Thoughtful human beings recognize that the scale, scope and destructive power of modern warfare, and the proliferation of weapons that can have incalculable and irreparably harmful side effects, such as nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, means that it is perhaps the highest priority for humanity to find a way out of the inevitable outbreak of war. After the First World War, the determination was made that a League of Nations working in concert, and a suppression of the aggressive power that started that particular war, would solve the problem and it became known as “the war to end all wars”. That illusion was soon shattered as the League of Nations was unable to carry out any real mission to bring human harmony when the underlying competition and economic egoism of the various nations, who maintained their own military force as well, made such an attempt utterly impossible. Soon it was seen that the suppressed power of Germany was able to rise up, re-arm, re-militarize and could react to the brutal impact of the suppression with a renewed vigor and a determination to put itself on an equal, or perhaps even, a superior footing to those who had defeated it in the First World War. The United Nations came after that war, but it too has no real and substantive power to enforce anything, and the institution of the veto by a select group of major powers ensures that the competition can go on unabated, and eventually, warfare becomes inevitable. Subsequent development of horrific weaponry that can bring on total destruction makes the stakes involved much higher, but no one has yet addressed the underlying causes and provided a solution.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “…how is war to be entirely prevented if the old state of commercial rivalry between politically separate nations is to be perpetuated? If peace is still to be a covert war, an organisation of strife and rivalry, how is the physical shock to be prevented? It may be said, through the regulation of the inevitable strife and rivalry by a state of law as in the competitive commercial life of a nation before the advent of Socialism. But that was only possible because the competing individuals or combines were part of a single social organism subject to a single governmental authority and unable to assert their individual will of existence against it. Such a regulation between nations can therefore have no other conclusion, logically or practically, than the formation of a centralised World-State.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 25, War and the Need of Economic Unity, pg. 220