Uniting Mankind – The reality of an Ideal

The unity of mankind is a reoccurring goal that has inspired politicians and religious leaders alike. Alas, or to be more appropriate, fortunately, the aspiration has proven to be elusive. That might be no accident. The “politicians” of the cause have generally been murderous malefactors and the “religious leaders” tended to be fanatics convinced that noble ends excuse their so willingly applied dirty means.

Yes, the evils on our record might have been avoided if only man’s similarities and common purpose, and not his differences, would have determined our development. But it was not so. The question is, whether this is due to an accident, an oversight, confusion, or bad communication. The case argued here will be that such explanations represent pleasing tales to facilitate an easy future break with the past. In fact, it would seem that the cited imperfection of our record expresses the limitations of the otherwise so talented homo sapiens. If so, achieving heaven on earth is more than difficult; it is impossible. Therefore, the pursuit of the lofty ideal we chase imperils what we could achieve on the ground.

If all men would be able to be of the same mind and if that would include a commitment to brotherly cooperation, then the dream of “one world” would be doable. Such unanimity not being possible, the rational problem-solver does not advocate what cannot be, instead he concentrates on the best system that, being imperfect, we can have. That implies creating relatively small communities that enjoy the loyalty and support of their fitting members. Such entities can hope to get along in selected areas according to certain mutually agreed upon and therefore binding rules. Call the “entities” nations and the “rules” of their interaction international law. Wanting to do more is like wishing to practice rocket science without inventing the wheel.

Wishing for what we cannot have has given us nothing but blood, sweat, and tears – but without a chance for that a final Churchillian triumph to justify the down-payment.

The unity of mankind exists only in superficialities. Like our finger-prints, we are different in the areas that count and, significantly, it is those differences that define us as individuals and as tribes. One might add, they also identify free men as freedom is the right to be different as long as that does not hurt others. Ignoring this betrays more than only a slogan-minted irrational view of reality. Wanting to proceed as though the premise of homogeneity would hold water means that, once the effort is institutionalized, when it becomes a governing movement’s program, an unlimited amount of violence will be unleashed against those that “do not fit”.

At first sight, the assertion that the pursuit of harmony, and cooperation in peace can be tied to violence might appear to be a contradiction. Alas, that is not quite so.

To argue the point, we must begin with a definition of human nature. It is embedded in us that we are individualistic, somewhat egoistic, and correspondingly competitive. We can cooperate for the sake of limited mutual ends and we do enjoy the resulting approval of our fellows with whom we share a community and interests. At the same time, we are also endowed with the desire to stand out and to make our mark according to our special contribution. The success of our species is the result of this combination of cooperation and a probing, nonconforming, individualism.

The collectivists, who advocate the merger of mankind in order to save it from the harm that, as they pretend, it might cause to itself, are intent to suppress individualism for the sake of unity and discipline. In doing so they believe that human nature can not only be tamed but that it can also be altered. Hitler’s project had been to do this by racial selection, and Stalin’s applied terror to extort obedience expecting that it would become an inherited trait. Prophets are predestined to be frustrated -they advocate what people do not undertake of their own volition- and it is decisive that practicing terrorists are frustrated redeemers.

Once an elite, composed of the True Believers of an ideology, decides to go into battle to alter human nature, it meets resistance. Before long, it will conclude that the refusal to accept its norms and teachings cannot be overcome by lecturing and by pressure limited to disapproval limited to raised-eye-brows. Before acquiring power, the original doctrine might have drawn legitimacy from labeling itself as democratic. However, this concept of democracy is flawed: it assumes the common identity of what is inherently different, and because it holds that imposed conformity will result in unanimity.

True democrats only stipulate limited equality and so, to protect the individual, they cap political power. Genuine democrats expect and accept a diversity of opinions and therefore their concern will be to institutionalize their articulation and to incorporate the conflict of views in a system that guarantees fair and reasonable decisions. Authoritarians that use equalitarian democracy as a tool, assume in practice that the opposition to their “correct” course expresses an incurable obsession that is evil. Evil needs to be expunged and no institutional measures need to be created to accommodate and protect dissenters.

Typically, the “68-ers” who unabashedly celebrate themselves, postulated that a “general assembly” should make decisions once all of its participants ere of the same opinion. In practice, such procedures do not mean that all will be of one mind but that the opinion of “The One” will be accepted by all. Total agreement as a requirement, is no more democratic than is the claim that all people can be totally equal.

The communist concept of the “class struggle sheds light on this. Mankind’s divisions and evils are expressed through the conflict of antagonistic classes. Once the exploiters and the proletariat have clashed, history ends as only one class, that of the proletariat, is left. With that, not only differences in wealth, but also contradictory interests and therefore clashing opinions, will disappear. Thereby, the state -created to manage conflicts of interests- will become superfluous. Consequently, it will atrophy along with private property and the divisive conflicts of traditional politics. Completing evolution, all men will be free as they will share not only material goods but also their personal convictions and values.

That in the last century a hundred million were killed to achieve this, which is the best proof of the systemic errors of the collectivist assumption. This provides us with food for thought regarding our future. There are still actors in public life who claim to have humanized the “Failed God”. To our shame, they can get elected by their future victims regardless of the evidence created by their ilk. Besides this experience-based long-term outlook, it pays to glance at the one-worlder’s current agenda.

The movement struggles in favor of two immediate causes. One involves the battle against identity-centered tendencies. If the forced merger of groups that think themselves as distinct is a goal, then their identity-centered consciousness reflects nationalism, which is proclaimed to amount to chauvinistic racism.

This battle-field involves migration’s controversies. If there are no legitimate borders because these only separate what belongs together, then it is true that there are no illegal migrants especially as “no person can be illegal”. (Could that be in the logical proximity of “no person can be criminal”? Felons will thank you for a “yes”.)

Uncontrolled migration’s bemoaned consequences become invalid once the universalist mantra is applied. Reluctant-to-assimilate masses represent no problem. They enrich their host culturally by sharing his accomplishments and by contributing their ways of problem solving (how well did these work “at home”?) to those of the indigenous. Fusing an archaic way of life with a post-industrial one results, according to this doctrine, in a spiritually high-level civilization. Therefore, resisting uncontrolled migration is a violation of human rights that also deprives the fence-builders of the chance to improve their lot.

The second endeavor is of paramount significance for global politics. It unfolds in that part of Europe that is organized as the European Union. Those that run that body see as their mission the creation of a new identity that is to supersede existing nations and their states. Recalcitrant countries, peoples, and leaders are threatened, extorted, and punished. Noticeably, the struggle to give the Union a new, originally unforeseen shape, undermines it. Treading water against its flow delegitimizes the EU. It also raises the question of Europe’s survival. Will it be overwhelmed by a new migration of peoples that will catapult it back to the level of the distant past’s Dark Ages?

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