Arky: Loyalty

To whom do you owe your loyalty? Humans are naturally social critters who live in groups. While it may not be obvious to the modern man living in a large city, without the presence of other humans by your side your lifespan would be measured not in years, weeks or months but days or even hours. Therefore you owe your loyalty to that which most ensures your survival.

There is a bond of loyalty between my dog and I. If someone tries to break into the house at night the dog would wake me up and possibly save my life. In return I feed him. Therefore you could say I am loyal to my dog because I need him and vice versa.

But that isn’t it. Looking at the relationship as a transaction, as if it is just about food and shelter for security is incorrect. It would be more true to flip this on its head: I like the damn dog and that’s why I choose him to perform the required function of fur– covered burglar alarm. And he likes me, or he would bugger off and find some other stupid human to mooch off.

Looking at life as a completely transactional and rational set of problems to solve like the ultimate free market libertarian autist is incorrect. I’m loyal to my dog because I like him. He’s a good little bloke.

Media entities and sporting franchises are about to find out the foundation for loyalty: survival and likeability. Sports teams have nothing to offer you in the way of survival: long ago when sport was one village in mock battle against another there was a link to survival. But today your team isn’t the other blokes from your village or town. It is just a random collection of millionaires who go where the pay is best. So what about likeability? Do you really like corporate sport? Sponsors. Human resource departments. Full time athletes. Coaching departments. Tribunals. Salary caps. Drafts. Lawyers. Public relations. Security barriers. Bag checks. Tax payer funded stadia. 24 hour media coverage.  And now: Political activism.

So: To whom do you owe your ultimate loyalty?

You cannot owe your loyalty to a political party, government, church, team, club  or any other single organisation. All of these are subject to infiltration and take over by those elements who have antithetical aims to the founding doctrine of the organisation. And this is precisely what happens.

You cannot have loyalty to a single person. Because individual humans are corruptible. This is why I warn over and over again against putting faith in a figure such as Trump. Your loyalty is admirable but misplaced.

The internet age provides the answer: you owe your loyalty to that which opposes the greatest threat to your survival. The greatest threat to your ongoing survival is the elitist, undemocratic forces spreading across the globe.

That which opposes it is a motley collection of deviants, contrarians, larrikins and satirists loosely linked across cyberspace.

It is to that diffuse collection of human nodes in a vast network of like– minded individuals and the values of liberty they hold, to whom you should entrust your loyalty. You are one of them.

That liberty now requires an international collection of individuals to promulgate a set of patriotic ideas is a bit of a contradiction.

Never mind.

If you were putting your faith in a political party or individual candidate you were missing the point.

We are it.

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58 Responses to Arky: Loyalty

  1. RobK

    A collection of individuals valuing self determination, independence, liberty, responsibility etc is always going to be a bit like herding cats.

  2. Tom

    You cannot have loyalty to a single person. Because individual humans are corruptible. This is why I warn over and over again against putting faith in a figure such as Trump. Your loyalty is admirable but misplaced.

    Ah, so you’re a nihilist, Arky? Not interested in the political revolution POTUS45 is attempting? It’s a hell of a story we’re lucky enough to be witnessing in our time, not in the history books.

    Still, it’s a nice think piece, Arky.

  3. Herodotus

    These days you become a contrarian by exrcising a bit of common sense.
    Opposed to muslim immigration? Believe the climate scam is just that? Want Marriage left as is?
    Answer yes to any of these and you are branded as some sort of reactionary deplorable.
    What we are seeing is The Age Of Stupid.
    Our society has allowed the cultural shysters of the left media to dismantle our immune systems.
    Politicians are now cowed by PC notions that render them impotent, and the armed forces are headed the same way. Much of the judiciary is lost.

  4. Wilma

    Much of the judiciary is lost.

    Herodotus you obviously don’t live in Queensland.

