Journal of Unification Studies Vol. 24, 2023 - Pages 53 - 77

One would be mistaken if they believe there exists nothing that mediates the relationship between the subject and the subject’s God. Between the subject and his God is structure, the socially produced interlocking systems in which the subject exists. Subjects—unique beings with agency and consciousness—create structure and yet are constrained by it. If one only analyzes the subject’s spirituality without considering the social structure, what constructed the subject in the first place would remain invisible. Without such analysis, how the subject interacts with others, what is willingly or unwillingly imposed, and what informs the subject’s ability to interact with the world and beyond is lost.

The academic literature of Unification Thought lacks the critical analysis of structure. It also fails to answer and bridge the divide between anthropological and Unification teachings. Anthropology invites us to rethink the world, to locate power and structure in seemingly inconsequential places and see the effects of structure in society and individual experiences. Decades of theorization provide different toolkits for examining structure.

Unification Thought brings its own possibilities of thoughts as discourse that can be paired with different analytical toolkits. But for the toolkits of anthropology, for example, to be meaningful, Unification Thought advocates must reexamine Unification Studies through a serious and critical lens of structural and cultural analysis. For Unification Studies to push forward, Unification scholars must go through a dialectical exchange between Unification Studies and external scholarship.

In this article, I argue that Unification Thought fails in both theoretical foundations and concrete applications to account for social structure on a meaningful level. First, I will survey the general understanding of structure-related scholarship in relation to Unification Thought and provide my justification for the analysis of structure in the Unification canon. Next, I will develop a general Unification Theory of Structure. Finally, I will develop a specific theory for thinking about a Unification Theory on Economic Structure and Consumerism.

The Current and Limited Understanding of Structure in the Journal of Unification Studies

Keisuke Noda challenged his readers to reimagine Unification Thought as Unification Philosophy.[1] Noda took note of the lack of popularity of Unification Thought in academic circles outside of the church. He argued that the main reason was due to the lack of self-critique.[2]

Noda is indeed correct that truth-claims in Divine Principle[3] and Unification Thought terminology are sometimes disengaging.[4]Overall, Unification Thought does not sustain a standard of engagement that other schools of thought have demonstrated. One such reason is that Unification Thought intellectuals seek to make it superior to other systems. This justifies the narrative that Unification Thought is an all-in-one ‘philosophy.’ Such an approach leaves one with few choices: ignoring other robust theories or working around uncontestable limitations. These weaknesses are most pronounced when investigating the topic of structure. Noda published his piece in 2015; I fail to see much change.

Scholars of Unification Thought lack serious attempts to understand contrasting ideas. For example, Unification Thought in its attempt to discredit Marxism provides answers that completely disregard the original questions Marx posits. These questions include the organization of labor relations. In this sense, Unification Thought fails to examine societal structure. This limiting attitude appears to be the case with feminist works as well. In this article, I will engage commentary on Unification Thought in secondary sources—as they demonstrate the diverse application of Unification Thought.

Unification Studies as a system and commentaries of writers are generally not keen on the question of structure. Drawing from a few examples, I will show that Unification Thought and related studies offer a limited and weak analysis of structure. These analyses fail to be useful and relevant to addressing contemporary literature outside of Unification Thought. When appropriate, I will also expose moments when a writer demonstrates a superficial or outright incorrect understanding of left-wing thought. Proper analysis requires proper citations and representations of ideas, especially ideas that inform today’s theories on structure.

Structure, despite its underdevelopment, is not alien to Unification Thought, particularly to Unification politics. Support for a particular economic system is a claim on structure. Sun Myung Moon, Sang Hun Lee, and other scholars clearly rejected the structure of the economy within Marxist-Leninist states.[5] They also made their rejection of Marxist structural analysis clear. Within the literature of Journal of Unification Studies, most analyses of structure are of political and economic systems. However, many economic analyses in Unification Thought accept and naturalize the logics of capitalism.

Anderson: The Structure Itself and its Analysis

Gordon L. Anderson argues that the ‘structure’ of the American Constitution can provide a foundation for an ideal society.[6] He coins the term ‘restored social structure’ to refer to the separation of powers in the American Constitution.[7] Aside from the historical revisionism in Anderson’s writing, I welcome how Anderson attempts to connect an ideal system to a political structure.[8] He argues that over time through the invisible hands—not the market but God’s—perfect humans will not require the Constitution or state to organize themselves.[9]

I do not disagree with Anderson’s main point. Liberal democracy under the American Constitution will help set the stage for a more ideal society. But two points require discussion. The first is Anderson’s mention of the cost of rising healthcare in America.[10] He suggests that healthcare spending should be cut. More than twenty years after he wrote that article, there are many Unification Church members who struggle financially and rely on the imperfect support from public welfare and healthcare systems. I have witnessed and can attest to those struggles. But Anderson says these members need to be more virtuous and “care for themselves.”[11] Only then can we reach a true society where the state withers away. This appears simplistic and tone deaf toward many who struggle financially today. Is this an example of Unification intellectuals failing to provide and secure the welfare of the greater Unification Church community? Regardless, the possibility of perfect humans should not cloud one’s ability to analyze the world around us. Structure exists now and can be addressed in the now. Unification Thought in the future should not dismiss the complex structures of American healthcare and the struggles of everyday life.

The other form of structure I wish to analyze is economics. Anderson’s understanding of economic structure is limited. Indeed, he talks about individual freedom and private ownership without discussing what ownership means in a capitalist society. He does not provide a way to consider how ownership creates power structures and dynamics outside of monetary differences. Anderson relies too heavily on his “basic solution”—the connection to God will solve all our issues and create an ideal society.[12] Supposedly, connection to God alone would address relations of labor, production, and consumption. In other words, for Anderson, we do not really need to think much about structure. I will expand on these limitations in a later section.

A separate Anderson article addresses the “social sphere.”[13] Anderson acknowledges that Unification Thought does not offer a framework for analyzing social institutions. Anderson also recognizes that the Divine Principle and Unification Thought only provide the religious aspects of what an ideal society would be.[14] Commendable in Anderson’s piece is his discussion of social consciousness. For Anderson, a social consciousness is awareness of the total workings of society.[15] It is necessary for an ideal democracy.

What Anderson’s theory lacks is a useful analytical framework. Anderson draws taxonomies and charts that do not tell us how these social structures actually work. He classifies institutions into hierarchies. But these hierarchies do not provide us with details of their inner working.

