The Economic System in Cheon Il Guk


By Hideyuki Teshigawara

Teshigawara_edited-1As far as I know, there is no one who can explain the concrete system of Cheon Il Guk. But then is it possible to realize something without any clear vision and goal? Even if we have a clear vision and goal, it may be difficult to realize Cheon Il Guk.

Obviously, Cheon Il Guk is not the nation that can automatically be built by God’s miraculous power. The ideal of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values should be established through cooperation between God and human beings. It is wrong to think that the concrete plan for the society of Cheon Il Guk would be given by Rev. Moon or God unilaterally.

Regrettably, even inside the Unification Movement, a large number of people are reluctant to establish a concrete system for Cheon Il Guk. Their main insistence is that if the ideal world consists of “original” people (persons without fallen nature) and ideal families, the external structure will not be so important. However, it is a naive way of thinking that “original” people will do well whatever the system.

It is true that if all problems come only from fallen nature, we will be able to gain prosperity within either a market economy or planned economy. This is because problems due to fallen nature will be automatically solved by the management of “original” people without fallen nature.

However, in reality, there are structural problems within both systems that have nothing to do with human fallen nature. Accordingly, the Bible says we must “pour new wine into new wineskins.” The original economic system must be built on the basis of a new ideology and practice that can solve the structural problem of existing economic systems.

The human model utilized in modern economics is generally referred to as “Rational Economic Man.” The Rational Economic Man is defined as “A person who acts rationally based on knowledge, self-interest and the desire for wealth.” Max Weber maintained that the image of the Rational Economic Man became the general human image after the Protestant Reformation.

Weber defined the human image prior to the Rational Economic Man as Traditionalism. Traditional man did “not by nature wish to earn more and more money, but simply to live as he is accustomed to live and earn as much as is necessary for that purpose.”

In contrast, the model human image for Cheon Il Guk is that of “Original” man and woman. Original human beings possess distinct characteristics. They resemble the Divine Image and pursue a life of truth, goodness, beauty, and love. They create harmonious families. They are individuals of heart, Logos (truth), and creativity. Original human beings find individual fulfillment in living for the sake of others. They practice “true love.” According to Rev. Moon, true love “gives, forgets that it has given, and continues to give without ceasing.” True Love also gives “without any expectation … of receiving something in return.”

Divine Principle often uses expressions such as “socialistic ideal,” “socialistic economy,” and “socialistic idea.” However, it never identifies the socialistic ideal with that of planned economies which were actually practiced in the Soviet Union and other communist countries.

This is because the term socialistic has a broad meaning; for example, we can regard the European welfare state as a socialistic ideal in a broad sense. What Divine Principle wants to say regarding the “socialistic ideal” is not that the ideal world should be planned and controlled from the government, but that the ideal world should provide equal living conditions to all people, i.e., “Just as parents love all their children equally, God desires to provide pleasant environments and living conditions equally to all His children.” This is utterly different from the state socialism that communism actually established.

The private ownership system is the basis of capitalism’s existence. Without it, we cannot undertake any kind of economic activity and the Rational Economic Man does not feel any incentive for hard work. However, in Unification Thought, economic activities are understood as a part of dominion. The concepts of ownership and dominion are quite different. According to Divine Principle, what God gave us as the “third blessing” is “dominion” over creation, not “ownership” of the creation.

Essentials of Unification Thought states, “Dominion incorporates the meaning of ruling, managing, processing, protecting, and so on.” Dominion means to manage something as the central person on behalf of someone else. God is the real owner of creation, and human beings manage them in place of God.

The characteristics of ownership are irreducibility and abstractness. Irreducibility means the owner can do anything, including negative things, with his possession: exploit it, throw it away, or destroy it. Abstractness means that possession and occupation can be divided. An owner does not need to be in direct contact with or directly use possessions. Cheon Il Guk is not the world based on private ownership such as this, but the world based on dominion.

Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13). In my view, there will be no monetary system in Cheon Il Guk. In the present economic system, money is the main medium of exchange. It is used as “something in return,” a kind of reward in the transaction. Here is a major contradiction between money and Rev. Moon’s thought of giving and forgetting what one has given. For example, Rev. Moon said, “In the heavenly world of the future, the time for living off a monthly salary will pass away,” and also stated, “There is no concept of equalization in the world of money…. People do not want to share these things, so they will never stand equal and there will be no peace.”


The author argues there will be no monetary system in Cheon Il Guk.