  5. sfw

    Funny how Trump demonstrated where the NFL fans loyalty lay. I don’t know anyone who supports Trump whatever he does nor do they have ‘faith’ in him, whatever that means. They just want him to succeed in fulfilling his promises.

    You seem to have a point to make but this confused mash just brings your TDS to the fore.

  6. Terry

    “The greatest threat to your ongoing survival is the elitist, undemocratic forces spreading across the globe.”

    And what was Trump against?

    You don’t have to like Trump to admire the stand he has taken and the way in which he has done it.

  7. Awake

    “We are it.”

    And Trump will say “we are it too”.

  8. jupes

    What we are seeing is The Age Of Stupid.

    Indeed.

    Politicians are now cowed by PC notions that render them impotent, and the armed forces are headed the same way.

    No. The armed forces are leading the way. I’m pretty sure Monash didn’t come back from the Great War and declare that the AIF needed more diverstity, women in the infantry, celebrations of homosexuality, transexuals and people who literally don’t know whether they are Arthur or Martha.

    But that’s where we are now.

  9. Fergus

    Now, the ADF is where the confused and the lost go. There, or to drugs.
    In non war time, it was once where the kid who wanted adventure and realized he needed a bit of discipline went.
    The confused joined the priesthood or nunnery.

  10. RAZOR

    Thoughtfull disection Arky.
    However I think it is misdirected on this site. My reading of comments over time indicates there is a rich vein of independent thinking here. Thus I would comment that most here would view loyalty is nor described as to a person, rather:
    Loyalty is to one’s conscience, commonsense and an open mind.

  11. struth

    You cannot have loyalty to a single person. Because individual humans are corruptible. This is why I warn over and over again against putting faith in a figure such as Trump. Your loyalty is admirable but misplaced

    you owe your loyalty to that which opposes the greatest threat to your survival. The greatest threat to your ongoing survival is the elitist, undemocratic forces spreading across the globe.

    From this I see where Trump derangement comes from.

    People confusing support with “loyalty” and “faith”.

    Arky, as Trump is fighting the global socialist elite, so he gets my full support.
    The second he walks away from that stand I walk away from Trump.

    Until then, he deserves all the support he can get and all the support I can muster.

    I look at Trump as an ally in my war, not a king to swear allegiance and loyalty to.
    A much more powerful ally, with the ability to achieve what I cannot without him, and ultimately he can’t without us, (or at least his supporters in the states)
    Am I loyal to Trump or what he stands for?
    I am loyal to western civilisation, Christian based culture and freedom.
    I support those that are as well.
    Are you?
    Seeing that the characters on the internet are fine to be loyal to, in your books, but Trump isn’t, yet all are human, TDS has clouded your ability to reasonable judgement.
    Support is not loyalty, Arky, but using your logic, you want me to be loyal to humans on the internet, but not a human in the white house? TDS.
    I am not confused about where my loyalties lie.
    With the west and the values that built it, the values people fought and died for, and I supportt those who fight for it, as you should.
    It really is that simple.

    I see now how TDS takes hold, and it appears true in every case.
    It forms in those needing to and wanting to “follow” a leader, a tribalist, instead of standing tall themselves and being loyal to values.
    Trump isn’t perfect, but he’s deserving of my support, and I don’t know anyone on this planet more deserving of it, as we all take in our next breath.
    I am not “loyal” to Trump.
    I am loyal to the west.

  12. struth
    #2512195, posted on October 2, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Wha’ ‘e said govnah.

  13. johanna

    Well said, Struth.

    No politician (or anyone else) is perfect in this world, but we have to make choices or have those choices made for us.

    A vote for Trump was a vote against Hillary – and boy, did the US dodge a bullet there. Corrupt, dishonest, neurotic, vicious, are just some of the adjectives that come to mind.

    That goes for life more generally. The perfect is the enemy of the good. It has nothing to do with giving unconditional, eternal endorsement to anyone or anything.

