Laurent Ladouce was awarded an honorary doctorate by UTS in 2017. A prolific author of Unificationist publications, he also published the book, Le Projet Pakxe: une contribution du Laos à l’unité de l’Asie du Sud‐Est et à la Paix Mondiale, describing the rising role of city diplomacy and proposing a plan to make Pakxe, Laos, an international city of peace. He also regularly conducts tribal messiah activity in West Africa.

  • Canaan Represented, the Birth of a Happy Nation: A Unificationist Perspective on the Dutch Golden Age

    Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 22, 2021 - Pages 163-197

    When countries think of advancement, they don't think of one country advancing in democracy and another in art. Instead they think that they must advance in all of these areas. If one country is outstanding in all of these areas, every other country will admire its achievement. It is always important to determine the essence of a country which warrants respect. Then what is the element of a country which every other country can admire? It is not likely to be seen in one building or a modern factory. Even achieving the fullest perfection in art is not likely to warrant the fullest respect. Art is viewed as art, economy as economy and technology as technology, while the people who produced a brilliant result are not thought about. When we look for the most basic element of a nation, we see it is people who produce a country. (Reverend Moon, “For the Future,” London, September 10, 1978.

    The quest of happiness appears in the first sentence of the Divine Principle, “Every human being is struggling to attain life-long happiness and overcome misfortune.”[1] Here, lasting satisfaction comes as a result of commitment and not as something that merely happens (the etymology of happiness) for a while. Moreover, the first step is to overcome misfortune.

    The struggle to move away from misfortune and seek a lasting happiness, more than any other factor, drove the Dutch Republic[2], particularly in the seventeenth century[3]. What were the parameters of the so-called Dutch miracle, from a Unificationist viewpoint? Netherlands was often portrayed as the laboratory of modern times. The root cause of this modernity was the quest of national happiness. Netherlands identified itself with the role of a happy nation. Happiness was then a new idea in Europe[4], long before the French and American revolutions.


    A Baroque Representation of the Joyful End of History Which Lasted 50 Years

    Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) is the major historian of Netherlands. Homo Ludens (1938) was his final masterpiece. In this book, whose title can be translated “Playing Man,” Huizinga stated that the driving force of culture is play, or competition. He also discussed the word Agon, central in the Greek culture, which has the meaning of a competition or debate, especially in sports and comedies. It denotes an act in theatre and an action in cinema. A court case is also an action, calling for a verdict. Every competition in sports is an action to determine the winner. According to Huizinga, humans are essentially actors, our whole life is an action, or a play. The small Dutch population united in an Agon to overcome the challenges from a natural and political environment which were inimical and dangerous. Whereas most Europeans were still plagued by several calamities, the Dutch enjoyed a remarkable spring, as if the age of misfortune had ended.

    The Dutch Republic pioneered a form of liberal governance in an age where Absolutism was the norm elsewhere. In many ways, Netherlands was the first nation-state to adopt a republican regime, where the pursuit of liberty, equality and happiness gradually became core values.

    After its war for independence, the new nation combined ethical strictness with religious freedom and tolerance. Religion and science managed to work in harmony, in a joint effort to improve the well-being of the whole population. The brilliant culture that flourished in the Netherlands was not limited to the official and academic circles of a court and of aristocrats. Emanating from a nascent civil society, this culture was carried by patrician families and later the middle class.

    The daily culture of the population was represented by painters. In the rest of Europe, religious, mythological and historical topics continued to be the mainstream, relegating genre painting to a minor status. Netherlands turned genre painting into a great genre, and the whole population was represented. The domestic life became the center of arts. This itself was a cultural revolution.

    Last but not least, Netherlands became the leading commercial power of the world. Jan de Vries and Ad van der Woude explained in detail why and how the Dutch created the first modern economy[5], enjoying an unprecedented level of prosperity. The wealth of this nation involved external institutions. Amsterdam hosted the first national bank followed by the first stock exchange in world history. There was a strong insistence on a precise accountancy, checks and balances, transparency, in an atmosphere of thrift and diligence. The rich class was exhorted to remain moderate and to mind about the needy. Vanity and a frivolous life were presented as causes of spiritual and material ruin. But the more internal factor was a sense about human capital[6]. For the French Historian Alain Peyrefitte, an ethos of trust was central in the Dutch welfare. By this he meant trust in progress and science, but also trust among people[7]. This ethos of trust was grounded in the system of family values cherished by the Patricians and the middle class. Gary Becker, a major theoretician on human capital, once observed,

    Where does human capital come from? One has to start with the family. It is the foundation of a good society and of economic success. To understand human capital, you have to go back to the family, because it is families that are concerned about their children and try… to promote their children’s education and values. Families are the major promoters of values[8].

    The last part of this essay will explore the centrality of the happy marriage and of the joyful family in the Dutch culture of the seventeenth century. It was believed that the family was the real treasure of the whole society, especially when the intimate bonds and a playful atmosphere among family members would facilitate self-confidence, creativity, and a desire for excellence.

    All these achievements did not just happen. To talk about a “Dutch miracle,” like K.W. Swart[9], can be misleading. The Dutch enjoyed a fortune that was neither miraculous nor the effect of luck. Prompted by vision and courage, they made bold and steady choices, whereas neighboring countries remained at the stage of wishful thinking.

    Whereas the rest of Europe was lamenting in the past, a whole nation got on stage and played for 50 years a baroque representation of the joyful end of history.


    Playing the Bible in Daily Life

    Historians generally agree that Netherlands was a model during its seventeenth century. Yet most hesitate over the ambiguous notion of a Golden Age[10]. Johan Huizinga challenged this concept for a simple reason: we talk about real history, not about legendary times. The present essay, therefore, is not just about the historical facts, what really took place. We shall deal more with mental representations, namely the hopes and ideals which guided the Dutch Republic in its magnificence. For the philosopher Georg W. Hegel, the Dutch seventeenth century was one of the highest moments in the march of human history toward the self-realization of the Absolute Spirit. Ironically, Hegel did not see this grandeur of the Dutch civilization in the quest of the pure concept. In Hegelian terms, the Golden Age was the age where the ideal had descended on the earth and was no longer alienated in the reality. It was alive in the practical existence of the common people. He praised their “utterly living absorption in the world and its daily life.” In other words, the Dutch people created a society where the ideal and the reality tended to unite in the normal existence: the ordinary people were in communion with the Spirit, not just in their religious life but in everyday existence. This “biblicisation of the daily life” was a distinct feature of the Dutch seventeenth century.

    For Hegel, this “absorption in the daily life,” far from being vulgar and merely secular, was a part of a theodicy, of a Providence at work in the Netherlands:

    The Dutch have selected the content of their artistic representations out of their own experience, out of their own life in the present. In order to ascertain what engrossed the interest of the Dutch at the time of these paintings, we must ask about Dutch history.

    What fascinated Hegel so much was none other than freedom. Later, we shall suggest that Netherlands at that time was a pioneer of the modern four freedoms. This is what Hegel observed in their civilization.

    The Dutch have made the greatest part of the land on which they dwell and live; it has continually to be defended against the storms of the sea, and it has to be maintained. By resolution, endurance, and courage, townsmen and countrymen alike threw off the Spanish dominion... and by fighting won for themselves freedom in political life and in religious life too. This citizenship, this love of enterprise, in small things as in great, in their own land as on the high seas, this painstaking as well as cleanly and neat well-being, this joy and exuberance in their own sense that for all this they have their own activity to thank, all this is what constitutes the general content of their pictures[11].

    The Reality Tried to Match the Ideal

    Here, Hegel was not writing as a historian. He was interpreting the mental representations of this period in art. No one asserts that the Netherlands at that time had become an ideal society. It was a hopeful and optimistic society which tried to play/represent this ideal in action.

    Netherlands was then living a national dream, or myth, which is not measured quantitively. The population embraced the vision of a happy society, where common people would find deeper and deeper satisfactions through steady progress. According to Simon Schama, the question of “how to create a moral order in an earthly paradise” dominated Dutch culture. This myth had two components. An internal, “vertical” component came from Hebraism. It was the idea of building Canaan in the Promised Land of Netherlands, under a Calvinist banner. Yet the Golden Age cannot be reduced to a Calvinist myth.

    The external and “horizontal” component came from Hellenism, via humanism and Erasmus. The Dutch rediscovered the central theme of Aristotle’s ethics: how do virtue and happiness walk together? Can a society aim at the good while seeking the goods of the earth? Can the quest of spiritual values (truth, goodness and beauty) go hand in hand with the pursuit of material values? How much can we integrate heavenly laws, human laws and natural laws in order to arrive at a better life? Aristotle did not believe in a perfect and platonic Republic guided by king-philosophers. He envisioned a gradual progress toward the good. Later, Tocqueville studied the life of Americans in the nascent American democracy and wrote, “I considered mores to be one of the great general causes responsible for the maintenance of a democratic republic… the term mores… meaning… habits of the heart.”[12]

    For a few decades, the “habits of the heart” in the domestic and civic life of the Dutch people became the driving force of a whole society, announcing the modern aspirations of the Western world. Here we are not talking about an ideology, especially not a state ideology in the modern sense. We are dealing with a broader notion, sometimes called Weltanschauung, or representation of the world. We are dealing with a cultural ideal more than with a political project[13]. Later, part of this Weltanschauung became the driving force of the United States, with notions such as a city on a hill, manifest destiny, and the American dream. All of these premises had already been tested in the Netherlands.

    The Golden Age cannot, then, be reduced to a mere optimism. Taking great risks, and driven by a strong sense of mission, if not messianism, the Netherlands became a major player in world affairs. It did so with confidence, but was also with angst, because its ideals were new, fragile, and not yet mature.

    Integrating Religion and Economy through Politics

    Much later, the French and Americans sought happiness through political and economic revolutions to overthrow the old order. The Dutch mostly sought happiness from within, not against some external obstacle. They did not think that happiness starts on the agora, in the public sphere, where enlightened citizens meet. They saw the nuclear family as the main school of happiness, good behavior, civic virtues, and contribution to the whole. For them the selfish individual is not turned into a public person through institutions. They saw the home as a small church and school to raise up conscientious citizens of Canaan.

    The Divine Principle, taught by Reverend Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012), states that God created human beings to be good and to enjoy a complete happiness, which combines the joys of the spirit and the physical pleasures, the collective and the individual satisfactions. The core of the Dutch Golden Age is about such a quest. In Exposition of the Divine Principle, the chapter called the Principle of Creation can be read as a manifesto for a world of global happiness where God, human beings and the creation will rejoice. It is called the Kingdom of God on earth in the Divine Principle, and Cheon Il Guk in the speeches given by the Reverend Moon from 2000. This vision of a world of happiness is guiding the Unification movement, which he and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, founded in Korea. In many ways, the Dutch Republic may be seen as the first modern utopia announcing a possible universal golden age for all mankind, which we are yet to define.
    Analyzing the history of the Western civilization, the Divine Principle observes the following,

    Religion and economy are integrated with our life in the society through politics. Especially in Western Europe, politics have sought to connect economic development, which has closely followed the progress of science, with the path of Christianity[14].

    This was a paramount concern of the Dutch Republic. The elites knew that Calvinism alone would not bring happiness. It had to be accompanied by a political and economic project that would help all Dutch people practice Christian ideals in their social, earthly life, not in the perspective of a distant afterlife.


    The Dutch Collective Effervescence

    All civilizations have sought, as a paradigm but also as a real experience, a society of comprehensive happiness encompassing the spiritual, cultural, political and economic levels, not merely material wellbeing and abundance. This may explain some exceptional moments of human history. Emile Durkheim called these moments times of collective effervescence, when

    This higher form of life is lived with such intensity and exclusiveness that it monopolizes all minds to the more or less complete exclusion of egoism and the commonplace. At such times, the ideal tends to become one with the real, and for this reason men have the impression that the time is close when the ideal will in fact be realized and the Kingdom of God established on earth[15].

    Durkheim warned that collective effervescences may also take the forms of mirages or collective illusions. Totalitarian ideologies, such as Nazism and Communism, have aroused messianic expectations among the modern masses in quest of an ideal world. Dostoevsky announced that the twentieth century might see the triumph of what he called The Possessed[16]. What is the driving force of negative and destructive forms of collective effervescence? They are often triggered by what Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) called the sad passions, namely fear, dread, resentment, hatred, anger, obsession.

    Interestingly, Spinoza was the main Dutch thinker of the seventeenth century. Joy is central in his thought. The human being, in his philosophy, is a “being-for-joy.” Spinoza uses a whole range of Latin words to describe joy. Gaudium expresses a form of relief, titillatio is a moment of physical excitement, which can also become spiritual, hilaritas is a more lasting excitement that uplifts our mind and body while heading for some goal, and laetitia is the positive joy after completing something. Its perfect, ultimate form is beatitudo. No other philosopher had explored joy so deeply before Spinoza. His quest of joy is a major landmark in the seventeenth century. By contrast, angst was to dominate much of Western thought in the twentieth century.

    Living during the Dutch Golden Age, Spinoza stressed the centrality of joy. Is it a mere coincidence? The answer has to be balanced for two reasons. First, Spinoza was isolated in Europe in his lifetime. Second, he was never the official thinker of the Dutch Republic. He was not acclaimed in his lifetime like Rembrandt, for instance. In Amsterdam he was even ostracized and deemed to be a heretic. Moreover, some will argue that Spinoza’s quest of joy is far too idealistic and mystical, compared to the quest for a gradual happiness. Yet, from another angle, Spinoza is useful to grasp some aspects of the Dutch Weltanschauung. He was aware of step-by-step progress toward joy, as is evidenced in this excerpt of the Ethics,

    The Mind can undergo great changes, and pass now to a greater, now to a lesser perfection. These passions, indeed, explain to us the affects of Joy and Sadness. By Joy, therefore, I shall understand in what follows that passion by which the Mind passes to a greater perfection. And by Sadness, that passion by which it passes to a lesser perfection. The affect of Joy which is related to the Mind and Body at once I call Pleasure or Cheerfulness, and that of Sadness, Pain or Melancholy[17]

    The Dutch people were progressing toward a greater happiness in a world of trouble. Spinoza’s ethics may be read as summarizing, albeit in a very idealistic way, the quintessence of their aspiration. The Dutch people believed in a steady progress toward lasting happiness, and Spinoza tried to connect this step-by-step endeavor of the earthly life to the quest for eternal joy.

    In this sense, Spinoza is close to many Dutch still life painters. The purpose of a still life is to capture the perfect beauty present in a house: fruits, vegetables, but also precious items. Of course, the message conveyed can sometimes be interpreted as the theme of vanitas: these beauties are ephemeral and transient. Human beings should not be attached to such objects and to the sensual life. But Dutch painters, like Spinoza, may also invite us to convert our perception and to look at every single item sub specie aeternitatis (under the aspect of eternity).

    A Steady Progress toward Happiness

    In the Divine Principle, restoring the creation is the foundation for restoring human beings, who lost their dignity and were degraded. It is not wrong to love things and take care of them, provided they are offered to God and serve the community. A certain number of still life paintings suggest, in a Spinozist way, that the joys of the present moment are the first steps of an ascension toward eternal joy. When we improve our relationship to the natural world, we also grow spiritually, become more human, and ultimately more divine. The true religion does not ask us to deny the material and human realities, but to connect them with a heavenly dimension that is in our midst.

    Vanity starts when we possess these items out of greed, and are then possessed by them. These objects are turned into idols. But already in the Psalms, there is an invitation to see God reflected in the splendor of landscapes, in the poetry of the daily life. Then, any object can be an icon of the divine presence. This explanation, where the infinite appears in the finite, would explain why Hegel saw the Dutch seventeenth century as so close to the realization of the ideal.

    And Spinoza, in this sense, may help us grasp some aspects of the Golden Age more deeply than anyone. A noble person is able to appreciate the beauty of the real world as a glimpse, a mirror, of eternal beauty. This led Spinoza to write, “By reality and perfection, I mean the same thing.”

    Wittgenstein and Romain Rolland suggested that Spinoza’s idea of sub specie aeternitatis combines aesthetics and ethics, the beautiful and the good. We may add that this concept combines epistemology, aesthetics and ethics. We are to understand the world, appreciate the world, and act in the world in a constant, prayerful relation to God, who is the Absolute, Eternal, Unchanging and Unique. Far from being a secluded, contemplative, and seraphic existence, the religious life calls for incarnation, where divine secrets are revealed to each of us, to the common man, here and now.

    The Dutch seventeenth century was definitely an age of ethics, the quest for the good life. It was also an age of aesthetics, where art was life and life was art. It has been suggested that the Dutch Republic produced over 2 million paintings, i.e. as much as the Dutch population at that time. Finally, it was also an age of intellectual and scientific curiosity. There was a passion to understand what nature really is, and to use the natural light of reason given to us by God. When discussing the Reformation and Renaissance, the Divine Principle makes an observation which perfectly applies to this period:

    According to the Principle of Creation, we are created to attain perfection by fulfilling our given responsibility of our own free will, without God’s direct assistance. We are then to attain oneness with God and acquire true autonomy. Therefore, it is the calling of our original nature to pursue freedom and autonomy. A person of perfect character understands the Will of God and puts it into practice through his own insight and reason, without the need to rely on revelations from God. Hence, it is only natural that we pursue reason and understanding. We also are endowed with the God-given right to master the natural world, to tame and cultivate it in order to create a pleasant living environment, by investigating the hidden laws of nature through science. Hence, we value the natural world, pursue science, and esteem the practical life[18].

