Articles From the August 1995 Unification News
Look to the future! This article takes an 'external' look at the 2 future. (See "Culture Confluence" for an 'internal' view.) The world changes fast. The Berlin Wall came down, decades ahead of most people's predictions. In China, MTV has replaced Mao as "in." Nelson Mandela emerges from prison to become a South African leader. In Israel, sworn enemies shake hands, and hope to wash away ages of blood.
Princeton scholar Thomas Kuhn popularized the term "paradigm," to denote our technological foundations, and assuptions about "the way things work." Early civilizations knew a world resting upon a turtle, and Ptolemaics a spherical world--in the center of the universe. Galileo and Copernicus, then Hubble (of telescope fame) and Shapley shattered those views.
There are many speculations about The Future. Entire industries revolve around this; 'futurist' scholars, professional prognosticators and science fiction writers. Books like "Megatrends" become bestsellers.
Way back in 1893, and again in 1930, major Expositions were held, with themes about The Future. Depicting a larger USA, and towering cities with flying cars. They predicted fairly well!
Some 'versions' of The Future are good--even etherially beautiful. Some are mediocre, with the same old drag in faster surroundings. While others are terribly dark.
One might generally describe such wonderful visions as "abel type," and the uninspired or terrible visions as "cain type," following the Divine Principle's general outlines of human 'archetypes'.
There are people who are building their future vision, and others who oppose them. Some praise the (perceived) potential of that work, while others fear its possible wrongs. Let's look at several of these.
Religious hopefuls envision a united, peaceful Christian America. Where all obey the Ten Commandments, and live by the Golden Rule. Where change comes peacefully, in the style of Martin Luther King.
Those who fear religion anticipate an oppressive, sick society, where technology only aids in the repression of "sinners." Where the 'Elders' exersize ruthless control, to ensure "purity" according to their dictates. Where wolfish "holy terror" is practiced, cloaked in pious "lamb's clothing." (Check Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale.")
Political optimists forsee an efficient, well-meaning New World Order. A greater United Nations with enforcement powers, ensuring global peace and social advancement.
Others fear an Orwellian future. A larger Stalinism, with total State direction and control. Yet with the Third World's endemic corruption and division of wealth. Universal misery, except for the highest classes.
Many scientists have faith in "progress," and the intellectual's ability to unravel all human troubles. Knowledge and technology would override human failings. Some science fiction tales describe such worlds.
Others tales are of the classic "Frankenstein's Monster" variety. Recently, the "Terminator" and "Blade Runner" movies have become cultural landmarks. Science's actual dangers magnified.
Ecologists have their own special vision. Self-sustaining towns, 3 living in a limited "steady state." In harmony with nature, and thus with themselves. With sun and wind powering an unobtrusive technology. (See Ernest Callenbach's seminal "Ecotopia" books.)
Doubters question whether such an idyllic "natural state" has ever existed--or could. They picture a dirty, hungry and diseased primitive's life. They fear the fanatic "deep ecology" extreme, which sees modern human life itself as "the AIDS of the ecosystem." (See Dave Foreman's books.)
The New Agers await their "Aquarian Age." They see 'rave' parties, Prozac, synthesizer music and meditation ushering in a time of "good vibes." Some claim this will end crime of all kinds, for entire cities! A kind of mystic unity, smoothed by a "politically correct" sensitivity.
Many fear this "Aquarian Conspiricy." (A classic New Age book by Marilyn Ferguson--now embarassingly outdated.). Where hidden occultists run society, enforcing thier rule through "p.c. police." (Who already flex their muscles on American campuses.) 'Good vibes' would dissolve into "new age guilt," when life's inevitable losses and infirmities could no longer be "positively" rationalized. (Read Larry Burkett's "Illuminatti" novel.)
Let's take a broader new look, with the perspective of the Divine Principle. Bringing out the best in all of these areas, both in theory and in practice.
There can be a genuine religion. Realistic about 'human nature', and not resorting to repression. With enduring faith, like Tibet or Korea. Nonviolent like Mahatma Gandhi. Disciplined like the traditional monastics, and pro-science like the early Islamic societies. Recalling that God has always allowed people choices, from the very beginning-- and expected their "portion of responsibility" as well.
There can be Politics with heart! Efficient government with honest administrators. Global-scale cooperation with local-level power. Strong enough to deal with crises, but respecting each other's God- given rights.
Science can be advanced with Absolute Values. Technology (even now) allows "data nets," and transactionswith privacy assured. Moral scientists can develop the nuclear, genetic, chemical and other fields without turning them to harmful purposes.
The Earth can be cared for, under the Divine Principle's "Third Blessing." Clean technology is being developed. In fact, only a prosperous society has the means for cleanups, parkland care, ecological safeguards, etc.
There can be a New Age, without all the malarkey. An accurate spiritual understanding, and a harmonious worldwide family as it can only exist--acclaimed by godly people, under Parents.
The approach of the year 2000 has caused a "millenial" awareness, and an even sharper focus on The Future. Let's look for some lessons in the past. Which nations or cultures have lasted for a millenium or more? What factors enabled them to do so?
Austrailia's aborigines and the Kalahari's bushmen survived for tens of thousands of years! With a socially stable, ecologically harmonious lifestyle, which endured because of their (former) remoteness.
