Evaluating Pros and Cons in the Development of a World-State

When we look at the various options available for the future of humanity, and determine to put our efforts behind one or another direction, it is useful to look at the larger picture, not just of immediate results but also longer term impacts that may eventuate.  The development of a single World-State managing the life of humanity on the planet is certainly one of the more likely eventualities, and thus, it is useful to try to evaluate what effects it may have.

Sri Aurobindo observes in this regard:  “In all probability the results would be, with all allowance for the great difference between then and now, very much the same in essence as those which we observe in the ancient Roman Empire.  On the credit side, we should have first one enormous gain, the assured peace of the world. …  Peace assured, there would be an unparalleled development of ease and well-being.  A great number of outstanding problems would be solved by the united intelligence of mankind working no longer in fragments but as one.  The vital life of the race would settle down into an assured rational order comfortable, well-regulated, well-informed, with a satisfactory machinery for meeting all difficulties, exigencies and problems with the least possible friction, disturbance and mere uncertainty of adventure and peril.  At first, there would be a great cultural and intellectual efflorescence.  Science would organize itself for the betterment of human life and the increase of knowledge and mechanical efficiency.  The various cultures of the world — those that still exist as separate realities — would not only exchange ideas more intimately, but would throw their gains into one common fund, and new motives and forms would arise for a time in thought and literature and Art.  Men would meet each other much more closely and completely than before, develop a greater mutual understanding rid of many accidental motives of strife, hatred and repugnance which now exist, and arrive, if not at brotherhood, — which cannot come by mere political, social and cultural union, — yet at some imitation of it, a sufficiently kindly association and interchange.”

With such an enormous number of positive elements, however, humanity must also reckon with the downside:  “But after a time, there would be a dying down of force, a static condition of the human mind and life, then stagnation, decay, disintegration.  The soul of man would begin to wither in the midst of his acquisitions.”


Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 27, The Peril of the World-State, pp. 236-238