Kellett: CAUSA, and Critiques of Feminism and Marxism

I turn to the conversations about feminism and Marxism. Grace Kellett writes on a “Heavenly-Parent-based approach to the feminist Ideal.”[16] I find deep faults in the article for two reasons. One, Kellett rejects addressing structure to achieve the ideals of gender equality. Two, Kellett demonstrates a lack of thorough understanding of Marxist and feminist ideas and literature. Kellett also relies heavily on CAUSA content to quickly dismiss Marxist interpretations.[17]Yet, to put it bluntly, CAUSA does not make an adequate refutation of Marxist ideas. They will not convince a well-read Marxist. They do not address the actual questions Marxists pose. Here are several examples.

First, generalizing feminists’ ideas clouds contesting views within feminism. Such is the case with Kellett’s article. Kellett misses how neoliberal structures influence the mainstream representation of feminism. Kellett makes an outright incorrect presumption that one can equate contemporary feminism with Marxism.[18] Simply because Marxism influenced some feminists does not mean that mainstream feminism today is Marxist, yet equations such as this are a common theme in her piece. In her argument, she fails to specify the various strands of feminism – Marxist, liberal or neoliberal feminist. Kellett essentializes feminism and misses its diversity of thought.

Next, Kellett essentially refutes structural analysis. She critiques the following claim: “the source of gender inequality is men and the male dominated society.”[19] She starts with Mary Wollstonecraft and Simone de Beauvoir’s articulation of structural oppression of women under male-created and male-dominated system. Afterwards, she argues that their articulation is similar to the Marxist concept of alienation. Then, Kellett defers to CAUSA to argue that the source of inequality and alienation is men and women’s alienation from God. Kellett recognizes the history of violence against women perpetrated by men, but immediately follows with how men also faced alienation and mistreatment.[20] I agree with Kellett that the source of oppression/structure is not so “clear cut.”[21] Even though I agree with that conclusion, Kellett’s argument does not actually dismiss the structural systems of oppression. If anything, she only affirms the existence of a male-dominated society.

The argument is also too reductive of the feminist framework. Kellett starts from early feminist texts to refute feminism(s) of today. Indeed, she fails to address what came after The Second Sex and the sharpened theories that emerged. It would be more interesting if theories of today can be specifically addressed rather than overly and unduly generalizing the modern feminist movement.

Here is one example of a more refined theory of structure that Kellett fails to cite despite its major influence in feminist, race, and queer theory. The Combahee River Collective faced issues as members of Black liberation and feminist movements.[22] On one hand, Black men excluded Black women. On the other hand, feminist spaces were primarily white. The Combahee River Collective makes clear that the question of feminism is not about ‘blaming men’ but instead identifying the interlocking systems of oppression and power.[23] Indeed, intersectionality or positionality theory and contemporary feminist scholarship have answers to Kellett’s questions and contestations. I am not suggesting those theories to be infallible. But the flaws of Kellett’s research further support my claim that Unification Thought is disengaged with contemporary theory of structure and power. The claims Kellett addresses are far more nuanced than she portrays them to be.

Kellett does not provide much of a critique of Marxist thinking herself. Rather she defers to the arguments from the CAUSA Lecture Manual. CAUSA’s arguments, as I will explain, fail as critiques of Marxist ideas. As such, this argument is more of an evaluation based on CAUSA and lacks an adequate understanding of opposing viewpoints. Indeed, a Unification Philosophy must properly understand other philosophies if it wishes to address them.

Let me make clear one of the general faults of CAUSA’s arguments. CAUSA throughout its lecture manual equates Marx’s ideas with the Soviet Union. For CAUSA, the Soviet Union fully inherited and effected Marx’s ideas.[24] This is not a valid way to disprove Marx. Both early Marx and late Marx would not approve of the Bolsheviks’ claim to power, the Soviet Union from its inception, and its very end.[25] One example of why is that the Bolsheviks dissolved contesting factory councils and other groups and followers of Marx.[26] Faced with this historic inconvenience, CAUSA preferred to unduly equate the legacy of Marx’s writing to ‘Marxists’ after Marx’s time.

In Marx’s own lifetime, there were other thinkers who called themselves Marxist but differed from his belief. Marx may have inspired them, but they were vastly different from him and each other. There must be a more nuanced argument when we use those inspired by Marx to discredit Marx himself. As Marx told Paul Lafargue, “cequ’il y a de certain c’est que moi, je ne suis pas Marxiste. [If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist].”[27]Marx’s life and history makes clear that he distanced himself from his supposed followers. He revisited not only the dominant thoughts of his time but even himself—very fitting for the man who called for the “ruthless criticism of all that exists.”[28] A true response to Marx, who too deserves ruthless criticism, must address Marx directly.

The Marxian concept of alienation suffers from CAUSA and Kellett’s fallacy. Kellett compares Wollstonecraft and de Beauvoir’s articulation of structural oppression to Marx’s theory of alienation and follows with CAUSA’s refutation.[29]

Yet CAUSA’s argument that the source of alienation is alienation from God does not actually dismiss the economic analysis of Marx. Its main argument is that the spiritual determines and takes precedence over the economic.[30] Again, this does not dismiss or undermine Marx’s analytical framework to describe observable material and social conditions. Marx’s questions are entirely different from Kellett and CAUSA. Can Kellett’s theory based on CAUSA tell us something about the relationship between those who own capital and those who sell their labor? Can they answer these questions while also incorporating gender? Based on what they have demonstrated, the answer appears to be no.

CAUSA also ‘refutes’ Marx’s theory of alienation by taking the example of the Soviet Union. CAUSA is not wrong to acknowledge that the Soviet Union failed to solve alienation. In fact, Marx would agree. Political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s investigation on totalitarianism makes clear her condemnation of Stalinism as alienation and anti-humanistic.[31] What does not follow is that the Soviet Union disproves Marx’s analytical framework of economic structure. Theory on structure must be analyzed and refuted on its ability to analyze the world. How some took theory and used it to shape the world is a different story—especially given the diversity and history of Marxist thought.

Teshigawara and the Diversity of Theories on Capitalism

Hideyuki Teshigawara, in a master’s thesis, “the Economic System in Cheon Il Guk,” argues that Cheon Il Guk should be understood as a moneyless society where people’s labor is free from constraints, among other specific definitions.[32]

I place less emphasis on this piece because it is not a published article in the Journal of Unification Studies. My central critique of Teshigawara repeats what I said about Anderson and Kellett. However, his piece challenges the neoliberal tendencies of Unification Thought, and hence weakens my argument that it lacks analyses of structure. His work analyzes some structure.

