Preparation for the Messiah – Part 2
The Period of Maturation of Politics,
Economy and Ideology (1789-1918)
The religious and philosophical conflicts in the previous period coalesced into the Cain-type and Abel-type views of life. At the outset of this new period – the period of maturation of politics, economy and ideology – the two views of life matured, taking their separate paths. As they matured, they founded two different forms of society with distinct social structures: a Cain-type society and an Abel-type society. At the same time, politics, economy and ideology (the sphere of religion and philosophy) progressed to the stage just prior to the transition into the ideal world. This period lasted from the French Revolution, through the Industrial Revolution, to the end of the First World War.
The earlier discussion of democracy in the context of the progress of history was limited to the social changes which led to its emergence.9(cf. Parallels 7.2) Here, we will examine the internal developments behind the rise of today’s democracy, specifically the ideological tides on which it rose out of the swells and eddies of history.
In the period of the Christian empire of the ninth century, God had intended that the spiritual kingdom ruled by the papacy and the earthly kingdom ruled by the emperor unite to form a Christian monarchic society as a foundation for the messianic kingdom. This would have established the foundation for the Messiah. A strong messianic kingdom would have brought an early end to feudalism in Europe. Yet because this providence was not realized, feudalism persisted, while Europe’s political, religious and economic histories took separate paths of development. The political power of the feudal lords began to wane after the Crusades, declined further during the Renaissance and the Reformation, and became feeble by the time of the Enlightenment. By the seventeenth century, the feudal lords had yielded much of their political power to the kings, who built centralized nation-states and ruled them as absolute monarchs. The kings justified their supreme power by the doctrine of the divine right of kings.
The social causes of the rise of absolute monarchy included, first, the rise of new citizen classes which allied themselves with the kings to fight the feudal lords. Second, in the economic sphere, there arose a need for powerful states with mercantilist economic policies which could protect and control trade to further their national economic interests. The powerful foundation of a nation-state was needed to overcome feudalism and dominate an economy based on trade.
The rise of absolute monarchy is also connected with the progress of providential history, which requires that feudalistic society consolidate into monarchy. However, after God’s providence to establish His Kingdom in the Carolingian period failed because the popes and emperors at that time did not unite, the ensuing feudal society under papal rule became corrupt. Developing according to the course which Satan had preempted, it gave birth to monarchic societies on Satan’s side.
Let us now examine the ideological trends behind the demise of absolute monarchy with reference to the providence of restoration, which was headed toward the rise of the communist world based on the Cain-type view of life and the democratic world based on the Abel-type view of life. Since medieval feudal society ran counter to both Hebraism and Hellenism, these two ideologies worked in tandem to tear it down as they established societies built upon the Cain-type and Abel-type views of life. Similarly, the absolute monarchies which followed the Protestant Reformation deprived people of freedom of faith, which was a value propounded by democratic Christianity. Absolute monarchy thus ran counter to the goal of the Abel-type view of life. Moreover, the vestiges of feudalism in that society constrained the progress of the citizen class as advocated by leading atheists and materialists, thereby countering the goal of the Cain-type view of life. Therefore, these two views of life worked in tandem to tear down absolute monarchy. They established Cain-type and Abel-type democracies, which would eventually mature into the communist world and the democratic world.
Cain-type democracy arose out of the French Revolution. France at the time of the French Revolution was in the grip of the Enlightenment. The thought of the Enlightenment was rooted in the Cain-type view of life and was deviating into atheism and materialism. Swayed by the Enlightenment, French citizens were awakened to the flaws of absolute monarchy. There was also a widespread desire to tear down the remnants of the feudal system, which was still entrenched in the society.
The French Revolution was ignited in 1789 by popular calls for democracy from a citizenry schooled in the Enlightenment. They sought to overthrow the power of the ruling class, eradicate the remnants of feudalism, and establish freedom and equality for ordinary citizens, the Third Estate. The French Revolution established democracy with the proclamation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Nonetheless, the democracy born out of the French Revolution was a Cain-type democracy. Although it destroyed absolutism, it sought to firmly secure the Cain-type view of life. The leading thinkers behind the French Revolution were Enlightenment figures such as Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and Jean Le Rond D’Alembert (1717-1783), who adhered to atheism or materialism. Furthermore, despite its ideals of individual freedom and equality, the actual course of French democracy in the years of the revolution and afterward tended toward totalitarianism.
In this way, those espousing the Cain-type view of life championed the Enlightenment and gave rise to the French Revolution, thus establishing Cain-type democracy. It completely blocked the inclination of the human spirit to seek for God. As it continued to develop with its sole focus on the external aspects of life, it would later be systematized into Marxism in Germany and Leninism in Russia, eventually forming the communist world.
