The Words of Kook Jin Moon from 2013

Freedom and Fiscal Responsibility

Kook Jin Moon
February 23, 2013
To World Summit Leaders
Tongil Foundation Chairman

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: We are honored that you have joined us here today for the Tongil Group luncheon. I will keep my comments brief because you have already seen a long video and we have other CEOs of our companies giving presentations. But I would like to say that we here at the Tongil Group are fundamentally very committed to pursuing the development of our founder's vision, the vision of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, which is a world of peace.

Unfortunately, given the world as it is today, peace seems very far away. We see rising tensions here in the East between China and Japan, and even Korea and North Korea. There is rising militarism throughout the world -- a large military buildup in China, and in Russia, and North Korea has recently conducted successful nuclear tests. As we speak today, America and South Korea are conducting military exercises because of the threat of potential conflict or war in this region.

We live in very uncertain times and we are challenged to find a way to have a more peaceful society in this age. I hope that somehow, all of us can realize that the freedom we have in the free countries of the world and in those democracies -- that freedom is very precious and that freedom needs to be preserved. We need to fight for it.

In order for freedom to be preserved and spread throughout the world, it is quite important that free democracies be strong. They cannot be fiscally irresponsible and bankrupt their nations. Because if they do so, they will not be able to preserve freedom in the world. It is unfortunate that in today's world we see dictatorships and countries that do not have freedom exercising more fiscal discipline than democracies. This is a very bad trend, because if you study history, you will find that the death of democracy occurs when popularism takes over the mind-set of the people in those free countries. We saw that happen in ancient Greece. We saw Rome lose its democracy to the imperial emperors when popularism overtook their citizens. And we see the same disease of popularism spreading all throughout our democracies in the world today.

We must seriously be concerned whether or not freedom itself will be fundamentally threatened in the world.

So, I hope that you as world leaders can reconfirm yourselves to freedom, and to democracy and to fiscally disciplined democracy, because that is what we need to keep freedom for all of us. So, please, take heart and build free societies that are fiscally strong and strong in terms of their military, so that we can defend freedom from dictatorship.

So, please enjoy the presentations from our other Tongil Group business leaders and I'll finish my comments there. Thank you very much. 

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