The Historical Imperative of the Development of the World-State

Very few people take the long view of an historical perspective on changes in society and organisational or economic systems.  Yet, there is a trend that becomes obvious over time as certain ideas gain power and begin to influence the way societies respond to the pressures of the moment.  Short-term political or economic changes driven by circumstances represent “noise” while the longer-term trend line is the “signal” that we can identify when we filter out the “noise”.  Using this analysis, we can identify a clear trend towards larger and more centralised groupings of humanity superceding smaller and more diffuse groupings.  This trend line points toward the eventual development of a world-state as the central authority managing the affairs of humanity.  The “noise” we identify as the resistance of nations or cultural, language, racial or economic system groups that seek to maintain and enhance their position and gain or maintain their predominance.  Eventually, as history shows us, these more limited forms give way as humanity moves to its next level of organisational integration in the next stage of its development.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “This, then is the extreme possible form of a World-State, the form dreamed of by the socialistic, scientific, humanitarian thinkers who represent the modern mind at its highest point of self-consciousness and are therefore able to detect the trend of its tendencies, though to the half-rationalised mind of the ordinary man whose view does not go beyond the day and its immediate morrow, their speculations may seem to be chimerical and utopian.  In reality they are nothing of the kind; in their essence, not necessarily in their form, they are, as we have seen, not only the logical outcome, but the inevitable practical last end of the incipient urge towards human unity, if it is pursued by a principle of mechanical unification, — that is to say, by the principle of the State.  …  The State principle leads necessarily to uniformity, regulation, mechanisation; its inevitable end is socialism.  There is nothing fortuitous, no room for chance in political and social development, and the emergence of socialism was no accident or a thing that might or might not have been, but the inevitable result contained int he very seed of the State idea.  It was inevitable from the moment that idea began to be hammered out in practice.  The work of the Alfreds and Charlemagnes and other premature national or imperial unifiers contained this as a sure result, for men work almost always without knowing for what they have worked.  But in modern times the signs are so clear that we need not be deceived or imagine, when we begin to lay a mechanical base for world-unification, that the result contained in the very effort will not insist on developing, however far-off it may seem at present from any immediate or even any distant possibilities.  A strict unification, a vast uniformity, a regulated socialisation of united mankind will be the predestined fruit of our labour.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 27, The Peril of the World-State, pp. 235-236