I got into a discussion today on YouTube with someone who disagreed with pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States and said that people should not be forced to do that.
I said I agreed, that we should pledge allegiance to the human race and the whole planet.
He then got back to me and said that what he had in mind was that people should just be allowed to pledge allegiance to what they wanted, to their families, their own state if they wanted, to Nato if they felt strongly about that level, etc etc.
But here’s the rub with that one: what if I pledge allegiance to the ordinary man and woman, regardless of where they are born, but no-one pledges allegiance back to me, then it seems I’m on the losing end. So the only way to be fair is for everyone to pledge allegiance to everyone else. Nation of birth should be as irrelevant as star sign.
To war for a country should be as ludicrous as to war for Gemini or Sagitarius. Time and space are both dimensions so if we can be agreed, as most sensible people are, that the timing of your birth shouldn’t prejudge anything about you, and that all these star signs are just sillinesses, then why can’t we apply the same reasoning to space also? Why does the fact that you are born in this point on earth and not another give you a different status in the eyes of some people? Why will they pledge allegiance on to those born near them to go and fight against you? Is there any real sense in that?
We’re human beings, and when you go around the world, either by travelling physically or by using the social platforms that the internet affords, you can find people who are on your wavelength and who share your views and passions and priorities and likes and dislikes who look completely different to you in that they might be a so-called race, gender, generation, class, nationality, etc, from the ones you’d expect to have any similarity with.
You might find a partner for life in a nation which is supposed to be utterly unlike your own, and understand that person more closely than if she had been the girl next door when you were kids.
And you might find that your own family members, brothers and sisters you shared a table, a telly or even a bedroom with growing up are utterly different to you in outlook, priorities, likes and dislikes, personality traits…
So why even have nations? Why get so het up about them? If they are the cause for people to be segregated and given unfairly differing packets of rights, then we need to treat the nation state with the contempt it deserves, along with everything else that divides us.
- Pledge of Allegiance (nowpublic.com)
- Judge Reprimanded Over Pledge of Allegiance [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)
- Does “Under God” Belong in The Pledge of Allegiance? (socyberty.com)
- The Pledge of Allegiance and Legal Challenges in Education. (jwitness.wordpress.com)