Could it? That is the question. President Ron Reagan seemed to think so. If our earth faced a threat from
“some other species” Reagan said, “we’d forget all of the local differences that we have between our countries (russia) and we would find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here, on this earth together.”
Oh such inspiring, optimistic and idealistic words! But what would be the reality? Global unity in my opinion is quite unlikely. Rather, if the earth were to be attacked by aliens, we would have a temporary alliance between fighting nations and even then, no alliance between nations that have no responsibility in the fight due to the size of their resources. Perhaps the most convincing alien invaded earth is presented by Orson Scott Card in Enders Game. There is only a façade of peace, held together by the very fringes and only by the collective fear of an alien attack on earth.
But here is my point (which Card makes so poignantly):
Even during this “peace period”, there are numerous struggles in the political realm by Nation states to MAXIMIZE their power. Why? Because as soon as the extraterrestrial threat is over, the world will return to it’s previous chaos and the state that had prepared in that so called “peace time” will be the one on top. Card captures this in post-invasion earth, disunited and war torn as powerful states duke it out for the championship belt and the ultimate goal: gain hegemony.
Conclusion? Global Unity is best left for fiction because it will never be a possibility. Nation States are just too selfish and it is impossible for one state to read another’s motives regardless of what their politicians say.
And just like a majority of human beings that inhabit our earth, nation states will always act in their own self interest. You can decide whether you think this is a problem or not. Or you can say it’s life. You would be right.