Indeed, Teshigawara recognizes the difficulties in balancing structure and agency.[33] He adopts the approach of both sociologist Max Weber and Karl Marx. He connects the ethics of individuals to the greater economic structure, while also recognizing that economic structures themselves shape personhood.[34] This is a conversation economic anthropologists have.

However, his analysis of structure is not enough. His analysis of capitalism is one-sided, and his search for alternatives is also limited. He seeks to understand capitalism through the economic philosophy of its neoliberal proponents such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek.[35] It becomes apparent that he understands capitalism in the terms of capitalist thinkers, not identifying structure outside capitalism’s labels. His theory would not allow us to create a theory of capitalism from the ground up. They will not tell us how we should analyze capitalism and its effects on non-economic aspects of people’s lives. Like Anderson, Teshigawara’s theory makes no room for analyzing cultural and social aspects of capitalism. His thesis keeps these topics in the dark. By analyzing capitalism through its own logic, Teshigawara risks reinscribing and empowering capitalism.[36] He argues well against capitalism and analyzes some structures. But Unification Philosophy must go even further.

Teshigawara’s work exemplifies Unification Thought’s other issue: his lack of research on left-wing literature. By failing to incorporate these ideas, Teshigawara misses the opportunity to synthesize them in relevant places. For instance, Teshigawara critiques capitalism for its ecological destruction and later argues for more conscious alternatives.[37] It would have beneficial to add green socialist critics like Murray Bookchin in his discussion. To not include Peter Kropotkin and mutual aid is also a missed opportunity in his section on a non-monetary society.[38] Peter Kropotkin inspired communal living and anarchist movements around the world.[39] It is odd for Teshigawara to not compare anarchist and libertarian socialist theories to his model. His ideas are reminiscent of those tendencies. I even wonder if Teshigawara is aware that his vision for a future society resembles that of Karl Marx.[40]

Unlike Kellett, the issue of Teshigawara’s piece is not about the questions Teshigawara allows to be asked. Rather, it is the conversation that Teshigawara provides. Teshigawara’s lack of research reflects the larger issue of Unification Thought. Analyzing structure not only means recognizing it but also responding to analytical frameworks that already exist.

Walsh: Structure, Family, and Social Change

I must also address Thomas G. Walsh’s piece on Labor, Language and Family.[41] Walsh argues that among labor, language, and family, family is the most effective at social change. Unlike some authors mentioned in this piece, Walsh provides a somewhat accurate history of Marx, Marxian, and Marxist disagreements and thought.[42] Walsh describes a discursive transition from centering labor to centering language as the vehicle for change.[43] In his piece, Walsh shows his appreciation for the history of Marxism and does not dismiss Marxism as an analytical framework. He dismisses Marxism because Unification Thought is supposed to be centered around the family.[44] Walsh dismisses Marxism because neo-Marxists like the Frankfurt School were skeptical of the family structure.[45] Hence, there is no direct refutation of Marx’s theories themselves.

Despite this, his argument is engaging. He supposes that Unificationists recognize that the world is not ready at a ‘cultural level’ to create a good society.[46] This is reminiscent of Christian anarchist Leo Tolstoy’s famous line, “and yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.”[47] Polish anarchist philosopher Edward Abramowski states that the transformation of the social system requires a moral revolution against the values of capitalist life.[48] And Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci also raises similar questions. Unlike Tolstoy and Abramowski, Gramsci emphasizes the production of consent through cultural hegemony as an apparatus for upholding capitalism.[49] Unlike Walsh, Tolstoy, Abramowski, and Gramsci do not completely ignore an analysis of the structure of capitalism in addition to the structure of culture. Also, these philosophers invite Unification thinkers to not disregard the left because of the materialist legacy of Marxian and orthodox Marxist thinking.

Walsh’s conclusion is that the family is the best avenue for social change. He also argues against structural analysis of the family. For Walsh, “Unificationism stresses identity-formation at the level of family where character is transmitted intergenerationally.”[50] He also states that the family cultivates moral and social agents—the formation of human beings.[51]

What Walsh does not recognize is that structure produces and shapes family and family members. These structures also create types of personhoods and subjectivities. Although family creates structures, Walsh’s theory does not help us analyze the structures beyond the family. I move away from Walsh’s thinking to recognize that family is still a product of social structure, economic and cultural. One such question we can raise is how do capitalist structures among many other structures influence family relationships among themselves and with God? I will investigate that question later in this article.

Reflections on Unification Studies

Anderson and Kellett, and Teshigawara demonstrate where Unification Studies lacks in rigor to understand opposing literature. Walsh on the other hand does not strongly contest Marxist ideas but ignores the potential for their synthesis. Rather than being a “head-wing thought” that embraces the Left and the Right, Unification Studies is a bird with a single wing.[52] The analysis of structure in Unification Studies is severely underdeveloped. And yet, structure is deeply important for Unification Thought—and by extension Unification Philosophy. For Anderson, structure is only visible in hierarchies and institutions. Kellett somehow both acknowledges structure and yet superficially displays her rejection of changing and understanding it. Teshigawara and Walsh demonstrate to some extent both.

The current tendency of Unification Thought is concerning. Anderson and Kellett’s theories suggest that spirituality and faith alone are the solution to the issues of the world. Such an articulation and theory limit our ability to study structure. As humanity has the power to analyze the world we live in, including our own structures, institutional and invisible, it becomes imperative that writers of Unification Thought should not limit their thinking to spirituality without consideration of the intellectual implications of structural analysis. Indeed, to become a Unification Philosophy, Unification scholars must incorporate social structure into their analytical repertoire.

Justification for Structural Analysis in Unification Thought

As illustrated earlier, Unification Thought is interested in ‘structure.’ Examples include politics, economics, and family. However, these current articulations of structure take the existence of structure for granted. Some neglect structures completely. Others lack an appreciation for a particular way of analyzing structure. What I seek to do in this section is to suggest building blocks and pre-conditions for analyzing structure, particularly from a social-human standpoint. Two concepts from the Divine Principle help us locate structure in two concepts.

The first concept is the incorporeal and the corporeal world.[53]The incorporeal world cannot be perceived through the five senses alone. One cannot fully grasp the visible world without considering the invisible. For the Divine Principle, this invisible world is the spiritual world. In this respect, the Divine Principle acknowledges that human beings cannot grasp the physical world without its relation to the spiritual world.

