The author believes that, to avoid disintegration, social advances toward more inclusive political structures must be accompanied by a moral advance toward more universal values. This article discusses the three stages of humanity’s global political unification, as these are described in the Bahá’í writings: confederation, federation, and commonwealth. Since in the author’s view forms of government are outer expressions of inner levels of collective unified consciousness, each of these forms of government also marks a stage of humanity’s deepening inner unification. Of particular note is the discussion of the changing concept of competition. Competition has been the dynamic power behind humanity’s advance to this point. Competition will remain the driving power of advance, but, based on statements from the Bahá’í writings, the author argues that if human beings are to create a united world they must stop competing selfishly to obtain individual, national, or regional goals and, instead, compete selflessly to forge cooperative structures that will benefit all humanity.
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