3. The Reformation of the Capitalist Market Structure.

The capitalist market structure has to be reformed. Change in capitalism has been talked about in its relationship to socialism for a long period of time. But, that is an old-fashioned point of view. In a new era, reformation of the capitalist market structure should be performed on quite a different basis. It is related to the information revolution , as well as to the era of culture(the 21st century), but not to the economy. Problems of economic structure must be dealt as a part of cultural structure or as a sub-structure of it.

The information revolution makes the production and the enjoyment of intellectual-cultural values more important than the production and the consumption of material goods. The economy has ruled culture in the modern Western civilization. In other words, culture has been a byproduct of the economy. This structure is being subverted. The culture(consciousness and communication such as knowledge, education, art, ) started dominating the economy, and the economy is becoming the byproduct of culture. From now on, intellectual-cultural value will be heavier than the value of material goods. Hence, the rate conceptions of economic growth and GNP necessarily require monetary or quantity-base evaluation.

In the same manner as the economy is determined by culture, the economic structure is determined by the cultural structure. During the entire period of the Cold War, the issue of economic structure was the point of dispute. But the important thing is the cultural structure, not the economic structure. To find the way of restructuring, social relationships through knowledge, education, communication, culture and art is the homework of the new civilization. The economic structure must be redefined in relationship to such a cultural structure. It is the US that perceives this fact rather shrewdly. Robert B. Reich( "The Work of Nations") declares that the nation does not exist anymore. What is necessary for America is not the competitiveness of American industry, but how to provide Americans with a higher quality of education. In that respect, renovating the current worn-out educational system originating from the Middle Ages of the West is the core of reformation of the structure(Han-Sik Song, "Education Revolution"). Education(a factor of culture) determines the economy. Nevertheless, we are still engrossed in praising or blaming the capitalist market structure and the economy first. This is really an obsolescent way of thinking. If the members of a team attack the goal that is the same as the one in the first half, although the goals have been changed round as a soccer game starts its second half, they eventually add points of the opposite team's and lose the game.

We have to create new structures of education and culture. In connection with that, we have to renovate the capitalist market structure. If we should ever talk about the economic structure, the new economic structure has to be a 'structure of participation'. Information technology has opened the door for the participation of individuals without restoring all the capital to personal possession in a capital distribution mechanism. Information can be an answer to the question of possession. All the capital can be extended to every sector in a society without negating the individual possession. As a matter of fact, the capital of an entire society is information(The same with the state budget, the macro-capital of a state is not wealth but information). Humans have already developed the information technology by which the capital of a community having a form of information can be distributed throughout the joining of individuals(Today's information technology is used only to obtain wealth, not used to transform society and the community). Then, the capital possession itself comes to be less important. In this new economic structure, all economic problems --the gap between rich and poor, classification, inflation, growth, and stagnation and depression-- are going to be a shortcut of history or an episode from the path. It is because the capital distribution itself will be a problem of participation, not that of the market. To preserve wealth, there is no need to be engrossed in financial speculation, for the financial structure is to be reformed itself. (Hee-Sik Song, "The Sublation of Capitalism and Socialism" )

4. The Implementation of the Structural Reformation

Such a reformation itself and its meaning may seem to be so strange for people indulged in the modern Western way of thinking . However, that is the meaning of transformation. That is the process in which 'a matter of course becomes an old-style', and 'a strange one becomes a matter of course.'

100 years ago, our ancestors faced such a strange situation. They were facing the Western civilization that was beyond their imagination(Our ancestors called the Westerners barbarians due to their under-comprehension of Western civilization). And, while they were keeping obsolescent ways of thinking(It was a matter of course then), they tried to analyze and introduce that civilization into their culture. However, every attempt like those had failed after all. All humanity(including Westerners) are in the same situation as our ancestors were 100 years ago. Moreover, the situation is much more critical. Our ancestors could go to America and watch the new civilization for themselves. But, today's humanity has to create a new civilization even though there is nothing that humans can watch and prepare. This shows us the reason for the demolitions of past civilizations. All the demolished civilization such as Greece, Rome, and the like, were not able to solve the problems of the time and to create new civilizations 'beyond their imagination.' Therefore, to overcome the problems in transforming into a new civilization --the matter of creating a new civilization--, we have to get over the limits of our imaginations restricted by conventional ways of thinking, and have to be able to understand those things that go beyond the imagination.