The second concept is teleology. Structure (in its more economic, political context) is part of the providence. The Divine Principle suggests that political and economic stages of human society advance and grow closer to an ideal world.[54] For the Divine Principle, “human history has consisted of people’s conflict-ridden social relationships constantly changing with the course of time.”[55] As human beings progress through history, they reach a political, religious, and economic structure more aligned to God’s Will.[56] The Divine Principle appears to recognize that humankind experiences life in the social structure. It also prefers some social structures over others, as seen in the Divine Principle’s teleology: democracy and ‘socialistic economy.’[57]

These two concepts enable structural analysis in Unification Philosophy. It demands further exploration and acknowledges the invisible world of human relations. Analysis on ‘structure’ represents a relatively recent shift in academia, especially in the social sciences.[58] By not analyzing structure with contemporary analytical toolkits, Unification Studies completely excludes itself from meaningful conversations. To engage with the world of academia and develop an understanding of the world in its totality, Unification Thought cannot avoid ‘structure.’ A new theory is necessary, a Unification Theory on Structure and Culture

Noda warned not to simply dance around truth-claims revised in Divine Principle terminology.[59] I do not intend to do that. What I instead will do is add to the Divine Principle’s theory. Indeed, if we wish to study structure, we must acknowledge that Unification Philosophy must reevaluate the Divine Principle to some extent.

The Divine Principle articulates the distinction and close relatedness of the corporeal and incorporeal world. I extend it by identifying the social structure within the corporeal world—the world in which human beings physically exist—to have incorporeal elements that are not necessarily spiritual. I draw on Karel Kosík’s articulation that there exists the natural and socio-human reality.[60] For Kosík, we live in both realities.

How is this reality formed? I borrow Kosík’s argument that human objective practice (praxis) creates the invisible and elusive social realm we live in.[61] In other words, if we analyze structure, we must focus on the physical visible world, the world in which human praxis is visibly enacted. And we must also focus on the invisible social world, where what is enacted is interpreted. Since physical people create structures of society that shape the natural world and shape how humans perceive the world, the physical and the social engage in a dialectical exchange. One could say in both a subject and object position.

Structure then is essentially human fabrication. Human minds and bodies create a network that reproduces these structures.[62] These ‘structures’ or ‘social constructions’ shape our ability to perceive space, time, each other, and ourselves. What this entails, as sociologist Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckman explained, is that we live in multiple social realities.[63] Much like how the Divine Principle understands that human beings suffer from spiritual ignorance, the ‘structures and social constructions of everyday life’ become subconscious and taken for granted as reality.[64] Structure mediates how we see our objects in our daily lives as well.

To a degree, I move away from the Divine Principles’ theory on the mere distinction between the corporeal and incorporeal. I shift some attention to not only the physical and material conditions but also to social conditions. However, the Divine Principle and Unification Philosophy demand that we analyze not just the natural and the socio-human. Indeed, if social constructionism bridges the gap between the social and the natural—of subjective and objective human reality—then Unification Philosophy must bridge the gap between these ‘two’ realities and the spiritual reality. If we were to say in Divine Principle terms, the cosmos has social and spiritual dual characteristics; the visible world has social and spiritual dual characteristics as well.

This analysis and theorizing of social structure and the individual human subject have already influenced the academic world outside of Unification Studies. It is only a matter of time before Unification Studies seriously understands and examines these theories.

Investigating Structure and Spirituality

Anthropologists have analyzed the relationship between social structure, physical conditions, and spirituality. For example, Michael Taussig examined how Bolivian mine workers used religious beliefs and imagery of the devil as a response to the introduction of capitalist relations.[65]Aihwa Ong examined how spirit possession became a form of resistance for Malaysian female workers against“multiple violations of moral boundaries in the modern factory.”[66] Building off of Ellen Rosen, Anna Tsing comments how gender discrimination and Christianity (among other things) “makes labor possible in the Wal-Mart model.”[67]

Although these are fascinating theories and observations on spirituality and structure, Unification Theory on structure should offer a distinct perspective. What we are interested in studying is the interaction between the socio-human, the natural, and the spiritual as understood within Unification Thought. Unification theory of structure moves away from how structure affects the socialness of spirituality. It instead draws attention to the socially affected spiritual reality.

In the very beginning of this article, I defined structure as the socially produced interlocking systems created by human beings in relation to other human beings. I defined structure as a productive and constraining force that creates the human subjective experience. Building off of Kosik, Berger, and Luckman, I contend that structure is a productive and constraining force that creates the human subjective experience.

To build a theory of structure, I incorporate two anthropologists. Émile Durkheim defined collective consciousness as “the totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own.”[68] It is also useful to integrate Clifford Geertz’s definition of culture: culture as a web of meaning in which Man is suspended.[69]Although neither Durkheim nor Geertz’s theory would necessarily be definitions for structure, they describe its building block. Structure—in the sense I wish to interrogate—draws its power from the systems of meaning that exist and/or are produced by structure. It is these very systems of meaning that would naturalize the existence of structure. By centering our discussion of ‘structure’ with meaning produced by everyday life, we can investigate how structure influences how one produces meanings and acts based on them.

Important to my argument is that structure mediates one’s relationship with God. To defend this, I look towards the Sunday Service. In service, members often wear formal clothing. When I grew up, my father scolded me if I did not wear a suit. People do not have to wear suits in a place of worship. There are certainly people who do not (but many do). People also do not have to wear clothes to praise God. But so far, I have yet to find someone in the church who goes to Sunday Service naked.

In this example, there are social motivations for wearing a suit. Suits are a recent phenomenon and there is nothing spiritually essential in the suits themselves. Rather, the socio-cultural drives people to wear them. Human beings imbue meaning in the clothes people wear and how they see themselves spiritually. Indeed, the way one prays also is a social phenomenon: church centers with diverse Latin American backgrounds may find prayer practices different from other church centers. Whether through clothing or prayer, when a subject talks to their God, they rely on a system of meaning that they learn from the culture in which they are raised. Church environments actively produce culture and meaning; it produces how people engage with spirituality. One cannot directly engage with God without the mediation of structure and culture.

To analyze culture/structure however, we must be critical of dismissing it because it is of the ‘fallen world’. In this regard, I strongly disagree with the arguments of Laurent Ladouce and Carolyn Handschin-Moser. Ladouce and Handschin-Moser write, “Malfunctions of the socio-cultural environment do exist, but they mostly reflect the sinful nature of human beings.”[70] There are two issues here; they are similar to what I wrote regarding Anderson and Kellett.

