The Drive Towards Supranational Unity and the Needed Conditions for a Stable and Unified Humanity

Humanity has shown an inherent drive to develop a larger unity than the nation-state, the current largest stable societal aggregate.  Past attempts at empire show the will, but failed because they attempted to create a larger unity through domination, suppression, and uniformity; the true solution must involve a unification that both brings together the human race, while at the same time preserves the vital needs for freedom and experimentation at the individual and community level, so that humanity continues to have the vital force to survive and thrive under new conditions that may arise in the future.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “The impulse to build more largely, the push towards the creation of considerable and even very vast supra-national aggregates has not been wanting; it has even been a permanent feature in the life-instincts of the race.  But the form it took was the desire of a strong nation for mastery over others, permanent possession of their territories, subjugation of their peoples, exploitation of their resources:  there was also an attempt at quasi-assimilation, an imposition of the culture of a dominant race and, in general, a system of absorption wholesale or as complete as possible.”

“…nothing has endured for more than a small number of centuries.  The method used was fundamentally unsound in as much as it contradicted other life-instincts which were necessary to the vitality and healthy evolution of mankind and the denial of which must end in some kind of stagnation and  arrested progress.”

“So, although the tendency to the creation of empire testifies to an urge in Nature towards larger unities of human life, — and we can see concealed in it a will to unite the disparate masses of humanity on a larger scale into a single coalescing or combined life-unit,– it must be regarded as an unsuccessful formation without a sequel and unserviceable for any further progress in this direction.  In actual fact a new attempt of world-wide domination could succeed only by a new instrumentation or under novel circumstances in englobing all the nations of the earth or persuading or forcing them into some kind of union.  An ideology, a successful combination of peoples with one aim and a powerful head like Communist Russia, might have a temporary success in bringing about such an objective.  But such an outcome, not very desirable in itself, would not be likely to ensure the creation of an enduring World-State.  There would be tendencies, resistances, urges towards other developments which would sooner or later bring about its collapse or some revolutionary change which would mean its disappearance.  Finally, any such stage would have to be overpassed; only the formation of a true World-State, either of a unitary but still elastic kind, — for a rigidly unitary State might bring about stagnation and decay of the springs of life, — or a union of free peoples could open the prospect of a sound and lasting world-order.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, A Postscript Chapter, pp. 317-318


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