    And, while you claim that your dog is fed and housed as a burglar alarm, you admit later that you like him anyway. Not a lot of pets are kept for their functionality these days. Cats, for example, no longer have mouse-ridden homes or barns to patrol. But they are still popular.

    Still, it was an entertaining think-piece, and made me, for one, clarify my thoughts on some issues. Thanks.

  14. egg_

    These days you become a contrarian by exrcising a bit of common sense.
    Opposed to muslim immigration? Believe the climate scam is just that? Want Marriage left as is?
    Answer yes to any of these and you are branded as some sort of reactionary deplorable.
    What we are seeing is The Age Of Stupid.

    The age of Facebook virtue signalling?
    Re the climate scam – isn’t the ‘vironment a second string issue to Joe Public?
    The shiny new SUV always trumps people ‘drowning’ on some low lying coral atoll?

  15. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    A nice piece, Arky. Hairy said after yesterday’s Grand Final that in thirty years there will be no loyalty in the old-fashioned way to various codes of football, that we are living in the remnants of an old-style era of local feelings and hopes, an era under disintegration. I think he longs for what he sees as the real days sport, when he first arrived in Sydney and league football was still a neighbourhood working-class tradition. Part of it, I say comfortingly, is just getting a bit old and nostalgic. When you are young you accept the world as a place that exists sui generis in which to make memories, not a place where you live by recalling them. If you must remember, remember only the good.

    Keep optimistic and see each day as a new one; my philosophy which gets me through life.

    As for loyalties, the main loyalty owed is to your immediate family. Your parents, spouse and dependent children and pets. Then your rellies and friends past and present: love them or merely put up with them, they’re yours; some more so than others. Then to your country, its history and the people who made it. In all of this you owe a loyalty to yourself, to be true to the things you believe are right, to exercise your brain, to have a laugh, and as you say, to find others who also think your way, in real life, and via the internet. Everyone needs friends, however you make and meet them: through work, through your neighbourhood, through hobbies and interests, through political activities, or through the heroic battles and shifting coalitions on Catallaxy, which is an extraordinary institution of the new era – self-regulating, abrasive, kindly, amusing, sharing, sharp, inclusive, and somehow it all hangs together. Changing though, as the population expands. Rather like life itself. 🙂

  16. egg_

    A vote for Trump was a vote against Hillary

    Yup, the sentiment of elections – time to give the other bloke a fair go.

  17. jupes

    Do you really like corporate sport? Sponsors. Human resource departments. Full time athletes. Coaching departments. Tribunals. Salary caps. Drafts. Lawyers. Public relations. Security barriers. Bag checks. Tax payer funded stadia. 24 hour media coverage. And now: Political activism.

    I love the footy both because of some of the things mentioned above and despite some of the things mentioned above.

    People are still loyal to their teams regardless of where the players actually come from. Take a walk in Richmond today and see for yourself what a grand final victory does for a suburb. That place will be pumping for months.

  18. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    The shiny new SUV always trumps people ‘drowning’ on some low lying coral atoll?

    Those coral atolls are sinking rather than being drowned by any sea level rise. It’s what coral atolls and volcanic islands do over geological time, the atolls more quickly than the islands. New ones also form and populations are often on the move: there are more Cook Islanders in New Zealand and Australia than in the Cook Islands, for example. And more Irish worldwide by far than live in Ireland these days. We call them diasporas, guys, and there is nothing wrong with that, if done in a controlled way.

    The climate change hoax plays well into these Pacific island circumstances, where people can see their backyards underwater through the sinking process. The solution is to move to higher ground on other islands and accept that everywhere on earth has its geological issues. Half of eastern Britain’s chalky coastline is slowly falling into the North Sea, for instance, due to the North Sea still settling into its trough after the collapse of the Dogger Bank eight thousand years ago. Alternatively, in Scandinavia land is still rising along some coastlines due to the pressure of the ice age ice being removed with the great melt.