One, Ladouce and Handschin-Moser are quite aware of the ‘structure’ in which families develop particular types of children, as evidenced in their micro-analysis of what families ought to need.[71] Despite this, they downplay the role that socio-cultural environments have. If these environments merely have “malfunctions”—which connote deviancy from ‘normalcy’—then would that not limit our ability to challenge the very thing called normal, the constructive structure of everyday life? How can we study let alone critique environments of exploitive designs, where its proper function is itself unjust? Such a theory suggests that culture and social structure itself beyond the structure of the family model have limited, if any, consequences on individual human lives and actions. This mode of thinking is evidenced in their lexical choices—that social-environment is something to be merely ‘adapted to.’

Two, it also suggests that only sinful human beings make “malfunctions” happen. Structure appears not fluid, constantly reified and reproduced, but instead as a rigid frame humanity, sinful or not, wraps around in. Structural analysis requires us to be critical of any structure. It also requires us to be critical of an analysis that overemphasizes agency without incorporating an analysis of structure. Structural analysis then is to understand how agents move in these spaces, not necessarily because they are fallen but because they exist and live in the confines of these structures.

Making a single large theory for Unification Thought’s analysis on culture is a troubling task. It is without doubt too large, too ambitious. An attempt to do so will only make the theory dull. Instead, I advocate methodologies that may help us narrow and think about how to theorize structure within Unification Thought. Such an approach can aid the development of new theories to come.

A Theory on Structural Analysis

To understand what a Unification Thought analysis of structure should do and accomplish, we need to consider the purpose of Unification Philosophy. It is to change the current structures of society. It is to help realize the power to change and analyze the world among individuals. It is also to help advance the people of the Unification Church or really all of humankind. Therefore, a structural analysis under Unification Thought should incorporate as many of the following as possible:

  • The material and social conditions of the socio-human world in relation to itself (the social physical/social spiritual).
  • The social mediation between God and the subject
  • How the structure in question may displace original value and human positionality as articulated in the Divine Principle.
  • Possibilities for reimaging structure

These four rules are vague, but that vagueness is a point of strength. Being broad enough and grounded in Unification Thought, we can integrate these guidelines into other theoretical frameworks. Indeed, theories like Marxism and feminism can finally gain the proper respect that Unification Thought must soon provide. These guidelines will provide a Head to many wings of thoughts. Most importantly, this theoretical guideline calls into question the assumption of some scholars of Unification Thought. We should not pass on the burden of analyzing and forming structure to the hypothetical perfect ideal humans that we ourselves are supposed to become in our lifetime.[72]

Drawing a Unification Theory on Economic Structure and Consumerism

I structure this section like the overall format of this article. I start by analyzing a specific article. However, this time, I will not merely critique the lack of structural analysis or point out the disservice to certain ideologies. Instead, I use the article to formulate a specific Unification theory of structure. Using the guidelines above, I will use this analysis to invite deeper dialogue—a dialectic if you will.

Tyler Hendricks attempts to reconcile the teleology of the Divine Principle with the mainstream economic views of Unification Thought.[73] I chose this article because Hendricks’ analysis both resonates with the themes of my writing and because Hendricks addresses members themselves in relation to the economy. It also displays the same failings of the other articles here: limited structural analysis and frail understanding of left-wing literature.

I would agree with Hendricks’ frustrations on how the Divine Principle states our teleological end economy is a “Heavenly Socialism.[74] However, I would disagree with his assumption that “socialism” is a popular view among members. The Unification socialists are a near-nonexistent minority.

The crux of Hendricks’ argument is that the Divine Principle used the wrong word because capitalism better supports the Principle than socialism.[75] Before I list my disagreements, I will demonstrate how Hendricks’ arguments ignore economic history. To do this, I begin with the discussion of what socialism is to Hendrick and his relationship with the Left. Then, I will analyze Hendricks’ use of the Divine Principle. Afterwards, I will build off Hendricks and my own critiques to suggest a better analytical framework.

I acknowledge that it is difficult to parse the difference between the conversation of structure and left-wing theories. That is because left-wing theories on Hendricks’ topic make claims on structure. Thus, Hendricks’ limited analysis on structure and his limited understanding of left-wing theory are no mere coincidence. Hendricks does not directly cite left-wing input. As I explained before, Hendricks, like his colleagues, is not interested in the questions that Marxism and other traditions ask. To attempt to understand the telos of humankind explicit in the Divine Principle, Hendricks turns to utopian socialism.[76]

My issue with Hendricks is not that he cites the utopian socialists. They are a good place to start in the conversation with Christian socialism. However, Hendricks ends his conversation there. No mentions of the fact that Christianity played a crucial role in Marxism, socialism, and communism around the world. I am referring to Christian socialists beyond Charles Fourier and Robert Owen. There is also no mention of Marx and Engels’ critique of the utopian socialist.[77] Hendricks fails to mention Christian socialists who adopted Marx’s critiques and yet continued to live as Christians. We can find examples of those socialists in Japan and Latin America. For example, Christianity was a pipeline for people to become socialists in late Meiji and Taisho Japan.[78] Most famously, Gustavo Gutiérrez synthesized Marxism and Christian theology to form liberation theology.[79] To start and end with utopian socialism, an ideology with little subscribers in public discourse, does no justice to the one hundred years of Christian leftist history.

Not only did Hendricks not mention this history, but his knowledge of socialism is extremely limited. Like the other authors mentioned in this article, we see a reduction of leftist theory. Indeed, for Hendricks, socialism was merely the planned economy.[80] I am no advocate for the planned economy, and its inefficiencies are quite evident.[81] As explained earlier, the Soviet Union and the Marxist-Leninist models themselves do not define the entirety of Marxian analysis or the socialist tradition. Acknowledging that the Soviets do not define all of socialism is a rejection of Hendricks’ argumentative approach. Because Hendricks makes a false dichotomy between the capitalist economy and the planned economy, he fails to consider the different versions of capitalism and the different versions of socialism. In an academic conversation on socialism, Hendricks cites the Oxford dictionary, not some influential writer or intellectual, Marx or Lenin.[82] Instead, Hendricks traps himself in the narrative of our everyday, the capitalist realism of living out neoliberal America, where no alternative could be imagined.[83]

Give-and-Take as an Economic Argument

By failing to acknowledge the different histories and shapes of capitalism and socialism, Hendricks conflates human relationships with capitalist relations.[84] In doing so, he appropriates the Divine Principle in a narrow and invalid way. Hendricks applies the concept of give-and-take to his false dichotomy. Between “the choice of shopping under capitalism” and the rationing under socialism, he argues that the choice of shopping falls closest to the Principle.[85] This argument would only be true if choice were exclusive to capitalism—and if choice is no mere illusion under capitalism. I also find that Hendricks’ theory of the Divine Principle’s give-and-take in an economic context to be shallow. Such theory limits our ability to evaluate market exchanges: the emergence of the market and the different economies around the world.

