Essentials Of Unification Thought - The Head-Wing Thought
VI. A Comparative Analysis of Histories
The Providential View of History, the Materialist Conception of History, and the Unification View of History
In this section, the providential view and the materialist view, which are representatives of the traditional views of history, together with the Unification view will be compared from various perspectives (see Fig. 8-3). This will help us deepen our understanding of the characteristics of each of these views of history.
1. The Beginning of History
The providential view of history sees history as having started with the Creation and fall of humankind. Accordingly, human history started as sinful history. In contrast, the materialist view of history holds that human history started when human beings separated from the animal kingdom, and that the first society was a primitive community. The Unification view of history, like the providential view of history, holds that history started with the Creation and fall of humankind, and that human history started as sinful history.
2. The Characteristics of History
The providential view regards history as history of salvation by God. The materialist view regards history as history of class struggle. In contrast, the Unification view grasps history from the two aspects of re-creation and restoration.
3. The Driving Force for the Development of History
According to the providential view, history is moved by God's providence. According to the materialist view, the development of the productive forces, which are material forces, is the driving force of history. In contrast, the Unification view of history holds that it was both God's providence and the human portion of responsibility that has moved history. According to the providential view, God moves history, and therefore it follows that every tragic event in history was allowed by God. From the standpoint of the Unification view of history, however, things did not turn out in accordance with God's Will because human beings did not fulfill their portion of responsibility. Thus, humankind is responsible for the tragic events in history.
4. The Laws of Change in History
The providential view merely asserts that the kingdom of God, of those who believe in God, and the kingdom of the world, of those who obey Satan, fight with each other, but in the end the Kingdom of God wins. It offers no laws of history. On die other hand, the materialist view of history applies materialistic dialectic to history and presents its laws of history, such as, "Human beings in their social life enter into certain relations of production, which are independent of their will;" 'The relations of production correspond to a given stage in the development of the productive forces," 'The relations of production are the basis, and the forms of consciousness are the superstructure," "People's social existence determines their consciousness," "When the relations of production become fetters on the development of productive forces, revolution takes place," and so on. In contrast, the Unification view of history presents the Laws of Creation and the Laws of Restoration as the laws that have been at work in history.
5. The Struggle to Take Place at the Consummation of History
The providential view holds that the final struggle will take place between the "Kingdom of God" and the "Kingdom of the World." The Bible says that an angel (Michael), who serves God, and Satan will fight in Heaven. The materialist conception holds that a fierce struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat takes place in capitalist society, which is the last stage of class society. The Unification view holds that history is the struggle of good and evil, and that the struggle between good and evil at the consummation of history is the struggle between the democratic world and the Communist world, which will take place on a worldwide scale. The Communist world stands on the satanic side (the side of evil) because it denies God.
6. Phenomena of the Last Days
The providential view holds that extraordinary natural phenomena will take place in the last days, that is, at the consummation of human history. About such phenomena, the Bible says, "Immediately after tire tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Matthew 24:29). The materialist view holds that in capitalist society such phenomena as misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, and exploitation will increase and economic collapse and social confusion will arise. The Unification view of history holds that at the consummation of history the existing values will lose their persuasiveness and will collapse, and that great social confusion will take place.
7. Events at die Consummation of History
The providential view of history holds that the Last Judgment will take place in the last days. According to the Bible, the sheep will be placed at the right hand of Christ and the goats at the left, and those on the side of the sheep, namely, those who obeyed God, will be given blessings, whereas those on the side of the goats, namely, those who followed Satan, will be thrown into the eternal fire (Matthew, ch. 25). The materialist view of history asserts that the prehistory of humankind conies to an end as the proletariat, the ruled class, overthrows the bourgeoisie, the ruling class, through violent revolution. The Unification view of history asserts that in the last days the good side and evil side will be separated on a worldwide scale, and that the good side will convey God's truth and love to the evil side and naturally subjugate the evil side.
8. The History That Comes to an End
The providential view asserts that sinful history will come to an end when the Kingdom of God wins victory over the Kingdom of the World. The materialist view asserts the history of class struggle comes to an end when the proletariat overthrows the bourgeoisie. The Unification view of history asserts that sinful history and the history of the struggle between good and evil will come to an end when the good side brings about the natural subjugation of the evil side.
9. The Ideal World To Come
The providential view of history asserts that in the last days the millennium will come, in which Christ and die saints will reign over the earth. After the millennium, Satan will be liberated to lead the sinners, but the Last Judgment will take place and the eternal Kingdom of God will be realized. The materialist view asserts that after the revolution, Communist society, which is the classless kingdom of freedom, will be realized. The Unification view of history asserts that die original ideal world of creation, that is, the Kingdom of I leaven on earth, where all humankind will become one family, will be realized by receiving the Messiah, the parents of humankind.
When we compare the three views of history in this way, we find that the Christian view of history is indeed mysterious and can hardly have any persuasive power today. It asserts that God promotes His providence in history. Since laws are not presented, however, it is not clear how He conducts His providence. It is also hard to understand that in the last days those people represented by the goats on the left side will receive eternal punishment. Further, the theory that Christ and the saints will reign over the earth for one thousand years and after that Satan will be liberated has no persuasive power.
The materialist view of history, compared with the Christian view of history, has more reality and therefore more persuasiveness. Consequently, it has captivated many young people until today. About half of the world had become Communist in its heyday. Nevertheless, Communist society has proved itself to be, not the kingdom of freedom nor an affluent society, but rather the opposite. Communism appeared as an accusation or a prosecution from Satan's side, because Christianity failed to fulfill its mission and fell into degeneration. Karl Marx with stated as follows:
What explains the idealistic foundation of historical materialism is ... old Jewish messianism, prophetism, and the untiring Jewish persistence to absolute righteousness. The Communist Manifesto clearly has a feature of faith, the firm belief in "what one hopes for" in a reversed form of scientific prophesy. Thus, it is not at all accidental that the final hostility between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat corresponds to the faith in the ultimate conflict between Christ and the anti-Christ in the last period of history, and that the task of the proletariat resembles the world historic mission of the chosen people. The role of the oppressed class for global salvation corresponds to the religious dialectic of the crucifixion and resurrection, and the transformation of the kingdom of necessity into the kingdom of freedom corresponds to the transformation of an old aeon into a new aeon. The process of history as described in The Communist Manifesto, reflects the well-known Judeo-Christian pattern of interpreting history as the events of salvation through the providence toward a significant final goal. The historical materialism is die salvation history in terms of political economy. 19
Fig. 8-3: A Comparative Overview of the Providential View, the Materialist Conception, and the Unification View of History
The Unification view of history came into being as an elaboration of the Christian view of history; yet it is presented as a view that overcomes the mysteriousness of the Christian view of history and overcomes the accusation by Communism against Christianity. The Christian view of history asserts that the people in the kingdom of the world who obeyed Satan will receive eternal punishment. The materialist view of history asserts that the proletariat will overthrow the bourgeoisie by violent means. Yet, the Unification view of history asserts that the good side will induce the evil side naturally to surrender and will restore the evil side to the good side, and eventually will save all humankind. In the true ideal world all humankind must be happy. Through the Unification view of history, that is guaranteed. The materialist view of history attacks the Christian view of history as mythological, and boasts, on the other hand, that it itself is a scientific view of history, with laws. Nevertheless, tile laws presented by the materialist view of history have turned out to be nothing but arbitrary, pseudo laws, put forward for the purpose of rationalizing revolution. In contrast, the Unification view of history presents true laws, supported by historical facts.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents