While We Weren’t Looking

Readability

While We Weren't Looking

by baldilocks

A trans­for­ma­tion. Fun­da­men­tal?

When most peo­ple think of cit­i­zen­ship, they think of their nation’s con­sti­tu­tion or the rights guar­an­teed to them in the law. They will think of their oblig­a­tions to their coun­try, like pay­ing taxes, obey­ing the law and defend­ing the nation. In the West, a cit­i­zen is pretty much as the dic­tio­nary defines it, “a native or nat­u­ral­ized per­son who owes alle­giance to a gov­ern­ment and is enti­tled to pro­tec­tion from it.” It is a rec­i­p­ro­cal set of oblig­a­tions in the law, ani­mated by a sense of duty by both the rulers and the ruled.

Addi­tion­ally, at least in Amer­ica, cit­i­zen­ship comes with a belief in equal­ity between the peo­ple and the office hold­ers. Every Amer­i­can grows up hear­ing that any­one can be Pres­i­dent. The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives is known as the people’s house, because it was designed to not only rep­re­sent the peo­ple, but be pop­u­lated by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the peo­ple. In other words, the cit­i­zens are ruled by their fel­low cit­i­zens, not strangers or hired men paid by strangers. You can only be a cit­i­zen in your nation.

In the post-​national world, that old def­i­n­i­tion of cit­i­zen no longer works. In a world where for­eign peo­ple can just move in, claim the ben­e­fits and pro­tec­tions from the gov­ern­ment, cit­i­zen­ship loses all value. At the same time, the state is increas­ingly alien to the peo­ple over whom it rules. In the Euro­pean Union, the peo­ple are no longer ruled by their national gov­ern­ments, as all of the big deci­sion are made in Brus­sels. In Amer­ica, polit­i­cal offices are increas­ingly being filled by exotic weirdos with no con­nec­tion to the natives.

The ques­tion then is what does it mean to be a cit­i­zen in a demo­c­ra­tic empire?

Part of the conclusion:

This means that patri­o­tism has no role in the demo­c­ra­tic empire. Loy­alty to your coun­try only works if you actu­ally have a coun­try. The residue of patri­o­tism will last for a while, as peo­ple will still think of their neigh­bors and friends as their coun­try­men, but in time, as those peo­ple are replaced by strangers, patri­o­tism will dis­ap­pear. In a trans­ac­tional world pop­u­lated by stran­glers, your pri­mary loy­alty can­not be to the state, as it is just as much a stranger to you as the new neigh­bors, who just moved in from over the horizon.

Read the rest and pon­der the endgame. A one-​world gov­ern­ment will fix the prob­lems of fief­doms and frag­mented cit­i­zen­ship for a time. A very short time, accord­ing to a book I read regularly.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Fol­low her on Face­book, Twit­ter, MeWe, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!

by baldilocks

A transformation. Fundamental?

When most people think of citizenship, they think of their nation’s constitution or the rights guaranteed to them in the law. They will think of their obligations to their country, like paying taxes, obeying the law and defending the nation. In the West, a citizen is pretty much as the dictionary defines it, “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.” It is a reciprocal set of obligations in the law, animated by a sense of duty by both the rulers and the ruled.

Additionally, at least in America, citizenship comes with a belief in equality between the people and the office holders. Every American grows up hearing that anyone can be President. The House of Representatives is known as the people’s house, because it was designed to not only represent the people, but be populated by representatives from the people. In other words, the citizens are ruled by their fellow citizens, not strangers or hired men paid by strangers. You can only be a citizen in your nation.

In the post-national world, that old definition of citizen no longer works. In a world where foreign people can just move in, claim the benefits and protections from the government, citizenship loses all value. At the same time, the state is increasingly alien to the people over whom it rules. In the European Union, the people are no longer ruled by their national governments, as all of the big decision are made in Brussels. In America, political offices are increasingly being filled by exotic weirdos with no connection to the natives.

The question then is what does it mean to be a citizen in a democratic empire?

Part of the conclusion:

This means that patriotism has no role in the democratic empire. Loyalty to your country only works if you actually have a country. The residue of patriotism will last for a while, as people will still think of their neighbors and friends as their countrymen, but in time, as those people are replaced by strangers, patriotism will disappear. In a transactional world populated by stranglers, your primary loyalty cannot be to the state, as it is just as much a stranger to you as the new neighbors, who just moved in from over the horizon.

Read the rest and ponder the endgame. A one-world government will fix the problems of fiefdoms and fragmented citizenship for a time. A very short time, according to a book I read regularly.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!