Saturday, December 08, 2007

Personal Sovereignty & Duty As A Citizen

In a recent discussion on a group that I am on, the topic was raised, What Is Your Responsibility As A Citizen? In the context of maintaining one's personal sovereignty how does one balance these two concepts?

This seems to be an issue of confusion. Personal Sovereignty may be an attitude, it does not however, bestow rights over and beyond those that other individuals enjoy in fact - even though they may deny themselves what to me may be a privilege of assuming Personal Sovereignty. Some will view such a concept as anathema, and want no part of it. My Personal Sovereignty, if it is to be so, does not bestow on me the right to disregard the rights of others.

My responsibility as a citizen is to live within the legal boundaries set down for the community. My sense of duty to others may take many forms. When I step outside the boundaries dictated by the rules of the community in which I am a member, I may or may not be acting in the interests of the wider community. At this point however, I run the risk of allowing my own hubris to override that good of the community, as is generally agreed and set down in law... in favour of following my own whim. Good intentions aside, I am as problematic to the society to which I claim citizenship, as any with poor intentions, if the action is the same.

Within the context of the society in which we reside, and claim citizenship, there are many ways that we can exert our personal sovereignty. Pretending that this extends to having our own personal set of rules that owe nothing to the context of the society in which we live is not only foolish, it despoils the whole notion of Personal Sovereignty.

Even kings... especially kings... understand the limits of their office.

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