It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
What is loyalty? Too little of it, and society crumbles. Too much of it, and you get blinded from the truth. How much loyalty is “just enough”? There are no “Loyalty Laws” set in stone, so how do we know when or to whom we should be loyal? We don’t.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, being loyal is to be “faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product”. In the excerpt, James Carville states “Moreover, people are often loyal to something bad.” I disagree with that statement. The same way there are no universal “Loyalty Laws”; there are no concrete laws that define good and bad. Good and bad is subjective to people’s opinions, and the society in which those people live. For example, in American society, it is taboo to not restrict some of your bodily functions such as burping, or flatulence. However, in Japanese society, it is considered polite to burp in a restaurant as it shows that you’ve enjoyed the chef’s food. So, knowing that, you cannot come to the conclusion that something is neither good nor bad due to the fact that they are merely opinions.
Loyalty is important, and is one of things that helped the human race get to where we are now. The early nomads banded together to form tribes. Loyalty to the tribe strengthened the bonds between the members and helped the tribe survive. The wandering tribes eventually merged with other tribes to form static communities. The communities grew to form towns, cities, and eventually countries. With the rise of nationalism in the late 19th century, people began feeling a sense of pride and loyalty to the state. This helped strengthen human bonds even more. But, as I stated above, too much loyalty can also be dangerous. A fine example of this is Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The Germans, after getting excited by Hitler’s speeches started feeling a great sense of pride in their nation and people. Hitler then began his “ethnic cleansing” program to exterminate all non-Germans, which not many Germans opposed. Nazi Germany is also an excellent example of conflicting loyalties. Germans who had Jewish friends turned their friends in instantly. The loyalty to their state overridden their loyalty to their friends.
So, should people be loyal, knowing the fact that loyalty is the basis for human civilization and that loyalty could be the thing that breaks it down? In my opinion, yes. But, like everything else in life, loyalty needs to be taken in moderation. You cannot be loyal to just anyone, and when you do pledge your loyalty to someone you mustn’t get carried away. Loyalty can either make or break you.
We have established that loyalty helped the human race get to where we are now, but is loyalty still a big issue here in 21st century American society? Nowadays, loyalty stretches beyond just “binding the tribe” into things like “loyalty in the work place”, being a “loyal customer”, and being a “loyal politician”. Depending on the morals you were instilled with as a child, your level of loyalty may differ from others. Since the human race has stopped being nomadic tribes, settled, and mixed around, each person’s morals and views of the world are different in some shape, way, or form. This causes massive problems in today’s society. We have “holy wars” between people with different views of the world and loyalties to different gods. The United States is divided amongst different political parties each fighting and arguing over how “our” oil got under their sand, with each side knowing in their heart that they are the correct ones. The issue of loyalty has truly gone above and beyond what most might consider tolerable. Things like this show that more is definitely less. People went from being loyal to their tribe in order to survive, to killing the very people that you tried to keep alive over minor differences.
From the single nomad, to the great cities we have now, the human race has truly gone a long way. Without the sense of loyalty, I’m sure the human population would never have reached the massive number of 6.6 billion, and growing. Even though there are no universal loyalty laws set in stone, we as the human race can only go by our perception of the world and the morals our parents have established in us at a young age.