I turn to the works of economic historian Karl Polanyi. But before I explain Polanyi’s theory, I must explain his inspiration. Polanyi heavily utilizes anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski’s ethnography on the Kula Ring in Melanesia. The Kula Ring was the exchange of valuable objects from one population to another within a ring-shaped archipelago.[86] It involved dangerous long-distance travels with no profit motivation or bartering. It was a systemic and organized give-and-take and act of kinship.

Evaluating the history of economies, Polanyi suggested that prior to market societies three other economic systems existed: redistributive, reciprocity, and householding.[87] He articulated that economy—therefore market—has always existed in human history; only in recent years do we go from a society-with-trade to a market society.[88]

Anthropologist Marcel Mauss, also inspired by Malinowski, noted that the Melanesians made a distinction between the gift exchange and the market exchange.[89] For the Melanesian, the Kula Ring and useful everyday goods were two different concepts. Like Polanyi, Mauss stated, “social life is a constant give-and-take.”[90] Mauss theorized that these constant exchanges create a system of obligations and morality; he called it “total prestation.”[91]

Inherent to both Polanyi and Mauss’ argument is that give-and-take relations in the economy are not rooted in the market itself. To acknowledge this is to reject Hendricks’ dichotomy that the ideal give-and-take must be through shopping under capitalism. Polanyi and Mauss also allow us to pinpoint exactly what is give-and-take relationship in the context of the economy. When stripped of their structural differences, all economic activities are essentially the give-and-take of commodities between people.

The Divine Principle explicitly states that give-and-take governs all human interactions.[92] A major implication of this realization is that give-and-take as a concept cannot guide us to a particular economic system. Elizabeth Dunn’s analysis on the Znajomościnetwork in Soviet and Post-Soviet Poland demonstrates that gift exchange—give-and-take—is inherent and essential to Soviet planned economies.[93] Hendricks use of the concept of give-and-take is lacking here.

Commodity Fetishism, God, and Family

I have argued that Hendricks put forth a false dichotomy. The reasons for this lie in his lack of consideration for the diversity of thought and his invalid use of the Divine Principle. My next step is to develop a framework for analyzing the problem Hendricks addresses. However, in the scope of this article, I will not be able to answer “what system?” directly. Instead, I will offer an analysis to rethink the questions we ask when talking about economic systems. These questions may allow for future inquiries to better mediate the contradictions between the teleology of the Divine Principle to advocate for a socialist society—a question Teshigawara explores—and the anti-communist praxis of Sun Myung Moon, Sang Hun Lee, and the Unification movement.

Central to my argument is the relationship between the subject and the subject’s God. I center my analysis on the individual human subject. Doing so allows me to analyze structure on an individual level. Focusing on the subjectivity of people inspires the following questions. What type of spiritual subject does shopping create? Here is where I attempt to do the opposite of CAUSA and Kellett. I take Marx’s theory of alienation and commodity fetishism to a spiritual level.[94] What does it mean for shopping to be the mediator of our relationship with others? What if economic structure restricts one’s ability to fully love and attend God?

The basis for this argument lies in Marx’s theory of alienation.[95]For Marx, under capitalist relations, people experience alienation from production, one’s labor, one’s species-being, and other people. Marx defined commodity as an object or a good produced through labor.[96] Commodity fetishism describes the phenomenon in which the properties of human-to-human interactions become transformed into relations between people and commodities.[97] We can extend Marx’s theory to two questions. How do God-to-human interactions become fetishized through commodities, and how do human-to-human interactions become fetishized on a spiritual level? Our theory would analyze the cultural structure of shopping with a focus on spirituality under Unification Thought.

The Divine Principle has a more nuanced take on essentialism. For the Divine Principle original value is not absolute, but instead established by the reciprocal relationship between the purpose of the object (under God’s ideal of creation) and the desire of the subject to bring about its true worth.[98] There is room then in the Divine Principle to analyze how value is relative in practice. Different human beings and different social and value systems evaluate value differently. Subjects enact their desire and ‘do’ value onto an object. Structure mediates how subjects value those objects.

What if we take the Divine Principle’s understanding of value and Marx’s commodity fetishism and alienation to analyze shopping? Indeed, what if the alienation and fetishism of shopping is part of our alienation from the objects around us and ultimately from the purpose of Creation? Rather than accepting CAUSA’s argument to merely dismiss one form of alienation, I take Marx’s alienation as one of the many puzzles in the lives of alienated human existence.

These questions and theoretical assumptions to analyze commodity fetishism satisfy the guidelines that I have put forward. By incorporating Marx, this theory can analyze the material and social conditions within the social world itself. By extending Marx’s theory of alienation and fetishism to our alienation from God’s Purpose, I satisfy two other requirements. The topic we are dealing with, shopping, is an essential part of the human condition under capitalism. Shopping affects members’ everyday life and life in the church. Polanyi and Mauss compel us to center our understanding of economics as a human-to-human interaction. In doing so, we can even rethink shopping itself and potentially reject the procuring of material goods under capitalist relations.

Upon articulating a Unification theory that addresses both the social structure and spirituality, I need to demonstrate the benefits of such theory. In other words, I must briefly apply it.

In his article, Hendricks writes, “is it unreasonable consumption for me to want my children and parents to live in a beautiful house, with refrigeration, and have a wonderful new car?”[99] I ask, “how do the relations of labor behind the commodity you consume connect to the spiritual and social relations you produce in your life?” I focus on the car and analyze this example within the context of the world we live in right now. I concede that shopping for others is an expression of filial piety. However, it exists as an expression because one cannot live outside of the constraints of capital. Under capitalism, filial piety is often if not always tied to commodities.

What Hendricks does not think about when he buys a car for others is the conditions of labor to produce that car. The car at the dealer would appear before him as though it had no genesis. Its very appearance obscured how the car got there. When Hendricks buys the car, does he see the human abuse? For example, if workers produced some parts of the car under forced labor conditions.[100] Human Rights Watch reports that local communities from where companies harvest aluminum suffer from massive loss of farmland and the pollution of local drinking water.[101] In each part of the supply chain, labor conditions intertwine with exploitation. And when the giver purchases the car as a gift, the giver forms a relationship with the receiver without regard to the history of the commodity. The give-and-take interaction appears innocent.