    Sure, I’ll help if one little atoll somewhere becomes uninhabitable. Just as I’ll help if a hurricane hits some poverty stricken place during the world’s hurricane season, or if a volcano blows or a an earthquake shudders or a tsunami hits. But I’ll still have my new SUV, thanks. Nothing wrong with that.

  19. pbw

    First up, kudos to Sinc for letting a hundred flowers bloom. CF is an ornament to libertarian thinking.

    Looking at life as a completely transactional and rational set of problems to solve like the ultimate free market libertarian autist is incorrect.

    Libertarian autist is just lovely.
    The autists have, in recent times, been joined by the Orwellian libertarians: people like Janet Albrecht who, from the perspective of her libertarianism, supports SSM legislation. Here was I thinking that the common law, and social institutions like, especially, marriage, that arose spontaneously from the lived experience of human beings in community were pretty much the gold standard for libertarians. I imagined that centralised attempts to override such grassroots organisation would be resisted tooth and nail as representing the worst kinds of anti-libertarian thinking.
    Silly me. Real libertarianism is having the federal government invent an unprecedented pantomime of the fundamental commitment of social organisation, and impose that fantasy on the rest of society.
    Who’d a thunk it?

  20. Driftforge

    Arky, as Trump is fighting the global socialist elite, so he gets my full support.
    The second he walks away from that stand I walk away from Trump.

    And yet this is in an environment where the Cathedral is trying every day to convince you that your leader – whoever they are – has done just that. The difficulty today is communication, and truth in communication. This is why the imposition of the ‘fake news’ label on the MSM has been so damaging – its disrupted a previously reliable mechanism for the Cathedral to propagandise their troops.

    What we see today is this constant ‘demand for leadership’ that is filled on a temporary basis by whosoever is standing up at the time. This avoids the problems you point out, but also results in a incredible lack of consistent direction. Unfortunately, consistent direction is what is required to move rightward – away from the chaos of the collapse that leftism is movement towards.

    So we need something better, something more. We need fealty that doesn’t switch and change depending on the weather, or depending on what the media says about your leader today, and even their failings. The problem is that we haven’t learned to scale fealty to the extent that we have scaled association, nor ‘fealty-at-a-distance’. So you have to work locally, with people you can build real trust in, and build robust local connections that can persist in the face of opposition.

    All of which democracy works against. Democracy is about the collection of tokens of minimal trust, that demark power transference and ensure that the system itself retains the vast majority of the power, even as politicians come and go. It encourages us to place a degree of faith in distant theater, rather than develop great faith in those immediately in your circles.

    So its not the ‘undemocratic’ nature of the elitist forces that is the problem. It is the lack of bounds, of localisation, of a greater trust that is the real problem. Democracy is part of the problem.

  21. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    an unprecedented pantomime

    Yep. That’s a good one. Fully descriptive.

  22. Helen

    Lizzie, it struck me as I read your post that in fact we are asking Muslim families to be loyal to their country above their family. Where do we draw the line in family loyalty?

    Struth postulates that we may be confusing support with loyalty. I am inclined to agree. I will not blindly support something I know to be false, be it political, family or whatever. So my loyalty does have boundaries.

    Will think on this some more.

  23. Helen

    Their country being Australia that is.

  24. Bruce in WA

    Nice piece, Arky. I was comfortable as to where my loyalties lie, but you made me go back to reaffirm (or otherwise) those beliefs.

    ‘This above all: to thine own self be true.’

  25. max

    Over 40 years ago, I heard a lecture by one of the great conservative minds of the 20th century, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. He made a crucially important observation. He spoke of his own father.

    His father had been a bureaucrat in the Austrian government. His father had sworn a loyalty oath to the Emperor prior to World War I. After the defeat of the Emperor in World War I, his father swore a loyalty oath to the democratic government that replaced the Empire in Austria. After the triumph of the Nazis in 1938, he swore loyalty to the Nazi regime. After World War II, he swore loyalty to the postwar Austrian regime.

