Power and Its Distribution

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by Alison Wakelin

Alison WakelinA revival of authoritarianism and fundamentalism is sweeping the world today. As Unificationists, this presents a challenge, because post-Foundation Day an encroaching darkness is stealing the hearts and lives of so many millions.

We must ask ourselves, if we truly have a foundational spiritual role to play in the development of society in the near future, how has this come about? The answer seems that there is still an outstanding issue within our movement, one that Reverend Moon spoke of as the failure of Christianity, and which we now see clearly from our Western perspective embodied within a Cheon Il Guk Constitution. We do not see Western values expressed within our own projected future.

We must look at this directly, and accept that action is needed. Too much centralization of power is fine when the person at the center is trusted and admired by everyone, but it leaves only one option when people disagree with the central person. We indeed see several instances where splinter groups have arisen from within our movement. In a post-Messianic era, we cannot cling to too much authoritarianism, and certainly as a prescription for a nation, it is a major problem.

A society with a well-educated populace can only be harmed by a concentration of power and decision-making in too few hands. People grow and mature throughout their lives by making responsible decisions and learning through the outcomes, and if the majority are expected to live solely within the parameters defined by a central powerful body, then vast numbers of people are deprived of the right to self-determination. Thus collective life is reduced to a very circumscribed existence and growth is thwarted.

Of course, it is quite acceptable that some decisions are left to a few representatives, because they know the issues best, and may have the most experience and wisdom to make decisions for the whole — but this only works if there are many levels of decision-making between the individual and the central power. On this basis, those making final decisions do so aware of the opinions and desires of others.

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