Thus, the transformation of civilization is a matter of spirit. It is, in short, to overcome the Western spirit of the modern age.

V. The Transformation of Civilization: the reformation of the spirit

The qualities of Western spirit of the modern age-individualism, rationalism, and materialism- are thought to be very good. However, when we see then in a wholly different perspective, we can figure out that they are so narrow-minded, and that they are false beliefs.

1. Beyond Rationalism

Rationalism, the engine of modern Western civilization, is not great shakes. A rational knowledge cannot answer the questions on every field of life, nor provides common values that bring humans into social solidarity. In fact, critical questions on life cannot be solved through the rational knowledge. What am I, What is god, what are life and death, and is that right and wrong? Rationality is not able to offer the solutions for any of these questions(Although it could answer, that only brings out opposite conceptions). The important thing for human life and social solidarity is the answers(answers that couldn't be brought by rationality) for those questions.

Rationality works not so much in the world. Rationality is defined by conceps(language) and imagination. We have some to realize that the conviction(Marxism), that once dominated half of humanity, was just a false belief. The ideology was rational, and the people who believed it were also rational. However, rationality is what is defined by a series of concepts(those theories of Marxism), not the sheer ability that differentiates the truth from the fault. We already know that human convictions are taught.

The truth drawn out by rationality is not entirely different from the religions belief in a sense of quality. Both of them have premises as from the above fact. As we have driven to the situation deluged by exploding knowledge, our aptitude has changed to deal with them to be an information. Hence, the human spirit is balanced. And, not only rationality but sense and intuition are settling down. A revival of culture and weighting culture more than economy are the real features of the human spirit that is surmounting those distortions limited by rationality and that extends to the other spheres of human civilization. That is not denying the questions which cannot be answered reasonably, under the name of rationality, but is opening a new spiritual world beyond it.

2. Beyond materialism

The materialism of the modern Western civilization was the secularism out of the God-orient view. That was a fantasy while material development seemed to be eternal. Satisfaction drawn from material development was attractive and realistic to humans. That was enough to make people throw away the religious view of the world --It is the view that sees the world a journey of agony. But now, humanity has found that the satisfaction drawn from materialism is a mere pittance. That does not promise a sweet future, rather, it increases the sense of emptiness. As a matter of fact, the motivation that modern civilization had been propelled by was not the satisfaction achieved by material wealth. People cherished by the modern Western civilization were never mad about cumulating wealth to attain material satisfaction. On the contrary, what propelled the modern Western civilization were intimidations from starvation and annihilation. Workers had to work not to go hungry. Capitalists had to work frantically not to fall behind others -- Losing a game in competition meant wreckage. This cruel reality was the engine that propelled the material civilization of the modern age. Economic development was a byproduct. However, what did such a cruel civilization provide to humanity? Does wealth guarantee happiness? Humanity has come to a point of reflection on that questions.

The fact that humanity has pursued something nobler and more than bread and wealth has been a long-standing truth. The spirit denying such truth is materialism. Devices holding humanity in such vulgarity is fading out. Environmental destruction gives humanity an opportunity for reflection.

3. Rebellion against Avarice

On the other side of such splendid ideologies as individualism, rationalism, prosperity, liberty, and democracy decorating the modern Western civilization, is an abominable reality. That is 'the individualistic egoism.' Modern civilization has described the human as an individual and makes the egoistic behavior of the individual the basis of civilization. Understanding humans as individuals is appreciated to be 'the discovery of the individual.' And, egoism is ornamented with rationalism. Regardless of the way it is embellished, individual egoism is the real aspect of all the theories(spirits) of the modern age.

What justified such individual egoism that forms the essence of the modern spirit was economics(not philosophy). Though economics advocates science not concerned with values, it is, in fact, an ideology based on individual egoism(the foundation of the modern spirit). Economics gave 'the universal spirit' of whole humanity's which had been pursued until the modern age, two counter punches.

