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What is the actual feasibility of a unified world order?

by Ashwin Sridhar1 min read23rd Dec 20202 comments


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Conflict and chaos are everywhere ; there seems to be no end to it coming anytime soon. This makes me wonder whether the system of opposing beliefs is keeping us from true unification. 

My hypothesis is this : Could the unification of the world be possible if cultural freedom was removed for a more ideological and rational system?

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Basically, you are reinventing what people like Marx said in the 19th century. Communist states spend a lot of effort on trying to unify people by removing cultural freedom and forcing an ideological and rational system on people. It turns out that trying to do so means that you have to use a lot of violence and have a lot of problems.

As far of listing ideas that created most damage in the 20st century this idea is one of the top ones that lead to millions of people dying. At the moment millions of people in Xinjiang suffer for it.

Even if you think putting millions into gulacs is worth it, because you want unification, there are questions about whether unification wouldn't create more new problems. A unified world order which central governance means that you get a governance system with more maze layers. 

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I think, like every other proposed utopia to date, any such system would 1) be horrible to live under, since it's would need to be a near-totalitarian system ruling over a large, non-homogeneous population nonconsensually, and 2) fall apart in five minutes through in-fighting, since no one actually has the ability to control what billions of people think and believe and do.

Also, your question depends heavily on drawing a boundary between culture and ideology that I suspect is fuzzier in practice than that. Suppose you succeed in unifying every human, and we all agree to live by a single set of ideals. What happens next? We have to figure out how to apply them, and how to resolve disagreements about how to apply them, because any ideals worth living by are complicated, and humans are not logically omniscient. We have to teach the next generation those ideals, and persuade or coerce them to live by them. Even if you define your system with mathematical precision, and go full Shining Garden, average humans will just be abiding by the output of a decision-making process they can't independently reproduce, and (after a while) much of which happened before they were born - aka culture.

Side note: the use of passive voice in your question is a big red flag for me. Who does the removing? 

Similarly, "the system of opposing beliefs" sidesteps the whole problem that (like Moloch), it isn't so much a system, no one instantiated it, it's just a consequence of us all being able to think and learn and not leading identical lives or having identical drives, wants, and needs.

Still, my answer is: trivially yes, that scenario would result in unification, but by default I would be extremely strongly opposed to any path that led in that direction, and would need a heck of a lot of convincing to even consider any proposal of that sort.