Money inevitably induces human egoism and corruption in people. If money as a source of value disappears in the economic system, the gap between rich and poor will never happen. Currently, we hoard property and have the desire for limitless wealth because of the existence of money as a storehouse of value. In a society without money, this would not be. There is no other way to realize the ideal of equality completely.

It is obvious that the character of True Love to give without any expectation or condition of receiving something in “return” and the character of exchange transactions to absolutely require money as a “reward” are completely incompatible with each other. It also is exclusive and merciless to the disadvantaged who cannot participate in such transactions. The monetary system will utterly perish from the face of the earth to the degree that human beings restore their original nature and cut their connection with fallen nature.

In monetary society, since the maximization of self-interest is paramount, companies do not stop producing at the point of market equilibrium, but try to increase sales as long as the profit rate is higher. However, Divine Principle states that in an “ideal society,” production, distribution and consumption should have an organic relationship. “There should not be destructive competition due to over-production, nor unfair distribution leading to excessive accumulation and consumption, which are contrary to the purpose of the common good.”

A society whose purpose is to obtain monetary profits inevitably causes utilitarianism and individualism in people; as a result, it leads people to the destruction of families in the end. Cheon Il Guk must be an economic society in which labor is freed from money and becomes people’s hobby.

To what extent should government control the economy? It is desirable that production and distribution be undertaken at places nearest to people’s lives. As such, the control of the central government must be minimized. Individuals and companies nearest to consumers are best suited to make production and distribution plans by analyzing consumption trends themselves. Cheon Il Guk affirms “consumer sovereignty.”

Government control should be limited to 1) the administration of natural resources which have a direct influence on the earth’s ecosystem; and, 2) businesses with highly public needs, i.e., city planning, public transportation, education, postal service and medical services. Production of consumer goods as well as service industries required to meet the diverse tastes and preferences of consumers should be left to the private sector.

In Cheon Il Guk, the average hours of labor will decrease considerably. The fact that 1 percent of the world population came to possess 40 percent of the world’s wealth, much of which is meaningless wealth, indicates that we would be able to produce goods needed for daily life in half the amount of time. In addition, with no need for financial institutions such as banks, securities companies, and insurance companies workers from those institutions would flow into labor markets further shortening the necessary labor time in society.

The economic system of Cheon Il Guk will not be established until people embody the characteristics of original men and women. Of course, it is not easy to remove fallen nature which people have inherited for generations and at the same time restore original nature. Therefore, if the number of people who can restore human nature close to the original reaches the minimum number which can maintain a society, I see no alternative but to gather those people to build one model nation.

Once Cheon Il Guk succeeds in establishing a materially wealthy society through its external economic system and at the same time establishes even the first steps of the culture of living for the sake of others, stable growth can be expected. In addition, once Cheon Il Guk succeeds in removing the problems which capitalism never solved, such as unemployment, inflation, depression, destruction of natural resources, excessive competition, and the gap between the rich and poor, the world will have to pay attention to the reason why and how people could do that.

That would be the very time Cheon Il Guk could announce its basic concepts and ideology. Most significantly, when a national sovereign asks questions such as, “We would like to rebuild our nation based on Rev. Moon’s thought. What do we have to do?” or, “What kind of a country is Cheon Il Guk?” we need to have prepared a clear vision so we can give an immediate answer such as, “Cheon Il Guk is the nation whose system is such, and you can realize it if you do this.”♦

Hideyuki Teshigawara (UTS Class of 2007) graduated in 1988 from Kyoto University with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He  worked for 14 years in the securities industry in Japan. From 2007, he was a strategic planning director for a multinational business, and is currently developing a new human resource system for the Japanese FFWPU. This article is adapted from his UTS Master of Divinity thesis submitted in 2007.

Of further interest:

“Shopping in Cheon Il Guk: Economics in the Unificationist Ideal World,” by Tyler Hendricks, Journal of Unification Studies, Vol. 7, 2006

“The Just Third Way: How We Can Create Green Growth, Widespread Prosperity and Global Peace,” by Norman G. Kurland, Dawn K. Brohawn, and Michael D. Greaney, Center for Economic and Social Justice, Washington, DC, 2008

10 thoughts on “The Economic System in Cheon Il Guk

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  1. Great article. I think we should have a system ready for CIG. But I don’t think money itself is a problem. Money is just a tool for human beings. Perhaps money is the best tool we have in the present world. We can’t separate money from any other things.

