Articles From the July 1994 Unification News
by Paul Carlson
The world is changing. In the distant past, there were entire centuries in which "nothing happened" of any lasting consequence. Now everyone knows that things change-often too fast for people to keep up. Some people relish this, while others fear it. As a popular saying goes, "Some people make things happen. Some watch things happen. Others wonder what happened." Change comes by deliberate plan, and sometimes inadvertently, and sometimes without people even realizing it. Often it is gradual and gentle, sometimes sudden and difficult-and occasionally violent and cruel. And the people who bring about these changes are called "revolutionaries."
During the fabled "sixties," millions of young people left their homes, and went in search of change. They knew full well that the "old order" was corrupt, and they wanted better-for themselves and for their world. Charles Reich's "The Greening of America" chronicled this now-faded dream. Unfortunately, the "ideal way" was not then accepted, and things went straight downhill. (Very recently, the term "change" has been misused as a 'buzzword' for increased socialism. )
Sometimes change is brought by scientists and engineers. The face of the world has been transformed by great dams, roads, etc. Today, except in the most regressive societies, it is an 'article of faith' that science will bring new and better things. Some scientists are famous figures (Edison, Bell), while others as revolutionary (Tesla, Zadeh) have gone nearly unnoticed by the public. Most of them are aware of the eventual impact of their work, in any case. Those who opposed such changes ("progress") were once called "Luddites," but today they go by many names.
The British man who invented the electric generator was asked "what is this electricity?" He replied, "I know not, but I do know that you will tax it." (And the questioning officials did just that!)
Change is often "proclaimed," and celebrated by millions. It was once said that "the Beatles are more popular than Jesus." (Recently, ditto for Madonna and others.) People get caught up in passing fads. Many charismatic but shallow "leaders" now exploit this. Genuine, lasting change runs a little deeper!
Sometimes great changes are brought about by political leaders. Despite the many political "fads" and wasted efforts, profound words are spoken, and deeds are done. Yet these often pass unnoticed! For example, people once came from miles around to hear a certain famous orator, who spun wondrous words for hours on end. One day, he was followed on stage by a quiet, brief and shaky speaker. Who was ridiculed -and embarrassed- afterward. It was President Lincoln, delivering the Gettysburg Address.
Change is agitated for by 'activists' with many ideologies or "causes." Each is convinced -with whimsical exceptions- of the vital importance of his work. "People had better wake up!" is their passionate cry-frequently heard on the Talk Shows. But usually, "the people" prove indifferent, or in many cases-far wiser. Those who resist are labeled "reactionaries," but call themselves "conservatives."
However, history's greatest changes were often made without the support of the people. Scientific revolutions flourished only after their opponents had, literally, died off. New ways and new technologies grew up with new generations of children. Great political changes were often carried out by a mere handful of dedicated people. For example, only about one-third of the American colonists supported the War of Independence, the rest being opposed or indifferent. Only a tiny fraction of the French population worked in the Resistance against the occupying Nazis. And Lenin was aided by only a small minority of the Russian population.
Revolutions have been carried out by people with varying ideologies-or without one at all. Cynics say that "history is written by the victors." Yet history also shows that the eventual victors will be those closer to God's Providential side. Also, modern science and freedom allow the publishing of all views of history.
Some revolutionaries used "stern measures" to ensure their freedom, while others "broke eggs" to make their "revolutionary omelet." How history judges them depends on several factors. What kind of society did they desire-and who (if anyone) was to be in charge?
For example, the Divine Principle refers to the French and American Revolutions as "Cain" and "Abel" types, respectively.
Activists who resort to force are called "revolutionaries" by their supporters, and ultimately, if they stood on God's side. While they are "terrorists" to their enemies, or if they stood against God's Providential course. Divine Principle says that "Satan's side strikes first," yet sometimes (such as in the history of Israel, Biblical and modern) God's people have had to move first, against an overwhelming enemy.
From the French Revolution to today's headlines, "terrorists" threaten existing society. While they seldom achieve their goals, if they are smart and well-supported, they can cause great injury. (Some experts say that the World Trade Center bombing was just a practice run.) Their mindset can be found in the writings of their modern 'apostles' Bakunin and Nechaev: "The lost man, who has no outside interests, no personal ties of any sort-not even a name. Possessed of but one thought, interest and passion-the revolution. A man who has broken with Society, broken with its laws and conventions. He must despise the opinions of others, and be prepared for death and torture at any time. Hard toward himself, he must be hard to others, and in his heart there must be no place for love, friendship, gratitude or even honor." Also: "He knows of only one science-the science of destruction."
One might admire "dedication," but clearly this is the "Cain type" revolutionary that threatens to destroy so much. Believing that "the end justifies the means." Recall the "barricades" scene in "Les Miserables." Summary death was contrasted with Valjean's mercy.
Less fiery but at least as damaging are those powerful politicians who would out-do Machiavelli himself. As was said of England's Lloyd George: "For him, the means justify themselves."
Other revolutionaries have had passion alone, such as Cuba's Batista and his countless Third World counterparts. Striking down an unjust ruler-only to become just as corrupt themselves. And be struck down in their turn . . .