    Kuennelt-Leddihn drew the correct conclusion: the 20th century destroyed the concept of loyalty in Europe. Loyalty today is something that is sworn temporarily, but it has nothing binding about it spiritually. It is strictly pragmatic. You swear a loyalty oath to the prevailing rulers, but if these rulers are defeated, you immediately switch your loyalty to the winners.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/10771.cfm

    “In a major crisis, which non-coercive institutions would intervene to take up the obligations that the State has commandeered in the name of social justice?”

    Families are the first line of defense. Only in families are there deep reservoirs of loyalty and duty to members.
    Gary North

  26. johanna

    Lizzie, it is true about tribal/geographic loyalty to footy teams.

    As I have said here before, I grew up in the Sutherland Shire, where the Dragons ruled supreme. Then, the Cronulla Sharks started up, and my Maths teacher (John Maguire) and a schoolmate (Mick Mullane) were in the team.

    I’m not a sports fan, at all, but I barracked enthusiastically for those guys and their team. There was a real connection.

    Nowadays, when players in all sports are traded like commodities, that connection is gone.

    For an insight into the connection, I recommend Peter Temple’s early books. One of his set pieces is a trio of ancient supporters of (I think, Footscray?) which changed its name and moved to Queensland. The Youth Club, as the narrator calls them, know every detail of the club’s long history.

    Supporters of modern clubs are unlikely to have that kind of loyalty.

  27. Helen

    max, but at what point does loyalty to your family become simply wrong? When you find one shoplifting? Or drink driving? Or abusing their spouse? Or abusing children? I think that loyalty can only be ”up to a point’ and that point will be different for each of us.

    Your first loyalty must be to yourself and what you judge to be right or wrong. But with this comes the responsibility to speak out.

  28. johanna

    Helen, you hit on a sensitive issue.

    The best definition of a real friend, ally or family member is that they support you when you are down. They support you when everything is against you. Otherwise, what differentiates them from anyone on the street?

    It is One of Life’s Great Questions.

  29. candy

    max, but at what point does loyalty to your family become simply wrong?

    Mothers still visit their sons in prison for very serious crimes. David Hicks’ father stood by him despite the treason.
    Blood is thicker than water.

  30. C.L.

    To whom do you owe your loyalty?

    1. God.
    2. Family.
    3. Friends (of whom there would no more than a few, properly so-called).
    4. Country.

  31. C.L.

    The intersection here of culture, loyalty and politics leads me to point out for the record that Australian libertarians have (yet) again put loyalty to bourgeois Marxist elites ahead of their loyalty to freedom, re marriage.

  32. egg_

    The shiny new SUV always trumps people ‘drowning’ on some low lying coral atoll?

    Sarc tag implied, of course.

  33. JohnA

    Clearly thought-provoking, Arky – thanks.

    Occasionally being behind the wave of commentary allows one the luxury of responding thuswise:

    Tom #2512140, posted on October 2, 2017, at 5:20 am

    You cannot have loyalty to a single person. Because individual humans are corruptible. This is why I warn over and over again against putting faith in a figure such as Trump. Your loyalty is admirable but misplaced.

    Ah, so you’re a nihilist, Arky? Not interested in the political revolution POTUS45 is attempting? It’s a hell of a story we’re lucky enough to be witnessing in our time, not in the history books.

    No, Tom, a realist.

    Driftforge #2512254, posted on October 2, 2017, at 10:15 am

    Arky, as Trump is fighting the global socialist elite, so he gets my full support.
    The second he walks away from that stand I walk away from Trump.

    And yet this is in an environment where the Cathedral is trying every day to convince you that your leader – whoever they are – has done just that. The difficulty today is communication, and truth in communication. This is why the imposition of the ‘fake news’ label on the MSM has been so damaging – its disrupted a previously reliable mechanism for the Cathedral to propagandise their troops.