    Indeed, some modern ideologies have proposed imitations of an ideal society where ethics, arts and science seemed to converge. This was the case of both Naziism and Communism. Communism pretends to be scientific, promotes a Marxist-Leninist ethics and education, and advocates socialist realism in the field of arts. Having witnessed many types of evil collective effervescences in the twentieth century, we have become cautious about utopias. Moreover, a growing trend of the twenty-first century is to anticipate global disasters without, and thus seek refuge in individual happiness within rather than pursue collective dreams. We may learn from the Dutch Republic in this context. It was a society of optimism, whereas the rest of Europe remained repressive and pessimistic, and had little hope for a better world.

    The Dutch View of Happiness: Eudaimonia

    What made the Dutch rejoice, then? Far from pursuing a form of private hedonism or ataraxy[19], they sought the Aristotelian eudaimonia (“doing and living well,” also translated as “human flourishing.”)[20] One might also speak of a practical wisdom, combining ethics and political philosophy. This eudaimonia, however, has a typically modern flavor that cannot be found in Aristotle’s thought, and this has to do with the growing importance of technology, urban life, and the triumph of patrician values.

    In the seventeenth century, Netherlands was already highly urbanized. Machines, tools, technology were making life much easier and more convenient. The population adopted a lifestyle that announced the future utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and many of the trends of pragmatism. For the Dutch, the good was partly revealed by Heaven, partly discovered by human reason, and partly dictated by the best adjustment to a fluctuating reality. This is because human beings try to revere the Absolute Being while living in an imperfect society in a certain environment, and can head for the ideal gradually, through trial and error. Shying away from dogmatism, the Dutch people were empirical, advocating an optimistic “whatever works.” Many decisions were taken by consensus, among well educated people who often were trained in business and management. This kind of governance had no choice but to seek “the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” long before Jeremy Bentham would express it. More than a philosophy or an ideology, it was a form of wisdom that was shared by a majority of people.

    Concordia res parvæ crescunt (small things flourish by concord)[21], the motto of the Dutch Republic, illustrated the option for pragmatism and gradualism. We may indeed speak of some peaceful cultural revolutions during the seventeenth century, but throughout the modern history of Netherlands, and even during the Batavian Revolution, small steps were preferred to giant leaps. Willem Frijhoff points out,

    Ninety years after the French Revolution, the first political party founded in the Netherlands (in 1879) was even named the Anti-Revolutionary Party. Of Calvinist inspiration, it rejected the principles of the French Revolution, holding the implicit view that the Dutch were much more Christianized and polite than those barbarous French[22].

    However, unlike pragmatism, the Dutch sought a constant Aristotelian balance between arete (virtue, or simply excellence) and phronesis (practical or ethical wisdom). In this atmosphere, Dutch painting attained a level of spiritual depth and sublime beauty that has no equivalent. It remains a source of amazement event today. How can we create a society of abundance, which is physically pleasant, while also investing in an exuberant creativity, where art and thinking are of paramount importance?

    Simon Schama suggests that the Dutch patrician families were seeking to create the “Christian Arcadia”[23] in their beautiful interiors. In the Greek mythology, arcadia was a pastoral view of the Golden Age, an age of blissful communion between human beings in nature. For a Calvinist culture in an urban, bourgeois life in the first capitalist nation to speak of a Christian arcadia may seem odd. Yet, Simon Schama is right when he stresses that the whole purpose of life was to find happiness on earth in the frame of the domestic life. More likely, the Dutch people were seeking the happy days in Canaan.

    The belief in an ideal world and in a happy society cannot remain a conceptual, ready-made model heralded by a theology or an ideology. It should look like a feasible project, through gradual reforms of human behavior. We should already observe signs of this future happiness in the here and now. We need to study the great moments of collective euphoria, where a whole nation was uplifted and managed to mobilize its material and human resources much above the average. Some societies do better than others in providing an environment where people feel that they live more valuable lives and are finally free to fulfill their aspirations, individually and collectively. This was the case in the Dutch Republic.


    Challenge and Response, Creative Minorities

    How can we characterize this period? First, the Dutch Republic seems to illustrate two major theories of the British historian Arnold Toynbee: the theory of challenge and response, and the theory of creative minorities. Focusing on the spiritual factors behind the rise of a civilization, Toynbee wrote,

    Man achieves civilization, not as a result of superior biological endowment or geographical environment, but as a response to a challenge in a situation of special difficulty which rouses him to make a hitherto unprecedented effort[24].

    The Netherlands in the seventeenth century responded to internal and external challenges. It was more than mere resilience. A small nation with limited resources and surrounded by hostile powers mobilized the best of its human capital (spirituality, education, diligence, discipline) to build a land of opportunity. Like a magnet, their model attracted the most creative minds of Europe, who sought shelter there and spread new ideas and techniques. Things impossible elsewhere were commonplace in the Netherlands. The creative minorities felt all the more inspired that an enlightened class of Patricians, mostly from Holland, managed to drive the six other provinces with a good mixture of authority and compromise, always taking great risks.

    Second, the Netherlands became the first nation of the world built upon the new ideals of human freedom and human dignity advocated by the Reformation and the Renaissance. What started as a cultural movement in the sixteenth century became a national project embracing politics, the economy and the society. Meanwhile, other European nations were still resisting the transformations brought by the Renaissance and the Reformation.

    We may not realize how bold was the Dutch response to challenge. Any nation facing severe challenges within and without could have chosen the path of what would later be called enlightened despotism. After all, we would perfectly admire the Golden Century if all its cultural and material achievements had been the work of a great national hero or king, of a brilliant court with official artists. But the Netherlands had no sovereign, the clergy had limited power, and the aristocrats had to step back with the rise of Patrician families. The creative freedom was thus mostly achieved through teamwork and consensus-building among people of strong character and firm beliefs, who also had a sense of compromise and negotiation because the common good was motivating them. This type of prosperity in a liberal environment was unthinkable elsewhere.

    Third, by making this bold choice, the Dutch Republic became the successful forerunner of what would be called, much later, the Four Freedoms: freedom of worship and conscience, freedom of expression, freedom from fear, and freedom from want[25]. By making this leap forward under great adversity, the Netherlands became a happier nation. This was represented in Dutch paintings and observed by visitors, arousing admiration as well as envy. Netherlands was the mirror of aspirations to “well doing and well being” that were still stifled everywhere.


    Pioneering the Four Freedoms for a Happier Society

    Let us examine this aspect of the Golden Century more precisely. Much later in the 20th century, when the world had just emerged from the great depression and was facing two totalitarian threats (Naziism heralded by Germany and Communism heralded by the Soviet Union), the American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed the future universal victory of the Four Freedoms. Incidentally, but probably more than a coincidence, Roosevelt was himself a descendant of the Dutch patricians who had migrated to America in the seventeenth century and had founded New Amsterdam, which was later to become New York. It would be interesting to study how much the Patrician values of the Dutch Golden Century lie underneath his Four Freedoms speech[26], especially when we take into consideration Hegel’s observations quoted above.

    Freedom from want and freedom from fear

    The Dutch Republic was then a small nation, highly exposed to natural disasters and surrounded by authoritarian regimes. Yet through its system of dikes and polders it was able to expand its territory. This effort at land reclamation is unique in human history, and as a result the total area of the Netherlands today is be 20 percent larger than it was in 1300. Hence the famous proverb, “God created the universe, and the Dutch created Netherlands.”

    A nation once characterized by natural risks, hazards, and chronic poverty began to engineer its territory and use it as a platform for wealth and prosperity. Freedom from want is therefore a steady tradition of the Netherlands, more actual today than ever.

    Modern Netherlands possesses a technological know-how which is useful for densely populated countries living near the ocean. Dutch engineers are often consulted by countries threatened by the submersion of the ocean. From this viewpoint, it is not anachronistic to say that, starting from the Golden Century, Netherlands has become a convincing example of the freedom from want, seen today as the first pillar of the notion of human security[27].

    As for freedom from fear, throughout the seventeenth century the young republic was under constant threat from the major powers of Europe, namely Spain, France and England. It maintained its security until the 1660s, but did more than that. Its powerful navy outnumbered the fleets of France and England combined, enabling Netherlands to control the seas and establish its settlements in the Americas, in the Caribbean, in Africa, and throughout Asia. Here, we have an example of a country investing in trade rather than military expenses.

    More interestingly, the Patrician families of Holland dared to develop a non-authoritarian, almost liberal regime, which became a safe haven for many refugees from the rest of Europe. There, people enjoyed more public liberties and safety than elsewhere. Observers coming to the Netherlands discovered a city life where safety, hygiene, cleanliness were exceptional. This stemmed not so much from state policy but from the efficient and decentralized organization of what we would call today local governments. Citizenship and ownership were the key components of this freedom from fear. Urban safety became a major concern for the Dutch Republic. It prompted inventors to create new technologies. While France was obsessed by great works, and its state infrastructures were mainly concerned for military security and the art of war (especially Vauban), the Dutch Republic preferred to invest in the art of a peaceful and safe society.

    Let us look at the case of Jan van der Heyden (1643-1712). This Mennonite painter was a specialist of still lifes and urban landscapes. As an engineer, he also made significant contributions to firefighting technology. The point, however, is not only the technology. Some societies develop technologies but accept a certain level of fatalities and hazard; their leaders preferring to mobilize their human and material resources in pharaonic grandeur with little concern for the welfare of their citizens. Heyden was seeking to help the population enjoy a better life. Together with his brother Nicolaes, who was a hydraulic engineer, in 1672 he invented an improvement for the fire hose. He modified the manual fire engine, reorganized the volunteer fire brigade (1685) and wrote and illustrated the first firefighting manual (Brandspuiten-boek). A comprehen¬sive street lighting scheme for Amsterdam, designed and imple¬mented by van der Heyden, remained in operation from 1669 until 1840 and was adopted as a model by many other towns and abroad.

    Another aspect of freedom from fear was the schutterij, the civic guard or town watch. It was a defensive military support system for the local civic authority. Its officers were wealthy citizens of the town, appointed by the city magistrates. The historian Willem Frijhoff offers his insight on this aspect of the Dutch culture,

    The [Dutch] have always managed rather effectively to organize their society so as to collectively avoid major disasters, or to contain excessive violence by an advanced process of, to paraphrase Norbert Elias, civilization.

    For Frijhoff, this illustrates Netherland’s “precocious and exemplary role in the organization of a société police” (i.e., in the sense given to politeness by Quentin Skinner and J.G.A. Pocock).[28]

    Making people freer for a safer society

    Yet, the freedom from want and the freedom from fear in the Golden Century involved more than the external, technological aspects of human security. Ideally, human security means the safety of human beings, by human beings and for human beings. Regulations and protections are important, but human security starts with free and responsible persons who follow their conscience and reap what they sow. This view of human security seems to have inspired the American artist Norman Rockwell, when he painted Freedom from want and Freedom from fear in 1943. He adopted a style of family pictures reminiscent of the Dutch seventeenth century, particularly the theme of the joyful family eating at a table, a great classic of the Dutch style.

    canaan represented norman rockwell freedom from wantNorman Rockwell, “Freedom from Want” (1943)

    Rockwell was commissioned to illustrate the Four Freedom Speech of President Roosevelt. In 1943, American soldiers were dying far away from home in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific. They were fighting the Nazi and Fascist regimes which were then occupying almost all of Europe and South-East Asia. The world was in great danger. Norman Rockwell could have adopted a grandiose official style, but he did not. Others would have painted freedom from want and freedom from fear with scenes of external might and power, in order to show that America was much greater and much stronger than its foes.

    Rockwell chose to represent good American people rather than heroes. In this, he was really the heir of the Dutch philosophy of painting, in which the allegory of virtue should be as down to earth as possible, thus conveying an emotion from within. In a society of eudaimonia, human virtue and wisdom do not appear in exceptional circumstances with heroic figures, they spring from the conscience. He painted people in their interiors, thus returning to the philosophy of human security that once inspired Netherlands surrounded by danger. Deep reasons probably prompted Rockwell to portray freedom in its civil form, associating it with the eudemonia of the ordinary life. He did not paint anonymous battalions in uniforms dying for freedom, but ordinary citizens living for it.

    His Freedom from fear shows neither danger nor fear. A mother tucks her two young children in the same bed. Dad looks at them with love, a newspaper in his hand. The freedom to express love in a stable household is the major source of safety, the supreme protection against the trouble in the world. Freedom from want shows neither factories spewing smoke for mass production, nor bountiful harvests. Such frescoes were common in the official art of totalitarian regimes. For Rockwell, in the same vein as for the Dutch painters, true prosperity entails a spiritual rather than material wealth. He portrays grandparents serving Thanksgiving turkey for their children and grandchildren. Three generations sharing food on a special holiday, not a working day: that is how we free ourselves from the scourge of scarcity. It is a family scene where we share what we have with those whom we love.

    The Netherlands promoted a Puritan and practical ethics to guarantee a good and healthy society. As suggested before, the ethics had to apply to a social and political philosophy, which concerned less citizenship than civility. It meant that the common people were in charge of their own daily security. Modern Netherlands is no longer Puritan, but it remains as safe as ever. Netherlands today is one of the most densely, most urbanized countries of the world; it is also a multicultural nation and the target of much trafficking. Yet, it remains safer than many Western nations, with low crime rates similar to Scandinavian countries, Austria and Switzerland[29].

    The Dutch mindset remains that if you follow good principles and habits in your daily life, you may reduce risk factors considerably. As is so much illustrated in Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century, the security enjoyed during that time did not start outside, in the external world. If the Night Watch of Rembrandt illustrates the security with¬out, outdoors, most Dutch painting of the time is about a culture of safety within, at home. This is where the good citizen starts his or her journey.

    The Dutch seventeenth century did not identify happiness merely as an absence of trouble, as a freedom from fear and freedom from want. Freedom has two complementary aspects. Freedom from is sometimes defined as a negative liberty; in other words, the freedom from external restraint on one’s actions. Liberty comes from the Latin liber, the emancipated person who is no longer a slave. By contrast, freedom of is the possession of the capacity to act upon one’s free will. It is autonomy, self-rule, and is therefore a positive liberty. For political theorist Isaiah Berlin, “I am slave to no man” is the slogan of negative liberty. By contrast, “I am my own master” is the credo of positive liberty, the freedom to choose one’s own pursuits in life. In its seventeenth century, the Netherlands became the successful flagbearer of two major positive freedoms: the freedom of expression and the freedom of worship.

    The “disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice”

    People who are liberated from captivity do not always know clearly what they are free for. Throughout the sixteenth century and until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the practical implications of the Reformation and of the Renaissance met strong resistance almost everywhere. In this context of uncertainty, the Dutch Republic was not only a safer place. It was a nation where most people had the autonomy to think, to speak, to write, and to worship quite openly. As already suggested, they felt that the time was ripe to create a new political and social model grounded on human dignity.

    Just like there are two ideas of freedom (negative freedom and positive freedom), there are also two ways of defining peace: the very word “peace” (derived from the Latin pax) simply means an absence of war or trouble, or a situation of armistice or truce between two conflicts. This negative or realistic view of peace should rather be called security. Only a lasting and perpetual state of concord can bring happiness. The Dutch Republic heralded the notion of concord through small steps in its national motto.

    Human history is littered with cases where the long march towards independence and liberation is followed either by decadence (a decline of virtue and courage) or by the oppression of a new class. The Dutch Republic avoided both pitfalls. After conquering their national Canaan, the Dutch did not merely enjoy their life, but became hard working, creative and innovative, thus perfectly illustrating the famous view of peace promoted by Baruch Spinoza:

    The ultimate purpose [of the state] is not to dominate or control people by fear or subject them to the authority of another. On the contrary, its aim is to free everyone from fear so that they may live in security so far as possible, that is, so that they may retain, to the highest possible degree, their natural right to live and to act without harm to themselves or to others… For peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice[30].

    Actually, the various factions of the young Republic were in a constant agon, to speak like Huizinga. Far from being a dull and boring society of correctness where people mitigate their thoughts, it became a lively theatre of passionate debates. The talk show was permanent, disputes were the norm rather than the exception. It was a society where people agreed to disagree in the public square.

    The rather smooth transition from the time of emancipation to the time of safe settlement owes much to the figure of William of Orange (the Silent). Often called the Father of the Fatherland (Vader des Vaderlands), he is also seen, more mystically, as the Dutch Moses. There are two reasons for this. First, he reigned exactly for 40 years (1544-1584), a number that is very significant in the biblical account of Moses’ life. Second, he was seen as both a religious leader and also a statesman, who liberated his people from the Pharaoh (Philip II) and acted as the national visionary and legislator for the new nation. But it would be more appropriate to see in him a mixture of Moses and Joshua. Like Moses, he died before seeing the Promised Land, but like Joshua, he was throughout his life a man of negotiation, a federator, rather than the figure of a lonely and fearful prophet who was sometimes misunderstood by the masses.

