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Would Humanity Unite Under an Alien Threat?

Updated on July 31, 2011
President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan

Reagan's Humanity United Quote

I couldn't help but say to [Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. [We'd] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together. ~Ronald Reagan, 1985

What If This Were to Pass?

Would the whole world unite if there was a threat from another planet? Is that the only thing that will bring us together as a species?

Let us imagine that there was a threat from another planet. Would humanity be able to put aside our differences for the sake of thwarting an enemy attack? There would be no time for infighting when the survival of not just one nation, but all nations is at stake. I think it is safe to say, that with a few fanatical exceptions, humanity would unite long enough to fend off the otherworldly enemy, but that as soon as the mission was near completion. the divisions would begin again.

One author that examined what might happen in this situation in exquisite detail is Orson Scott Card in his Ender's Shadow Series.


The series shows what would happen if Earth was scourged by an alien species and anticipating another attack. In the series the world unites, but when victory is assured it begins splintering and the world is launched into a fourth world war.

The key is that while the world was united against the alien menace they had to appoint leaders so that they could be well coordinated (every group needs a leader). They appointed three top leaders: The Polemarch, The Strategos, The Hegemon. These three people were the three most powerful people in the whole world. When humanity began to split one The Hegemon started a campaign to unite the world under one rule. He saw that humanity's survival is linked to Earth's. He wanted to ensure that if any other alien civilization met humanity they could not destroy the whole species by simply destroying the planet. It was the legitimacy given to his position by all of humanity that allowed him to gain support.

The only reason The Hegemon was able to unite the world was because during the first alien invasion his position was created by ALL of humanity and so he had legitimacy as the ruler of all humanity. In the series he unites the world and sends hundreds of colony ships to other worlds, and thus humanity expands to to all reaches of the known universe.

Is This The Only Way?

Can you think of any other situation that would make humanity unite for even a short period of time? It seems that humanity will only ever united under threat of species wide extinction. There will always be infighting otherwise and people that disagree with one another always seem to take up arms.

It's sad that the only way for humanity to unite and get off this planet is by getting attacked by an alien species. It is essential that we get off this planet, but I will detail reasons for that in my Humanity Must Colonize Other Planets


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      ME!! 2 years ago

      It is already a demonstration of pride from humans being in general, to spell such a convinced word ''..but that as soon as the mission was near completion" What is it on most people's imagination to go THAT far, what is in it that make you people believe that our poor blue world would even have the technology to do so? How do you even defeat an enemy only with Javelin, Scuds and nuclear fire if they're capable of traversing the stars, and which they probably did it hundred times before?

      Hard to imagine something like that happening without opening doors and windows for greedy men, to take advantage of the situation. Hell, they did that, and worse, on this very minute they still do.

      I sincerely hope that people starts thinking in some healthier way to solve this thing. What if humanity unites BEFORE that? Why don't we unite right here, right now on this very second, it would be probably much more efficient than waiting for it on the last second. If we could even care about this planet's nature we wouldn't have to worry about a disunity later - assuming proudly that earth did it, which only NASA could really tell us, by mere casual observation of the sky.

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      Chuck 5 years ago

      If an alien species that we did not know exhisted was capable of getting here, we wouldn't be able to blink before we perished. Think of how developed our weapons are, and we're still not capable of traveling far into space! If there really was a threat against humanity via aliens soon. We would die before we banded together under one flag. Improbability calculator says NO!

    • cupajo profile image

      cupajo 6 years ago from California

      I think they are already here. I can't believe that more people don't know it. There is to much going on with respect to UFOs in the world to think otherwise.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 6 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Hey TheWorldNow. Interesting topic.

      Personally, I believe that once Earthlings have confirmation of extraterrestrials, then civilization will begin to fall apart - not come together. People will be in shock as their entire understanding of the universe will be flipped on its head. For many, religion won't provide comfort in this time of chaos.

      But, there will be a catastrophic event that will bring all of humanity together in the near future. I believe this will be caused by a solar flare that knocks out all of our fragile electronic grids, which will last for months or years. In this case, millions will die, but to ensure the survival of our species, we will ban together and recreate society.

      Who knows... maybe aliens will get here before that happens! Either way, interesting thing to discuss. Good hub.