Author Topic: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...  (Read 3051 times)

Cain

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Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« on: August 14, 2009, 07:28:47 pm »
I (name) do solemnly and sincerely affirm that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, according to law.  I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.
- The Affirmation of Alleigance

I'm no martyr. I did it for the money.  But it's not worth much if you can't face yourself in the mirror. Respect is the ultimate currency. I was stealing from a man who traded his away for a few dollars. And then he tried to wash away his guilt. Drown it in a lifetime of good deeds and a sea of respectability. It almost worked, too.
- Inside Man

So, on Thursday, I finally attended my citizenship ceremony.  It was a nice day, actually, very sunny.  Good day for watching £720 go down the drain, on bad coffee, cheap biscuts, pieces of paper and empty speeches.

And were the speeches ever empty.  Probably to be expected, given the whole thing is organised on the county level, but Pericles' Funeral Oration, this aint.  I didn't need to know that living here would increase my life expectancy by two years, nor that weathermen are almost always wrong.

However, all of this probably could be forgiven, if it were not for the affirmation.  I knew it was coming, of course.  But even so, reading it is like having someone drag their nails across a blackboard, in my brain.  The oath is much the same, only more mentions of god, for those who prefer their hypocrisy to have that religious flavour we have all come to know and love.

Elizabeth the II will never have my allegiance.  Nor her brain-damaged and vapid progeny.  You see, allegiance has a particular and specific meaning, in antiquity.  It means that I will follow the Sovereign, in return for the protection of the Sovereign and their governence.  They, in effect, become my liege lord and I am bound to them in return for their protection.  It's a contract.  Service for protection.

And that contract is utterly meaningless.

For starters, Elizabeth the II is not the Sovereign.  Parliament is.  Parliament can do anything it wants, up to ordering Queen Elizabeth to sign her own death warrant.  The Queen is a figurehead, as much as in law as in fact, and allegiance to her is nothing more than a nod to history.

Secondly, the people I need protecting from are in Parliament.

There are people in seats of power right now who "do not respect [Britain's] rights and freedoms."  They do not uphold its democratic values.  They have no respect for rule of law, or the obligations of their office.

But that's OK.  Because such ideas are not really part of British history or culture, anyway.  Pretending they are is embarrassing, and highlights the hypocrisy of Westminster, but in reality, Britain has never really been about democracy, or rights, or the rule of law.  The United Kingdom left a bloody trail through every continent on the planet, killing and looting and enslaving in its wake, not that anyone now bothers to remember our wealth and world influence are built on a foundation of mass graves and destroyed lives.

And of course, some people would say that is history.  And they'd be right.  Such things did happen in the past.  But the past is important, because it gives us a context for the present.  If we were torturing Catholics in the 16th century, and Kenyans in the 1950s, and Muslims today, then we have continuity.  Its not that we have abandoned these high and mighty principles, its that we've never had them in the first place.  We built up an empire on the basis of blood and iron, and we exhausted our power trying to preserve that against multiple, revisionist powers who wished to do the same.  And now, with our power sapped, we see fit to play second fiddle to todays would be empire builders, partly to live vicariously through them, and partly out of jealousy and spite, hoping to be there to stick the knife in and twist when they ultimately fail, as most conscious imperialists do.

Today's Britain is a country that believes a few moments of glory and moral action can undo hundreds of years of misery, and that the world owes us a favour for those actions, and anyone who disagrees is a whiner, and probably brown and a foreigner too.  And even today, we cover up our actions in the language of necessity.  It was necessary to kidnap people and slit their genitals open, they might've bombed a British street.  It was necessary to suck up to a "statesman" who had political opponents boiled alive in oil.  It was necessary to go halfway across the world and aid in the destruction of a foreign power we knew posed no threat to us - and in a fight where we were not necessary, and were even given a let out clause by the power that launched the invasion.

That is Britain.

That is the country I am now a citizen of.

I didn't do it because I believe in the fake British values the affirmation sets forward.  I certainly care nothing for the principles Britain has based itself on historically.  I did it for the money.  For the access, for the freedom of movement, and because I hate being searched every time I go near an airport.

I did it for the money.  It still remains to be seen if I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 07:43:35 pm by Cain »

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2009, 07:44:13 pm »


I did it for the money.  It still remains to be seen if I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning.

Why shouldn't you?  Fuck the primates and their posturing.
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Cain

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2009, 07:48:35 pm »
Perhaps.  But still, in some small way, this feels like I'm saying "I validate the shitty stuff this country believes in, because I want to be part of it."

I don't, of course, but I can see that line of logic being pursued.  At least with being Australian, I can always just say I never asked to be born there.  Actively pursuing citizenship is something else.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2009, 07:51:02 pm »
Perhaps.  But still, in some small way, this feels like I'm saying "I validate the shitty stuff this country believes in, because I want to be part of it."

I don't, of course, but I can see that line of logic being pursued.  At least with being Australian, I can always just say I never asked to be born there.  Actively pursuing citizenship is something else.

You owe the humans nothing.  Use their system for what it's worth, and don't worry about "validating" them.  They do that for themselves, anyway, and they'd kill you on the spot if they ever figured out what you stand for.  Be the remora.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

That One Guy

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2009, 08:07:09 pm »
Perhaps.  But still, in some small way, this feels like I'm saying "I validate the shitty stuff this country believes in, because I want to be part of it."

I don't, of course, but I can see that line of logic being pursued.  At least with being Australian, I can always just say I never asked to be born there.  Actively pursuing citizenship is something else.

You owe the humans nothing.  Use their system for what it's worth, and don't worry about "validating" them.  They do that for themselves, anyway, and they'd kill you on the spot if they ever figured out what you stand for.  Be the remora.

This. The more documents you have to wave in their faces, the easier it is for you to use those documents to blind them to what it is you're REALLY doing. Hell, it even gives them the appearance that you're trying to be one of them, which will (hopefully) further blind them to those acts that fly in the face of that. Think of it as protective coloration, rather than formalizing an allegiance to an ideal or system.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2009, 08:37:58 pm »
Also, it isn't an actual sin to lie to humans.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Payne

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2009, 09:22:15 pm »
I feel this one Cain, I really do.

Many times I've considered formalising the arrangement and getting U.K. citizenship, and it's the kind of reasons you list there that hold me back. At the moment I'm in no danger of deportation (yet, anyway) and I don't particularly need the access either. For now, my Canadian passport will do.

As for the historical perspective, that's the kind of shit I tell people all the time. They never listen, damn them. They could do with actually finding that continuity and placing it in the context of the present. Patriots in rebels clothing.  :argh!:

:mittens:

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Re: Being faithful and bearing true alleigance...
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2009, 10:14:53 pm »
:mittens:

(sorry am a bit too tired to post anything semi insightful to go with the mittens, but that was a very good read, Cain)
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