    We can understand why the character and destiny of William made him an icon of our modern idea of the Republican ideal. Jean Calvin was a religious leader and theologian who had tried to establish a Calvinist Republic in Geneva, but had paid little attention to humanism and the sciences. His vision was more a theocratic regime than a secular nation with universal values. William the Silent was a man of action and power. As a soldier, he originally supported Spain and Catholicism. The fate of his native Netherlands, oppressed spiritually and politically, gradually turned him into a Dutch patriot who embraced Calvinism but always remained a moderate. His tragic assassination by fire (the first political murder with a gun) added to his legend as the Moses of the Dutch Promised Land.


    Combining Christian Hebraism and Hellenism

    A poem written by Jacob Revius in 1609 expresses the identification of Dutch people with Israel:

    The Jews marched through the desert forty years
    In trouble, danger, and want of everything,
    But in the end and after that sad time
    Joshua led them into the Promised Land.
    The war forced us to march through the desert for forty years;
    Now the Truce opens to us the Promised Land.

    William the Silent did not live long enough to see the end of the sad time and welcome the happy days. The Dutch Moses was not succeeded by any specific Joshua. After entering Canaan, the energy of fighting for freedom was turned into a collective positive force to build the happy nation.

    Once emancipated from servitude, human beings are free to fulfill the good desires that will inevitably guide them to joy, here on the earth in their daily life. Before the Dutch seventeenth century, most Europeans saw felicity and happiness as goods that only special people could think about: the saints going through an ascetic life, the heroes or the mighty born with privilege. But the good news spread in the Netherlands that every “common man” was free to live a happy existence by following some rules. Two modern ideas became mainstream: human beings are born to be free, and they are born to be happy.

    Here a simplified view of Calvinist predestination merged with an age-old (rather pagan) belief that the Batavians were exceptional, if not chosen people. The idea of being chosen was a cultural cement among all the Dutch, Calvinist or not, in the absence of a nation-state. To be more precise, the Dutch people thought that some Manifest Destiny was at work. On the one hand, they had been given a fragile promised land. On the other hand, they became more cosmopolitan than ever. The stage of their covenant with God was to be the whole world, rather than a limited Canaan in a northern corner of Europe.

    The Divine Principle suggests that the Humanism of the Renaissance was largely a revival of Hellenism, whereas Reformation was a revival of Hebraism[31]. This was apparently the vision guiding William the Silent and his followers. Theodor Dunkelgrün invites us to revise the idea that Calvinism was the ideology of the new nation. Regarding the building of Canaan in the Netherlands the model was Hebraism, understood as a culture encompassing religion and nation building. The Dutch Republic adopted many elements of Calvinism within a much broader view, which we may call Christian Hebraism[32], and which was to become central in most Anglo-Saxon countries. And, as Dunkelgrün points out, the political model of Christian Hebraism is less the Jewish monarchy (the period of the United Kingdom) than the period of the Judges. He also quotes the cogent remark of Simon Schama,

    In the Dutch Republic, the Hebraic self-image… flowed out of the pulpit and the Psalter into the theater and the print shop, diluting Calvinist fundamentalism as it did so, but strengthening its force as national culture for the very same reasons. Indeed it was just because the roots of Netherlandish Hebraism were not exclusively Calvinist, but reached back to an earlier and deeper humanist reformation, that it could exert such broad appeal… This interpenetration with profane history lent Dutch scripturalism its tremendous strength. It was used not in order to swallow up the secular world within the sacred, but rather to attribute to the vagaries of history (with which the Dutch lived, at times, very painfully) the flickering light of providential direction[33].

    Communicative Society, Discussion Culture

    William the Silent was the founder the university of Leiden, the Batavian Athens[34]. He gave two missions to the university. First, it was to provide a Protestant vision to the country which was liberating itself from Spain and Catholicism. Second, it was to serve the purpose of nation-building by educating the citizens in all fields of modern knowledge.

    Freedom of expression in the Netherlands was remarkable in two areas: freedom of thought and freedom of printing and publishing, which are cornerstones of open societies. A climate of religious tolerance attracted many refugees, namely Jews from Portugal and later Huguenots from France. Tolerance may not be the right word for this period. The Dutch Republic tried to create bridges of communication among various and sometimes antagonistic or rival sectors of the society. It would therefore be more appropriate to see Netherlands as a melting pot, a society of “pluriformity” where different voices were free to express themselves. Willem Frijhoff says that “Dutch society, ever since its formation, has basically been a communicative society.”[35] As can be seen in many paintings, it typically became a society of open windows, where the neighbors could see what you were doing and where daily existence tended to be somehow theatrical, because each household has a message to convey, a family culture to exhibit. Modern architecture in Netherlands is studied worldwide as facilitating socialization and meeting others easily. And Frijhoff adds,

    Its way of arriving at decisions within a divided community is presently known as the polder model[36] of consensual communication. This corresponds largely to what my colleague Marijke Spies and I have called, in relation to the seventeenth century, a discussion culture… It is perhaps one of the most intimate secrets of the Dutch nation as a historically structured community[37].

    This drive for communication is the background for the explosion of printing and publishing books throughout the seventeenth century.

    The Elzevir family were booksellers, publishers and printers in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, originally from Leuven (Belgium), who had moved to Amsterdam. They were famous for the high quality of their typography and the quantity of the works published in many European languages which could not be published elsewhere. Elzevir was publishing the works of the greatest writers of all Europe.

    The curiosity for the world, which started to be discovered, was another strong point of the Elzevir family. Here, one detail is worth mentioning in this essay on happiness. Between 1626 and 1649, Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevir published a bestselling series titled the Respublicae. It was the ancestor of what would later become the modern travel guide. Each of the thirty-five volumes in the series gave information on the geography, inhabitants, economy, and history of a country in Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Near East. Of course, the common people were not able to travel. Tourism would appear much later in Europe, but the collection published by Elzevir helped people to travel in their imagination, in books. The printed word offered a new freedom to people, they could broaden the scope of their thinking and project themselves from their homes to the greater world. This is also because there was a popular readership. The level of literacy was then much higher in Netherlands than in any other European country.

    What made Netherlands the laboratory of the happy nation? The Dutch themselves may not have identified any historical cause of their happiness. They apparently knew rather well where happiness starts. It starts at home, in the family. We study their family culture in order to grasp the gradual blossoming of their eudaimonia. They discovered that the best place for people to live happily on earth is the family, more precisely the nuclear family based on affection and bonds of heart.

    From negative proclivities to good habits

    In 1559, Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted his Nederlandse Spreekwoorden, the Netherlandish Proverbs[38]. In this giant painting, a crowd of people are busy doing stupid things. Just like in Aesop’s fables, they are stereotypes of our bad character. The Divine Principle speaks of proclivities which “have become the fallen inclinations in all people. They are the primary characteristics of our fallen nature.”[39] Bruegel wanted to illustrate how the misuse of our free will and freedom of action works to sabotage our own happiness. Bruegel’s painting is in no way a Last Judgment scene where the wicked go to hell at the end of their life. It is more about average people harvesting bad luck instead of joy at the end of the day. Mocking the absurdity of our habits, the painting can also be seen as a joyful group therapy.

    No less than 112 such behaviors are shown on the picture. The implicit message is that we are not fated to act forever in the wrong way. We all could start to live differently, to make other choices instead of repeating endlessly the same mistakes inherited from our culture. The people in the painting now look all insane and ridiculous, but the picture could become completely different tomorrow if people were being told the other way of doing things. In 1559, Bruegel was painting a society which already knew that remedies existed for many illnesses. The Reformation and the Renaissance had showed that other options were possible in Europe, if the ideals of faith and of reason were properly implemented. But hope would vanish if the old world continued to stifle the quest of a better society.

    Netherlands, the test bed for doing well, living well

    Later on, the Puritans made the choice to leave Europe with the dream to build a new type of society in America. They hoped to revive the project of Hebraism and Hellenism, but without the burden of privileges, aristocracies, monarchies, feudalism of the old world, which always blocked human desires. New York came to symbolize the land of opportunity, where everything that is impossible elsewhere on the earth becomes possible and self-evident. It may not be a coincidence. New York was first called the New Amsterdam. Places like Harlem, Staten island, and Flushing Meadows, to mention just a few, are all reminiscent of the Netherlands. New York was first a Dutch colony, a microcosm of Dutch values in the new world. Later, the city flourished and became the test bed of every sort of innovation and the symbol of a prosperity unimaginable in other horizons. Today, it remains a unique center of study and culture, of political power, of prosperity and of entertainment, with no equivalent elsewhere. Who knows? Part of the Dutch dream may be more alive in New York than we usually think.

    Long before the triumph of New York, the Dutch Republic had showed that a new world was possible in Europe, a world with new proverbs, where human desires would not be frustrated because of foolish habits of the past. The promises of modern times could start to be implemented at a national level, i.e. in a human community having a sovereignty, a people and a territory. Netherlands determined to be that kind of Canaan, the test bed for human advancement.

    According to the Divine Principle, human progress takes place both on the spiritual level, by overcoming internal ignorance through the development of religion, and on the physical level, by overcoming external ignorance through the development of science. Baudelaire rebuked a purely external progress:

    The only true progress (i.e. the moral progress) takes place in the individual and by the individual himself… My theory of the civilization: it is not in gas, steam, or séance tables. It is in the reduction of the traces of original sin[40].

    In 1559, Bruegel had portrayed a society where misfortune reigns, a society which is officially Christian but where the traces of original sin have not been really reduced and where the internal and external environments block human happiness. Medieval society had tried to realize a synthesis of Christian theology and Aristotelian thought, yet ignoring the calls for a better life, it had fallen into scholasticism, dogmatism, even obscurantism. The Reformation and the Renaissance had brought new hope, but the old proclivities were hard to leave behind. Therefore, the coming of happy days was again postponed. The Bible mentions the happy days twice,

    Do you want to enjoy life? Do you want to have many happy days? Then avoid saying anything hurtful, and never let a lie come out of your mouth. Stop doing anything evil, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. Psalms 34.12-14

    If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. (1 Peter 3.10)

    As can be seen, even the Biblical proverbs about happiness tend to be expressed negatively, as if human beings should always be told about the don’ts and are not easily motivated to do good things.


    Desacralizing Marriage, Demythologizing Love, Sanctifying the Couple

    We have already suggested that Dutch society believed in the possibility of progressing internally through arete (virtue) and through phronesis (practical wisdom). A key element of this eudaimonia was marriage. Western civilization had not managed to overcome the conflict between the Christian doctrine of marriage and the humanistic view of sexuality. The sacrament of marriage was central in Catholicism, but in practice the theology of marriage coexisted with pagan rituals. The Renaissance brought Greek mythology back into the culture. All the cupids, the charming Venuses and the sensual representations of the human body were back. Love was represented more as idolatry and passion than as a Christian virtue.

    What was the Dutch way? Happy couples became an important motif of genre painting. Gradually, the couple in love, painted informally and not in a hieratic manner, became central in paintings, apparently completely desacralized and demythologized. Eriko Taira speaks of a major change in marriage portraiture. Before the seventeenth century, most painters “still emphasized the pictorial formality of the sitters reflecting the ideals of a feudal society in a medieval flavor and full of symbolism associated with Christian obligations. Dutch marriage portraits in the seventeenth century showed informal expression of sitters and settings emphasizing a secular aspect of marriage life.”[41]

    In the early seventeenth century, scenes of marriage still put the church at the center of the painting, giving legitimacy to the couple. Then, the church is just in the back and finally disappears completely. It may be seen as a modern desacralization and secularization of unions, but more research suggests another view. When the home becomes a small church, when biblical verses are written on the tiles of the kitchen and other rooms, and with the biblicisation of the daily life, especially of the domestic life, the church as an institution loses its importance. The main raison d’être of marriage then becomes the sincere love, affection, sharing between husband and wife, rather than the blessing of a priest.

    While acknowledging that marriage was “a good and holy ordinance of God,” Calvin said, “so also are agriculture, architecture, shoemaking, hair-cutting legitimate ordinances of God, but they are not sacraments.” John Witte summarizes the Calvinist view of the good marriage:

    God participates in the maintenance of the covenant of marriage not only through the one-time actions of his human agents, but also through the continuous revelation of His natural or moral law. The covenant of marriage, Calvin argued, is grounded “in the order of creation, in the order and law of nature.” By nature, the man and the woman enjoy a “common dignity before God” and a common function of “completing” the life and love of the other[42].

    Calvin emphasized the order and law of nature in the daily life. But what about the poetry, the romance and the carnal aspects of marriage? They were present, but most Dutch poets and artists dismissed the Greek mythology, in contrast to the French art of the same period. In the field of poetry and literature, Dutch culture favored epithalamia, wedding songs, with a Protestant perspective. Epithalamia were popular in certain regions of Europe during wedding celebrations. They were designed to prepare the newlywed for their first night and the beginning of marital life. Dutch pastors decided to use epithalamia in a biblical way. In an insightful essay[43] on this practice, Jungyoon Yang observes,

    There are two prime characteristics of the epithalamia. First, the main poetic strands were taken from biblical episodes, so were very similar to what a preacher would have said at a wedding. These replaced the mythological and classical allusions employed by learned poets in their classical Latin encomia for powerful ruling families and monarchs on such occasions. A political message was largely absent from seventeenth-century Dutch epithalamia for the mercantile elite, the purpose of which was solely to commemorate a single, special day in the lives of the newlyweds, with content that was focused exclusively on the private circumstances of the families, friends and social circles to which the couple belonged.

    The Old Testament figures of Tobias and Sarah going to bed for their first night together[44] were often used in the Dutch epithalamia and painting. They were the holy models of conjugal love to be imitated. Here again, we witness that core values of the Dutch Republic transcended Calvinism in the narrow sense and belonged to a much broader Christian Hebraism, which the Divine Principle calls the Abel-type view of life. Jungyoon Yang continues,

    The main concern of seventeenth-century Dutch religious epithal-amists was to instruct the bridal couple that Christ is the only sponsor of a chaste Christian marriage, and that the couple must offer up a preparatory prayer before consummating their union. The arousal of inner, more refined feelings about the wedding night in the context of prayer and meditation on biblical precepts was the important point… and the scene of the prayers before the nuptial bed is thus a symbolic and essential rite for the bridal couple. Reciting frivolous or voluptuous epithalamic verses before the couple retired to their nuptial chamber would therefore have been considered utterly inappropriate due to their filthy language and slyly lewd allusions.

    The paintings of couples throughout the Dutch seventeenth century convey another message, that of lifelong commitment and faithful companionship of the spouses. The Swedish theologian Anders Nygren (1890-1978) discussed the difference between agape (the unconditional love of God) and eros (the more self-centered love, especially sexual)[45]. Just like Martin Luther, he tended to dismiss the idea that caritas could mediate between the lofty agape and the earthly eros.

    Unificationism would rather talk about philia to describe the interplay between God’s absolute love and human love, including sexual love. The Unificationist theology of the family insists that God’s love is absolute, eternal, unchanging and unique. But it is expressed divisionally and relatively throughout the human life as we experience the Four Realms of Heart, namely children’s love, sibling’s love, conjugal love and parental love. In Unificationism, the spiritual life is essentially the family life, and the family life is the spiritual life. Salvation is not achieved individually, but as a family unit. Each form of love is reciprocal and combines the whole purpose and the individual purpose. It is within this structure that the sexual love between husband and wife reveals all its meaning and value. Somehow, these notions already surfaced in the Dutch paintings of family life of the seventeenth century.

    More than the blissful day of the wedding, what made marriage truly happy, blessed and Christian was the daily presence of God in the couple. In early seventeenth century paintings, symbols of good luck and fortune still surround newlywed couples, as if marriage needed to involve magic talismans. Later paintings represent the couple at home, several years after marriage, in all simplicity, with no symbols. Their complicity, their bond of love, is what creates the magic. The enchantment comes from within.

    Friedrich Nietzsche saw marriage as a long conversation,[46] and said, “When marrying you should ask yourself this question: do you believe you are going to enjoy talking with this woman into your old age? Everything else in a marriage is transitory, but most of the time that you’re together will be devoted to conversation.”

