Unification News for March 2000

Heavenly Socialism

Tyler Hendricks
March, 2000

Last month I discussed the priority of parental love over brother-sister love. I noted that the free market is an example of brother-sister love. I asked, if the free market is an outplaying of brother-sister love, then what would be the economic system that outplays from parental love? Divine Principle calls it "heavenly socialism," and "the democratization of economy." This month I want to explore this topic.

Adam Smith’s Free Market Theory

Adam Smith considered the free market to be the theater of God’s activity in the world. His worldview was part and parcel of the transition from monarchism to democracy. This marked the liberation of the world from monarchy rooted in false love. Beneath the wings of monarchs, the hurried busy-ness of the bourgeoisie—the shopkeepers, craftsmen, engineers, merchants and promoters—built the modern world. The modern world is the world of brother-sister love, as True Father says, the world of the market. Democracy is the liberation of the people from monarchy in the political sphere. The free market, then, is the democratization of economy. Dollars act as votes.

Heavenly socialism, it seems to me, whatever it might be, is not a democratization. And yet the Divine Principle calls it a democratization of the economy, referring, I suppose, not to the principle of "no taxation without representation" but rather to the equality of status that it is supposed to create.

In earlier articles I have rehearsed the well-known criticism of democracy, namely, that democratic societies tend to cater to the lowest appetites of humankind. Gradually a democracy will fall prey to men of cunning, handsome men whose words are sweet, who offer people blessings without cost. Honest men, the criticism concludes, will gradually be pushed out of politics, replaced by scoundrels.

There is a corollary in the economic sphere. Democratization of the market, in which consumers cast votes in the form of dollars, tends to lead to the production of goods and services that cater to the lowest of human appetites. This is proven by the flood of pornography on the internet. Pornographers pioneered the e-commerce. It is proven by the steady degradation of television fare and movies. There is no longer much difference in values between the major media and a graffiti-covered wall.

Adam Smith was aware of the likelihood, even inevitability, of this coming about in a free market system. Thus he taught that freedom of the market or any other freedom is advisable only in tandem in a strongly religious society. The religion, in fact, could be only Protestantism, which inculcates the necessary virtues of self-discipline, prudence, thrift, familial and civic responsibility, patriotism and so forth. It would not work in a Catholic society, in Smith’s view, because Catholicism keeps the people in a child-like servitude to the priests under which they cannot develop requisite self-reliance.

Liberalism Versus Self-Reliance

This view maintained at least until the mid-nineteenth century in America, when the people rejected the opportunity to take dominion over Mexico because of the prejudice that the Catholic peoples of another race would not be able to assume the responsibilities necessary for a free society to succeed. Even education, the northerners feared, would not avail.

We now see that the question of responsibility necessary for a free society to prevail is being raised to people of all races and religions in America. The distasteful thing about welfare-liberalism is its deceitful, hidden assumption that the people are unable to take care of their own business, i.e. that the people cannot be given freedom because they cannot take responsibility for it. Hence, the liberals believe, an educated elite must make the rules, enforce the regulations, prohibit the second-hand smoke, confiscate the guns, determine the curricula, prescribe the drugs and eventually design the genes for the us beneficiaries of their inside the beltway brilliance. Patriarchalism for the cause of false love is the pits.

Ironically, in form it is not dissimilar from true parentism. A discussion I had with Mr. Tony Devine concerning educational methodology is pertinent to this. Liberals in America want to inculcate character virtues, such as cooperation, tolerance of diversity, self-esteem and discovering the beauty of one’s uniqueness, including one’s sexual proclivities at age six. Conservatives see this all as a crock, turning out high school graduates who lack the most basic skills. They demand that schools get back to the 3Rs of reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic.

I find myself sympathetic with the conservatives. However, it is not because I disagree with the idea of inculcating values. I rather disagree with the selection of values my children are receiving. If the education were in the values that I uphold, I would have a different viewpoint on the matter. I WANT my kids to inherit the values of filial piety, fidelity, continence, self-discipline, thrift—all those Protestant virtues, and a few Catholic and Confucian ones to boot.

True Versus False Parentism

How does this relate to the topic of heavenly socialism? Well, let’s look at the economy of a family. The parents provide the goods, more or less free of charge to the children. The parents strive to inculcate the virtue of sharing in the children. To share means that you give the better portion to your sibling. You let your sibling play with your toys as much as they want to. You are not acquisitive, greedy, selfish and grasping. When children behave in this way, the playground is harmonious.