From their very origins, the democracies which emerged in England and the United States were different from the democracy born out of the French Revolution. The latter was a Cain-type democracy founded by atheists and materialists, who were raised in the Cain-type view of life, as they attempted to dismantle absolutism and feudalism. The English and American democracies, on the other hand, were founded by sincere Christians, the fruits of the Abel-type view of life, and were born out of their victorious fight with absolutism to win religious freedom. Hence, these are Abel-type democracies.
Let us examine how Abel-type democracy was established in England and the United States. In England, James I (r. 1603-1625) strengthened absolute monarchy and the state church while persecuting Puritans and other dissenting Christians, many of whom fled to other European nations or to the American continent in search of religious freedom. His son Charles I (r. 1625-1649) was met with rebellion by the Presbyterians of Scotland, who rallied around the National Covenant in 1640. The Puritans, who formed the core membership of the English Parliament, then launched the Puritan Revolution under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell in 1642.
Later, after Charles II (r. 1660-1685) restored absolute monarchy and strengthened the Anglican church against all other Christians, and his son James II (r. 1685-1688) declared himself a Catholic, Protestant leaders invited William of Orange (r. 1688-1702), his son-in-law, who was at that time Stadtholder of the Netherlands, to intervene. In 1688, William landed in England with his troops to defend religious freedom and civil rights. Upon his enthronement, William approved the Declaration of Rights offered to him by the Parliament, which recognized the Parliament’s independent rights. This became foundational for the English constitutional monarchy. Since the revolution of 1688 was accomplished without bloodshed, it came to be known as the Glorious Revolution.
Although there were external causes of these English revolutions, such as the citizens’ desire for political freedom from the ruling class including the nobility and the Anglican priesthood, the more internal cause was the drive to gain religious freedom.
Many Puritans and dissenting Christians who had been persecuted in England emigrated to the American continent to obtain religious freedom. They founded an independent nation in 1776 and established American democracy. Born out of the Abel-type view of life, Abel-type democracy has developed from these beginnings into the democratic world of today.
The concept of the separation of powers into three branches of government was advocated by Montesquieu (1689-1755), a leading thinker of the Enlightenment. It sought to prevent the concentration of political power in the hands of a single individual or institution, as was the case with political absolutism. The idea was proclaimed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man during the French Revolution.
From the beginning, the separation of powers was to be characteristic of the political structure of the ideal society which God has been working to realize. Yet here again, as we observe throughout the course of the providence, Satan was defectively mimicking an aspect of the Principle ahead of its realization by God. Let us then briefly examine the political structure of the ideal world.
The universe, as we have seen, is patterned after the structure of a perfect human being. By the same token, the ideal world to be built by fully mature people is also to resemble the structure and functions of a perfect individual.10(cf. Creation 1.1; 1.2; 3.2) By analogy with the human body, whose organs function in accordance with the subtle commands of the brain, all the institutions of the ideal global society are to abide by the desires of God. Just as the commands of the brain are transmitted to every part of the body through the peripheral nervous system branching out from the spinal cord, in the ideal world God’s guidance is conveyed to the entire society through Christ, who corresponds to the spinal cord, and God-loving leaders, who correspond to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system branching out from the spinal cord corresponds to a nation’s political parties. Thus, in the ideal world, people of God led by Christ will form organizations analogous to today’s political parties.
In the human body, the lungs, heart and stomach maintain harmonious interaction in accord with the directions of the brain, transmitted through the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system. By analogy, the three branches of government in the ideal world – the legislative, judicial and executive branches – will interact in harmonious and principled relationships when they follow God’s guidance as conveyed through Christ and people of God. Just as the four limbs of the body move according to the commands of the brain for the welfare of the individual as a whole, the economic institutions of the ideal world, corresponding to the limbs, will uphold the desire of God and promote the welfare of the entire world. Just as the liver stores nourishment for the entire body, in the ideal world there will always be a certain reserve to be tapped as needed for the public good.
Since every part of the human body has a vertical relationship with the brain, horizontal relationships are naturally established between the different organs to form an integrated organism. Likewise, in the ideal world, because people’s horizontal relationships with each other are rooted in their vertical relationship with God, they will form one integrated and interdependent society in which they share all their joys and sorrows. In this society, to hurt someone else will be experienced as hurting one’s own self. Hence, its citizens simply will not want to commit crime.
Let us now examine how, in the providence of restoration, God has been working to restore this ideal social structure. In the course of Western history, there was a time when the functions of the three branches of government and the political parties were concentrated in one individual, the king. This was modified from time to time when the king dominated the government, while the Church under the leadership of the papacy played a role similar to that of a political party. The political system underwent a fundamental change at the time of the French and American Revolutions when the government was divided into the three branches – legislative, judicial and executive – and political parties took on distinct roles. With the establishment of constitutional democracy, the framework for the ideal political system was set up.