    This art of conversation seems to be the central topic in many painting of married couples throughout the Dutch Golden Age. Initially, Dutch painters would rather represent the nascent love in the young couple at the outset of the married life. But gradually another motif surfaced, that of lasting companionship, illustrating André Maurois’ observation that “a happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”

    Why did all these values suddenly become central in the art and culture? Indeed, there is an economic reason. Many wealthy Patrician households valued their successful lives. They were living in nice interiors and could afford being portrayed by the best artists of their time, who were often also well married and part of this bourgeois class. But more deeply, the new class of merchants believed that the value of human beings is not determined by their birth and lineage (aristocracy), or by their belonging to the clergy or the army. The core of Patrician values was that human beings become great through character education and by living a good and successful life, the center of which is the family. Eriko Taira, commenting a painting of Frans Hals, suggests that it “expresses the affectionate pleasure of married companionship, which has never been celebrated or cherished by any other European country at the time.”[47]

    The same holds true for many other artworks of the time. The triumph of Patrician values was connected to urban life. In 1650, 31.7 percent of the population of the Dutch Republic lived in cities, compared to 20.8 percent in Spanish Netherlands, 16.6 percent in Portugal and 14 percent in Italy. In 1675, the urban population density of Holland alone was 61 percent, and that of the rest of the Dutch Republic was 27 percent. This brought a major change in the family system. The number of extended families decreased, while the nuclear family became the norm in cities. A typical Dutch family became smaller and more private. This is exactly what the painters liked to represent the most, the value of family life. Eriko Taira comments,

    The relationship between husbands and wives and between parents and children became more intimate and warmer; the family spent more time together at home and enjoyed many family activities and celebrations. The ideal of the good family was understood as a miniature of the ideal commonwealth.[48]

    Regarding the portrait of Abraham Casteleyn and Margaretha van Bancken, by Jan de Bray, she notices:

    The couple who are soberly dressed are shown sitting in relaxed poses on a terrace in a domestic environment. It seems they are not interested in showing off their wealth or prosperity, but they seem to celebrate their pure marital companionship. Casteleyn seems to be interrupted at his work by his wife, but she seems to be welcomed by him. Their hands are joined as a symbol of marital fidelity, and she is smiling at her husband who seems to be casually greeting the viewer to introduce his wife as his companion.[49]

    Some may object that these family scenes remain typical of a patriarchal order, where women are mostly portrayed at home and in domestic tasks. Yet we should acknowledge that an amazing progress had been achieved in the female condition.

    Canaan represented Jan der Bray

    Jan de Bray, Abraham Casteleyn and his wife Margarieta van Bancken (1663)

    First, the desacralization of marriage meant that motherhood stopped being monopolized by Virgin Mary as a Madonna. This meant that motherhood was no longer a theological and mystical motif but concerned all common women. Dutch culture highly valued and represented in its paintings the dignified role of the mother in child-rearing. Whereas the hiring of wet-nurses had become widespread among the European elites and artisans since the Middle Ages, there was common discourse among pastors and physicians saying that breast-feeding was both holy and healthy. It was good for the body of the child but also for the building of its character. It was believed that mother’s milk was safer and also contributed to a stronger attachment between mother and child, which conveyed the mother’s morals to the child. This is confirmed by modern theories on attachment.

    Second, women were often portrayed working diligently in their home. Painting women at work showed a greater respect for them than the abundant production of nudes elsewhere in Europe, which reduced women to their seductive and somehow frivolous role, albeit with much glamorous mythology around them.

    Third, many portraits show Dutch couples working together, running the business as real companions. It conveys the message that true prosperity is achieved through the cooperation of spouses.

    Fourth, we have asserted that the home was often seen as a small church and also as the miniature of the commonwealth. In other words, the house became the center of the life in Canaan, where God was attended mostly at home and through raising good children. Implicit was the view that the priesthood was no longer a male affair but the common duty of the couple. Wayne Franits, a leading American scholar on Dutch studies, observes:

    It is imagined that seventeenth century Dutch households at meal times were like little churches. At the table parents taught children how to pray in the most appropriate language and manner, and this practice also would contain scripture readings, theological instruction and edifying discussion.

    One issue which is constantly addressed in family literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is the need to educate children, both spiritually and morally. All the authors… believed that the purpose of child-bearing was to create pious and virtuous adults. Those adults would then serve God and society, preserving the stability of the latter by establishing their own families.[50]

    By considering their family as a small church, as well as a school of civic virtue, the Dutch showed a profound sense of ownership for the management of Canaan and the transition from the sad time of emancipation to the happy days of living free in their homeland. Their strong family values would protect them from the surrounding Pharaohs.

    Reverend and Mrs. Moon kept teaching their followers that the purpose of Unificationism is not to establish a new religion, with its distinct beliefs, rituals, and organizations. Unificationism, they repeated, is not an end in itself, but a means to build Cheon Il Guk, the nation of universal peace and unity, or one human family under God. The purpose of Unificationism is to build heavenly nations which attend the Creator. Unificationists are to see themselves as the Holy Community of Heavenly Parent, working jointly with all sectors of society. The cornerstone of Cheon Il Guk is the ideal family where the four realms of heart and the three great kingships[51] are established. In the late seventies, Reverend Moon launched the worldwide movement of “home-church,”[52] where every young Unificationist couple was to reach out to 360 homes in the vicinity. The goal was not to convert people to a new religion, but to transform modern urban life, which has become so secularized, so that people may feel God at home and in their daily surroundings, and when meeting the neighbors in a safe environment. In later stages, the term home-church was changed to “tribal messiahship,” seen as the grassroots activity to establish Cheon Il Guk. Moreover, Rev. and Mrs. Moon kept teaching that the family should be a “school of love,” preparing people to become citizens and patriots who “live for the sake of others.” They stressed that everyone should train to become a good teacher or guide, a good parent with the ability to love unconditionally, and a good owner or master, cultivating professional and financial abilities to create a prosper environment.

    In many ways, the vision which guided the Dutch Republic is worth studying and remains a model for this global task. As we have seen, the Dutch saw both their homeland and the world as a stage of their culture, a culture which embraced spirituality, politics and economy in one undertaking.


    Lessons from the Golden Age: Sketching a Happy Eschatology

    The Dutch Golden Age remains fascinating. The Dutch dream was in full bloom in the 1620s, four hundred years ago. It can be revived without any nostalgia. We want to conclude this essay by stressing that many promises of this era are more actual than ever. Today, we should revive the message of hope of the Dutch Republic, about the possibility of building gradually a society of happiness. Living with good proverbs, guided by the right vision and the right desires, people may create a commonwealth through concord and small steps. It will be based on common values, common governance, and common prosperity.

    Modern Netherlands still ranks among the happiest nations. The Dutch population is only 17 million people, but Rotterdam remains the biggest harbor of the whole Western world. Amsterdam Schipol is the third airport in Europe, behind London’s Heathrow and Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, but ahead Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome. The Netherlands remains number one for building dikes and selling flowers. What a beautiful symbol! The Dutch Canaan is a land of canals and flowers, a hostile land transformed in a garden, importing and selling flowers from throughout the world[53]. Amsterdam remains the best place to buy the spices that make our meals tastier. The quality of life in Netherlands, the splendor of its museums, and the energy of its multinational companies make it an attractive nation. Netherlands occupies the North of the “Blue Banana”[54] that runs from London to Milan, going through Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Strasbourg, Basel, Geneva and the North of Italy. Along the Rhine river, Patrician values have built a steady model of good education, balanced governance, lasting prosperity. If this is the backbone of Europe, then Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg are the cervical vertebrae of this area. In a world of perpetual change and uncertainty, of chaos and confusion, this privileged region has a message of stability, of human development and human security, and of hope.

    The predispositions of geography, history, and culture partly explain the Dutch Golden Age. We may think that Heaven could use Netherlands for a few decades to create a model that transcended the Rhenian culture and had a much more universal value. For this most brilliant part of its national history, Netherlands was inspired by what we shall call a happy eschatology. It told the rest of Europe that the old world of lamenting is behind us, and that God will “wipe away all tears. And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)

    In the seventeenth century, when there was little hope for a better world, the Puritans decided to leave the Old World forever. Yet, there was one nation brimming with hope, and we have explored some of its secrets. Today, the world has so many opportunities that did not exist 400 years ago. But negative proverbs rule our minds, we see danger all around, and we lack the bold vision to build an ideal world for our descendants. The arguments against hope are many. They convey the sad passions mentioned by Spinoza. All around the globe, many camps are shouting that their mistrust, ranting, resentment, anger, mockery are justified and must be heard, otherwise disaster is coming. This discourse is a smokescreen of cowardice. In fact, we should have more hope for the twenty-first century than during the Dutch Golden Age, and build dikes over new seas.

    A few hours before his death, Martin Luther King said that we now live in a world of great trouble. Yet, this is the best time ever, and he thanked God for being able to live in this blessed period. A few hours later, he was assassinated, just before he could reach the age of 40.[55] Like William the Silent, he could not see the Promised Land, but was already living in it.

    The example of the Dutch Golden Age gives us the courage to spread the good news. Unificationism has a happy eschatology, which must be made actual. It contains two powerful statements:

    The sinful world brings humankind sorrow and causes God to grieve. Would God abandon this world in its present misery? God intended to create a world of goodness and experience from it the utmost joy; yet due to the human Fall, the world came to be filled with sin and sorrow. If this sinful world were to continue forever in its present state, then God would be an impotent and ineffectual God who failed in His creation… God will save this sinful world, by all means.[56]

    The Last Days is this time, when the evil world under satanic sovereignty is transformed into the ideal world under God’s sovereignty. Hell on earth will be transformed into the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Therefore, it will not be a day of fear when the world will be destroyed by global catastrophes, as many Christians have believed. In fact, it will be a day of joy, when the cherished hope of humankind, the desire of the ages, will be realized.[57]

    One key element of the happy days of Netherlands was the ability to play. The “joyful families” or “merry companies” of Jan Steen, Judith Leyster and other painters always involve playing cards, playing an instrument, playing with toys or animals. Life is a play. The Dutch Canaan was a praying nation and a playing nation at the same time. Hans Luyckx comments, “Playfulness is a recurring theme in the Dutch culture. There seems to be a particular gamesome gene in our culture, starting all the way back with Erasmus.”


    Sketching a Theology and Philosophy of Play

    Is playing important for God? It is at the core of His ideal of Creation. Of course, words like play or game in English, jeu in French, spiel in German, are often synonymous of entertainment, amusement, distraction, and worse, puerility. Yet, tracing back to Thomas Aquinas, many Christian authors have guessed that human recreations can also be divine. This divine element has its source in the very act of Creation.

    As Brendan McInerny suggested, “creation as a whole is because of divine playing – and this playing is one of love. Our own playing, our own refusal to reduce our acts to strict biological or utilitarian purpose, to waste time and energy in superfluity, is a sign of being made in the image and likeness of God.”[58] Similar ideas prompted the great theologian Jürgen Moltmann to write his Theology of Play.[59]

    Throughout their tragic life, Reverend and Mrs. Moon tasted suffering and sorrow. Rev. Moon was imprisoned, tortured, rejected, betrayed. The couple endured many early losses, and several children died at a young age. Rev. Moon’s first congregation was nicknamed the church of tears. Busan’s rock of tears remains a place of pilgrimage for Unificationists worldwide. Rev. Moon kept talking about the God of Lamentation[60], often with heartbreaking tears. Yet, he also said that in any situation, he will always be the first to celebrate, to rejoice, and make others rejoice, whether through yut games[61] or entertainment. He showed a passionate interest in the leisure and hobby industry, speaking many times of his desire to redeem the culture of Las Vegas. He created or managed several football teams, invested in ballet companies and music bands. Moreover, he explained a whole way of thinking about play, always connected to education. In Reverend Moon’s philosophy, human beings need constant stimulation to be truly happy. This stimulation comes through the joyful interaction will all kinds of object partners. Any interaction needs role playing, and we learn how to play our roles throughout our life.

    Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) is probably a major forerunner of this philosophy of play. This leading intellectual figure of modern Netherlands was an anthropologist, historian and cultural theorist. As we said in the introduction, he saw in agon the driving force of culture. His last book before his death was a prophetic book about the happy days to come. It is called Homo Ludens (“acting man” would be a better translation than “playing man”) and contains his deep philosophy on human playfulness.

    There is a natural impulse to think, create and play, According to Huizinga. All human beings are interested in games and playing. Everybody likes to play. In Huizinga’s definition, playing can be any voluntary activity that takes place under set conditions and results in excitement and joy. To be able to play, people need a space where they feel secure and embedded. It could be any kind of space, whether an arena or a podium, a pool table or a temple. We have already said that words for “play” are ambiguous in most languages. This is not the case for the Latin word ludere. It conveys the ideas of learning with stimulation, being creative, being free and spontaneous. In this sense, play is a core element of original human nature.

    And here, we may arrive at the secret of the Dutch Golden Age. A whole population was on stage, improvising a play and painting it at the same time. The play may be entitled God created the world and the Dutch created Netherlands, or something like that. The scenery consisted of many interiors, which were also studios for painters. Interpreted by the most playful people of Europe, the play was mostly focused on marriage and lasting love. It was, and is still, a major representation of a possible happy end of human history.

    Their happy eschatology prompted the Dutch people to give paramount importance to marriage and family in building Canaan on the earth. On this foundation, they became the forerunner of the world of common values, common governance and common prosperity.



    [1] Exposition of the Divine Principle (HSA-UWC, 1996), p. 1. [EDP]

    [2]The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, commonly referred to as the Dutch Republic, was a federal republic which existed from 1588 (during the Dutch Revolt) to 1795 (the Batavian Revolution).

    [3] Usually the term Golden Century is given to the period between 1588 and 1672 (the Rampjaar, or year of disaster). Strictly speaking, the Dutch dream was triumphant during 50 years (1620-1672). Before then there was a period of ascension, and the Rampjaar was followed by a relative stagnation and decline.

    [4] “Happiness is a new idea in Europe” is a quote of Saint-Just, a leading contributor to the French Declaration of the Rights of the Man and of the Citizen of 1793.

    [5]Jan de Vries and Ad van der Woude, The First Modern Economy: Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500–1815 (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

    [6] The idea of human capital traces back to Adam Smith (“the acquired and useful abilities of all the inhabitants or members of the society”) and the term appears with Irving Fisher. It was popularized by the Chicago School, especially Gary Becker. The human capital is further distributed into three kinds (1) Knowledge Capital (2) Social Capital (3) Emotional capital.

    [7] Alain Peyrefitte, La Société de Confiance (Paris: Odile Jacob, 1995).

    [8] Gary Becker,

    [9] Koenraad Wolter Swart, “The miracle of the Dutch Republic as seen in the seventeenth century,” Inaugural Lecture delivered at University College London, November 6, 1967.

    [10] de Gulden Eeuw in Old Dutch, de Gouden Eeuw in modern Dutch, is translated as Golden Age

    [11] Both quotes from Georg W. Hegel, Aesthetics, p. 168. In the last observation, Hegel clearly emphasizes the four freedoms achieved by the Dutch at that time, freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of expression, freedom of worship. We shall later elaborate on this.

    [12] Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Démocratie en Amérique, (Pagnerre, 1848), tome 2, p. 198.

    [13]The Divine Principle suggests that the modern world was roughly guided by the Abel-type view of life and the Cain-type view of life. Both try to attain happiness, the former insisting on the spiritual values, the latter on the material values. The Dutch Republic was certainly a forerunner of the Abel-type view of life.

    [14] EDP, Parallels 7.2.2.

    [15] Emile Durkheim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life, translation of Karen Fields (The Free Press, 1995).

    [16]Demons (Бесы, sometimes also called The Possessed) is a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1871–72

    [17] Ethics III, p. 11s.

    [18] EDP, p. 351.

    [19] Epicurus’ concept of ataraxy is tranquility, the absence of trouble. The quest for a safe society was perceived as important in the Dutch Golden Age, but was surely not the main concern.

    [20] Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1095a15–22.

    [21] Borrowed from the Latin poet Sallustus

    [22] Willem Frijhoff, “The Relevance of Dutch History, or: Much in Little? Reflections on the Practice of History in the Netherlands,” in Bijdragen en mededelingen betreffende de geschiedenis der Nederlanden, January 2010, p. 21.

    [23] Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches (1991), p. 396.

    [24] Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History, abridged (Oxford, 1987), vol. 1, p. 570.

    [25] We are aware that this might appear as some historical anachronism, as if we were projecting notions of the twentieth century on a totally different model of society. We would say the opposite. The aspirations to the four freedoms are age old, but few populations had dared implementing them until they started to finally become triumphant and mainstream in our age.

    [26] Frank D. Roosevelt spoke of the Four Freedoms in his State of Union address on January 6, 1941.

    [27] Edward Stettinius (1900-1949), the first ambassador of the USA to the United Nations, had this formula about the strategy of peace of the UN: “The battle of peace must be fought on two fronts. The first is the security front where victory spells freedom from fear. The second is the economic and social front where victory spells freedom from want.” In 1994, Mahbub ul Haq first drew global attention to the concept of human security in the United Nations Development Program’s 1994 Human Development Report. Human security is now central in peace studies.

    [28] Willem Frijhoff, op.cit, p. 7

    [29] According to the Safe Cities Index 2021, the safest cities in the world are now (1) Copenhagen, (2) Toronto, (3) Singapore, (4) Sydney, (5) Tokyo, (6) Amsterdam, followed by (7) Wellington, (8) Hong Kong, (9) Melbourne, and (10) Stockholm.

    [30] Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise, p. 252

    [31] EDP, p. 350.

    [32] Theodor Dunkelgrün, ‘Neerlands Israel’: Political Theology, Christian Hebraism, Biblical Antiquarianism, and Historical Myth.

    [33] Simon Schama, op. cit., p. 91.

    [34] Willem Frijhoff speaks of “the Batavian Athens: the very center of the European Republic of Letters, where philology, philosophy, science, medicine, anatomy, jurisprudence and even engineering worked together for the future of the West, constituting an almost explosive mix of learning and innovations that exercised an irresistible power of attraction to whoever wanted novelty or change.” op.cit. p. 37

    [35] Willem Frijhoff, op.cit. p. 35

    [36] The polder model has been described as "a pragmatic recognition of pluriformity" and "cooperation despite differences". It is thought that the Dutch politician Ina Brouwer was the first to use the term poldermodel, in her 1990 article "Het socialisme als poldermodel?"