First, there is no need to admonish humanity to practise love, virtue, and morality. Rather, the avaricious ego create shared values and leads a society to a better one. Economics explained it as if it gave a reasonable proof. It was, supposedly, egoistic behavior of individuals that led to shared values and advancement by 'the invisible hand.' This was a frontal attack against the history of the human spirit. That left only the egoistic behavior of humans not concerned with morality. The commendation that the egoistic mind was what brought virtue and advancement was the modern spirit.

Second, economics made the conception that it increases material wealth in human society and, hence, can save individuals from the agony that has already prevailed. The possibility of increase in material wealth(economic development) is one of our common conceptions. Any of those great spirits-Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Mahomet- could not tell that the pain from poverty could be dismissed by material development. Those saints-and all spirits before the modern age- could only say the existence of values that are greater and more important than the desire for material things. Economics(modern spirit) had challenged such a common spirit of humanity. And that succeeded.

These two spiritual rebellions are the essence of the modern spirit. The behavior of the people in the modern age(and of today's people, also) is controlled by one motivation. It is love for money. It is that only human behavior based on avarice for money can bring the shared values and material advancement to life. Keynes, the last apostle of the modern spirit, declared, "We have to admire avarice as a god." And he said, "Humanity will choose virtue prior to interest." in the time of our grandchildren, when no more investment is necessary, the rarity of capital comes to vanish, and those living on interest die in mercy(J.M. Keynes "Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren").

What is the true aspect of those great ideologies-the Western spirit of the modern age- that we admire? They are the justification of individual egoism as we have stated before.
What is liberalism? That is an approval of law for pursuing personal avarice.
What is the capitalist market structure? That is the deified mechanism that God may create shared value.
What is the state? That is the community of individuals who justify avarice(In other words, that is not the community that is formed by love).
What is rationalism? That is the usage of the human spirit by which individual avarice can be enhanced.
What is materialism? That is the civilization in which avarice is being affirmed and is being sufficed, that is, the civilization of avarice.

Unless we use these critical terms, those modern spirits become too familiar and too natural to us. Furthermore, criticisms against those spirits may become extraordinary. However, such a natural and familiar modern spirit of the West is, indeed, all of serious digression, exception, corruption, and rebellion. How come avarice can be justified and love be despised? The truth is love, not avarice. While we have been overwhelmed by the great civilization of the West, we have lost the universal truth. Our spirit is in a coma.

In the background of today's spiritual chaos and of the loss of appeal of such great Americanism is distortion of the truth by the modern spirit of the West. That distortion by the spirit was diverged by almighty consumption(by Keynesian policy). And, as a result, it is the avarice(individualistic egoism) that became naked and justified. It is that the American spirit is declining, while destroying Puritanism that has practically led America by far. Building up a new civilization is redeeming the rightfulness of the human spirit expelled until now. It is recovering the sound human spirit that has been paralyzed under the name of rationalism.

4. The New Spirit

Then, what is the new spirit? Nobody has authority to prescribe it. But, here, we have a prominent standard. That is the standard which was offered by those greatest mental leaders in human history. Although thinkers of the Enlightenment and people of the modern age like Marx and Keynes thought they had surpassed those mental leaders. That is merely arrogance(Thinkers of the Enlightenment thought religions would be extinguished, and communists referred to them opium). If there is a standard we can go by, that is the spirit of Mahomet, Jesus, Confucius, and Buddha, not thinkers of the Enlightenment, nor all the thinkers and intellectuals after the period of the Enlightenment.

What Jesus and Buddha taught constantly was that 'humanity is just a drop in the sea named God.' This is the basic hypothesis of all mysticism(the truth named by rationalists) from the West to the East. One of the mystics in India before Jesus had condensed in a sentence. "When I was, there was no God. Now, God is and I am not." In the Bible, when we get rid of medieval distortions, there is left this truth. "Now, I am not but I am in Christ."(2:20, the Galatians). If humanity goes beyond the consciousness that he has thought to be the self, he may meet his true self. And, the self is a fairly great one(so-called, God, emptiness, true-self, etc.) that could never have been thought in the past. Jesus' preaching conveying the above concept is the gospel(glad tidings), Buddha's one shows the way to be there, and Medieval Christianity personified this true self philosophies in Greece had brought it to exist and idealized it. However, the true-self does not stay away from nature(for example, the human).

