Nature places considerable emphasis on the physical and vital basis, both in terms of the various living beings and in terms of the societal forms that human beings create. Clearly the geographical contiguity, natural boundaries, and benefits for commerce and mutual protection have played a major role in the past in the foundation of societal groups and continue to play a major role today. It is also true that these rationales can and have been over-emphasized in order to justify forceful domination over peoples who were not ready or willing to accept the form of unity being proposed; thus, they need to be kept within a balanced perspective which looks also at moral and psychological unity as important factors as well. The moral approach of course is also subject to abusive over-extension, as we have seen wherever Western European powers used it to justify enslaving and controlling the lives of people whom they consider to be less civilised.
Sri Aurobindo notes: “…however liable to abuse by extension, vital necessity must be allowed a word in a world still dominated fundamentally by the law of force, however mitigated in its application, and by vital and physical necessity, so far at least as concerns natural geographical unities like Russia, the United Kingdom, even Austria within its natural frontiers.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 30, The Principle of Free Confederation, pp. 267-268