    [37] Willem Frijhoff, op.cit. p. 35

    [38]Also called the Blue Cloak or The Topsy Turvy World, the painting can be seen at the Gemäldealerie in Berlin.

    [39]EDP, p. 72.

    [40] Charles Baudelaire, Mon cœur mis à nu.

    [41] Eriko Taira, Family Life in Dutch art of the Seventeenth Century, Christie’s Education London Master’s Program, September 2000, p. 6

    [42] John Witte, John Calvin on Marriage and Family Life, Published in Herman J. Selderhuis, ed., The Calvin Handbook (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009), 455-465.

    [43] Jungyoon Yang, “Prayers at the Nuptial Bed: Spiritual Guidance on Consummation in Seventeenth Century Dutch Epithalamia,” in: Marco Faini and Alessia Meneghin, eds., Domestic Devotions in the Early Modern World, series: Intersections, Vol. 59 (2018).

    [44]Tobit 8: 4-6

    [45] Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros (1930, English translation 1956).

    [46] Friedrich Nietzsche, All Too Human.

    [47] Eriko Taira, op. cit, p. 17.

    [48] Ibid, pp. 2-3

    [49] Ibid, p. 16

    [50] Wayne Franits, “The Family Saying Grace: a Theme in Dutch Art of the Seventeenth Century,” Simiolus Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art 16 (1986): 36.

    [51] The four realms of heart are the four kinds of love experienced in the family, namely children’s love, brotherly love, conjugal love and parental love. The three great kingships basically means three generations united by love and lineage.

    [52] For many years, the yearly motto given by Reverend Moon was about home church. “Home Church and the Completion of the Kingdom of Heaven” (1979), “Home Church Is the Base of the Kingdom of Heaven” (1980), “Home Church Is My Kingdom of Heaven” (1981), etc. For more information, go to

    [53] Aalsmeer, in North Holland, is called the world capital of flowers. Its flower market is the biggest in the world.

    [54] The concept of the Blue Banana or European backbone was proposed by geographer Roger Brunet in 1989.

    [55] Martin Luther King, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” April 3, 1968.

    [56] EDP, p. 82.

    [57] EDP, p. 89.

    [58] Brendan McInerny,

    [59] Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Play (Harper and Row, 1972).

    [60] Sun Myung Moon, “God of Lamentation,” sermon given on October 21, 1979

    [61] Yut is a popular traditional Korean game.

  • In Larger Freedome for a Safer World: A Unificationist Evaluation of Human Security

    Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 23, 2022 - Pages 1-36

    Peace studies are gaining ground worldwide. Yet, these studies often stop at conflict resolution or conflict transformation. We need more “positive peace studies.” We keep viewing peace as pacification, the return of tranquility after a period of conflict. Heraclitus, the founder of dialectics said that “Polemos (war) is both the king and father of all.” We still live in a culture of polemology, where peace is only a truce between two wars. The term “irenology”[1] does exist, but is rarely used.

    Why? Because a worldview where Irene would be seen as the queen and mother of all would look pale intellectually, culturally, aesthetically. Throughout history, the culture of war has mobilized ardent passions and heroic sacrifices. War is thrilling; peace looks dull. In A King without Distraction, the French novelist Jean Giono suggested that l’ennui (boredom) fosters all bullying, harassment, violence and crime. Jeffrey Ventola even speaks about the beauty of violence.[2] In order to prevail, the culture of peace should mobilize a greater spiritual energy.

    Part I: The Genesis of Human Security

    Peace is more than the absence of war, we say. But what should be present when war is absent? The revolution of Satyagraha, launched by Gandhi, went far beyond the Home Rule movement which had blossomed in India in 1916-1918 and which was to end the British colonial occupation. Satyagrahaliterally means that truth has an element of love and an element of energy within itself. For Gandhi, passive resistance was missing these points.

    Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha, i.e., the Force which is born of Truth and Love, and gave up the use of the phrase “passive resistance” in connection with it.[3]

    Gandhi wanted to make Indians the actors of their own destiny, free to build a peaceful and good society. For him, education to citizenship included a mystical element. We are social beings prompted to respect the law, but more fundamentally we are spiritual beings, and our souls urge us to practice selfless love in our daily life.

    I would like to see India free and strong so that she may offer herself as a willing, pure sacrifice for the betterment of the world. The self, being pure, sacrifices himself for the family, the latter for the village, the village for the district, the district for the province, the province for the nation, the nation for all.[4]

    In February 1947, Gandhi added, “I want Khudai raj, which is the same thing as the Kingdom of God on earth.” For Gandhi, the willing and pure sacrifice of the individual for the betterment of the world would guarantee the harmony between self-rule on the one hand, and security within and without on the other hand. This concord, he thought, is noble, thrilling, revolutionary, and can transform the world.

    Gandhi’s exhortations offer a possible roadmap for innovative peace and human security studies in the 21st century. The present essay will discuss what human security is, why, and how it has appeared. We shall also question some of its ambiguities. We shall draw into the theoretical framework of Unificationism and the philosophy of peace of Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Gandhi’s practical application of Satyagraha will also be helpful. Connecting freedom and security, Gandhi stressed,

    When India becomes self-supporting, self-reliant, and proof against temptations and exploitation, she will cease to be the object of greedy attraction for any power in the West or the East, and will then feel secure without having to carry the burden of expensive armament. Her internal economy will be India’s strongest bulwark against aggression.[5]

    For Gandhi, violence stems from wrong desires and blindness. Stopping the fight is only the first step. Then, yesterday’s foes may become tomorrow’s partners. A messianic vision of history was guiding Gandhi. We often chant “Study war no more,” but study what, then? Indeed, we accumulate valuable knowledge to gradually change from a very violent world to a less violent world, and ultimately to a world with zero violence. But what stands above the zero? Unificationism states that Cain and Abel should reconcile and settle their disputes, then live together. In practice, most Unificationists still seek a roadmap for a feasible universal concord. The Unificationist community, not unlike most religious organizations, believes in some form of utopian universal concord. A proper understanding of human security may be an eye-opener to arrive at something more concrete.

    Indeed, encyclopedias keep defining peace negatively, as an absence of trouble or conflict, or as a process of reconciliation, contrition, after a period of attrition. It is logical, because peace derives from the Latin word pax, meaning that law and order are restored after a violent conflict. The Pax Romana was the security and protection offered by Rome to diverse populations which had been conquered. Romans believed that they were bringing civilization, a higher level of administration and development and that people would finally prefer the protection of their empire. Pax means that the fighting is over. But it does not mean that we are living in an organic oneness of heart and vision.

    We sometimes call for a culture of peace, but do we believe in a culture of concord, fraternity and communion of all? We rarely do so, because the thought of conflict is more familiar to our culture.

    Unificationist eschatology sees the ideal world as Cheon Il Guk, the nation of cosmic peace and unity. More than a world free from discord and antagonism, it is a world where protagonists are free for a God-centered concord. As the Holy Community of Heavenly Parent[6] says in the fourth paragraph of its Family Pledge, “Our family, the owner of Cheon Il Guk, pledges to build the universal family encompassing heaven and earth, which is the Heavenly Parent’s ideal of creation, and perfect the world of freedom, peace, unity and happiness, by centering on true love.”[7]

    Here, the pursuit of freedom and happiness takes place in a world of peace and unity. Whereas freedom and happiness belong to subjective experience, or the world within, peace and unity are experienced objectively, in the world without. Cheon Il Guk is thus the world where two become one, where subjectivities harmonize for a greater whole instead of colliding. We all see our subjectivity projected and reflected in the community. The Principle of Creation states that the ideal family or society

    is patterned after the image of a perfect individual. It thus becomes the substantial object partner to the individual who lives in oneness with God, and consequently, it also becomes the substantial object partner to God. The individual feels joy, and likewise God feels joy, when each perceives in this family or community the manifestation of his own internal nature and external form.[8]

    The qualities of the individual are magnified by the whole. The supportive community, being an echo chamber of the individual’s aspirations, conveys the message that “You are the best in your area; you are a grace to our community, which is, in turn, the stage where your qualities are displayed.”

    With this Unificationist guideline and paradigm of human security in mind, we shall evaluate the existing doctrines of human security.

    Individual freedom is often seen as inimical to security. For Thomas Hobbes, the human being in the state of nature is a “wolf for man” (homo homini lupus). Human beings, who are naturally hostile to each other, experience the war of all against all (bellum omnium contra omnes). Hobbes describes the world of wild freedom as utterly barbarian, doomed to self-destruction.

    Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called War; and such a war as is of every man against every man. [...] In such condition there is no place for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently, no Culture of the Earth… no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; … no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual Fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.[9]

    Therefore, if we want to live in security, we have no choice but to alienate a part of our liberties to the State (the sovereign). This will deter any individual freedom from harming others. It will procure a certain external security, through the rule of law, the police and the armed forces. According to Max Weber, the rule of law amounts to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force.

    These are central tenets of some modern theories of the Social Contract. For instance, Jean-Jacques Rousseau stated in his theory of the general will: “Whoever refuses to obey the general will be forced to do so by the entire body; this means merely that he will be forced to be free.” In contradiction to Rousseau’s theory of the general will, the theory of the consent of the governed wants to harmonize freedom and security. It will be discussed later.

    Hobbes and Rousseau’s ideas were the pillars of the doctrine of State security.[10] A nation-state is a sovereign and independent aggregation of populations, living in a given territory under the protection of a central administration. Through the use of the police forces, the State maintains law and order at home. Through the use of armed forces and military alliances, it hopes to deter war with other states. In this theory, and even if democracy is thriving, with a strong free press, a vibrant parliamentary life with a multiparty system and a certain degree of autonomy of the civil society, there is always the fear that the State apparatus could become uncontrollable, anonymous, bureaucratic, and abuse its legitimate powers. Dwight Eisenhower’s last presidential speech conveyed his fear of the military-industrial complex, which may in the end jeopardize human beings’ control over their personal and collective security.[11]

    The powerful State is given different names. At best, it is called the welfare state, which returns much social security in exchange for heavy taxation and a certain form of socialism. In the worst cases, it is called the “nanny state,”[12] or more gloomily, “Big Brother” that tends to be more and more involved in the global mass surveillance of the population, or simply Leviathan, as in Thomas Hobbes’ book.

    From mental disarmament to human security

    In this context, the concept of human security finally appeared. According to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/290, human security calls for “people-centered, comprehensive, context-specific and prevention-oriented responses that strengthen the protection and empowerment of all people.”

    The agenda of human security was already present in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, released in 1948. The preamble of UNESCO refers to it implicitly, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” This means that human beings don’t enjoy security just because war has ended and external disarmament is achieved. Already in 1932, Norman Boardman had called for a mental and spiritual disarmament:

    The question is that of physical disarmament, but back of military disarmament is a much deeper question, namely, mental disarmament. The two naturally work together, but no disarmament programme can be expected to very get far until mental disarmament has made more headway.[13]

    The calling for mental disarmament and opening one’s heart and arms to others after World War II was short lived. During the Cold War, walls and measures to segregate populations appeared: in Europe, the Iron Curtain, in Asia, the Bamboo Curtain, and in Africa, apartheid. Humankind entered an era of uncertainty and insecurity. Military expenses soared. A cultural war raged between two blocs.

    The fall of the Berlin Wall and the rapid progress of the European Union opened an era of optimism, which lasted for about 3 decades. Globalization became the catch word of international relations. The concept on human security appeared in 1994, with the will to chart “globalization with a human face”: it was deemed that international security would depend less on nation-states than before. Rather, it would involve the growing role of international or transnational organizations, the rise of the civil society and NGOs, and the influence of religions and of women. Discourse on human security meant that, in the new era, the traditional emphasis on armies and force to solve problems would recede. The idea of “people-to-people” security was in the air.

    Dr. Mahbub al-Haq (1934–1998) introduced the concept of human security in the UN report of human development in 1994 and during the social summit of the UN in 1995. Haq also created the human development index, widely used to measure the development of nations.[14]

    Worrying about others or caring for others?

    What is the difference between state security and human security? We should first remember that a nation-state includes three components, namely, people, territory and sovereignty. A nation-state, therefore, is a (1) body of people living (2) in a defined territory, with (3) the power to make laws and an organization to do so. Whereas state security mostly concerns the defence of the sovereignty and territory, human security mostly concerns the population. State security is typically Hobbesian: holding the monopoly of legal violence, the state protects the sovereignty and the territory from intrastate unrest through the ministry of interior and police forces, or from foreign aggression or war through state diplomacy, armed forces and military alliances. The language often used is that the state has sovereign powers to guarantee this security, mostly through the use of force.

    Human security, by contrast, is a civil security. It is the spontaneous law and order maintained by the civil society. Do surveillance devices and numerous police forces make a society safer? No, trust and brotherhood are the cement: citizens care for others more than they worry about others.

    State security concerns the sovereignty, independence and prestige of the nation-state. Human security deals with the security of the person, her rights and dignity. It fosters citizenship, trust, care, and is concerned about daily life. One might also say that state security is more external, yang type and based on the collective purpose, whereas the human security is more internal, yin type (nurturing) and focuses on more internal and personal needs.

    The worldwide COVID pandemic was a major stress test of the human security all around the globe; on this occasion, The UN Development Program (UNDP) issued a serious warning. It announced that for the first time since it was created over 30 years ago, the Human Development Index (a measure of countries’ life expectancies, education levels, and standards of living) had declined for two years straight, in 2020 and 2021.

    On the other hand, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which started on February 24, 2022, is a threat to state security, although many of its side effects, including refugees, economic recession and possible shortages of goods, impact human security.

    These recent developments make us feel “a strong association between declining levels of trust and increased feelings of insecurity,” warned Antonio Gutteres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, in his foreword to the 2022 UNDP report entitled “New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene Demanding Greater Solidarity.” Mr. Gutteres added,

    The pandemic has increased the uncertainty. It has imperiled every dimension of our wellbeing and amplified a sense of fear across the globe. This, in tandem with rising geopolitical tensions, growing inequalities, democratic backsliding and devastating climate change-related weather events, threatens to reverse decades of development gains, throw progress on the Sustainable Development Goals even further off track, and delay the urgent need for a greener, more inclusive and just transition.[15]

    The concept of human security is widely used by NGOs and by international agencies, particularly the United Nations. Human security is trying to gain credibility. David Hastings proposed a Human Security Index (HIS) in 2008.[16] In 2020, Alexander and Sabina Lautensach compiled the first academic textbook on human security.[17]In this monumental work, they claim that typing the term human security on the internet yielded no fewer than 45,700,000 results!

    Yet, some scholars keep questioning the definition of human security, its methodology and its conceptual tools. Human security remains still in need of a more precise definition. This is what we call the intension of a concept in formal logic. Instead, the advocates of human security worked hard, indeed with good motives, to broaden the extension of the concept. Instead of saying what it is, they tried to identify seven fields of application of the concept, delineated at the UN World Summit for Social Development of Copenhagen, in 1995: (1) Economic security, (2) Food security, (3) Health security, (4) Environmental security, (5) Personal security, (6) Community security and (7) Political security.

    Using this set of seven parameters, Sascha Werthes, Corinne Heaven and Sven Vollnhals proposed their own human (in)security index. The best security performers, according to their research were: (1) Norway, (2) Netherlands, (3) Japan, (4) Sweden, (5) Finland, (6) Germany, (7) Belgium, (8) Australia, (9) Slovenia, and (10) Ireland.[18] This index partly overlaps with and confirms (but not completely) the table of safest countries in the world (lowest criminality) as well the global peace index (most peaceful nations). The authors admit that all these indices are somewhat redundant with one another, and that some clarity is needed. They also genuinely confess that human security “remains too vague, too ambiguous, too conceptually weak to name only a few points which have been argued.”[19] The legitimacy of human security is questioned for the following reasons.

    • It remains ill-defined.
    • It is sometimes redundant with more precise terms (such as human rights, human development)
    • It may be a misnomer for something else. Sometimes, human security is used as a synonym of human needs[20] or of well-being. Experts on human security are aware of this. David Hastings, for instance, acknowledges that there is little difference between human security and well-being, “except that most descriptions and indicators on well-being seem focused on the middle class and above. Human security, on the other hand, focuses on all people.”[21] This shows how much human security remains empirical.
    • It amounts to reinventing the wheel. To insist on economic security and health security, for instance, is just to rediscover the notions of welfarism and social security.

    These critiques are serious. Yet, as long as the motivations and purposes behind human security are good, we may accept some degree of vagueness, just like for any new discipline. We shall also argue that, as long as freedom from fear and freedom from want, the two pillars of human security, remain firmly connected with the freedom of expression and freedom of worship—as in the original Four Freedoms speech of Franklin Roosevelt, the intellectual and moral compass is acceptable.

    Indeed, human security research has often provided interesting field studies. Gradually, a corpus of empirical knowledge is developing, with good methods and techniques of reporting. What is lacking is a comprehensive philosophy of human security, explaining in depth its premises and axioms.

