Challenges to a World-State That Permitted Freedom of Thought

A World-State, taking under its management not only the political and economic lives of the citizens of the world, but also the educational and other aspects of life, would face a challenge if it permitted freedom of thought, speech, association and religion.  In that case, the uniformity and efficiency of the system would be placed under siege by those who refused to accept the idea that the World-State should exercise control or rights over the actions of individuals.  There is today a strong libertarian sentiment in a number of places, particularly in the United States, which espouses the sovereign right of the individual to make his own decisions about his life, actions and speech, and any interference by government is looked upon, by this element, as an overreach and as unacceptable.  In a World-State, such a viewpoint would come into direct conflict with the rationale behind the World-State, and thus, could not be actually permitted to occur.

Sri Aurobindo describes the issue:  Supposing an all-regulating socialistic World-State to be established, freedom of thought under such a regime would necessarily mean a criticism not only of the details, but of the very principles of the existing state of things.  This criticism, if it is to look not to the dead past but to the future, could only take one direction, the direction of anarchism, whether of the spiritual Tolstoyan kind or else the intellectual anarchism which is now the creed of a small minority but still a growing force in many European countries.  It would declare the free development of the individual as its gospel and denounce government as an evil and no longer at all a necessary evil.  It would affirm the full and free religious, ethical, intellectual and temperamental growth of the individual from within as the true ideal of human life and all else as things not worth having at the price of the renunciation of this ideal, a renunciation which it would describe as the loss of his soul.  It would preach as the ideal of society a free association or brotherhood of individuals without government or any kind of compulsion.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 27, The Peril of the World-State, pg. 241