Articles From the November 1994 Unification News


The Resolution Of The Two-Party System: Marriage As A Model For Political Society


I would like to posit three characteristics of ideas introduced by religious geniuses: one, they are rejected by the mainstream of their own society; two, their brilliance is recognized gradually, as the distance from the origin increases; and three, as this brilliance is recognized, so too it is recognized that these great ideas bring to a fulfillment the thought of the previous age.

That this is not readily apparent is due in part to the fact that most people are not cognizant of the inherited worldview and even less of the new ideas, nor do most people really care about worldviews. Like fashion and architecture, a worldview is just there by seeming necessity.

Another fact obscuring these characteristics is that they are apparent from the perspective of the new thought more than of the old. In fact the old thought eventually may react against the new thought and adjust its own parameters to eliminate the resemblance. For example, Christians believe their thought to be the fulfillment of Judiasm, with, as the centerpiece, Christ as the final sacrificial offering. Jews of course reject this claim over their tradition, finding other reasons for the end of the practice of making burnt offerings.

It is my observation, based upon study of Christian theology and of Unification theology, that Unificationism is indeed what it claims to be, the fulfillment of the New Testament Age, in exactly the terms it states: from "image" restoration to "substance" restoration. To put it more simply, what Christianity did symbolically, Unificationism is doing substantially. Christians did it in heaven; Unificationists are bringing it to earth.

One Party or Two?

Let that be a prologue to an essay on an idea of Reverend Moon's which, to me at least, sounded utopian at first hearing, and, beyond that, I did not really perceive any use to it other than (believe it or not) political correctness, a heavenly affirmative action. After reflection, however, I see that this idea actually makes a tremendous amount of sense in theory, because it offers the resolution of the deadlocked two-party system. This idea is that each elective governmental office should be the co-responsibility of a man and a woman. What this idea does is eliminate the problems created by the two-party system, while preserving the benefits.

Why do we have two parties in the first place? Democratic republicanism is taken to require a two-party system. But there was a time when it was effectively one-party, in the early national period, when there was a national consensus of values. Democracy, then, does not require two political parties, at least in the usual sense of political parties as conflictive sets of candidates representing divergent directions for society. The less consensus as to general direction, of course, the more the parties will diverge from each other; the more consensus, the less divergence.

The current campaigns give us a good sense of the problems of a two- party system. Having two parties competing for each office polarizes the system. One party will line up along one side of the ideological map, and the other will take the other side. Although it doesn't seem necessary logically, it seems that in practice candidates tend to define themselves in negative instead of positive terms (i.e., what they stand against rather than what they stand for). It has degenerated from being a contest between the greater of two goods to one between the lesser of two evils--as I saw a recent Washington Times cartoon in which one fellow asks another, "who are you voting against?" The winner is the one who is more effective at vilifying his opponent. Thus the effect of electioneering is to give the impression that all candidates for political office are dishonest, immoral men and women. Thus the system is destructive of idealism and hope.

The Black Muslim faith moved into the black communities of America in the 1930s through its leader, Wallace Fard, simply publicizing what the Christian churches were saying about each other. The conclusion was that they were all blasphemous and ungodly.

At the same time, we cannot desire a bland or, worse, coercive uniformity. The benefit of the two-party system is that the party system, at its best, injects dynamism and creativity into government. It is a safeguard against complacency and stagnancy; it creates, ideally, laboratories for new ideas. When it doesn't work well, however, it stagnates in the rut of political correctness and the temptation to appeal to the lowest common denominator (the winner often the one who can discover one lower than his opponent).

Male/Female Principle

The alternative to the two-party system, thus far, has been seen to be the one-party state. We have various communist, socialist, monarchic and fascist experiments in the twentieth-century which demonstrate the destructive results of one-party systems, the least of which, perhaps, is stagnation, the worst of which is the abuse of power for the purpose of maintaining the consensus through coercion. The United States maintained national unity for 200 years, under the canopy of Christian faith fired by revivalism. Revivalism is now the method used by politicians, and in any case it never could answer its critics, who now comprise a massive secular-humanist bloc.

The question is, then, how to preserve dynamism and creativity and at the same time consensus and unity. Another way to put it is: how can divergent social models and their resultant policies combine in a system of mutual stimulation and growth, instead of separating, demonizing each other, and fighting (destroying society in the process)?

