The ultimate determining unit of survival of every human being is the whole of humanity. It is the end point of the evolutionary mechanism in which we are engaged. The expansion of globalization on all continents, the worldwide development of hyperinformation, the defection of nation-states to supra-national entities, the emergence of global networks, all these phenomena are moving towards integration whose supreme level is humanity. In this movement, the awareness of a link between humans, of a "we", is still very small.
Illustration © Gilles Clément
The human "We" still exists only as a germ. Will it ever manage to form? Apparently, nothing is less certain, in the present state of the world.
A superior survival unit, in which there is a consciousness of the self, can only develop in relation to the perception of a threat from an external group. This is how all the processes of integration in human history have taken place. When the survival of the group is threatened, then the consciousness of the we can be forged.
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However, in the current state of our knowledge, humanity is not threatened by a group outside of it; the little green men are not yet a current threat. On the other hand, it is threatened by groups that are within itself, either directly or indirectly. If humanity were threatened from the outside, it is certain that the development of a sense of identity at the level of humanity would be easy. But humanity is threatened only by itself, which makes it problematic "the realization that humanity is tending to become more and more the primary unit of survival for all men individually and for all the groups that constitute it. » (1)
● Men are only beginning to understand, but perhaps it is already too late, that the effects of their actions can compromise the living conditions of humanity as a whole; yet they are still attached to social habits that resist any push for integration. The social groups that today make up the planet most often act without taking into account this phenomenon of the unplanned evolution of humanity. The notion of humanity is still associated with a form of sentimental idealism, which hinders any factual reasoning at a time when borders no longer exist for economic and human flows, epidemics or climate change.
(1) Norbert ELIAS, op.cit.