Koreans have survived for milleniums, due to the profound strength of 4 their faith, families and values. Unificationists are already familiar with this much-respected tradition. Much the same can be said of the Jewish people, who are strengthened by their heritage and faith. They've followed the crucial Ten Commandments, and gained prosperity through their freedom--which was all too rare throughout history.
Despite a tumultuous 'internal' history, Japan survived undefeated for well over a thousand years. Because of their binding 'racial' identity, and their willingness to absorb the best from other peoples. Also their military skill--and the will to use it.
In history, the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire reigned unconquered for some 1,400 years. Despite the rise of many ferocious neighbors. They had solid spiritual traditions, and a powerful (if sometimes fratricidal) Imperial Throne. Also a wise diplomatic and free-trading policy. Built upon an enduring, well-functioning bureaucracy. (Really!)
There is a crucial role for an honest, capable bureaucracy. People love to "bash bureaucrats," yet expect them to do their jobs--and fast. Need a notarized copy of your Birth Certificate? An unknown clerk, in a distant town, will find it and send it right along! At a reasonable cost. Their fellow clerk will 'clear' your Driving Record, when you've paid that ticket. Others watch your (hopefully honest) Banker--and keep your accounts safe. Specialists will leap into action, if you've discovered a hazardous vehicle, or eaten a spoiled beefsteak.
People in many nations expect this, without even realizing it. But without the incompetence and sloth of the "make-work" bureaus found under socialism; or the ever-inflating mordida, the bribes that weigh down many Third World societies.
Through a kingdoms' changing Crowns, or South America's (formerly) annual coups, they labor in the background, ensuring societies' smooth functioning. When they flee, you get a Mogadishu . . .
Similarly, people bash lawyers, filling entire books with "lawyer jokes"--or horror stories. Yet our own respected Jin Sung Nim, of the True Family, speaks of "Heavenly Lawyers." Even in the Ideal Society, there will be unfamiliar new ideas to codify, and complex transactions to make. Unfortunately, -sometimes- there will be blame to affix or absolve. In fact, only Karl Marx promised a "withering away"; no bureaucrats or lawyers! (This may have been a powerful incentive to the marxist's many wealthy sympathizers--quite a cruel joke.)
We can conclude that a "millenial" society will have solid families and traditions. It will live in harmony with nature. With an abiding faith, and cultural identity. It will have respected, consistent leadership -political and religious- invested with appropriate powers.
With a vigilant military, and a legal establishment--though the need for these ought to be virtually nil. Showing a willingness to examine -and perhaps- adopt new ways and better technologies. Practicing wise economics, ensuring a source of wealth for all citizens. And yes, honest and competent bureaucrats.
No single mortal could rule such a vast and complex civilization. Even the wisest of Solomons would eventually grow old. There would be a "Heavenly Constitution," understood by all. Guided by real input from our Heavenly Father and the Saints of all the ages.
Recently, the True Chidren have given the "CTA Speech" on many campuses. At Cal. State U. Hayward, one professor responded to the 5 point about America being "a nation of talk shows, debating without answers." He said, "That is the democratic process, it works, though it is slow." However, any number of people could talk indefinately, but someone has to bring up the correct answer. Then the majority of others must understand and accept this solution. (Your author speaks as a trucker who listens to a lot of talk radio.)
Thus, in a democratic society, these "paradigm shifts" come gradually. From the top down, or as a public groundswell. Accepted by free people, and codified with constitutional procedures. Often they are generational in nature. Embittered scientist Max Planck said, "[I]ts opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." Hopefully, an Ideal Society would act more wisely!
The now-popular term paradigm has frequently been misused. Every "New Age guru" claims to bring the "new paradigm," the improved, if not ultimate New Way. Most have books to sell; and often things far more costly! Longtime iconoclast Noam Chomsky says "subvert the dominent paradigm"--seen on many a Volkswagon's bumper sticker. Clearly the REAL new paradigm is in the Divine Principle, and the emerging Unificationist tradition. What projects are helping this New Future take shape?
All human history has been confined to this one planet Earth, in avery large universe. Primitive men living near 'oil seeps' were annoyed, stepping in sticky tar. Little did they imagine that this oil would propel them across that ground -and pave its pathways- much less hurl them through the very air! Space travel is still in its infancy, difficult now, but not forever. Scientists already have plans for (fairly slow) interstellar spaceships, and for telescopes that could spot oxygen-bearing planets around other stars! Principle itself says, "[Dominating] even the Heavenly bodies." Through the ICUS conferences, and our own hi-tech enterprises, we are helping to built that fantastic civilization.
Here on Earth, the International Highway will knit the continents into a real "global village." No one expects the cities of New York or Tokyo to supply their own food from within. Many entire nations no longer supply themslves. (Though they want to.) Even Japan has reluctently begun importing rice. The Highway will eliminate these 'external' worries entirely! Then, the Blessings will populate the 'village' with close relatives!
We'll finish up the same way the Divine Principle book does, with the question of language--now a troubling division between peoples. Famous linguist Mario Pei proposed a practical way of building a World Language--any one chosen. As it is taught worldwide, schoolkids will begin to respond to advertizements in that language! Later they'll write, and produce using that tongue. Automatically (but gradually), it would take hold everywhere.
So let us honor Rev. Moon, sponsor of scholars and scientists, prophet, builder, unifier. The "final futurist."
(c)by Paul Carlson
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