Thus, political systems have changed over the course of history because fallen human society was being restored to the ideal society, the structure and functions of which will be patterned after a perfected individual. Today’s democracies, characterized by the three separate branches of government and a proliferation of political parties, resemble the structure of a healthy human body to some extent. Nevertheless, because of the Fall, today’s democracies in fact bear more of a likeness to the body of a sick or injured person. They cannot fully display their original qualities and functions in their full potential. Since the political parties are ignorant of the Will of God, they may be compared to a nervous system which is unable to transmit directions from the brain. Since constitutions are not written in accordance with the Word of God, the three branches of government currently function like internal organs which cannot sense or respond to the commands of the brain because the peripheral nerves have been severed. They lack order and harmony, and suffer continual conflicts among themselves.
Therefore, Christ at the Second Advent will remedy the illness of the present political system that it may reflect God’s design by restoring people’s vertical relationship with God. This will unleash society’s true potential.
God’s ideal of creation cannot be fulfilled merely by forming a world without sin. God blessed human beings to have dominion over the universe.11(Gen. 1:28)CEV|KJ|NI We are to seek for the hidden laws of nature and advance science and technology to create a pleasant living environment. Religion and science have shouldered their respective responsibilities for helping fallen people overcome the internal and external aspects of their ignorance. Therefore, in the Last Days of history, we can expect not only the emergence of a truth which can guide people to completely alleviate their spiritual ignorance; we may also expect the progress of science to solve all the mysteries of the physical universe.12(cf. Eschatology 4.3) Together, they will bring human society to the stage just prior to the realization of the ideal world. Thus, we can understand that the Industrial Revolution which began in England arose out of God’s providence to restore the living environment to one suitable for the ideal world.
The economic structure of the ideal society also resembles the structure of a healthy human body. Production, distribution and consumption should have an organic, interdependent relationship such as that which exists between the digestive, circulatory and metabolic systems. There should not be destructive competition due to overproduction; nor should there be excessive accumulation or overconsumption due to unfair distribution, which would be contrary to the welfare of all people. There should be adequate production of necessary and useful goods, fair distribution to supply what is sufficient for people’s needs, and reasonable consumption in harmony with the purpose of the whole.
The mass production born of the Industrial Revolution led England to claim vast colonies as sources of raw materials and markets for goods. In so doing, the Industrial Revolution opened up a vast territory for the propagation of the Gospel. Accordingly, it contributed to both the internal and external aspects of the providence of restoration.
We have seen how after the Renaissance, the unitary worldview of medieval Europe was divided into Cain- and Abel-type views of life. These gave rise to two types of political revolutions and founded two types of democracies, both of which were greatly strengthened as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The two types of democracies were on the course to form the democratic and the communist worlds.
Following the Industrial Revolution, spurred by the rapid progress of science, industrialization created economies characterized by over-production. The great powers of Europe, which felt an urgent need to pioneer new lands as markets for their products and as sources of raw materials for their factories, grew strong as they competed with each other in the scramble for colonies. Thus, two factors – the two trends in ideology and the course of economic development following the progress of science – caused the later political division of the world into two blocs: the democratic world and the communist world.
The Cain-type movement which began with the revival of Hellenism overthrew the medieval world and gave birth to the humanism of the Renaissance. As this movement developed further, moving in Satan’s direction, it gave birth to the Enlightenment, which may be regarded as the second renaissance in the current of ideology. Enlightenment thought further matured in the satanic direction, giving birth to historical materialism, which is the core of communist ideology. This may be regarded as the third renaissance.
Since the satanic side mimics in advance the providence of God, we may expect that God’s providence calls for three stages of revolution to take place in each of the three spheres of religion, politics and economy. In the sphere of religion, the first reformation took place under Martin Luther’s leadership after the first renaissance. A second reformation was launched after the second renaissance by the spiritual movements led by people such as the Wesley brothers, Fox and Swedenborg. From our examination of the progress of history, it is evident that a third reformation will occur following the third renaissance. Indeed, the state of today’s Christianity desperately calls for such a reformation.
In the political sphere, we can surmise that reform also is taking place in three stages. First, medieval feudal society collapsed under the weight of the first renaissance and the first reformation. Next, absolute monarchy was destroyed by the forces unleashed by the second renaissance and the second reformation. Finally, the communist world was formed by the political revolutions brought on by the third renaissance. Through the coming third religious reformation, the democratic world on God’s side will triumph in the ideological war and bring the communist world on Satan’s side to its knees. Then the two worlds will unite into one Kingdom of Heaven on earth under God.
The economic changes which follow the religious and political reforms have been progressing in three industrial revolutions. The first Industrial Revolution originated in England and was based on the steam engine. A century later, the second Industrial Revolution took place in many advanced nations based on electricity and the gasoline engine. The third Industrial Revolution will flower by safely tapping the power of the atom; it will construct a pleasant living environment for the ideal world. In the centuries of preparation prior to the Second Advent of the Messiah, the three stages of revolutions in the three spheres of religion, politics and industry, which followed the three renaissances, have been a necessary course for the construction of the ideal world, as required by the principle of development through three stages.