The Ideological Struggle Between Capitalism and Communism and the Need for a Basis for Coexistence

The main issue that prevents the United Nations from achieving the eventual result of a world union is the competition of opposing world views and economic models between the capitalistic and the communistic directions.  Communism was born in Russia through an intense revolutionary struggle, and the adherents of that particular ideology came to believe that they not only had the solution that humanity required, but that the only way to bring about the success of their ideology was to repeat their experience of revolution on a world-scale.  This outlook drew an inevitable counter-resistance from those who supported the status quo of the capitalistic model.  The resultant development of two heavily armed and opposing camps  then led to the sense that they could not both exist in the world at the same time, and thus, the idea was that one way or the other, one had to prevail over the other.  This ideological struggle resulted in the cold war and the outbreak of several “hot” wars by proxy states representing the interests or needs of the lead powers on each side.  The United Nations has been hobbled by this struggle and can only emerge in the development of the world-union if and when an accommodation is developed that permits them to mutually exist and relate to one another, or they each undergo sufficient modification within themselves to render them more capable of peaceful interchange.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “If much of the unease, the sense of inevitable struggle, the difficulty of mutual toleration and economic accommodation still exists, it is rather because the idea of using the ideological struggle as a means for world-domination is there and keeps the nations in a position of mutual apprehension and preparation for armed defence and attack than because the coexistence of the two ideologies is impossible.  If this element is eliminated, a world in which these two ideologies could live togehter, arrive at an economic interchange, draw closer together, need not be at all out of the question; for the world is moving towards a greater development of the principle of State control over the life of the community, and a congeries of socialistic States on the one hand, and on the other, of States coordinating and controlling a modified Capitalism might well come to exist side by side and develop friendly relations with each other.  Even a World-State in which both could keep their own institutions and sit in a common assembly might come into being and a single world-union on this foundation would not be impossible.  This development is indeed the final outcome which the foundation of the U.N.O. presupposes; for the present organisation cannot be itself final, it is only an imperfect beginning useful and necessary as a primary nucleus of that larger institution in which all the peoples of the earth can meet each other in a single international unity: the creation of a World-State is, in a movement of this kind, the one logical and inevitable ultimate outcome.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, A Postscript Chapter, pp. 313-315