Order and Equality Until Today
Modern democracy has superseded the medieval status system and the privileges existing under that system, and has attempted to realize an equality under the law. As a result, equality in political participation, that is, the system of universal suffrage, has been realized under the democratic system. Yet, even though this area of equality has been realized under the law, economic equality has not been realized yet, and the gap between the classes has been further widened. Unless this gap between the rich and the poor is solved, equality under the law is nothing more than an equality in name: genuine equality can not be realized substantially. In order to realize economic equality, Karl Marx advocated the establishment of a classless society, the Communist society, through the abolition of private property. In spite of the Communist experiment for over seventy years following the Russian Revolution, however, economic equality was not realized. Instead, a new privileged class appeared, bringing about a new form of gap between the rich and the poor. Thus, true equality has not yet been realized, even though people continue to try to achieve it, and have been trying ever since the beginning of human history.
In the democratic world, equality generally means equality of rights and this is one of the basic principles of democracy. Yet, the concept of equality is generally considered to be incompatible with the concept of order. In other words, if equality is emphasized, order is apt to be lost, and if order is emphasized, equality is apt to be lost. This has been the general view of order and equality up until today.
The fundamental question here concerns the relationship between order and equality. If all people were completely equal in their rights, there would be no difference between those who govern and those who are governed. Such a society would still become disordered and would exist in a situation of anarchy. On the other hand, if order is over-emphasized, certain aspects of equality are bound to be lost. Thus, we must enquire as to the true nature of equality, namely, that equality for which human beings are sincerely searching in the depths of their original mind. We must also find a meaningful solution to the problem of the appropriate balance of order and equality.
Divine Principle Way of Order and Equality
Viewed from the perspective of Unification Thought, the Divine Principle way of equality is an equality of love and an equality of person-ality. In other words, the equality for which people are truly seeking is the equality possessed as children under the love of their Father, God. This is the equality in which God’s love is given equally to all people, just as the light of the sun shines equally on all beings. Accordingly, the Divine Principle way of equality is an equality given by God, the Subject, rather than an equality that people, the objects, can establish as they so please.
God’s love is manifested divisionally through order in the family. Therefore, an equality of love is an equality realized through order. An equality of love realized through order refers to an equality in the degree of the fullness of that love. In other words, true equality is realized when there is a fullness of love in everybody in such a way that is suitable to each person’s position and individuality. Such fullness of love brings satisfaction, joy, and gratitude. Therefore, the Divine Principle way of equality is an equality of satisfaction, an equality of joy, and an equality of gratitude.
The experience of this kind of fullness of God’s love comes to be felt only by those who have perfect object consciousness―that is, the heart to attend God and to be thankful to God. No matter how sublime God’s love may be, those who lack a sense of object consciousness will never feel a sense of fullness; instead, they will continually feel dissatisfaction.
The rights in “equality of rights” refers to natural rights, such as those advocated by Lock (right to protect life, freedom, and property), by the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789) at the time of the French Revolution, by the Declaration of Independence (1776) of the United States of America, and by the International Declaration of Human Rights (1948) adopted at the General Assembly of the United Nations. Here, let us consider for a moment the problem of rights and equality in the workplace. Needless to say, the rights accorded to each position can not be literally equal, since a given position usually carries with it appropriate responsibilities and obligations. In the original world, however, in spite of the difference between positions, there must be some aspect of equality transcending those differences, and this is an equality in love, an equality in personality, and an equality in satisfaction.
Let us consider the problem of equality between a man and a woman. Ever since the beginning of human history, women have been regarded as being inferior to men in positions, rights, opportunities, and so on. Not only that, women have nearly always been placed under the control of men. Today, women have become fully aware of the unfairness of this situation. Since the French Revolution, the movement for women’s liberation emerged and has gained momentum and now women have come to demand that they be afforded equal rights along with men. Since an equality of natural rights (a right to life, freedom, and property) is a basic principle of democracy, women’s demand for equal rights has been considered quite reasonable.
Side by side with various other social movements, the movement for women’s liberation has steadily developed. After World War II, the demands of the women’s liberation movement came to be reflected in the legislation in free nations to a considerable extent. The primary demands were an equality of position, an equality of rights, and an equality of opportunity. In the various Communist countries as well, such demands by women were guaranteed by law.
Since the late 1960’s, the women’s liberation movement has heralded a new development. Before that time, equality between men and women was guaranteed only nominally; in reality, equality was realized only partially. In many areas, unequal relationships between men and women persisted.
As a result of legal guarantees of the equality between men and women, the idea that men and women are equal in rights has spread, and a certain discord between husband and wife has become almost an everyday affair. Consequently, various tragedies and family breakdown, generally, have come to be frequent occurrences. What is the reason for this?
Basically, there can not be a perfect equality between men and women as far as rights are concerned. One’s rights is a prerequisite for accomplishing one’s life’s task. Physiologically men and women have different roles in life. The fact that a man has a well-developed musculature, narrow hips, and broad shoulders indicates that a man’s task lies in strength as it is related to external activities. On the other hand, a woman has a weaker musculature, broad, well-developed hips and breasts, and narrow shoulders, indicating that a woman’s task is to give birth to children and raise a family. Insisting on an equality between men and women while neglecting these physiological conditions, is the same as saying that men and women should have the same role. This can not be the case, since a man can not give birth to a child, nor can his breast feed a baby, and a woman can not carry out the power-requiring tasks which a man is able to. This might remind us of the proverb that “the crow which tries to imitate a cormorant will be drowned.”
There is one important sense in which an equality between a man and a woman must absolutely be realized. This equality, however, is not a mere equality of rights but, more importantly, an equality of love, an equality of personality, and an equality of joy. When a husband and a wife give and receive God’s love, any sense of discrimination or inequality will completely disappear. They will become aware that they stand in an equal position internally and feel joy to the fullest extent.
Then, what about an equality in external position? A woman can possess or occupy the same social status or position as a man. As a woman, she can become a school principal or a company president. This is not because a man and a woman are the same, however, but because schools and companies are simply expansions of the family. Just as in a family the mother can serve as the head of the family on behalf of the father, so too, in a company a woman can serve as the company president, that is, as the mother of the company, and in a school, a woman can serve as the school principal, that is, as the mother of the school.
Particularly, in order to realize world peace it is highly desirable for women to take the lead, since the primary force for peace in a family is the mother. In other words, in order to realize true peace, it is necessary for women, who are peaceful by nature, to take the lead, rather than men, who are strong and aggressive by nature. This is a principled perspective with regard to the problem of the equality between men and women.