have only two rational purposes, one as a half-way house to the unity of all nations of the world and an experiment in administrative and economic confederation on a large scale, the other as a means of habituating nations of different race, traditions, colour, civilization to dwell together in a common political family as the whole human race would have to dwell in any scheme of unity which respected the principle of variation and did not compel a dead level of uniformity.  The imperial heterogeneous unit has a value in Nature’s processes only as a means towards this greater unity and, where not maintained afterwards by some natural attraction or by some miracle of entire fusion, — a thing improbable, if possible, — would cease to exist once the greater unity was accomplished.”

“On this line of development also and indeed on any line of development the principle of a free and natural grouping of peoples must be the eventual conclusion, the final and perfect basis.  It must be so because on no other foundation could the unification of mankind be secure or sound.  And it must be so because once unification is firmly accomplished and war and jealous national competition replaced by better methods of intercourse and mutual adjustment, there can be no object in maintaining any other more artificial system, and therefore both reason and convenience would compel the change.  The institution of a natural system of grouping would become as much a matter of course as the administrative arrangement of a country according to its natural provinces.”



Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 18, The Ideal Solution — A Free Grouping of Mankind, pp. 160-162


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