To this extent, the family is socialistic. By socialistic, I refer to the simple principle, "from each according to his means, to each according to his need." In an ideal socialistic state, however, parents are not necessary because all people have an innate sense for what their brother needs, and a perfect faith in their ability to give.

As the children mature, they have more freedom to own things. Parents give allowances. They are happy when their children spend their allowance to give gifts to others. They are happy when their children save their allowance in order to buy an expensive item. Finally the children grow up, marry and have their own children. The skills of responsible ownership they have learned while growing up should serve them well in assuming the responsibility of parents.

It has not been easy to apply this model to society as a whole. That is because nations have not acted as true parents to other nations and allowed them to "grow up." In the 17th through 19th centuries, the European nations self-consciously took the parental position to the peoples of Africa, India, Australia and the rest of the world. They took on what Kipling referred to as "the white man’s burden." But it took hundreds of years for the parenting nations to allow their children to become parents themselves. These nations of Europe, and the United States, in some ways exploited their children and kept them in a childlike status.

Taking this theory a step further, let us imagine that there were nations that were true parent nations. The rest of the world would be their children, beginning with an elder son nation. What would be the proper story line here? Following the family model, the parent nations would effectively rear the children nations until all nations achieved parental status. By then the original parent nations would, I suppose, graduate to grandparent nation status. And there the world would remain forever, because nations, unlike human beings, do not die. Whatever this is, it does not seem to follow the model of socialism, because certain nations—the grandparent nations—would have a superior status forever.

Our Unification vision comprises more than this, fortunately. We envision the transcendence of separate nationalities. This is represented in our "Declaration Day of the Nation of the Unified World" holy day. As I understand it, the "nation of the unified world" means that the world is unified into one nation. Within that one nation, it is well known, humankind will merge into one race, the "love race" as True Parents put it. Thus, the parent nation—children nation model is a transitional one.

Taking God’s Burden

I posit that heavenly socialism includes the free market in goods and services. Parents cannot micro-manage their children. By the time one’s children are school age, they are beginning to manage for themselves. It is a source of pride for parents, in fact, when the children step by step assume greater responsibility for their own welfare. In the Unification ethos, the goal is for the children to take complete responsibility to an extent that far surpasses the Christian model.

In Christianity, God is uniquely responsible. Human activities operate for what purpose? For the purpose of glorifying God, ultimately. This is a noble ethic, to be sure. The Christian capitalist or merchant invests the gifts God has given him for the sake of serving others, thereby glorifying God. What takes Unificationism a step further is the notion that "I will comfort God," that "God need not worry about me," and that "I want to let God rest." The child with this attitude has reached a greater degree of maturity than the child who simply takes the inheritance and multiplies it to the glory of the God who really is in no need of our puny human efforts to glorify Him anyway.

On the foundation of the ethic of taking God’s burden upon our shoulder is another one, even more fundamental and revolutionary. That notion is that God’s real purpose is to share joy with us. God wants to experience ecstasy by our love. What is the significance of this? It is a major one.

Christian capitalists always felt guilty about pleasure. Pleasure was not part of their system. Work hard, bring forth fruits and give the glory to God. On the Sabbath day, honor God through worship, study and fellowship. What about the sensual side of life? It was a collateral benefit at best, for the most healthy of souls, but not a mainstream Christian category. In the midst of the entrepreneurial explosion of the industrial revolution in America, the churches had charts warning of the dangers of attending ice cream socials, the first step down the path to drunkenness, poverty, infidelity, divorce and the insane asylum.

The Unification ethic, replete with the explicit glorification of the sexual organs, presents to the world a new vision for spiritual and sensual health. Carried out fully, the "lower appetites" will be satisfied in God’s territory. One will not need to take refuge in Satan’s wild olive orchard in order to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. Love will abound in its true, unadulterated form, straight from, as the Puritans put it, "the breasts of both testaments." God’s pleasures make drugs or illicit sex pale by comparison, having the attraction, in Reverend Moon’s words, of three-day old beer. I’ve always wondered if he was just imagining what three-day old beer would taste like, or whether he was speaking from personal experience. Neither would surprise me.

Once the lower appetites are nullified, the free market can truly flourish and wealth can abound. The right ordering of husband-wife love will provide the foundation to sustain the right ordering of the generations, insuring transmission of the traditions of true love. I think that if one were to take some time to unpack those traditions, one would uncover the full meaning of heavenly socialism.

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