    What we see today is this constant ‘demand for leadership’ that is filled on a temporary basis by whosoever is standing up at the time. This avoids the problems you point out but also results in an incredible lack of consistent direction. Unfortunately, consistent direction is what is required to move rightward – away from the chaos of the collapse that leftism is movement towards.

    Up to here Driftforge, I haven’t seen any comment on the need for loyalty to significant transcendence (but see C.L. later).
    Loyalty to abstract values like “leadership” or “liberty” (equality? fraternity?) and concepts such as “Western civilization” still can’t give us the level of constancy you seek.

    C.L. #2512327, posted on October 2, 2017, at 11:27 am

    To whom do you owe your loyalty?

    1. God.
    2. Family.
    3. Friends (of whom there would no more than a few, properly so-called).
    4. Country.

    Getting closer.

    Ten Commandments, Reader’s Digest edition (well, mine really):
    1. Worship God.
    2. Love People.
    3. Use Things.

    Number 1 is the only place for unshakeable loyalty. He never changes. He laughs at puny leaders who think they can shake their fists at Him and run the universe better (by which they mean “better for me”).

    Number 2 includes or implies CL’s rankings – you can’t lavish your attention and seek the best equally for 24 million Australians, so you naturally discriminate in favour of those closest to you.

    And until such time as God restores true Justice and makes us incorruptible, most of our problems come from mixing up those three.

    For example in this thread – worshipping Trump, instead of supporting him and wishing him to be able to do the very best, to make the best possible job of being POTUS. On the opposite side hating Trump (derived from worshipping leftist ideals such as Hillary, or progressivism, or Stalin, or Rousseau).

    Elsewhere, the Greenie Religion worships Things (the unspoiled natural environment) and actively hates people (because they understand half the truth which Arky pointed out – that people are corruptible/imperfect), so its adherents promote anti-people policies. And Materialists worship Things, too, holding to the silly mantra that “whoever dies with the most toys, wins”. As well as Things, they tend to use People and even God to achieve their goals. Then again, fanatics and fans of all sorts worship People – film stars, authors, sports heroes or figures from history. Visibly the worst are those who worship political or ideological people, and Cats already understand the deaths that can cause.

    Conclusion: life will go much better if we DON’T mix them up. 🙂

    [Steps down, dismantles portable soap-box and retires from the scene of intellectual battle to other duties].

  34. DrBeauGan

    I don’t understand the loyalty thing. Insofar as it means subjugating the self to some tribe, whether a footy team, a religion, a political group or a country, I don’t have any. M0nty does, I don’t. I would think it contemptible to give up what I believe to be true or right for what some group does, no matter how large or powerful the group. Barracking for our afro-american basketball players over someone else’s afro-american basketball players looks insane to me. There seems to be a need many have for submerging themselves into a collective. I don’t have this need. I think it disgusting.

    I don’t need or want a leader to tell me what to think or feel. Still less a gang. I will work it out for myself, thanks. I don’t have a dog or cat, if I did I understand that I have a duty to protect it and would. But I have a duty to protect the weak generally, particularly women and children. These days that’s mainly an obligation to save them from the consequences of their own stupidity, and that conflicts with an obligation to see them learn from their own blunders.

    I think Arky is confusing several different things here.

  35. Rob MW

    This is why I warn over and over again against putting faith in a figure such as Trump. Your loyalty is admirable but misplaced.

    I would have to slightly disagree Arky.

    Trump personally and purposefully made himself the primary target against the ‘Kaepernick’ type police and law enforcement protest onslaught perpetuated by groups like the Soros funded Black Lives Matter. A good commander in chief will always stand in front of his/her troops and take the hit.

    Likewise, the Democrat mayor of San Juan, Puerta Rico, essentially decided to attack the first responders for their recovery efforts following the devastating hurricane and once again Trump personally and purposefully made himself the primary target in counter attacking this lowly and morally corrupt mayor, again, as a good commander in chief would do, taking the hit.