I extend this analysis to subjectivity. At least in the scope of our current reality, purchasing a car for others creates ignorant subjects—children—who are unaware of the true nature of the objects they carry. Subjects under capitalism are not only ignorant because capitalist relations hide the conditions of labor in which commodities are produced. They appear ignorant because that is what the subject would look like when they face God. How would God feel if he sees his children on one side of the world happy and experiencing love for each other based on commodities that children on the other side suffered and died producing? In a car-centric society like the United States, it is almost unavoidable. And yet, families and friendships are produced in and through cars. Families pray for safe journeys before they ride their cars. Cars bring people to church to celebrate and attend service. Unlike what Walsh suggests, families do not nurture their children in a vacuum separate from the conditions of production and consumption.[102] Spirituality ties into the obscuring of child labor. The process of commodity fetishism alienates human relationships from one part of the world to another. It alienates subjects from the very objects around them. It creates subjects who face God with an innocent smile without knowing the human cost of their happiness. Because of supply chain capitalism and modern-day slavery and exploitation, coupled with the mechanics of fetish, one’s relationship with God no longer becomes human to God, but instead becomes intertwined with unethical commodities. Commodities make the subject’s spiritual relations objectionable and ignorant.


In this article, I explored representative examples of the intellectual labor and praxis of Unification intellectuals. In it, I articulated my dismay with certain trends and the state of thinking that limit structural analysis particularly from a socio-human perspective. As this article has shown, Unification Thought did not discover the truth of the world. By critically examining and undermining the application of Unification Thought and some of its foundational and classical texts, I challenge and push Unification Thought closer to philosophy. As Noda asserts, self-critique requires challenging assumptions. It involves disagreeing, modifying, and appropriating theories to fill its own holes. From an intellectual perspective—the love of knowledge, that engagement means even disagreeing with predecessors.

Because I owe sincerity to Unification Philosophy—and really all systems of thought—I examined the works of various Unification Thought writers and identified the weaknesses of their analysis. I located why a deep structural analysis was nearly impossible in the current framework of Unification Thought. This meant exposing the intellectual failures of CAUSA to dismiss Marxism. In doing so, I have opened the way to reintroduce, this time respectively and honestly, the structural analysis of Karl Marx.

Drawing from my critiques, I reimagine the Divine Principle and its theoretical foundations for structural analysis. Doing so provided me with the foundation for a Unification Theory of Structure.

I provide different definitions of structure and culture. Based on these definitions, I address the foundations of Unification Philosophy, structural analysis under the Divine Principle, and structure outside Unification Thought. This provided guidelines for a Unification Theory on Structure. Unification Thought gets a step closer to Unification Philosophy.

I replicate the above steps to create a concrete example of analyzing structure under Unification Thought. Responding to Hendricks’ article on shopping under Cheon Il Guk, I center give-and-take as the foundation of all economies, including planned economies. In doing so, I move away from certain economic arguments to create a specific analytical theory: how do commodity fetishism and alienation affect the relationship between God and the human subject?

My application of this theory to a concrete example is not enough. It requires its own article or books even. However, that exercise would not have been possible without the steps to introduce a particular mode of structural analysis in Unification Thought. Those efforts make future investigations possible. Indeed, Unification Philosophy must venture out to uncharted territories in academia. In doing so, we can find uncharted questions and answers. They may spark new conversations that bridge the gap between social structure and Unification Thought. In doing so, we can locate ourselves in the social structure—the very people Unification Philosophy is for. That very possibility is what drove me to write this piece.

One would be mistaken to believe there exists nothing that mediates the relationship between the subject and his God. Structure shapes the lives of the subject as much as the subject creates structure. By analyzing how this structure influences spirituality, Unification Philosophy reveals truth of social and spiritual reality—the truth of how humanity shapes the very cosmos.



[1]    Keisuke Noda, “From Unification Thought to Unification Philosophy,” Journal of Unification Studies 16 (2015): 129-146.

[2]    Ibid., p. 129.

[3]    Exposition of the Divine Principle (New York: HSA-UWC, 1986).

[4]    Noda,p. 132.

[5]    This also is a commonly held thought. Among many other texts see: Sun Myung Moon, Cheon Seong Gyeong (2006), Book 10, Chapter 4. April 2023);Sang Hun Lee, Communism: A New Critique And Counterproposal (Barrytown: Freedom Leadership Foundation, 1973).

[6]    Gordon L. Anderson, “American Democracy and the True Society,” Journal of Unification Studies 2 (1998): 95-122.

[7]    Ibid., p. 98.

[8]    I am referencing his use of word choice. For instance, Anderson says, “there were three factors in the formation of the United States which contributed greatly to the self-sufficiency of the people when America was founded: Protestantism, “natural selection,” and widely available lands” (Anderson, 101). Widely available land is an interesting way to refer to the land that colonizers brutally stole from native people. We should be skeptical of the narrative that American history truly represents all of God’s plans as it is also a history of blood and abuse.

[9]    Ibid., p. 119.

[10]  Ibid., p. 118.

[11]  Ibid., p. 117.

[12]  Ibid., p. 115.

[13]  Gordon L. Anderson, “Toward a Headwing Society: The Harmony of Three Social Spheres,” Journal of Unification Studies 13 (2012): 73-112.

[14]  Ibid., p. 73

[15]  Ibid., p. 101-107

[16]  Grace Kellett, “Achieving Gender Equality: A Heavenly Parent-Centered Approach to the Feminist Ideal,” Journal of Unification Studies 21 (2020): 89-111.

[17]  CAUSA International was an organization founded in 1980by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon to spread and teach critiques of Marxist-Leninism during the Cold War. See CAUSA International, CAUSA Lecture Manual (New York: CAUSA Institute, 1985): I-IV.

[18]  Kellett, “Achieving Gender Equality,” p. 99.

[19]  Ibid.

[20]  Ibid., p. 100.

[21]  Ibid.

[22]  “The Combahee River Collective Statement,” in Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthol­ogy, ed. Barbara Smith (Latham: Kitchen Table Women of Color Press, 1983): 272-82.This is not the only literature to address this, but it explicitly makes clear the issues of ‘harmony.’

[23]  Ibid., pp. 272.

[24]  CAUSA Lecture Manual, pp. 21-76.

[25]  Sidney Hook, “Myth and Fact in the Marxist Theory of Revolution and Violence,” Journal of the History of Ideas 34, no. 2 (1973): 271–80.

[26]  Paul H. Avrich, “The Bolshevik Revolution and Workers’ Control in Russian Industry,” Slavic Review 22, no. 1 (1963): 47–63.

