Understanding the Possibility and Risk of World Domination by a Single Dominant Power

Sri Aurobindo had essentially dismissed the likelihood of a single dominant power being able to gain effective world dominion, based on the state of affairs prior to 1920.  His subsequent review after the conclusion of the second world war, made it clear to him that the confluence of ambition, technology and massively destructive weapons of warfare, made that unlikely event somewhat more possible, although not necessarily highly likely.  The global power struggle called the “Cold War” represented the attempt of certain dominant powers, together with their allies, to break out of a pattern of “mutually assured destruction”  (aka M.A.D.) by finding a way to either secretly or through some newly invented means to gain the dominant position before the other side could react.  Tremendous amounts of research took place in the fields of biological weapons, developing of diseases that targeted specific racial groups for instance, as well as chemical, radioactive and nuclear weapons.  Stealth technologies were invented to find ways to deliver weaponry before the other side could react.   Government officials and military officers have even debated how to make a war, fought with such massively destructive weaponry on both sides “winnable”.  Luckily, to date, these attempts were met with counter-measures or sufficient “M.A.D.”  checks to prevent (or at least delay) ultimate disaster.  The issue has however not been resolved and remains a risk to the present day.

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “A dominant Power may be able to group round itself strong allies subordinated to it but still considerable in strength and resources and throw them into a world struggle with other Powers and peoples.  This possibility would be increased if the dominating Power managed to procure, even if only for the time being, a monopoly of an overwhelming superiority in the use of some of the tremendous means of aggressive military action which Science has set out to discover and effectively utilise.  The terror of destruction and even of large-scale extermination created by these ominous discoveries may bring about a will in the governments and peoples to ban and prevent the military use of these inventions, but, so long as the nature of mankind has not changed, this prevention must remain uncertain and precarious and an unscrupulous ambition may even get by it a chance of secrecy and surprise and the utilisation of a decisive moment which might conceivably give it victory and it might risk the tremendous chance.”



Sri Aurobindo, The Ideal of Human Unity, Part Two, A Postscript Chapter, pp. 318-319