The answer is to recognize the cause and nature of the dynamism itself, and systematize it in a natural way. The root of the dynamism is a logic implicit in the thinking process itself which seems to give two answers to every question, and hence to lead society in two directions simultaneously. The nature of the dynamism is most aptly described within the parameters of the male/female principle. That is, what is going on is that we are struggling between the masculine and feminine answers to the problems, tending to see them as mutually exclusive enemies.


Now, to assign the blame! The left, I would generalize, is the relatively feminine partner: embracing, reconciling, concerned about welfare and working for fairness. The left is concerned about the whole from the point of view of love: compromise, nurturing, toleration, management and maintenance. The feminine would be concerned more than the masculine with the real problems of real people, and would invest resources into solving these. It views the constituency as children who need parental (which is in reality taken to mean "motherly") care. The left, then, does not consider property rights as important as human rights and the rights of defenseless species. The right, then, would be the relatively masculine counterpart, emphasizing competition, creativity and concern about opportunity and expansion. The right might be said to survey the whole from the point of view of standards, judgment, challenge, development, and striving for excellence. The masculine would tend more than the feminine to deny the present reality and to leave the resources with the people who earned them (private ownership). It views the constituency as independent agents best left on their own, to succeed or fail and accept the consequences without a safety net.

These are generalizations, but generalizations often serve a purpose. Emboldened by this confidence, let us develop this thinking a bit further, to see where it might lead. St. Paul used the human body as the model for the church, with individuals carrying out different but equally valuable functions analogous to the physical organs. The Divine Principle also uses the model of "ideal man" as the model for political society, even specifying body parts which are analogous to the legislature, executive, judiciary, economy, etc.

This model can be expanded based upon Rev. Moon's recent discussions of the ideal political system as having men and women equally involved, even legislative districts electing both a man and woman representative, and this partnership of the sexes applying across the board. Underlying this is the theological notion of God as the unified body of masculine and feminine characteristics.

The Body Politic

Taking a cue from this, could we not utilize not an individual body, but a husband and wife together as the model for social order? Now, if a man represents all men, let's say that his millions of sperm represent all individual men. I have often, actually, viewed the primary dynamic of society to be summed up in terms of expanded sperm (men) trying to unite with expanded eggs (women). In other words, all social activities, language, customs and traditions are the dressing up of these sperm bodies trying to find the best egg body and become one with them.

Then, the most important function of society is to regulate this dynamic into orderly modes of operation, that is, the monogamous relationship based upon publicly sanctioned and celebrated marriage. So, this would correspond to the completion of one sperm uniting with one egg, which is also the beginning of a new life.

The idea of electing men and women to all offices would lead to society modeled on the harmony, joy and creative power of a husband and wife in union. The hopeful side of this, I think, is that it provides the means to resolve the antagonistic and conflictual relations between the two parties, liberal and conservative. Liberal and conservative are feminine and masculine. As there has until now been no historical foundation for masculine/feminine unity in marriage, the masculine and feminine parties, representing the masculine and feminine viewpoints or principles, have conflicted in the governmental sphere. However, once the true principle of masculine/feminine unity is established in the marriage of the True Parents, the same unity can obtain in society.

Thus, society can embody the dynamics of masculine and feminine energies, priorities and qualities, yet keep them in balance and harmony. Masculine and feminine impulses would be harmonized through love and affectin

Of course it is a given that men and women do not follow strict "party lines". Just as there are conservative democrats and liberal republicans, so too there will be outspoken and competitive women alongside embracing and tolerant men. Still, the mindset of the two groupings will be identifiable and distinct, and it will require all the skills of both sides to reach harmony, just as it does in a marriage. However, as with a marriage, there is a natural law, the power of the universe itself, supporting the union of the two sets of characteristics through the personal commitment of love.

Concluding unscientific postscript: The reader might ask, if this is all true, then why do not women in our society vote democratic as a bloc, and men vote republican? I would answer, first of all, it is men only who fashioned and control both the parties, and so both parties are relatively masculine. Politics has been a masculine profession. Nonetheless, am I wrong to observe that most female candidates for political office are democrats? That most activist women are on the political left? Note as well the historical phenomenon of the "feminization" of American society, examined by historians such as Ann Douglas and Barbara Welter: this feminization took place among constiutencies of the left: the Unitarians, liberal Congregationalists (today's UCC) and Episcopalians.

Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents
Copyright Information