[27]  Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Marx & Engels Collected Works Vol 46 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1992), pp. 172-172. Marx’s statement refers to French Socialists, not the Bolsheviks. However, Marx’s core critique is the same.

[28]  Letter from Marx to Arnold Ruge in Dresden, September 1843, Marx Engels Archive, (accessed July 18, 2023).

[29]  Kellett, “Achieving Gender Equality,” p. 100.

[30]  Ibid.

[31]  Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (Wilmington: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference Publishers, 1973), pp. 305-388.

[32]  Hideyuki Teshigawara, “The Economic System in Cheon Il Guk,” Master of Divinity thesis, Unification Theological Seminary, 2007), p. 127.

[33]  Ibid., p. 27.

[34]  Ibid., p. 24.

[35]  Ibid., p. 45.

[36]  Timothy Mitchell, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (Oakland: University of California Press, 2002), pp. 268-271.

[37]  Teshigawara, “The Economic System in Cheon Il Guk,” pp. 43, 128.

[38]  Teshigawara, “The Economic System in Cheon Il Guk,” p. 127.

[39]  Petr Alekseevich Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread (New York : Kraus Reprint Co., 1970[1892]).

[40]  Teshigawara, “The Economic System in Cheon Il Guk,” p. 136.

[41]  Thomas G. Walsh, “Labor, Language and Family: Unificationist Reflections on the Practical Conditions of Social and Moral Existence,” in Explorations in Unificationism,ed. Theodore T. Shimmyo and David A. Carlson (New York: HSA-UWC, 1997), pp. 235-254.

[42]  Ibid., pp. 238-243.

[43]  Ibid., p. 243.

[44]  Ibid., p. 249.

[45]  Ibid., p. 248.

[46]  Ibid., p. 250.

[47]  Leo Tolstoy, Some Social Remedies/Three Methods of Reform (1900).

[48]  Piotr Żuk, “Edward Abramowski's concept of stateless socialism and its impact on progressive social movements in Poland in the twentieth century,” History of European Ideas 45, no. 1 (2019): 64-82, DOI: 10.1080/01916599.2018.1527559.

[49]  Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1971), quoted in James Martin, “Antonio Gramsci,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta & Uri Nodelman, (Stanford: Stanford University Metaphysics Research Lab, 2023)

[50]  Thomas G. Walsh, “Labor, Language and Family,” p. 251.

[51]  Ibid., pp.251-252.

[52]  Unification Thought Institute, New Essentials of Unification Thought, p. vii.

[53]  Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 45.

[54]  Ibid., pp. 328-344.

[55]Ibid., p. 328.

[56] Ibid., p. 329.

[57] Ibid., p. 342.

[58] I am not referring solely to the movement of poststructuralism, but generally the movement in academia to develop theory from field experience. This is especially true in anthropology, sociology, gender studies and race studies, among other fields.

[59]  Noda, “From Unification Thought to Unification Philosophy,” p. 129.

[60]  Karel Kosík, Dialectics of the Concrete (Holland: D. Reidel, 1976), p. 7.

[61]  Ibid.

[62]  Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Garden City: Anchor Books, 1966), pp. 33-42.

[63]  Ibid., p. 39.

[64]  Ibid., p. 37.

[65]  Michael Taussig, The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980), p. 18.

[66]  Aihwa Ong, “The Production of Possession: Spirits and the Multinational Corporation in Malaysia,” American Ethnologist 15, no. 1 (1988): 28–42.

[67]  Anna Tsing, “Supply Chains and the Human Condition,” Rethinking Marxism 21, no. 2 (2009): 148-176.

[68]  Émile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society (New York: The Free Press, 1984[1893]): 36.

[69]  Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Culture (New York : Basic Books, 1973), p. 5.

[70]  Laurent Ladouce and Carolyn Handschin-Moser, “In Larger Freedom for a Safer World: A Unificationist Evaluation of Human Security,” Journal of Unification Studies 23 (2022): 24.

[71]  Ibid., p. 14.

[72]  Exposition of the Divine Principle, pp. 228-230, 237-238.

[73]  Tyler Hendricks, “Shopping in Cheon Il Guk: Economics in the Unificationist Ideal World,” Journal of Unification Studies 7 (2006): 51.

[74]  Ibid., p. 52.

[75]  Ibid., p. 64.

[76]  Ibid., p. 52.

[77]  Karl Marx, Samuel Moore, and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, pp. 43-46.

[78]  Hyman Kublin, “The Origins of Japanese Socialist Tradition,” The Journal of Politics 14, no. 2 (1952): 246.

[79]  Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation, rev. ed. with new introd. (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1995).

[80]  Hendricks, “Shopping in Cheon Il Guk,” p. 51.

[81]  Katherine Verdery, What Was Socialism, and What Comes Next? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 19-38. This is not the only text that analyzes Soviet economic inefficiencies.

[82]  Hendricks, “Shopping in Cheon Il Guk,” p. 60.

[83]  Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Winchester: Zero Books, 2010), p. 2.

[84]  Hendricks, “Shopping in Cheon Il Guk,” p. 58.

[85]  Ibid., p. 60.

[86]  Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001[1944]), p. 52.

[87]  Ibid., pp. 45-58.

[88]  Ibid., pp. 45-48.

[89]  Marcel Mauss, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (London; New York: W. W. Norton, 1967[1925]), pp. 20-28.

[90]  Ibid., p. 27.

[91]  Ibid., p. 3.

[92]  Exposition of the Divine Principle, p. 23.

[93]  Elizabeth Dunn, Privatizing Poland: Baby food, Big Business and the Remaking of Labor (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004), pp. 119-124.

[94]  C.J. Arthur, Marx's Capital: A Student Edition (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1992), pp. 31-32.

[95]  Karl Marx, Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (London: Electric Book, 1844) ProQuest Ebook Central (accessed April 8, 2023), pp. 63-80.

[96]  Arthur, Marx’s Capital: A Student Edition, pp. 31-32.

[97]  Roland Boer, “Kapitalfetisch: ‘The religion of everyday life,’” International Critical Thought 1:4 (2011): 102.

[98]  Exposition of the Divine Principle,p. 36.

[99]  Hendricks, “Shopping in Cheon Il Guk,” p. 64.

[100] Laura Murphy, Kendyl Salcito, YalkunUluyol, Mia Rabkin, et. al., Driving Force: Automotive Supply Chains and Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region (Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University, Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, December 2022).

[101] Human Rights Watch, “Abuses in Aluminum Supply Chains: a Blind Spot for Car Industry,” Human Rights Watch July 22, 2021,

[102] Thomas G. Walsh, “Labor, Language and Family,” p. 251.