The World-State and the Internal Political Systems of the Nations

As a World-State develops, the question of the status of the various nations and their varying political or politico-economic systems remains open.  On the one side, the populace of the various nations in many cases are very much attached to their own version of political organisation, whether it be representative democracy, monarchy, socialism, communism, democratic socialist or even an oligarchy.   The people get used to the system under which they have developed their national identity, and the educational system supports the political bent of the people.  Thus, it would be a debatable concept as to whether the World-State should try to create a uniform global political system, and if so, what form it should take.  On the other side, a case could be made for such a uniform system to ensure that the global community operates under one set of rules, assuming that a fair and balanced approach could be determined.

Sri Aurobindo takes up this question:  “But at least in the choice of their political system and in other spheres of their social life the nations might well be left to follow their own ideals and propensities and to be healthily and naturally free.  It may even be said that the nations would never tolerate any serious interference in these matters and that the attempt to use the World-State for such a purpose would be fatal to its existence.  But, as a matter of fact, the principle of political non-interference is likely to be much less admitted in the future than it has been in the past or is at present.  Always in times of great and passionate struggle between conflicting political ideas, — between oligarchy and democracy in ancient Greece, between the old regime and the ideas of the French Revolution in modern Europe, — the principle of political non-interference has gone to the wall.  But now we see another phenomenon — the opposite principle of interference slowly erecting itself into a conscious rule of international life.  There is more and more possible an intervention like the American interference in Cuba, not on avowed grounds of national interest, but ostensibly on behalf of liberty, constitutionalism and democracy or of an opposite social and political principle, on international grounds therefore and practically in the force of this idea that the internal arrangements of a country concern, under certain conditions of disorder or insufficiency, not only itself, but its neighbors and humanity at large.”

We have seen this idea of inserting political systems onto countries under international pressure expanded with the conclusion of World War II.  Japan was forced to adopt a constitution of representative democracy, reducing the role of the Emperor and the imperial court to one of figurehead status in the political realm.

It is thus likely that eventually, the World-State will find that it cannot avoid taking up the question of the internal political organisation of nations, even if this is left for a period of time as a secondary activity.

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 26, The Need of Administrative Unity, pp. 230-231