Where Does Your Allegiance Lie?

23 01 2008

A few days back, I was on PalTalk. I started going around different chat rooms until one of them, which was a Lebanese chat forum, caught my eye – or should I say, my ear. The discussion was between two Lebanese natives – one of them living in Brazil and the other in Germany.

The topic was – allegiance. Which of the countries you live in deserves allegiance, the native country or the one you reside in?

The guy from Brazil (let’s call him Roberto) was arguing that allegiance should be to the country you live in. His argument made sense, and here is a list of the stuff he mentioned:

  • The country you tend to reside in is the one that has provided you with the necessities that the native homeland could not (income, security etc.)
  • If Palestinians in Lebanon owed their allegiance only to Palestine, there would be a crisis.
  • Likewise, in the predominantly hyphenated society of America, the society of that country would cease to exist if everyone owed their allegiance only to their native lands. Indeed, patriotism would hardly exist and the army would never again be.
  • Allegiance should be first and foremost to the country hosting you (especially if you are a citizen) and then to your homeland.
  • Finally, Roberto argued to the Lebanese-German (lets call him Alan) that his point was proven by the very fact that Alan still lives in Germany and not Lebanon. His labour and income is used to drive the German and not Lebanese economy.

On the other hand, Alan replied with another arguement:

  • Your allegiance should always be with the country which expresses your identity most, and in this case, the identity of first-generation immigrants or citizens in another country is best expressed by their native country.
  • How can anyone betray the country where his ancestors lived, fought for and died in for another, foreign country with it’s foreign culture etc.
  • He also emphasised on a few paradoxes in this subject matter such as the situation where the country you reside in and the country you are originally from clash – what happens then?

What if your parents are both from different country, you was born in none of those countries and yet you live in a totally different nation than your parents or the country of birth? What happens then.

There are a lot of viewpoints to be considered concerning this matter. I agree to some aspects from both Roberto and Alan’s opinions. I believe you’re allegiance should always be with the country you identify yourself with most, but this does not necessarily have to be the country you were either born or currently reside in (it tends to be the country you spent your childhood in, raised in or spent the most time in). Although, I recognise this doesn’t have to come at the expense of your native country where, if your allegiance naturally places itself in another country, then you should systematically have some kind of allegiance or personal pact with at a second-degree.

I believe allegiance can not be personally decided. It is extremely difficult to force your allegiance to any party. I totally believe, however, that allegiance naturally places itself according to a persons general mood over time. This is the best explanation to give considering the millions of problems you could face if you were to decide on the allegiance matter, i.e. if your country is split in half into two countries. Before it was split, you used to live in one half where most of your family still lives with your parents, but moved to the other half due to work-related issues 15 years ago. These two cantons are at war. do you fight for one canton against the other, do you betray one canton for the other, or will you opt out and stay neutral?

Allegiance can be simplified to this – if you support the football team which regularly defeats the club teams representing the town/region you live in, can you force yourself to switch that feeling of loyalty and support?

I’m interested in what you think. Please comment and constructive criticism with anything I have said is welcome.



One response

12 11 2008

There is generally one race that has infiltrated every aspect of every nations society. From the central banking system down. That race has never had any allegiance to national sovereignty and never will. And they are the cause of all of societies ill’s!

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