    It is extremely hard to imagine that either Obama, Bush(2), Clinton and Bush(1) having the political guts to stand in front of their troops and take the leftist MSM hit.

    In my life time I have never seen such loyalty towards those that try to protect lives, property and liberty from those that seek to destroy the very fabric of what binds civic loyalty in the first instance.

  36. Arky

    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.
    All of which, dispite not being in agreement with either the original post or each other, contain considerable truth.

  37. Arky

    Reality is chunky and sometimes hard to corner.

  38. C.L.

    Interesting post, Arkster.

  39. thefrolickingmole

    Im sure Trump will let people down, same as Howard managed on a number of crucial issues.
    Theres no point dying in a ditch for a position based on a politicians speech bubbles, and the cancer of party politics and “I vote for them because my dad did” has got us to here, now, and its not pretty.

    Family and friends deserve loyalty, everyone else should have to earn it.

  40. Muddy

    What an interesting place this Cat-cave is. I don’t think I can add anything to the responses contributed thus far, including several I am still pondering. Humans are fascinating.

  41. struth

    It’s a great post Arky, because it has made people think about democracy, tribalist loyalty(the left) and that we on the right are not loyal to a higher human, but a higher cause that we as individuals believe.

    That’s why it’s herding cats compared to group dumb on the left.
    They want and need masters.
    E.g. If I say I’m loyal to the queen, I am actually loyal to the crown.

  42. iampeter

    +1 DrBeauGan.

    I don’t really understand the point of the article either. Insofar as loyalty is good or bad, depends largely on what you are being loyal to and why.

    In terms of politics, loyalty is used by leftists, thugs and dictators to get from people something as an alternative to what they can never have, which is peoples genuine respect and a moral sanction.

    To actual right wingers, to individualists, concepts like loyalty are only relevant in an internal context – i.e. loyalty to your own ideas and your honest pursuit of the right ideas. It’s not really about other people at all, because right wingers aren’t trying to herd anyone anywhere.

    The problem is that almost no one these days actually has the first clue what an alternative to the left even remotely looks like and only offer up their own versions of leftism.

  43. I’ve really enjoyed this thread. Thanx Arky, Sinc and the many commenters.

    Re: Loyalty and Trump.
    The thing about Trump is that he constantly displays HIS loyalty to America. This in turn evokes a return loyalty from the very many patriotic Americans.
    Trump seems to have redrawn the battle lines from one of a political divide to one of a patriotic divide. Even minorities who feel patriotic seem to support Trump.
    Those MAGA hats are not economic messages, they are patriotic messages.

  44. Muddy

    The problem is that almost no one these days actually has the first clue what an alternative to the left even remotely looks like and only offer up their own versions of leftism.

    This is possibly one of the most incisive comments I’ve read on here in at least a few moons.

  45. egg_

    I don’t understand the loyalty thing. Insofar as it means subjugating the self to some tribe, whether a footy team, a religion, a political group or a country

    Thatcher’s “there is no such thing as society”?
    Agree re the Left being herd animals.

  46. Peter Castieau

    Thanks for the post Arky and those that responded.

    It helps sharpen the mind. Loved Struth’s contribution.

  47. Delta A

    Razor summed it up at 9.01 am.

    Loyalty is to one’s conscience, commonsense and an open mind.

    Good post, Arky. You’ve certainly set the Cats a-thinking and a-chatting.

  48. Perfidious Albino

    Best thread in ages – thanks Arky – thought provoking and congenial.

    My thoughts align most closely to Struth’s I think, but with lots of pause for thought as everyone else’s responses roll through.

  49. Helen

    I was still pondering this while I was walking weaners away. The sun was hot and the pace was slow allowing for some contemplation. And I hit upon the reason behind my dilemma. I was thinking that Loyalty was good as in God do no evil good. But this is not always true, it can be bad, and blind.

