And of course…..World Peace

October 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

First contact with an alien race would undoubtably mark one of the most important milestones in the history of the human race, and would certainly change the dynamics of life as we know it forever on this planet.  Additionally, once we have our hands stuck in the cookie jar of extraterrestrial intelligence, there is no going back to the way if which life goes on today.  The most far reaching effect of such a find, and one of the most important, is the instant sense of world union which would develop as a result.  If I could make any observation on the dynamics of the human race, throughout all of its existence, is that in order for society to function at even the most basic level, we are innately driven to classify “us” and “them”.  Society, from our hunter-gatherer days until today, is inherently an exclusive form of existence.

In this context, one can see how “world peace” is all too often regarded as a fallacy, an unobtainable object even in its more mild flavors.  Humans essentially have no use for it.  Our biggest threat to our existence are in fact, each other, and therefore one can easily see why it is beneficial to form countries the way that we do.  This dynamic changes dramatically when we discover the existence of a sentient life form apart from ourselves.  Upon such a meeting, Earth would finally have the catalyst it needed to stop waging war amongst itself and pool its resources into the development of higher tier technologies, such as the means to make space colonization possible.  Say what you want, be I would hold that necessity will forever remain as the single most important catalyst for innovation.

It follows that for the first time ever in human existence, we would no longer have the same need to exclude other residents of this planet from the formation of a group.  For the first time, world peace would not only be possible, but it would be puntual if we are to attempt to thrive.  Of course, I am not saying that countries would dissolve, and cease to exist immediately upon first contact.  But international diplomacy and relations would immediately adapt to better suit the needs of “interplanetary diplomacy”.  And from this nascent form of diplomacy, I predict that a golden age of technological innovations, and unfortunately weapon advancements, would inevitably follow.  Who knows, for what seems like the first time, the UN (or whatever organization it evolves into) might be able to make significant progress for the betterment of humanity.

This is not to say that human beings would be immediately hostile to another alien race, or that the effort would not be made by scientists and researches to interact with and learn from our galactic neighbors.  If fact, I believe that the opposite is true.  “Them” is by no means synonymous with “the enemy,” as our more modern form of diplomacy has proven.  However, for the next eon of human existence, the fact that we are not alone in the universe cannot be denied or undone, and “they” would continue to not be the same as “us”.

-A.M.A.

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