  2. Hideyuki,

    I am Italian and married to a UTS alumnus who graduated in 1988. I appreciate your suggestions, and after studying political science in the 1980s, and used such experiences in my local activity as a city council member, and heard already many others by specialists, economist politicians, public administrators, I’d like to share a few points.

    Regarding your thesis of the “abolition” of money in the CIG: This is a theory supported by many visionaries in the past, especially in Europe, anarchic groups strongly promoted it (if you like I can collect all this contributions and let you have it). Of course such an idea brings in this moment many reasons for skepticism. With the victory over fallen nature there will be no more selfishness that fuels the accumulation of wealth. But there is yet, according to original human nature, the need for a “reward,” as you call it, for exchanges involving material goods.

    How can we provide in the future the necessary goods to disabled or sick people? Should it be left to private initiatives or must it be taken care of by public institutions? How can the ideal order model be described, can it be compared to existing models, or not at all? In the modern economies the “material” currency has been increasingly reduced until it will soon become just virtual. I think in the process of changes toward the CIG there will be at least a few “steps”. The first should be to create a unique world currency, with the agreement of all the main world institutions, to reduce the strong unbalances existing yet now.

  3. Mr. Teshigawara has contributed a well-written paper highlighting problems within the present economic system. It is also commendable he is continuing a Unificationist debate on defining the economics of Cheon Il Guk. The problem for Unificationists is that we still dwell, and premise our writings on various subjects, from the perspective of a world still under the Principle of Restoration as if this principle will rule humanity forever.

    What I believe we must understand is that prior to Foundation Day, since the birth of civilization, because of restoration, the world had been compelled to be ruled by command leadership on everything, especially in economics. This legacy has been challenged and partially changed since 1776, mostly by America’s empowerment of the “citizen.” True Father’s legacy was of trickle-down power, which was fine in restoration for the purpose of defeating Satan, but no longer needed after Foundation Day if we understand the accomplishments of True Parents to liberate God and humanity from the bondage of Satanic dominance and influence.

    As “Citizens” of Cheon Il Guk, and in light of Foundation Day, we eventually have to come to a proper interpretation of the meaning of “interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal shared values.” Foundation Day compels us to gently challenge and change the legacy of command leadership movements and the structure of trickle-down power, including in economics, that gives decisionmaking power to top leadership in order to prevent the development of “individualism.” But proper economic systems have to empower the individual.

    Originally, we are and forever will be Individual Truth Bodies. But individualism has a bad name, because it was taken by Satan and would continue to be bad if restoration through indemnity were a never-ending principle. The sovereignty of the individual in restoration had to be denied and trampled upon in order to overcome fallen nature and make the conditions of faith and substance to receive the Messiah. These meant that good or evil “Abel” or “Cain” rulers could dominate the individual man or woman for millennia until restoration was complete.

    In order to address effectively the issue of economics for Cheon Il Guk, we have to understand the rights and meaning of individual sovereignty of men and women as “Individual Truth Bodies.” You cannot be a real Individual Truth Body without being an owner of your destiny, owner of your mind, owner of your creativity, including your economic rights of ownership of private property or the fruit of your own labor.

    To do this, first all Unification members, but especially our scholars, must understand the cosmic changes brought about by Foundation Day, where Father God/Mother God are totally free to manage with their children the affairs of the construction of Cheon Il Guk, unencumbered by Satanic obstructions.

    The right formulas for the economics of Cheon Il Guk will come to us after understanding those changes in ourselves as the children of Heavenly Parent and also the changes taking place in Heaven with the proper empowerment of Mother God, the feminine aspect of Heavenly Parent.

    Economics is intimately intertwined with feminine responsibilities. The woman prepares the nest and resources for the rearing of her children — that is the responsibility of Mother God in harmony with Father God. A proper economic system can only spring up once we properly understand the principle dynamics of harmony and balance between God’s dual characteristics of Masculinity and Femininity. This consequently settles and brings clarity to the role of proper gender balance in managing creation and parenting human beings as men and women.

    Money is just a social tool. Social tools are part of but not the core of economics. Also, the Principle teaches that “a just reward is expected for a job well done.” Even in the “ideal,” in a restored world, people still will be ambitious and “selfish” (a different kind of selfishness, one in balance between the purpose of the whole and the purpose of the individual centered on heart). I believe this dynamic has been played out for sometime within the True Family, with various camps trying to define proper purposes for the individual and for the whole. This duality plays a central role in defining the economics of an ideal world.