    For instance, allegiance sworn to Mafia Dons is a form of loyalty. And to Isis. But when I was thinking of loyalty I was thinking of a kind of Chivalrous loyalty and having difficulty reconciling a familial loyalty that would overlook bad or evil stuff.

    When I think of the idea of loyalty now, it sits more easily upon my mind. Mine is what I make it to be and to whom and I know what my boundaries are. And each of us will be different. Some of us have allegiance to one thing collectively as in a footy club or a political party. Each of us within that collective will be more or less loyal. The the same people will be loyal to other things at the same time, such loyalty might be stronger or weaker than the collective loyalty and when and if they overlap, decisions will be made accordingly.

    Some above listed their loyalty to people etc on order of strength of loyalty. Some spoke of loyalty as being about survival. Swearing allegiance to the new boss each time one came along.

    It seems to me loyalty is a term to describe our allegiance to certain thoughts, actions, people, place. It can be stronger or weaker. Others may feel the same to a greater or lesser extent about each. It may or may not be for life as in lay down your life for your Laird or your belief or your loved ones. Or for life may be a softer looser association, like for a footy club.

    It can be fluid and changing over time, not set in stone. Or it can be a mountain that cannot be moved.

    Interesting. Thanks for sparking the thoughts, all and especially Arky. More, please.

  50. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Where do we draw the line in family loyalty?

    Helen, I don’t think you have to approve of something a family member does to be loyal to them in that you offer support and try to see their point of view, even if you have to tell them in the end that you disagree. Then you have to agree to disagree. I hope I was clear that when I said you have to be loyal to yourself and that applies politically and everywhere else. I am very loyal to my Big Sis, although she’s a rabid greenie and has attitudes to her children (and my cat!) that I find problematic. We’ve grown up together (sort of) and been through a lot together, and she is a truly remarkable person whom I know would be there for me in any crisis, as I would be for her.

    Not long ago I was supporting a close male rellie in a court proceding, and an older Muslim lady and I were the only people in the waiting room. Pointing into the courtroom, I put my hand on my heart re my rellie, and she did the same back to me. Common humanity draws people together. A young shirtless man on Fox news now had given his shirt to help others who like him attended a Las Vegas concert tonight. He was in shock, and simply said ‘America is not like this, we all want to help each other’. I don’t know what this means about loyalty, but it is just me pondering reaching out to people and how that is something we all do and need to do. 50 dead and 400 in hospitals; shocking stuff.

  51. pbw

    Lizzie,

    I don’t think you have to approve of something (…) family member[s] do(…) to be loyal to them

    Turn it around. I am loyal to my family until they do things I disapprove of. What meaning is left in the word?

    Loyalty has a lot to do with love. Love (an act of the will) is not possible without loyalty.

  52. bollux

    A very thoughtful post. Thanks. I am conflicted re some ideas of loyalty i.e. I like some friends a lot more than some family. How do we get all these clever, thinking people together. If only we could organise like Antifa. But then we would be them.

  53. hzhousewife

    Yep, great post Arky, thank you.

  54. A collection of individuals valuing self determination, independence, liberty, responsibility etc is always going to be a bit like herding cats.

    I seen what you did there, Rob.

  55. The shiny new SUV always trumps people ‘drowning’ on some low lying coral atoll?

    Not drowning, waving for money.

  56. Tel

    You swear a loyalty oath to the prevailing rulers, but if these rulers are defeated, you immediately switch your loyalty to the winners.

    No, you swear loyalty to a Constitution, which includes a methodology for peaceful transition of power. Whether that works better or worse than a royal dynasty is arguable, but there’s no switching loyalty involved.

    I might also point out the classic Feudal declaration, “The King is dead, long live the King.” What I’m saying is that the controlled transition of power surrounded by institutions is hardly a new thing.

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