Some have simply acted out of their wish for raw power. Clever enough, and in the right situation, they could shake entire continents. Yet while Alexander, Kublai Khan and others left massive legacies, their empires fell apart very shortly after their deaths. The same can be said of those who acted out of sheer greed. Such as the gangs and guerrillas of turbulent turn-of-the-century China.
There have also been "religious revolutions," the most dramatic being that of Mohammed. Virtually exploding across the desert, with the force of his Divinely-inspired deeds and writings. Far lesser prophets have started what had to be short-lived uproars. "The world will end tomorrow!" was their loud cry. And many believed, selling everything they owned-at best. Such "prophets" still make occasional headlines, even today.
Quite similar in character are the "ecological doom" researchers and prophet/activists making daily headlines. The debate on the "ozone layer" and much else rages among top specialists. While the activists (and politicians) nearly drown out the real discussion! Unificationist tradition embraces the Creation, and does warn of a -possibly- terribly polluted future. (In fact, fallen nature is the greatest, most destructive pollution!)
Wise revolutionaries have had broad vision, and good principles. Such as the American Founders, or South America's Bolivar. More recently (depending on still-hot opinions) the original IRA that gained Irish independence.
Less known is the history of the Bear Flag Rebellion, and California's twenty-five days as an independent nation. Their thoughtful -and prayerful- leader was one William Ide. After their sudden conquest of the capitol, Sonoma, he stayed up all night writing a Proclamation. Guarantees of freedom, rights, and protection for all citizens and property; and an indictment of the corrupt and violent Mexican government. Soon, its Spanish translation reached the camp of the enemy, General Castro-and half of his men immediately deserted, many joining the rebels. As Victor Hugo would say, it was "an idea whose time had come."
Therefore, it is the principles and intentions of Revolutionaries that make the difference. The French attempted to rewrite their entire culture-but they were soon spurned. The Soviets tried this also, but fell back upon enough of their traditions to survive. (As with Stalin during WWII.) The Khmer Rouge destroyed their nation thoroughly, in a passion for "purity." The Chinese Red Guards tried to do so, but were stopped in time. While the Americans, and many nations since then, have built upon the best the world had to offer. (See "Views on American History." May '93 UNews)
Activists of every kind rail against the "Establishment," whether it is "Big Business" or -these days- the socialistic Federal government. Ironically, big businesses have often supported national revolutions. Even communist ones-from Lenin onwards. Some claim that this is due to vast "conspiracies," but the truth is much simpler. The businessmen hope for friendlier new rulers. And dealing with 'Commissars' is so much easier! A handshake (and a bribe), and the huge nationwide deals are done. No messy competition, expensive advertising, chancy consumer preferences, etc. (So long as they get to live elsewhere.) Perhaps they are even swayed, as guilty as they may feel, by the powerful vision of the revolutionary.
Many people study these changes-and look to the future. Most see a better future. Made by God, or good people, or by 'forces' of various descriptions. Others despair. Such as the French thinker Bernard Henri-Levy, who wrote "a pox on both East and West." But many don't care at all-like those who wear the "A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer" tee-shirt.
Most hope for changes made by the good-hearted, as shown in the classic Beatles song "Revolution." And virtually all "activists" are sincere and well-meaning people. Unfortunately, this fallen world is filled with strange and misleading ideas! Better changes are brought by those with a truer understanding. Humanists believe that children are a tabula rasa, a blank slate upon which the wise State (them in charge) can create an ideal Citizen. Fundamentalists believe that God gave them -only them- the "whole true Way" and therefore they can force it upon the 'ignorant' masses- witness Iran. Intellectuals believe that very clever people will eventually 'figure out' the human, and social, psyche and learn to master its excesses. For example read Isaac Asimov's classic Robot/Foundation series, and his idea of Psychohistory.
There are many highly respected "Abel type" activists. Some are famous preachers, such as Schuller and Graham. Others are family ministers, such as LaHaye and Dobson. Some are therapists, such as M. Scott Peck. Some are great 'motivators', such as Mandino and Robbins. And some are Talk Show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh and his many 'local market' comrades.
But consider, do they know Divine Principle? Do they listen to the True Parents direction? Are they, then, central to God's Restoration- individual and worldwide? What should be the relative importance of their words and instructions??
So where is the precise understanding of human nature-and history? Divine Principle analyses the very roots of Human Nature; original, fallen, and restoring. Its "Time Identity" is already a working analog of "psychohistory." God and His champions have the very best of intentions, and plans for people and nations. (Yet God -obviating many fears- always lets people choose freely!) Heavenly tradition provides (and is expanding) the best of "family ministry" and "true motivation." Principle undergirds a whole emerging class of political and economic theories and structures, with very great promise.
Therefore, now witness the greatest Revolution that humanity has ever seen, or even conceived of. Better yet, be a part of its ranks. As a Unification Holy Song says: "Marching On, Heavenly Soldiers!"
"Terrorism, Past, Present, Future" by Thomas P. Raynor-A readable overview on terrorism.
"Target America" by Yossef Bodansky-A detailed recent analysis.
"Who Conquered California" by Simeon Ide, Rio Grande Press-About the Bear Flag Rebellion.
"EcoScam" by Ronald Bailey-A sharp look at "eco-prophets."
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