A World-Union or a World-State As Options for Human Unity

Given the widely diverse economic, religious, cultural and historical forms of government found in the world’s nations today, it is possible that the earliest, and perhaps the easiest form of human unity will come about through what may be called a “world-union”.  Something of that was envisioned in the founding of the United Nations.  Each nation-member would retain its own independence and unique factors of its existence, but would collaborate with other nations in a global body that would tackle the larger, common issues pressing for solution.  Obviously, the United Nations model was begun with limitations and flaws that have made it less than fully effective.  In more recent times, we see nations gathering for specific issue focus and resolution, such as the Paris Climate Accord.  Once again, the nations remain independent and collaborate freely.  Again, limitations prevent full implementation of such accords, and there is, neither in the United Nations model nor in the “accord” model, no enforcement or executive implementation mechanism to ensure that what is agreed upon is actually carried out.  Such limitations, when we recognize the grave danger inaction may pose for human existence, lead others to believe that only through a unified World-State that carries with it the organisational and enforcement mechanisms, can these crisis issues be truly resolved.

Sri Aurobindo notes:  “The idea of a world-union of free nations and empires, loose at first, but growing closer-knit with time and experience, seems at first sight the most practicable form of political unity; it is the only form indeed which would be immediately practicable, supposing the will to unity to become rapidly effective in the mind of the race.  On the other hand, it is the State idea which is now dominant.  The State has been the most successful and efficient means of unification and has been best able to meet the various needs which the progressive aggregate life of societies has created for itself and is still creating.  it is, besides, the expedient to which the human mind at present has grown accustomed, and it is too the most ready means both for its logical and its practical reason to work with because it provides it with what our limited intelligence is always tempted to think its best instrument, a clear-cut and precise machinery and a stringent method of organisation.  There it is by no means impossible that, even though beginning with a loose union, the nations may be rapidly moved by the pressure of the many problems which would arise from the ever closer interworking of their needs and interests, to convert it into the more stringent form of a World-State.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 23, Forms of Government, pg. 195