    As we have seen, the Human Security Index (HSI)[22] of a country is using some parameters which often overlap those found in the Human Development Index (HDI)[23] or the Global Peace Index.[24] The question, therefore, is not to know whether we are talking about the same factors and trying to measure the same stuff, it is rather the question of why and for what we need that. The question is no longer to know which nations are the most powerful in this world, which ones rank first in GDP, military power, cultural influence, or system of education. The question is about truly lasting and sustainable development obtained in open societies. There is a growing call for a more pleasant and sustainable way of life, where we mind more about the quality of the good achieved daily than about the quantity of goods produced.

    Part II: The Security of Human Beings, by Human Beings and for Human Beings

    David Hastings sees human security as the “attainment of physical, mental, and spiritual peace/security of individuals and communities at home and in the world, in a balanced local/global context.” Sabina Alkire was apparently dissatisfied with the negative definitions of human security (freedom from want and freedom from fear). She suggested that “the objective of human security is to safeguard the vital core of all human lives from critical pervasive threats, in a way that is consistent with long-term human fulfilment.”[25] If we keep to this approach, then human security could simply be defined as the security of human beings, by human beings and for human beings. Antonio Gutteres, the Secretary general of the United Nations is urging us to “treat people not as helpless patients, but agents of change and action capable of shaping their own futures and course correcting”.[26] For the sake of clarity, we shall define three different levels of human security.

    1)     Worldwide, the freedoms from are to be strengthened. This is the security for human beings, so that their rights are recognized and protected. It may entail a responsibility to protect, which is a top-down approach, where people remain as passive agents. It also concerns the fight against poverty, so that people may have more.

    2)     On this foundation, we may secure the freedom of (or freedom to) in two ways:

    2.a Everywhere, people should be empowered to that human development continues. This works better with local governments and small communities, which avoid top-down approach and prefer a horizontal and shared responsibility. Teamwork among peers is the key. We may thus talk of a security byhuman beings, who act as capable agents and manage, gradually, to know more and to do more.

    2.b When this is achieved, we still can enhance the human dignity, how to be more. In the highest realm of freedom of, the self is autonomous, creative and starts to work for well-being. Each person becomes a contributor. This is therefore a security of(or from) human beings prompted by their own conscience, in a bottom-up approach.

    The term “security” would mean that this quest for well-being is not a vague and somewhat hedonistic search for a carefree and peaceful existence. It would also be a bit different from a mere welfarism. Defining well-being as human security would mean that humankind is searching for a lasting model of what Aristotle called eudaimonia, i.e., the good and happy society. The word security used here is a very broad notion for the long-term and sustainable fulfilment of the human condition.

    Some theoreticians of human security want more than a safe society. They ask, “can we build societies of lasting happiness, where destructive patterns disappear from the public and personal sphere?”

    Human security starts with making the right choices. By making these choices, society will decide to invest massively in long-term development. In politics, efforts will focus on reaching transparency and heading for full democracy, modernizing the administration, reforming the state and its representative institutions. Economics will focus on providing high-quality infrastructure and giving priority to the expansion of a well-educated middle class. Much investment will go into renewable energy, the transition toward a green economy, and research and development. Societal measures will focus on improving health, but also educating the population about food and good habits, including the practice of sports. Finally, human security may include cultural security, so that people of various ethnic groups can feel recognized and respected, while also receiving education and good training in universal values. Here, human security does not target only the most vulnerable people; it concerns the aspirations of the whole human family.

    Mrs. Akiko Yamanaka, a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Churchill College of Cambridge, in UK, is also the Former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. With her experience of research and work in diplomacy, she offered two cogent reflections onhuman security.[27] First, she insisted that we are still a period of transition. Right now, human security is a new and interesting concept, whose time of incarnation has yet to come. The models of human security could apply to many sectors, but the cultural background is still lacking. Why? Yamanaka shed a useful light, suggesting that we still live with a mindset that we should fight against something in order to be in peace. For instance, when the COVID crisis started, many voices declared a war and a mobilization against the virus. But, when human security is concerned, we should not be against anything. The only way to solve the problem is to cooperate with others, to think collectively.

    Yamanaka was also calling wisely for a sense of balance in the 21st century. We should acknowledge that there are dichotomies of competing values, but we should reconcile the apparent contradictions. For instance, she said, we can have development together with environmental protection. Globalization may go hand in hand with regionalization, and group orientation is compatible with individualism. We can work hard and have leisure as well. She even suggested that we can have materialism and spiritualism, male values and female values.

    Societies best prepared for this transition toward a culture of human security are often societies which have a long tradition of consensus through reformism and negotiation. The Netherlands is a multi-ethnic, highly urbanized and densely populated state, yet one of the safest nations. Its high achievement in human security is explained by the adoption of the polder model. It has been described as “a pragmatic recognition of pluriformity” and “cooperation despite differences.” [28]

    If this is so simple, what prevents many nations from adopting this model? Needless to say, nations with a tradition of crises, revolutions and conflicts don’t easily repudiate what they see as the DNA of their grandeur. Moreover, while searching for happiness, these nations cannot easily evacuate the legacy of sad passions. Sad passions are a concept of Baruch Spinoza: they include melancholy, fear, obsession, hate and resentment, revenge. When these sad passions are excessively echoed in the public sphere and affect the discourse of the media, of opinion leaders, of religious and political leaders, they fuel hate speech, intolerance, ostracism and populism, all tolerated in the name of freedom of expression.

    Increasing our rights, or expanding our love?

    The literature on human security often focuses on the individual rights. The human person is put at the center of security and is protected against threats. Human security promises a double liberation, which has become its trademark: liberation from fear and liberation from want. Yet, this formulation is ambiguous, presenting the self as just a passive agent or receiver of human security. Indeed, the discourse on human security is more efficient as a discourse of empowerment, where the self is transformed into a responsible actor for the community.

    Roman Catholic culture always showed a concern for the needy, so that they are not marginalized. Human security certainly includes this component, with the rationale that needy and left-out people may be tempted to use violence and spread insecurity. As we have seen, human security appeared within the concern to propose a globalization with a human face where the law of the jungle (free-market economy) is moderated by caring for the more vulnerable segments of the population. But the real philosophy of human security is that all people should be involved in the social contract of the country.

    How can we balance liberty, happiness, unity and peace? Gandhi called for Satyagraha and a revolution of our behavior. Likewise, Reverend Moon taught that only a revolution of true love will bring the peace we are searching for. Seeing human security only as an extension of rights is unhealthy. Human security also requires the “pure sacrifice” advocated by Gandhi and the extension of our duties. The whole idea behind the European Union was to extend the duties of citizens. Besides being citizens of their nation, they are also citizens for a greater good. By investing more energy in supporting their newly built institutions, Europeans will build a safer Europe. The EU thus tries to instill a European patriotism, which extends beyond love for one’s country. This makes Europe a safer place.

    What is the dilemma for human security, then? It is to find the balance between empowerment (freedom of) and protection (freedom from). Sadako Ogata and Amartya Sen said it clearly in the foreword of Human Security Now, a report released in 2003 by the UN Commission on Human Security:

    Human security is concerned with safeguarding and expanding people’s vital freedoms. It requires both shielding people from acute threats and empowering people to take charge of their own lives.[29]

    For those who feel confident, a safe society is an open society, which fosters innovation and initiative. In such a society, risk-takers, investors and entrepreneurs can act freely, without limitations. A famous example is the road safety regulations on German highways. Germany remains the only nation in the world with no speed limit on some portions of federal highways. It is recommended not to drive faster than 130 km per hour, but it is not considered illegal to do so on these portions, in certain circumstances. The mindset behind this choice is that Germany produces safe vehicles, the highways are of a high quality, and the drivers are responsible. The authorities assume that drivers will act responsibly, even when driving very fast. Most other cultures would see this choice as an extreme interpretation of human freedom. They may think that Germany encourages people on the road to be one-sided, rash and indifferent to side effects.

    The opposite extreme would be an obsession with safety regulations. Isabelle Filliozat warns against this. A leading figure of positive education in France, she stimulates all parents to be benevolent with their children and to avoid threats and punishments. For her, however, positive education should instill a sense of freedom, a sense of belonging, and an attitude of responsibility for future generations. Children should feel that this world is a world of opportunities, not a world of fear and danger. She suggests that “our world is too hygienist, too careful, too overprotective.”[30]

    This became a sensitive issue during the COVID pandemic. The restrictions on freedoms imposed by some states were deemed arbitrary, excessive and antidemocratic. Some people fear that a concern for human security would open the door to securitization or over-securitization.[31] Asian democracies, such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, could sometimes find a better balance between freedom and security than Western nations. The problem was not political, it was mostly a cultural difference in the approach to uncertainty, risk and hazard.

    This raises a fundamental question: what is security? When do we feel secure in our life? The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies defines security as “a form of protection where a separation is created between the assets and the threat.” The main assets of a person are:

    • her essence,
    • her existence,
    • her various achievements.[32]

    Expressed in a more positive language, security refers to a situation where a person feels free and confident to assert her identity (essence), to act and exist as she wants, and to openly display her belongings and achievements. In an open society, all of this is considered self-evident. Reversely, there are societies living in situations of insecurity for three major reasons:

    • The future is too uncertain to make any project. When tomorrow is uncertain, hope, opportunity and projection are reduced. This situation is even worse in a society where the self feels split, or torn between tradition and modernity, indigenous culture and Westernization, community structures and individual aspirations;
    • Daily existence is made difficult because of scarcity, lack and want. A complication in health, which may be benign in a safe society, may become fatal where the medical infrastructures are rare and of poor quality;
    • A person may feel insecure because the whole natural or social environment is characterized by risk and hazard.

    To summarize, human insecurity has three broad meanings: We have uncertainty, which leads to existential or psychic insecurity where the person doubts her identity, is apprehensive about making choices and taking responsibility. We suffer from scarcity, want, and lack. And we may feel physically threatened by a danger, which may suddenly hit, damage, or destroy our body, either from within or from without.

    Surely, human security has a biological component. Like any living being, the human being has basic needs and seeks shelter, food, and protection. However, one should remember that in the human species, the aspect of instinct is almost non-existent.

    Thus, Hobbes’ statement that in the state of nature, man is a wolf for man is absurd for two reasons. First, wolves are naturally social. Studies have showed that a wolf pack (or family group) is an exceedingly complex unit, centered on a breeding pair. Wolves are indeed a predatory species for many other species, but they live naturally in great harmony with one another. The second mistake of Hobbes is to speak of the state of nature for human beings. Humans are, from the start, beings of culture who learn to cope with dangerous environments and to turn crises into opportunities. Through education, parents teach their children to be confident and also to avoid hazardous behaviors. The state does not dictate all the regulations. They first come from the home.

    In 2002, the Joint Center for Poverty Research at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University identified the Five S’s that the nuclear family should normally provide for a healthy human development, namely (1) Safety, (2) Structure, (3) Surveillance, (4) Stimulation, and (5) Socio-emotional support.

    Through intellectual education and logical reasoning, our consciousness grows and we start to master the natural environment. Through moral education, we strengthen our conscience and can adapt to the socio-cultural environment. Freedom from ignorance, both intellectual and moral, is the best way to liberate ourselves from want and from fear. Human security is first of all a security of human beings and by human beings, and not just a security for human beings.

    “Larger freedom” and human security

    In Unificationist terminology, human security has two components. The freedom from fear and freedom from want are more external and “objective.” Human beings should protect themselves from either natural or man-made risk and hazards, which may expose their existence and essence to uncertainty, danger, instability and scarcity. However, security can only be called human security if human beings themselves act as owners of their security by adopting a responsible and value-oriented behavior, which is more internal and subjective. (Figure 1)

    A major challenge of the twenty-first century is to harmonize two complementary agendas: the agenda of larger freedom and the agenda of enhanced security. Kofi Annan, the former secretary of the United Nations (1997-2006) presented his report “In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All” to the UN General Assembly in March 2005.[33] His comprehensive strategy advocated giving “equal weight and attention to the three great purposes of this organization: development, security and human rights, all of which must be underpinned by the rule of law.” The report was called “In Larger Freedom” because he believed that those words from the UN Charter[34] conveyed the idea that development, security and human rights were inseparable.

    “In Larger Freedom” fully supported the two agendas of human security, i.e., freedom from want and freedom from fear. It added a third agenda, the “Freedom to Live in Dignity,” urging all states to strengthen the rule of law, human rights and democracy in concrete ways. Kofi Annan asked them to embrace the principle of the “Responsibility to Protect.”

    The two recent crises affecting the globe are evidence of the challenge to keep the balance between larger freedom and security. During the Covid pandemic, some freedoms were “sacrificed” on the altar of health security. The rise of China, Russia, Turkey and Iran as alternative models to democracies is seen as inimical in advanced democracies, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Yet, a growing disenchantment for larger freedoms is observed in the Southern Hemisphere, which puts the priority on security and may seek authoritarian solutions. The public in Africa, in the Middle East and in some areas of South America may look for authoritarian solutions. Many nations keep a façade of democracy and the rule of law, but impose severe restrictions on major freedoms, which are seen as decadent. They play on patriotic values, sometimes family values. This is seen favorably by some neoconservative circles in the Northern Hemisphere, and may become popular in the Southern Hemisphere. China is often seen as an alternative model, where authoritarianism seems to go hand in hand with prosperity and long-term security. Russia invaded Ukraine with an existential obsession for its “security.” But what about freedom?

    Positive and negative freedom

    From the start, human security is presented as an extension of freedom, particularly freedom from want and freedom from fear. Many people seem to have forgotten who spoke of these two freedoms first, and when. Actually, they did not appear in 1994-1995 when the term “human security” was introduced. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to speak of these two freedoms, in his Four Freedoms Speech on January 6, 1941. According to Alexander and Sabina Lautensach, “Roosevelt’s address is believed by many to have created the plinth on which the moral imperatives of the human security paradigm rest.”[35]

    Roosevelt started with this powerful statement:

    In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

    Here, freedom is the major theme. Safety is the minor theme. A safe and peaceful world is at hand. Shall we gain greater freedom by seeking safety at all cost? No. Rather, the pursuit of freedom everywhere will make everyone safer. Roosevelt then speaks of the four freedoms.

    The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
    The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
    The third is freedom from want—which… means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
    The fourth is freedom from fear—which… means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point… that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

    Roosevelt distinguished between two complementary aspects of freedom. Freedom of is sometimes defined as positive liberty, because it is an assertion of the self who acts autonomously as the legislator of his or her own action. This echoed Gandhi’s ideas of a free and peaceful India

    Mere withdrawal of the English is not independence. It means the consciousness in the average villager that he is the maker of his own destiny, he is his own legislator through his chosen representatives.[36]

    Freedom from is defined as negative liberty. In order to act freely, a person should first of all be liberated from obstacles or restrictions. Roosevelt’s speech avoided these philosophical discussions.

    A few years later, it became necessary to clarify that these two concepts are both distinct and complementary. Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) did it prophetically. His work should be rediscovered, particularly when we deal with some ambiguities of the discourse on human security and its one-sided insistence on negative freedoms (freedom from fear, freedom from want), which tends to obliterate Roosevelt’s positive freedoms (freedom of expression, freedom of worship). For Isaiah Berlin, “I am slave to no man” is the slogan of negative liberty. By contrast, “I am my own master” is the credo of positive liberty, the freedom to choose one’s own pursuits in life.

    In 1958, the whole world had entered the Cold War. Isaiah Berlin, an immigrant from Russia to the United Kingdom, gave his inaugural lesson, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” at Oxford university. Berlin defined “negative liberty” as absence of coercion or interference of private actions by an external political body. “Positive liberty,” Berlin maintained, could be thought of as self-mastery, which asks not what we are free from, but what we are free to do. Hobbes had ignored this positive liberty.

    Berlin was born in Riga, Latvia, in a wealthy Jewish family, who then moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia. He witnessed the atrocities of the Russian Revolution. Obsessed by negative liberty, the Bolshevik ideology repressed all forms of positive liberty. Before becoming the famous intellectual theoretician about these two concepts, Berlin had experienced the tragedy of misguided freedom.

    If freedom in the public sphere sometimes appears as freedom of (positive liberty) and sometimes as freedom from (negative freedom), what would be the best synthesis of these two aspects? How can we conceive a larger freedom, which would naturally provide greater security? In other words, how can human beings enjoy greater freedom while living in a safer word?

    First, we should remember that both Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America, 1835) and John Stuart Mill emphasized the “consent of the governed.” This concept is the antidote to Hobbes’ view of the social contract, where individuals are wrongly portrayed as alienating their liberty to the sovereign. In contrast to Hobbes, the American Constitution states that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. In a man-made social contract, some rights are alienated to the sovereign in exchange for security. But the American Constitution postulates a covenant with God, whereby His children are given rights and responsibilities, which are both divine and natural, namely “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This preamble gives priority to freedom and responsibility. Only then is safety discussed.

    We learn that, to secure these rights,

    … governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it… laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    The consent of the governed means that the source of political power is not some divine right. The sovereign is not chosen by God, but elected by the sovereign people, and then only anointed by God—at least in the American presidential inauguration within a secular system, where there is no State religion but simply one nation under God.

