De nieuwe grenzen van de loyaliteit

LONDEN – Dit is een lastige tijd om een staat te zijn, en een nog lastiger tijd om burger te zijn. De natiestaat, de klassieke verschaffer van veiligheid en fundamenteel welzijn in ruil voor de loyaliteit van zijn burgers, wordt bedreigd – in eigen land én als basiseenheid op het internationale toneel.

Nieuwe soorten loyaliteit en verbondenheid vormen een uitdaging voor de traditionele rol van de staat. Soms heeft die loyaliteit een geografische lading. Alleen al in Europa zijn er minstens veertig aspirant-Schotlands die zich op een of andere manier willen afscheiden van de landen waarvan zij nu deel uitmaken. Andere vormen van loyaliteit zijn gebaseerd op anderssoortige vormen van verwantschap – die niet slechts religieus of etnisch van aard zijn, maar hun basis vinden in gedeelde commerciële, politieke of andere belangen. Vandaag de dag treden wij veel vaker op als pleitbezorgers van een NGO dan als leden van een politieke partij.

Kortom, onze loyaliteiten, vooral hier in het Westen, hebben zelden een meer verdeelde indruk gemaakt dan nu. Amartya Sen, winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de economie, heeft betoogd dat we met deze meervoudige identiteiten kunnen leren leven en zelfs ons voordeel kunnen doen met de verscheidenheid op het gebied van het burgerschap en de verbondenheid die zij ons toestaan.

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