A Free World-Union Based on Self-Determination as an Alternative to the Status Quo Methodology

Historically, groupings of humanity have consistently been based predominantly on physical and vital convenience, benefits or natural boundaries.  Those that became empires extended their reach from their local area to larger and larger areas, based on their own unique strengths and opportunities.  The Roman Empire was based on an extension over land, as were others such as the Persian, Moghul, Mongol, Russian and that of Napoleonic France.  The British Empire was based on sea power and thus, was able to span the globe opportunistically.  There is a historical momentum at work to try to follow a similar process in creating a world-government.

Sri Aurobindo examines what shape human aggregates would take if they were based, not on the physical and vital principles, but on the basis of psychological unity and affinity:

“A free world-union must in its very nature be a complex unity based on a diversity and that diversity must be based on free self-determination.  A mechanical unitarian system would regard in its idea the geographical groupings of men as so many conveniences for provincial division, for the convenience of administration, much in the same spirit as the French Revolution reconstituted France with an entire disregard of old natural and historic divisions.  It would regard mankind as one single nation and it would try to efface the old separative national spirit altogether; it would arrange its system probably by continents and subdivide the continents by convenient geographical demarcations.  In this other, quite opposite idea, the geographical, the physical principle of union would be subordinated to a psychological principle; for not a mechanical division, but a living diversity would be its object.  If this object is to be secured, the peoples of humanity must be allowed to group themselves according to their free will and their natural affinities; no constraint or force could be allowed to compel an unwilling nation or distinct grouping of peoples to enter into another system or join itself or remain joined to it for the convenience, aggrandisement or political necessity of another people or even for the general convenience, in disregard of its own wishes.  Nations or countries widely divided from each other geographically like England and Canada  or England and Australia might cohere together.  Nations closely grouped locally might choose to stand apart, like England and Ireland or like Finland and Russia.  Unity would be the largest principle of life, but freedom would be its foundation-stone. (Necessarily to every principle there must be in application a reasonable limit; otherwise fantastic and impracticable absurdities might take the place of a living truth.)”

In an age of digital management,  communication and instantaneous global interaction, it becomes much easier to see how distance can be bridged to bring together affinities regardless of physical separation.

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, Chapter 31, The Conditions of a Free World-Union, pg. 270