    The concept of consent of the governed was dear to Gandhi, who wrote,

    By Swaraj I mean the government of India by the consent of the people. Swaraj is to be attained by educating the masses to a sense of their capacity to regulate and control authority. [37]

    “Mutual liberty” would be even better than “consent of the governed”. It may not apply to the State, where some coercion remains necessary, but it is enlightening to describe what often takes place in interpersonal relations, associations, local communities, in the civil society at large.

    The theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer explained why human freedom is essentially experienced as mutuality and reciprocity. At the end of his life, Bonhoeffer, without denying the existence of the individual freedom or autonomy, stressed that a human being is never completely alone and by himself, but necessarily in a situation of being responsible in front of others. He wrote,

    Freedom is not a quality of man which can be revealed… but a relationship and nothing else. In truth, freedom is a relationship between two persons. Being free means being free for the other, because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free.[38]

    The notion of mutual liberty is implicit in Gandhi’s political views of “pure sacrifice.” It also echoes the fundamental concern of Reverend Moon to connect human freedom to human responsibility, and to the connected pursuits of unity, peace and happiness expressed in the Family Pledge Number 4.[39] Rev. Moon said:

    Where there is no unity, there is no freedom, happiness, peace or hope. If your mind and body have not become one, can you be happy? If they clash, can you be happy? Does freedom exist there? They should have good give and take with each other. Peace requires mutual balance, but is there a balance? There is freedom only on the basis of unity. Without it, there is no happiness, peace or hope. (231-269, 1992.6.7)
    Hope, happiness, peace and even freedom, which all people desire, everything happens on the basis of unity. Happiness, peace and freedom are realized only in relationships of subject and object partners. These subject-object relationships stand on the foundation of unity. (225-93, 1992.1.5)

    Unification ontology sees human beings as composed of a spirit self and a physical self. This dual nature accounts for the two freedoms mentioned so far, the positive freedom and the negative freedom. Our physical self has needs and drives, requires physical protection and care, and seeks material values. The body requires constant freedom from restriction, and human security so far has too much focused on the physical aspect of security—freedom from fear and freedom from want.

    However, a comprehensive philosophy of human security should also include the spiritual dimension, that is the spiritual and existential security. Our spirit self has desires and aspirations, grows through education, and seeks spiritual values. Human freedom is a synthesis of these two freedoms. Freedom is complete when one can do what one may do.

    Anglo-Saxon political culture always gave priority to the pursuit of positive liberty, freedom of, especially the freedom of expression and freedom of worship. Meanwhile, the French tradition, and later the socialist models, strongly insisted on negative liberty, in other words, liberation from. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech offered a synthesis. For the sake of global human security, those two paths should more than ever converge, rather than diverge.

    Part III: In Larger Freedom, for a Safer World: An Eschatological View

    A safe society is free from want and free from fear. Moreover, the safe home and safe community should flourish with creativity, interaction, service and concord. Isaiah Berlin spoke about positive and negative freedom. Likewise, there are two kinds of peace: security is the negative peace, the absence of violence, conflict or war. Positive peace is achieved when people, transcending their ego boundaries, enjoy a greater freedom in greater communion.

    Some human security studies maintain a dialectical view of nature and of the human society, where all relations are conflict-ridden and based on self-interest. If so, we may curb violence but never really eradicate it. Moreover, these studies often overemphasize physical security and the physical needs of human beings, as if we were living in a purely material dimension.

    Another problem is that some recent theories of the Anthropocene is to portray humans as the villains and foes of their own survival and of nature. The United Nations see these theories with less caution than the scientific community. The 2022UNDP report is entitled “New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene Demanding Greater Solidarity.”

    Alexander and Sabina Lautensach’s textbook on human security often refers to the Club of Rome and its controversial prophecies. Some chapters actually adopt the style and imagery of survivalism. Predicting an inevitable collapse, they advocate a drastic reduction of the human population, and of development policies that promote population growth. Here, climate change replaces the wrath of God of traditional eschatology, but with a direct attack on core tenets of monotheism.

    Humanity developed the perspective of being ‘above’ nature, more powerful than nature, a ‘belief’ that it was exempt from the limits of nature common to other life. This impression is epitomized in Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” This perspective of moral exceptionalism and anthropocentrism was elaborated later by philosophers and scientists such as Francis Bacon, René Descartes and Isaac Newton.[40]

    This critique of Monotheism is serious. The apocalyptic tone of some human security studies instills fear instead of hope, as if we were doomed for hell by our wrong choices. We have good reasons to suggest quite the opposite.

    Existing religious worldviews, especially the monotheistic tradition, should evaluate studies on the topic of human security. They are not necessarily antireligious. Moreover, they may offer the best avenue for a reconciliation between God, humankind and nature, or between theos, anthropos and cosmos.

    The inescapable network of mutuality

    The term human security appeared around 1995 and was quickly adopted in the United Nations vocabulary; during the same period, Reverend and Mrs. Moon, often referred to as the True Parents, launched many organizations and projects of a global peace movement, hoping to offer models of good practices for the United Nations.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once declared that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny.” This perfectly describes True Parents’ vision for the ideals of kong-saeng, kong-yeong and kong-ui,[41] three Korean terms will be translated in this essay as “common land,” “common good,” and “common view.” They advocate a cosmic view of mutuality to overcome all types of insecurity. In summary, Heaven belongs to all, humanity belongs to all, the earth belongs to all. In line with Dr. King’s exhortation, they provide tools to “evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”[42]

    Kong-saeng concerns the economic aspect of a just world, which has achieved prosperity and freedom from want. Kong-yeong refers to the political structure of the ideal world where all people enjoy freedom from fear and freedom of expression. Finally, kong-ui refers to transcendent principles which enable us to live in spiritual security, with freedom of worship. The Divine Principle insists that Kong-saeng, kong-yeong and kong-uiare mutually connected.

    Religion and economy are integrated with our life in society through politics. Especially, in Western Europe, politics has sought to connect economic development, which has closely followed the progress of science, with the path of Christianity, which has often lacked a clear sense of its providential direction.[43]

    Kong-ui, kong-yeong and kong-saeng partly derive from the Biblical verses “Be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth” (Gen. 1:28), seen in Unificationism as the three original blessings of God to human beings. Some authors see Gen. 1:28 as inimical to human security. This is wrong. Human beings were first to grow toward their full spiritual maturity and achieve oneness with Heaven (be fruitful). This covenant between Heaven and human beings is the root of kong-ui. Human beings should have a natural relationship with God, the Creator, transcending all denominations. Kong-ui provides the security of human beings, their spiritual and existential well-being.

    They should then create the perfect union between man and woman and create healthy families of true love (multiply). This should be the foundation of mankind’s unity, or kong-yeong. This is the security by human beings, their social and political welfare.

    On that foundation, the perfect communion between God the Creator, human beings the co-creators, and the entire creation would have been possible, enabling us to rule the world (have dominion) and create kong-saeng. This is the security for human beings, their sustainable development.

    The basic Unificationist position on human insecurity

    Before we enter a more detailed discussion on kong-saeng, kong-yeong and kong-ui, let us summarize the Unificationist position on human insecurity.

    Due to the Human Fall, we became immature and insecure in being, loving and doing. We lost the positions that the Creator wanted for us originally.

    Separated from God, we are uncertain about who we are and live in self-contradiction, and self-alienation. Separated from our humanity, we look at others as strangers and often apprehend relationships as full of fear. Finally, separated from nature, we fear that we are unable to do the right thing, or end up doing things that do not reflect our original intention.

    In relation to God, we have fallen into the pits of spiritual-existential-moral insecurity. It is mostly a trouble in the First Blessing, a failure to keep our position and value as children of God. Human beings may either reject God, or feel rejected by God, or separated from God. A gap is created between the transcendent and myself. Disorders in the First Blessing may also may also manifest in fanaticism, idolatry or the taste for totalitarian ideals, which also increase the insecurity.

    In relation to our neighbor, we have been drifting toward a state of permanent relational-emotional-social insecurity. These disorders of the Second Blessing signify that human beings have lost their original and blissful position of brothers and sisters. The emotional distortion is manifested into two major areas, the drives toward all forms of sexual misconduct and the drives toward hatred, violence and crime.

    Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis tried to explore the magma of hidden and unconscious passions that lay underneath our civilizations and undermine them. He concluded that all instincts fall into one of two major classes: life drives and death drives, later dubbed Eros and Thanatos.[44]Unificationism agrees with the idea of destructive unconscious forces at work in history. Using biblical terminology, Unificationism states that the Adam and Eve problem and the Cain and Abel problem are constantly reenacted in our personal lives and in the history of mankind, until they are repaired. Unificationism sees the whole human history as a universal effort to atone for the two major components of sin.

    Regarding the Adam and Eve question, Unificationism teaches first the original sanctity of marriage and human sexuality, and second that there is a fundamental disorder, a misuse of love, which has undermined our unions from the beginning. Regarding the Cain-Abel question, Unificationism reveals why those in the Cain position can deeply hate those in the Abel position and how this problem can be “restored,” in the Unificationist terminology.

    It should be noted that Pope Francis often uses the Cain-Abel terminology, with a similar approach. In a morning meditation given on February 13, 2017 on the Story of Cain and Abel, the Pope spoke of “a brotherhood which was to grow to become beautiful but instead wound up destroyed.”[45] More recently, the Pope, referring to Russian invasion of Ukraine, “begged” God to “stop Cain’s hand,” asking for forgiveness “if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue to kill our brother, if we continue to raise stones from our land like Cain to kill Abel.”[46]

    In relation to the Creation, we are caught in a state of permanent insecurity. This is a trouble in the third Blessing, because human beings have lost their original position as rightful masters of creation. Hence, we struggle to do things or create things well, that is, with true love. The modern world is affected by all kinds of addiction to substances, our economic system creates too many side effects (exploitation, corruption and pollution), and nihilism is at work in many forms of art.

    From a Unificationist viewpoint, the irruption of sin destroyed the foundation of kong-ui, kong-yeong and kong-saeng. The Bible suggests that man became afraid of God and started to hide, feeling insecure spiritually and existentially. Moreover, a profound sexual anxiety arose between the man and the woman, undermining their innocence. “I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid,” said Adam. (Gen. 3:11) And God says to Eve, “your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16) Finally, human beings, instead of mastering the creation, become slaves on a tedious labor. “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.” (Gen. 3:17-19)

    From this we may infer:

    • First, external insecurity, manifested as want and fear in the economic and political realms, often reflects a more internal insecurity, which is primarily spiritual, existential and moral.
    • Second, human beings experience a permanent situation of insecurity and anxiety because they cannot find their proper position in relation to Heaven and to themselves, in relation to others, and in relation to the Creation. We are meant to love God, to love others and to love the creation, but we end up using God, using others and using the creation for selfish purposes. This misuse of love feeds human insecurity at all levels. We suffocate with insecurity in an atmosphere where love is not expressed well.

    Unification Thought suggests that humans originally are much more than homo religious, homo sapiens, homo faber. We are supposed to be homo amans, loving persons.[47] We certainly should believe better, think better, and do better. However, only the revolution from false love to true love may bring perpetual security.

    It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh

    Human security is first experienced within, and then without. The Divine Principle states,

    A fallen person possesses both an original mind, which prompts him to pursue goodness, and an evil mind, which fills him with evil desires and rebels against the promptings of the original mind. The two minds are constantly at war with each other, inclining us toward shifting and conflicting behaviors. Since human society is composed of individuals who are constantly at war within themselves, interactions among them cannot help but be full of discord and conflict. Human history has consisted of people's conflict-ridden social relationships constantly changing with the course of time.[48]

    Malfunctions of the socio-cultural environment do exist, but they mostly reflect the sinful nature of human beings.

    After external security was restored with the surrender of Japan in 1945, General Douglas MacArthur described the future of world peace in these terms:

    It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.[49]

    Like many in his generation, MacArthur cherished the rational humanism and good will expressed in the Universal Declarations of Human Rights; yet being familiar with Shakespeare and the Bible, he professed a tragic, but also a messianic perspective on war and peace,

    Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advance in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments…. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

    A “spiritual recrudescence and improvement of the human character” is precisely the foundation of the Unificationist view on human security. We read in the Divine Principle,

    The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is a society whose structure is formed in the image of a perfect person. Likewise, fallen society may be regarded as formed in the likeness of a fallen person. We can better understand the history of societies built by sinful humanity by examining the inner life of a fallen person.[50]

    At the dawn of the 20th century, the Western world was ruling the globe. Its worldview triumphed everywhere. Tragically, the spiritual foundation of this worldview was declining, and was replaced by an optimistic and naïve belief in progress through science, positivism, rationality. The apocalyptic losses of World War I shattered this optimism. Externally, the West kept spreading the gospel of humanism, science, progress. This superficial optimism could hardly dissimulate a disenchanted angst among the leading thinkers who started to present the human condition as a permanent experience of existential, metaphysical insecurity. The intelligentsia was unconsciously reactivating the doctrine of original sin and human depravity, but without redemption. It was as if the rest of human history was to be about external progress and a better life in a better environment, but with no hope to ever find meaning in human life. Today, this angst of the West is contagious and is seriously eroding any attempt to propose real human security. It can only feed a permanent sense of nihilism and the meaninglessness of life. What, then, is existential security?

    The Divine Principle suggests that human beings today live in a state of insecurity because the human condition became tragic. This is the root of human insecurity. The human condition is tragic and insecure because we misuse our freedom and we fail in our responsibility.

    A disease called man

    Current human security studies never mention this spiritual and existential insecurity. Viewing human security in terms of physical and social needs, they ignore the deep anxiety of human beings who cannot find meaning, purpose and value for their life. The Zarathustra of Friedrich Nietzsche states that “The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man.”[51] Whereas the modern thinkers of the Anthropocene strongly accuse human beings of being the corruptors and polluters of nature, Nietzsche suggests that we are born corrupted. But why? For Nietzsche, our conscience makes us sick.

    Much of modern humanism is based on Descartes’ exaltation of the dignity of human consciousness and human conscience. His cogito ergo sum made human consciousness the rock bottom of all certainty. It was to be the sure compass of human knowledge in the modern times. Regarding the field of ethics, Jean-Jacques Rousseau later called the conscience a “divine instinct, an infallible judge.” However, while apparently triumphing in all the fields of science, the modern Western world started to vacillate in its conscience.

    The era of “the unhappy consciousness”

    In the Phenomenology of the Spirit, Georg W. Hegel introduced the major theme of the “unhappy consciousness” (Unglückseliges Bewusstein).[52] The unhappy consciousness is a consciousness that experiences itself as divided within and against itself. Hegel describes the human being as the partner of God, the Absolute Being. God wants to reveal Himself and know Himself objectively through the life and consciousness of human beings. The purpose of history is to arrive at a perfect oneness between God and human beings. The Hegelian theodicy does not seek a perfect communion of love, like in Christian theology, but some sort of gnostic Pentecost of absolute knowledge. As human beings struggle to overcome ignorance, they constantly experience a profound anxiety between their thirst for the Absolute and the Infinite, and their miserable reality as finite and mortal beings living within the constraints of time and space. Whereas Christian theology had often talked about the struggle between the mind and the body, Hegel’s dialectic sees the conflict within the mind itself.

    Hegel’s theme of the unhappy consciousness deeply influenced on the one hand Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, whom Paul Ricoeur called “the masters of suspicion.”[53] On the other hand, the unhappy consciousness is the common leitmotif of almost all Existentialist thought, from Kierkegaard to Sartre.

    Emil Cioran, hijacking Apostle Paul in an existentialist context, wrote, “Consciousness is much more than the thorn,it is the dagger in the flesh.”[54]Why is it so? What’s wrong with the consciousness? Miguel de Unamuno, who wrote about the tragic sense of life, stated

    Man, by the very fact of being man, of possessing consciousness, is, in comparison with the ass or the crab, a diseased animal. Consciousness is a disease.[55]

    In the same mood, the French novelist Vercors observed,

    The animal is one with nature, but the human being is two with it. The transition from the passive unconsciousness to the interrogative consciousness, entails this schism, this divorce.[56]

    This schism is the rock bottom of a fundamental human insecurity, which is unredeemable. It leads Martin Heidegger to see human being as lonely in a meaningless universe. According to Heidegger, we are “thrown into this world,” and moreover we are the “being-towards-death.” This unending metaphysical angst feeds a burning moral anxiety. The French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre stated,

    We have no excuse behind us, no justification before us. We are alone, with no excuses. This is the idea I shall try to convey when I say that man is condemned to be free.” [57]

    The young Reverend Moon also had a tragic sense of life. He could easily have become a man of despair and anxiety, an angry man, a rebel, a nihilist, because he was facing the chaos of the world and refused the vague answers of established institutions. But he took the path of heroic spiritual courage. He was determined to maintain the dignity of God and the dignity of human beings as absolutes. What is spiritual courage?

    In The Courage to be,Paul Tillich described existential anxiety as “the state in which a being is aware of its possible nonbeing.”[58] He identified three categories for the nonbeing and resulting anxiety: ontic (fate and death), moral (guiltand condemnation), and spiritual (emptiness, meaninglessness). For Tillich, the modern age is immersed in a fundamental spiritual anxiety, whereas in earlier periods other forms of anxiety were predominant. For Tillich, this anxiety should be accepted as part of the human condition.

