The End of the Monarchical Idea as a Concept for Ruling a World-State

Throughout human history, we have seen a unifying force develop around a strong central ruler or ruling elite, whether called king, monarch, emperor, kaiser, tsar, etc.  The ruler was able to consolidate and focus the loose confederation of districts, communities, zones, provinces or fiefdoms into a nation (or in some cases an empire), organized on lines which brought about unity, and an efficiency of action and interaction, as well as creation of a force for defense (or offense) that could not be undertaken by looser confederations or smaller independent entities.  Past experience therefore would suggest that such a consolidating monarchical force may be needed, or at least attempted, to achieve world unification.  Indeed, the experience of the 20th century, with the rise of the Third Reich in Germany, together with their allies in Japan and Italy, shows that the concept of world domination by a small group of powerful leaders still held sway.  Subsequently, the rise of Soviet and American hegemony and the cold war showed yet another attempt at unifying the world around a small number of all-powerful states.  In all these cases, however, the complexity of the world in its current state of development, and the awakening of large masses of people to the world around them, and their needs and rights to be governed by their own will (furthered by the idealism of the American revolution, the stated principles of the French revolution, and the independence movements that broke up the industrial empires of Europe that spanned the globe until the end of the 2nd World War) led to the failure of the monarchical model to create any kind of a world-dominating role for itself.

Sri Aurobindo notes, referencing the idea of monarchical attempts to consolidate and rule a world-state:  “But that resource is no longer as easily open to us in the new conditions of human society, whatever dreams may in the past have entered into the minds of powerful nations or their Czars and Kaisers.  The monarchical idea itself is beginning to pass away after a brief and fallacious attempt at persistence and revival. … The social aggregates have ripened into self-conscious maturity and no longer stand in need of a hereditary kingship to do their governing work for them or even to stand for them … or else it becomes a source of offense, a restraint to the growing democratic spirit of the peoples and to a greater or less degree a centre, a refuge or at least an opportunity for the forces of reaction.  Its prestige and popularity tend therefore not to increase but to decline, and at some crisis when it comes too strongly into conflict with the sentiment of the nation, it falls with small chance of lasting revival.”

“The continent of Europe seems destined to become in time as universally republican as the two Americas.  For kingship there is now only a survival of the world’s past; it has no deep root in the practical needs or the ideals or the temperament of present-day humanity.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 23, Forms of Government, pp. 196-197