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“Cruzing” Past the True Meaning of Citizenship

In this modern age, exclusive and reactionary citizenship is an unenlightened view, causing enormous death and destruction.

When U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced he had hired lawyers to denounce and get rid of his Canadian citizenship, it made one wonder if the Republican Party is not only the party of death, but an extremely exclusionary, reactionary sect within a state.

The same gloomy political party that vilified the estate tax, calling it “death taxes,” and that is warning of an Obama-apocalypse, by continually referring to “death panels” and a “death spiral,” has now pressured Senator Ted Cruz to forgo his dual citizenship.

The very first societies were actually families, then the tribe, then the village, and then the state. The concept of citizenship, or belonging to a state, did not exist and evolved only in relation to draconian leaders and oppressive institutions that seized “natural” liberties.

Authoritarian leaders demanded obedience, usurping even the sacred bonds of the family. They also imposed harsh institutions, organizing collective efforts of farming, irrigation, taxation, and the warehousing of food and redistribution for the “common good.”

Citizenship soon evolved into absolute obedience to a ruler’s ambitions, propagated through the state and enforced by an army. Seldom were they accepted by the people. As elite rulers and states multiplied, so did disputes and wars over land, wealth, and tribute.

Since the essence of good citizenship was to renounce one’s rights for the greater good, which is the state and its rulers, the individual loses many natural rights and liberties, including conscience. History has shown that even the most benign state tyrannized some.

Citizenship usually clothed itself with the same garments of the emperor. Individuals internalized aggression while also perceiving of imaginary borders. Allowing themselves to be subjected to arbitrary laws, they mobilized their personhood and resources for war.

Even democracy, in which citizens share political, economic, and social power, can unknowingly and unconsciously become totalitarian. This occurs when elite rulers manipulate the minds and behaviors of citizens to legitimize unfavorable, injurious laws.

States and political parties, which Jean-Jacque Rousseau believed should be outlawed, are naturally exclusionary. They absorb and incorporate the individual, including the exercise of their will and reason. The rest of humanity is subhuman: second-class citizens at best.

By denouncing his Canadian citizenship, Senator Ted Cruz, who will be a 2016 presidential candidate, has missed a golden opportunity to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal. He could have encouraged U.S. citizens to practice positive, inclusive citizenship.

It is also an ironic tactic, since he is multiethnic and multi-cultural, a favorite son of the Tea Party and Christian Right. The former consisted of newly arrived immigrants. The latter should live their global, heavenly citizenship that erases “all” kinds of boundaries.

Still, Senator Ted Cruz is from a state that was once home to many indigenous tribes. Later, it came under Spanish control, only to become a part of Mexico and then annexed by the U.S. Borders. These states are always changing, leaving citizenship forever in a state of flux.

While citizenship varies from state to state, in the United States it is synonymous with nationality, of one’s place of birth. It also entails being loyal to the Constitution and of being subjected to a host of laws and regulations.

In this modern age, exclusive and reactionary citizenship is an unenlightened view, causing enormous death and destruction. Senator Ted Cruz, or any other U.S. citizen, could have easily been born in Iraq, Bolivia, Germany, Afghanistan, or China.

At the same time, some U.S. citizens, including presidents and economic leaders, have done much more harm to the United States than most other citizens around the world-some of which have performed more admirably and have done more good.

To reverse negative citizenship, in order to return to a more “natural freedom” and a world without conflicts and wars, humanity will have to embrace a global citizenship, one measured with the merits of empathy, compassion, and inclusion.

A good starting point is to begin recognizing and living interdependently with the Global Family. Renouncing one’s membership in political factions-that always attack opponents or want to blame the economically disadvantaged-is important too.

If citizenship is fraternity, its foundation must always consist of love and empathy. And since love and empathy is never exclusionary, it must be global, embracing all of humankind. Perhaps this will be the next evolution for self-evident truths.

In other words, no matter where one is born on Earth, they are first and foremost a citizen of humanity. Maple leafs are just as symbolic as stars and stripes.

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