    Heaven belongs to all (kong-ui)

    Tillich, like other Christian existentialists (Kierkegaard, Unamuno, Jaspers) see the spiritual courage as a mere act of spiritual and often lonely resistance. Reverend Moon wanted to go beyond spiritual resistance. His strategy for a world of spiritual security covers three areas: disbelief, false beliefs and conflicts of beliefs. Disbelief is the loss of faith in God, the decline of spirituality, and the spread of a purely secular culture.[59] False beliefs are the modern forms of heresies and idolatries which give rise to totalitarian ideologies, such as Nazism and Communism.[60] The conflicts of beliefs are the theological disputes within a religion or among existing religions. Whereas Samuel Huntington warned against a possible “clash of civilizations,” the chapter of the Divine Principle called Eschatology offers a theoretical framework for the inevitable convergence of all religious spheres and their cooperation to realize the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.[61]

    Kong-ui refers to the spiritual values that should be the foundation of living together, whether in a nation or in among nations. Ernest Renan defined the nation as “a soul, a spiritual principle.” And he added,

    Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form.[62]

    If love is to be the horizontal cement and the glue which makes us live together, what Renan called “present day consent,” it must connect with a vertical axis and possibly a transcendence. However, no religion can have the monopoly of soul and spiritual principle, which has to remain the numinous.[63]

    What is this spiritual principle that Rev. Moon calls kong-ui?First, he often said that the living God should not be experienced through religious institutions with a clergy and dogmas and rituals, which are somehow artificial. God is to reside in our heart and our conscience. Seeing the whole world as one family under God, he advocated Godism to be the foundation of eternal peace. Rev. Moon insisted that God created human beings for joy and to be co-creators. He said,

    Once a love relationship is established, you immediately enjoy equality of participation, equality of dignity, and the right of inheritance. Human ambition has an ultimate goal to acquire God's love to the fullest extent, so that you can participate equally at God's level in His joy and all that He possesses. Once you acquire the love of God, you can go no further. Once you establish this love relationship with God, no power under the sun can separate you from His love. We will be resonant beings of the love of God, vibrating together on the wavelength of the love of God, echoing and acting according to the love of God. Our ultimate purpose is to have our mind and body totally united with the love of God.[64]

    Second, Rev. Moon taught about the realization of the ideal world on earth. God’s ideal surely cannot concern only the afterlife. The task to build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth (Cheonilguk) means that we are to restore the original three blessings of Gen. 1:28.

    Third, Rev. Moon mobilized spiritual leaders of all religions for this task of building Cheon Il Guk. The walls among existing religions cannot be overcome only through theological discussions. Kong-ui assumes that people of all religions and creeds can transcend their boundaries if we also build kong-yeong and kong-saeng. We shall elaborate more about this below.

    Fourth, Rev. Moon affirmed that true faith and true science should work together. Religious scriptures provide internal wisdom but are written with many symbols which cannot be interpreted literally. Faith grows through discussion, through experience, and through our spiritual maturity. Science can never be dogmatic. The establishment of Kong-ui needs a harmony between religion and science.

    Humanity belongs to all (kong-yeong)

    Kong-yeong, sometimes translated “mutual prosperity” in Unification literature, actually means the common good or commonwealth, in the political sense.

    In 2015, Pope Francis declared, “Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good.” In his Encyclical Fratelli Tutti(All brothers), the Pope even coined the term “political love” and declared in the paragraph 180:

    Recognizing that all people are our brothers and sisters, and seeking forms of social friendship that include everyone, is not merely utopian. It demands a decisive commitment to devising effective means to this end. Any effort along these lines becomes a noble exercise of charity.

    Can we then say that politics “is the highest and greatest form of charity,”[65] as Pope Francis suggested? Rev. Moon would certainly agree that the vertical love of God should be expressed horizontally in human communities, and these communities should not necessarily be religious organizations. In the cosmic view of True Parents, all human beings are finally to become the body of Christ, not only in their religious life, but also in their political life and economic life. Even though it may look utopian, it is actually based on the natural law and on the social law.

    Auguste Comte (1798-1857), the founder of Positivism, was a pioneer of sociology, and may even have coined the term.[66] Comte asserted that the basic law of nature and of society is not contradiction and conflict, as Marxism maintains, but rather mutualism, cooperation, harmony. Viewing anthropology as the supreme science, he wanted sociology to crown this supreme science. Isaac Newton had revolutionized the physical sciences by discovering the universal law of gravitation, which could apply everywhere. Willing to be the Newton of sociology, Comte sought a universal law which would apply to all social phenomena. This led him to coin the word “altruism” (from the Latin alter, the other). He declared that “living for the sake of others”[67] was the universal law of society.

    While refining his thought, Comte became aware that only selfless love could generate a genuine altruism and strengthen the consent of the governed. He also understood that only a revolution in conjugal love and family ethics would make this possible. The True Parents have emphasized that the root of citizenship is morality based on true love, and that the family is the school of love. The crisis in modern democracies is not so much in political institutions but in the most fundamental institution, i.e., the family cell. Human security studies tend to ignore the role of the family.

    The earth belongs to all (kong-saeng)

    Kong-saeng literally means co-existence. Economically speaking, the planet earth is a common resource, to be managed in interdependence. Mother earth belongs to all, not just one nation, or one community. It should benefit the whole human family. For the True Parents, the environmental question needs to be addressed together with religious question, the socio-political question, and the economic question. Reverend Moon said:

    All mankind needs a movement of people living together in mutual cooperation and true love, and a movement to protect the environment; that is, to love and preserve nature. Most importantly, this movement should be led by religious people. In an ideal society or nation, the people, transcending national and racial barriers, will cooperate with each other to live harmoniously and in happiness. They will be conscious of being God’s sons and daughters and one extended family which can meet as brothers and sisters. All people will coexist in coprosperity and common cause in this culture of God's heart. This world will have nothing to do with corruption or injustice, or with war or crime. Mankind will eliminate the causes of pollution in the global environment, and love and protect nature as a true owner.[68]

    As mentioned above, the theories of the Anthropocene are challenging this view. There are reasons for that, which are explained in the Unification Thought.

    Human beings cannot, by their own will, exercise dominion over the creation, since human beings were created after all things had been created by God. However, human beings were created as God’s children, and therefore, they should be allowed to inherit their parent’s property and rights once they have grown up. Accordingly, God desired [them to] establish a condition to inherit His dominion: God directed them to grow, while accomplishing their portion of responsibility. The condition set for them was that they should perfect themselves through fulfilling their responsibility, whereby the condition would be regarded as equivalent to their having participated in God’s creation of the universe.[69]

    Human beings have failed in their original responsibility, which was to become co-creators who participate in the divine life, inherit the divine character and share their daily existence on earth with God. In our daily life, we fail to assume our position to represent God and to behave as the rightful masters of the creation. We dominate the creation with a self-centered, rationalistic, materialist attitude not as channels of the divine love. Human beings are far from behaving as heirs of God. At best, they try to be His servants. Therefore, while they mimic the attitude of the lord or master of nature, they lack the qualification to do so. It led Apostle Paul to write,

    The whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed… We are well aware that the whole creation, until this time, has been groaning in labor pains.[70]

    In an age of industrialization and mass production, man’s dominion is excessively rational, materialist, technical, self-centered. But economy and ecology both come from oikos, the house. With the Pantanal Project launched in 1995, True Parents envisioned an economic and ecological project run by families in the southwest of Brazil. They wanted to bring together families from around the world who would feel at home and be free to practice their ideals and values in a preserved area, respecting the local environment and local culture. Whereas many survivalist projects are motivated by fear and guilt, the True Parents were appealing to a genuine desire for a better, more happy life. Rev. Moon said,

    In this ideal model world, all of life’s activities and labors will be expressed in the practice of joyful service for the sake of others based on a heart of love. Therefore, there will be equality in standards of living. For education, all the modern facilities of civilization will be utilized. On the foundation of families, education of heart and norm will take priority over academic education, physical education and technological education. Accordingly, this will be education for the purpose of raising up people of goodness who will follow the heavenly way.[71]


    The 21st century invites us all to work together for global security. State security and human security will cooperate to realize a perpetual and universal concord. Ultimately, human security is people-to-people security, or the security of human beings, byhuman beings and for human beings.

    While protecting us from internal and external threats, its ideals should empower us to work for higher values. It starts with a decision in the heart of everyone to become more loving, more caring and more responsible, while knowing one’s rights and the rights of others.

    The family of true love is the model where we enjoy a greater freedom and a greater communion. It provides the foundation of universal brotherhood, of one human family under one God and for one earth. We may all become ambassadors for peace in our daily life. Then our homes, our communities, our nations and the whole world will become freer and safer.

    Those who decide to become ambassadors for peace may study their daily progress in three crucial areas: (1) spiritual-existential security, (2) relational-social security and (3) economic security. Progressing in the art of loving, we shall work to harmonize spiritual laws, human laws and natural laws, so that heaven, humankind and nature are integrated.


    [1]     Irenology comes from the Greek word Eirene. The verb eiro means to bind together that which has been separated. Eirene is closer to the Hebrew Shalom than the Latin word Pax.

    [2]     Jeffrey Ventola, BeautifulViolence: Polemos, Responsibility,andTragic Wisdom, Academia Letters, 2021. Beautiful_Violence_Polemos_Responsibility_and_Tragic_Wisdom

    [3]     Mohandas Karamchand GandhiSatyagraha in South Africa, (Navajivan: Jitendra T. Desai Navajivan Publishing House 1968), pp. 109–10.

    [4]     Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Young India., 17-9-1925, p. 321.

    [5]     Gandhi, Young India 2-7-1931, p. 161.

    [6]     The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (HSA-UWC) was founded in 1954 by Reverend Sun Myung Moon. The name “Family Federation for World Peace and Unification International” was adopted in 1996. In 2020, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon introduced the Holy Community of Heavenly Parent.

    [7]     The Family Pledge is the official prayer of the Holy Community of Heavenly Parent, consisting of 8 paragraphs. The first draft, presented in May 1994, was later enriched. For a complete explanation, see Joong Hyun Pak and Andrew Wilson, True Family Values, Third Edition(FFPWU, 2006).

    [8]     Exposition of the Divine Principle(HSA-UWC, 1996), The Principle of Creation, section III, page 34.

    [9]     Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, Penguin Books Ltd, 2017.Chapter XIII - Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as Concerning Their Felicity and Misery

    [10]   Surin Pitsuwan, the Secretary-General of ASEAN in 2008-2012, was quoting thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hume to conclude that “human security is the primary purpose of organizing a state in the beginning.” Actually, Hobbes and Rousseau were clearly advocating State security, not human security.

    [11]   Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation,” January 17, 1961

    [12]   The expression was first used by the British MP Iain Macleod in “what I like to call the nanny state” in the December 3, 1965 edition of The Spectator. Nanny state describes an overprotective government which interferes unduly with personal choice. The term likens such a government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing.

    [13]   Norman Boardman, “Mental Disarmament, ”The North American Review, June 1932, pp. 536-542.

    [14]   This Pakistani economist is considered “one of the visionaries of international development” by The Economist. He served as the Minister of Finance of Pakistan (1985-1986). His book, Reflections on Human Development (1995) opened new avenues to policy proposals for human development paradigms. He also published New Imperatives of Human Security (1995), A New Framework for Development Cooperation (1995) and Humanizing Global Institutions (1998)

    [15], p. 5


    [17]   Alexander and Sabina Lautensach, Human Security in World Affairs: Problems and Opportunities (2nd edition) see

    [18]   Sascha Werthes, Corinne Heaven and Sven Vollnhals Assessing Human Insecurity Worldwide: The Way to a Human (In)Security Index, INEF Report, 2011. See

    [19]   Idem, p. 5

    [20]   Human security studies sometimes refer to Abraham Maslow classification of human needs into physiological needs (directly required for survival), safety (health and well-being), love and belonging, social esteem and self-actualization.

    [21]   David A. Hastings, “The Human Security Index: An Update and a New Release,” p. 2.




    [25]   Sabina Alkire, “Working Paper: Conceptual Framework for Human Security,”2003, see

    [26], p. 5

    [27]   Speech at the UNESCO headquarters in April 2012

    [28]   The Dutch politician Ina Brouwer was the first to use the term poldermodel, in her 1990 article “Het socialisme als poldermodel?

    [29] See also the PowerPoint presentation of Takeshi Ishiara on

    [30]   Isabelle Filliozat, interview to Le Figaro, October 15, 2022

    [31]   Assessing Human Insecurity Worldwide: The Way to a Human (In)Security Index, INEF Report, 2011, p.11.



    [34]   The preamble of the UN charter says that the United Nations will work “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”

    [35]   Alexander and Sabina Lautensach, Human Security in World Affairs: Problems and Opportunities, 2nd edition (2020), see

    [36]   Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Young India, 6-8-25, p. 276

    [37]   Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Young India, 29-1-25, pp. 40-41. Swaraj means home rule. For Gandhi, however, the meaning is not just political, it involves a strong spiritual and mystical component. 

    [38]   Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies(Touchstone, Reprint edition, March 12, 1997).

    [39]   Refer to footnote number 6 of the current essay.

    [40]   Alexander and Sabina Lautensach, op.cit., p. 88

    [41]   Exposition of the Divine Principle translates them as interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values, whereas Essentials of Unification Thought(Unification Thought Institute, 2006)calls them mutual existence, mutual prosperity, mutual righteousness.

    [42]   Martin Luther King junior, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,”

    [43]   Exposition of the Divine Principle, Parallels 7.2.3, pp. 334-335.

    [44]   Sigmund Freud introduced the topics of Eros and Thanatos in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (Jenseits des Lustprinzips) in 1920. The atrocities of World War I prompted Freud to modify his drive theory, which was mostly focusing on the drive of Eros and the regulation of libido that is governed by the pleasure principle. Freud theorized beyond the pleasure principle, newly considering the death drive, or Thanatos (the Greek personification of death), which refers to the tendency towards destruction and annihilation, often expressed through behaviors such as aggression, repetitive compulsion and self-destructiveness.



    [47]   Essentials of Unification Thought, Chapter III, p. 179,

    [48]   Exposition of the Divine Principle, Parallels 7.1, p. 328.

    [49]   General Douglas MacArthur, “Radio Broadcast to the Nation Following the USS Missouri Surrender Ceremony, ”delivered 2 September 1945, USS Missouri, Tokyo Bay, Japan,

    [50]   Exposition of the Divine Principle, Parallels 7.1, p. 328.

    [51]   Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, part 2, section 40, (Penguin, 1974).

    [52]  The Phenomenology of Spirit (Phänomenologie des Geistes) was published in 1807. Hegel described the work as an “exposition of the coming to be of knowledge.” This is explicated through a necessary self-origination and dissolution of “the various shapes of spirit as stations on the way through which spirit becomes pure knowledge.” Terry Pinkard rightly observes that this book has been praised and blamed for the development of Existentialism, communism, fascism, death of God theology, and historicistnihilism. Terry Pinkard, Hegel’s Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason, (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

    [53]  Paul Ricœur coined the term “masters of suspicion” in reference to MarxFreud, and Nietzsche, who share a similar view that consciousness is false, in Freud and Philosophy(1965). False consciousness is a major theme of Marx’s theory of alienation and a constant leitmotif of Freudo-Marxism.

    [54]   Emil Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born(London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2013).

    [55]   Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), I: The Man of Flesh and Bone, (Cosimo Classics, 2005).

    [56]   Vercors, Les Animaux Dénaturés, (Paris:Le Livre de Poche, 1975).

    [57]   Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a humanism, Yale University Press.

    [58]   Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be(New Haven: Yale University Press), p. 76.

    [59]   The Unification movement offers various programs to revive the faith in God. Counterproposals to Existentialism are exposed in the Essentials of Unification Thought, chapter 3

    [60]   Marxist-Leninist theories are discussed extensively in Sang Hun Lee, The End of Communism and the CAUSA Lecture Manual(

    [61]   Samuel Huntington, working in a field pioneered, among others, by Oswald Spengler, Arnold Toynbee, and Karl Jaspers, identified eight religious spheres. The Divine Principle suggests that the world is now organized around four great cultural spheres: the Judeo-Christian sphere, the Muslim Sphere, the Hindu Sphere and the Far East sphere; see EDP, Eschatology, 2.3 pp. 84-86) Tensions may exist, fuelled by political and economic rival interests, but if we turn our hearts toward God, harmony can be achieved.

    [62]   Ernest Renan, “What is a Nation,” lecture at Sorbonne University, 1882.

    [63]   The term numinous was coined by the German theologian and philosopher Rudolf Otto in his influential 1917 book The Idea of the Holy.

    [64]   “True Parents and the Realm of Liberation,” April 6, 1989. 890406.html

    [65]   Pope Francis speaking to Scholas Occurentes students, the Vatican, May 20, 2021

    [66]   He had strong connections with John Stuart Mill and they influenced each other. The British philosopher rejected the positivist catechism of Comte, however.

    [67]   Living for the sake of others is a leitmotif in the philosophy of peace of True Parents.

    [68]   “New Hope Farm Declaration,” April 3, 1995.

    [69]   Essentials, op.cit. p. 170.

    [70]   Romans 8:19-22

    [71] “New Hope Farm Declaration,” April 3, 1995.