Modern secularism(individualism-rationalism-materialism) was a trial to escape from such truth. It is what prescribed the world from the point of view of existence(of realism) after isolating God. But, the truth is not a question of reality, but solidarity between God and I, God and nature, and nature and I. "As this is, that is, and, as that is, this is." One of this or that is not the truth, but the truth is the relationship(solidarity) between this and that. When you see the truth from such a point of view of solidarity, truth is beyond rationalism, value is beyond materialism, and the meaning of history is beyond secularism. Truth is beyond rational egoism, value is beyond secular avarice, and the meaning of history is in the development of the human spirit. This is not a new truth, but a return to 'the universal spirit' of humanity that has vanished from the modern ideology of the West. However, that is the return to a new spirit going beyond the old distortion in the Middle Ages and the modern age of the West.(Hee-Sik Song 'Beyond existence' )

5. The Change of Spirit and Generation

As we stand at the viewpoint of the universal spirit of human history, all the social sciences(the products of the modern ideology of the West) necessitate re-analysis and all the natural sciences should be re-evaluated. For instance, our historical view is from the standpoint of linear time evolution. But, the conception of linear time is false (Linear time is defined from the viewpoint of existence, and time from the viewpoint of God(or, solidarity) is generation). All conceptions(such as liberty, democracy, possession, competition, right, duty, limitation, growing, development, economy, progress, etc.)should be re-evaluated. Confucius should also be re-estimated. What Confucius had taught is that society(society based on materialism) for life and human society. It is because the merchant society materializes and secularizes humans. Confucius has been criticized due to the false belief that he had humiliated merchants(or, he advocated feudal class). But now, Confucius is the person who should be admired for his endeavor to keep the human spirit under then current social limitations. The Oriental civilization, especially, the Confucian civilization itself, should be re-evaluated. Confucian civilization should be re-evaluated as the civilization that restrained violence effectively and purified human avarice systematically, not as a sluggish feudal society(At that time, all were subordinated to the feudal society). This fact makes Confucius stand in the same level as Jesus and Buddha. While Jesus had whipped an exchange broker in front of a church, he said "Man lives in the word of God, not bread." Buddha had taught that man can reach nirvana when he extinguishes the fire of desire and agony. The modern Western civilization has digressed in the opposite direction from what Confucius, Jesus, and Buddha had taught. We have to revive the spirit of those great saints'. We have to redeem God and love into ourselves that we lost in the struggle with money during our digression(the modern age).

Reality is already surpassing our consciousness. The information revolution is already urging us to transform into a society based on knowledge(cultural society, mental civilization). Whatever the path is, society in the 21st century will not be the merchant society(or, economic society), but that based on knowledge(cultural society). We may be able to understand correctly to revive and to prosper from the spirits of great sages, from the new viewpoint(the general viewpoint of the spirit of humanity), not from the standpoint of the medieval or modern West, in accordance with current reality.

Renewing the spirit does not mean those like Moral Re-Armament or consciousness revolution(Those slogans come from modern ideologies). Building up a new spirit is to create new a common sense. We have common sense which is different from that possessed by people before the modern age. In the same way, the people who will live in the new civilization may have different common sense from ours. Creating a new common sense, this is renewing the spirit. Of course, creating a new common sense has no way but to start from a new philosophy, social theory, and the rebirth of religion. However, only throughout the new generation, the new spirit can be embodied and be applied to real life. The human spirit is renovated through the change of generations.

The new generation has already been prepared for that. It means the new spirit does already show its head. To the new generation, the world is solidarity(relationship, shared sense of community), not existence(individuals). Our society is far behind this level, but such consciousness is projected in America and the West.

Tom Regan talks about the new generation in line with the coming new world, under the title of "The Thee Generation".

"I write of a new generation, The Thee Generation. It is a generation of service: of giving not taking, of commitment to principles not material possessions, of communal compassion not conspicuous consumption. If the defining question of the present generation is "What can I get for me?," the central question of this new generation is "What can I do for thee?"