    The dialectics within the purpose of the whole and the purpose of the individual will always be a source of tension in this complementary duality, even in the Cheon Il Guk. Only heart at the center of this duality will settle the debate in a Godly way. Also, we are destined to incarnate God’s original Masculinity and original Femininity as men and women. As such, we become co-owners, and co-managers of our lives and of creation with God and not under God. This is done only in a mature active gender balance environment.

    We as parents have our children “under” us as long as the children are defenseless, growing up and maturing into adults. Once they grow and mature they are no longer under us but “with” us. I don’t want my children to be under me and my wife forever, nor do my children want a situation of dominance by their parents. I want them with me and they would want to be with us as parents. God in Cheon Il Guk is no different. He/She wants the children to be as Individual Truth Bodies with God forever, not under God. Under God implies the vulnerability of children, who cannot be responsible for their own lives, depending on God to forever solve their problems because they are under Satanic domination. Once Satan has been defeated, God no longer has to be in control of the children.

    God can have His/Her Cosmic Sabbath, but co-own and co-manage the lives of His/Her children and creation though the Principle of True Love. The principle of Interdependence, Co-prosperity and Universal Shared Values can only be fulfilled by us, by being co-creators with God, our Parent.

    These ideas and principles have tremendous implications for a future theory of economics for Cheon Il Guk. Future individuals, couples and families will live with God, without the ensnarement of sin and evil.

    BTW, I am glad to see as reference material the paper by Mr. Kurland, et. al., of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (they are UPF Ambassadors for Peace), who are at the frontline in defining the economics of justice for the coming world.

  4. Thank you Mr. Teshigawara for putting forth this stimulating presentation and your ideas. It is much needed. I especially found your discussion of the differences between ownership and dominion to be fresh. I will have to think about this.

    My own study of economics (my degree in college) has been given tremendous new life – and hope – by the discovery of Distributism. I had many an “aha” moment when reading a book by John Medaille entitled Toward a Truly Free Market. Distributism does a few amazing things, for example:

    1. It analyzes the weaknesses of both a planned (Socialist) and market (Capitalist) economic system through the prism of Distributive Justice. Without Justice, there is no equilibrium and therefore an out of balance economy will require non-economic interventions by heavy-handed government, leading to growing inequalities and unrest.

    2. Justice is a moral issue and must be factored into economic theory because human beings are the central actors in an economy and are moral beings. He argues, for example, that wages must be such that a family can live a decent life on one income, leaving the other to care for the family.

    3. Rather than traditional economic theory that locates the individual as the economic unit, Distributism places that value on the family.

    4. Distributist theory discusses how to solve the problem of the tension between labor and capital (which is basically stored up labor). Both must receive their just rewards as incentives for their employment into the productive process. But these rewards must be proportionate and not over-compensating one over the other. (This is often the cause of political interference in the economic system – a big problem).

    5. Distributism would allow any community to produce local currency, thus providing for a brake against the monopoly of the current (fallen) banking systems.

    6. As far as ownership of the means of production, Distributist theory looks back to an older system of co-operative ownership, or mutual ownership, as a better solution than either state ownership or excessively large private corporate ownership. There are current examples in the world of highly successful, profitable and multinational enterprises that are completely owned by the workers, yielding dignity and prosperity to families. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain employs over 100,000 persons and competes internationally.

    My point in response to Mr. Teshigawara’s argument is to propose that we cannot wait for “original man” to appear in large numbers; or to over-idealize a social economic system that functions without money (for example). One would hope that day will come, but in the interim period of transition, we need to pursue real models that move us in the right direction toward Freedom and Mutual Prosperity based on Universally Shared Values, such as the family and justice.

    For me, Distributism has both the proper critique and counter-proposals (against Capitalism and Socialism) that I have been looking for as a starting point.

  5. Life on earth is to develop our true love foundation. We have to learn how to serve others. This is the basis of capitalism, the first economic system that rewards serving the public. Capitalism is not based on greed, it is based on who does the best job of serving others.

    The only effective regulation of businesses is free competition. Then the best product distributed at the lowest price will win. The customer is king. Government regulations force the business to instead butter up the government officials as well as serve the customers. The cost of doing so is passed on in higher prices and lower quality products. Most regulations are written by corporate lobbyists for the purpose of making it too expensive for most competitors to enter the market.

    The great capitalists of the 19th century in the U.S. prospered by successfully engaging in price wars. Rockefeller lowered the cost of oil and Vanderbilt made it cheap to travel and transport goods.