This ethic of service-to-the-other is rooted in a reconceptualization of what the human person is. A shared sense of community replaces the void of individual estrangement. Only by acting for the other does one come to know one's self, not in isolation from the ties that bind each to all, but in affirmation of them. Apart from such relationships the self is seen to be an empty shell, the word "I" the most impersonal of pronouns. The malign logic of Descartes's cogito is dead. In its place a new declaration is alive: Ego vivo in civitate, ergo sum("I live in community, therefore I am").

This sense of community dissolves the arrogant boundaries of humanism. Possessed of the breath of life, members of The Thee Generation recognize their membership in the life community. Each thing remains what it is, and not another thing. But what each is, is now seen to be connected to all that is. Whereas previous generations saw a world consisting of discrete, isolated atoms of matter (or of mind), The Thee Generation sees interrelated, molecular communities of life."

Conclusion: Struggle with Time

The new civilization is not brought by the rule of the evolution of history. It is the one that should be created in one of the civilizations. We predict that the creation will be possible through the revival of Confucian civilization(far Eastern Asia). That is not obtained by the endeavor of some politicians, intellectuals, and so on. That will be the process of the revival of civilization that has yet been under the state of coma. The history of the modern age can be a prelude to the truly new civilization (the civilization that has universality for all civilizations).

From this point of view, world history is an entirely different one. The victors of World War II were neither the US nor England, but the peoples of colonies. Because, the war made those colonies independent from their ruling countries. If somebody says there is a victor of the Cold War, it is the non-Western civilization, not the US nor capitalism. Because the human spirit became emancipated from both ideologies(both were those of Western civilization) once it was subjected to the Cold War.

World history is not the process of advancement to the modern age(that is, modern civilization). The linear definition of history into the ancient age, the Middle Ages, and the modern age(or, aboriginal communist community, the ancient society based on slavery, the medieval society based on feudalism, and the modern society based on capitalism) is false. Both the history of the modern age and world history are stops on the path of progress of the human spirit. The path is something that is generated ceaselessly rather than the linear flow of time.

But, if we review reality in sobriety, there leaves only the standpoint of sound pessimism. It is not the time to evaluate the symptoms of the new civilization positively, yet. Surely, the old-fashioned are disintegrating. But the new civilization is under construction. This is the objective situation of the human race standing at the turning point of century. We are not in the process of the decline and demolition of an out-of-date one's. It means the fate of the humanity is a 'struggle with time'. Will the old civilization primarily decline and be demolished, and simultaneously, will the human civilization end? Otherwise, will the humanity be rescued as the new civilization being created? The future of the human race depends on the struggle with time. We are going to have much time, if the decline takes long, as in the case of Rome. But in opposite situation, as Nostradamus and other foreseers predicted, if we go through such a radical process by demolition as environmental calamities, deep depressions, and wars, humanity doesn't have so much time. We are engaging in 'a war against time' being unaware of the future.

Can we build up a new civilization before the collapse of the modern Western civilization? Is there any possibility of gaining a victory in that war? Rather, the West and the US are going ahead in reflection on the obsolescent modern civilization. However, as Rome couldn't create a new civilization given such a long time, I don't think either the West or the US can. Because, it is hard for them to escape from the nemesis of creativity. Seen from this standpoint, demands on North-Eastern Asia are immense. Nevertheless, our eyes and minds are still those of Westerners, and our effort to respond to the demands is far insufficient yet.

An anecdote: The decline of civilization/ transformation and religion.

Can religion save civilizations? Christianity couldn't save Roman civilization. Christians in the last days of the Roman empire thought they had already found the truth rather than that they were seeking the truth. When Christianity became a state religion and, in turn, the staue of Victoria, the emblem of the ancient Roman religion, was removed from _______ stood against and said "The way to the great mystery is not only one." Then, a Christian(Ambrose, 340?-397) arrogantly replied, "We have already found what you are looking for mysteriously (the truth)." (Brian Tierney & Sidney Painter: "Western Europe in the Middle Ages"). Such an affirmative Christianity that ensured power as it became a state religion could not lead Roman civilization from perishing. Why couldn't it ? Religion can expand when a declining civilization, nourishes it. But, if religion takes a creative role in building up a new civilization, it must have something more than itself. That might be something that religionists should think of.

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