    Here is a study that estimates we would be over three times more prosperous in the US today if federal regulations had remained at its 1949 level.

    It would be more if the researchers had been able to study the effect of state and local regulations.

    Far more corrupting than money is the power wielded by government officials. Advocates of CIG must enumerate natural law much more clearly so the rights and freedoms of God’s children are respected by public servants. Should God’s children be free to travel and communicate without surveillance, to enter contracts, to use our bodies and property as we wish without harming others, and to keep the fruits of our labor? Do we have a right to privacy, including our biometric information? If so, then we have to outlaw the metadata collection of the NSA, the digital imaging cameras proliferating in US cities, passports and immigration law, the drug war, legislating morality, zoning regulations, business licenses, and the IRS.

    CIG should have an economy that gives freedom to families to prosper so they can serve others with their true love. Here in Maryland we have Amish markets. Some Amish families make food at home in Pennsylvania and come down to the Amish market in Maryland and sell it. They can also sell their homemade food on the road outside their house. Some counties in PA have no zoning or building regulations on agricultural buildings. So the Amish can easily put up a shed at home and use it to make money by serving others. They are also exempt from Social Security taxes, which are around 12%. That is a big margin in business.

    The residents of my county love to patronize the Amish markets in Laurel and Annapolis, but we would quickly find ourselves in deep legal trouble if we were to try to do the same thing. The county zoning department, the business license department, and the IRS would have us in their crosshairs. In CIG, we should all have equal freedom to produce and serve, not just the partial freedom Amish enjoy now.

    As to abolishing money, how will you go shopping? Barter? Will we live in a Kumbaya land of just taking what we want whenever we need it and giving away all that we have confident of future blessings?

    If you produce a product, giving it away for free would mean at the cost of production and distribution. Just giving it away would mean incurring a big loss and soon your company would go bankrupt and you would be working for someone else with more common sense. Which church companies are giving stuff away?

    Without private property rights, no one will produce because it will easily be stolen by those connected to the government. Lack of private property was a big cause of poverty under communism. The workers pretended to work and the government pretended to pay them. The same economic disaster happened in early Massachusetts because all were expected to work communally. Some guys volunteered to become slaves to the Indians so they could know where their next meal was coming from.

    I rather liked the Freedom Society view spelled out by Kook Jin Moon better than this one.

  6. Economics is about scarcity and the choices we make as individuals, groups and society as a whole.

    The “Rational Economic Man” makes choices based on his self-interest. What is fundamentally different between a mature person living in the direct dominion and a fallen person is the sense of self. Reverend Moon spoke most eloquently on this topic in a speech titled “Myself” in the mid-1980s. Clearly, a person whose sense of self is large enough to include the whole of humanity will make very different choices from one whose sense of self is limited to the level of an individual, family or even society.

    With all due respect to Mr. Teshigawara and many of the interesting points he raises, I believe it is rather premature to be considering the economic relationships (and similarly elsewhere the political and social relationships) that will govern Cheon Il Guk. If such a world does come to pass, we have to assume that its citizens will be quite capable of working out how best to organize themselves. I doubt they will spend much time reflecting on the speculations of people who inhabited a very different fallen world, possibly hundreds or even thousands of years earlier — except perhaps out of a historical curiosity in their ancestors’ powers of prediction.

    While it may be naive to believe that “the external structure will not be so important” for a world inhabited by ideal families, we need to remember that the problems we face today are not in essence systemic ones, arising from external structures, but internal ones arising from our low spiritual state and immaturity.

  7. I recommend watching this TED talks video! It is by Prof. Franz Hormann, a professor of accounting from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. It is three years old but the only one from him in English.

    We in our UC have to think about the monetary system. We have so much suffering in this world because we have a failed bookkeeping system. We create money by making loans. This gives people fear and guilt. God would never make a world of fear and guilt. The new world economic system will be give and forget.

    Also we don’t need anymore a hierarchical system. We just have TP. We have to create a world without money. Everyone just gives what he can to the whole and each one takes what he or she needs. We need to create a world of abundance, not a world of scarcity. Economists just think on the basis of scarcity. They can never help this world. We have to think in terms of abundance with new technology. This is God’s heart for His children.

    Through the monetary system, Satan is controlling the people and keeping them spiritually down! Look, we are all just running around for the sake of money! And he did this so simply. He told us we should exchange products but not just give and forget! And he is controlling this by the bookkeeping system (double bookkeeping). If this will be God’s world, I say “No thanks”!

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