The Third Place: On Citizenship

The concept of “Citizenship” undergoes a transformation in the third Mode of Production. In the preceding Entry, I mentioned that Citizenship is not conferred until the Self begins their secondary education. This is an important one because, prior to the State of Total Mobilization, Citizenship was conferred to small minorities of individual Selves for millennia. The citizen-soldier, the elector, and the officeholder were the only ones who had true Citizenship. It was not until rather recently, during the past two or so centuries, that Citizenship was conferred to the Totality.

How Governments Determine Citizenship

Today, one does not have to be in the central government or in the armed forces to be a “citizen.” The basis by which somebody is conferred citizenship in most countries around the world is based around blood and wealth. Legally speaking, they are referred to as “Jus Sanguinis” and “Jus Soli” respectively.

  • Jus Sanguinis: The Self was born into a family whose ancestral lineage reflects their affiliation with the nation. To receive Citizenship, one needs to be born to at least one parent who shares the same nationality as that nation.
  • Jus Soli: The Self was born on the land of the nation and therefore their affiliation with the nation is based on that fact alone. To receive Citizenship, one needs to be born anywhere within the legal jurisdiction of the nation.             

In the US, it is well-known that Citizenship is conferred to Americans on the basis of Jus Soli. If one can prove that they were in fact born on US soil, then they will be considered as US citizens, hence the concept of Jus Soli. However, the US also relies on a limited form of Jus Sanguinis to determine Citizenship for the children of US citizens with foreign spouses. Either parent with US Citizenship will suffice. For the rest of the world, most countries rely on Jus Sanguinis to determine Citizenship before entertaining any and all notions of Jus Soli.

The State of Total Mobilization set the precedent where Citizenship can be conferred to all men and women without Productive Property-as-Power (if under Production for Dasein) or Private Property-as-Wealth (if under Production for Profit or Production for Utility). It coincided with the ability of propertyless men and women to vote and to run for political offices in either the Representative model (Parliamentary Democracy) or the Delegative model (Council Democracy) of democratic governance. Ethnic minorities were also given Citizenship as well.

However, in the midst of these trends, the concept of Citizenship became detached from its original unity of Legal Duties and Legal Rights. Part of the problem associated with why Citizenship was limited to a small minority of people involved in government has everything to do with the Legal Duties and Legal Rights themselves. When the State of Total Mobilization came into being, the Totality was able to realize that everyone was ready to receive more Legal Rights than they once had in centuries past. By placing so much emphasis on the Legal Rights, the concept of Legal Duties has been neglected in the legal jurisprudence of most nations.

Of course, this is not to suggest that the proponents of Legal Duties had no contributions to this problem. They too had their own role and it has everything to do with the fact that not only did they sought to challenge the movements in favor of greater Legal Rights, they also failed to preserve the Legal Duties which made those Legal Rights so special to begin with. Every Legal Right must be balanced by a Legal Duty. Without Legal Duties, Legal Rights become excuses to do as one pleases, unaccountable to the consequences of their own actions. Conversely, without Legal Rights, the legitimacy of Legal Duties will be open to question for constraining the ability of the Totality to exercise their Legal Rights, in addition to being perceived as unjust.  

What was the obvious consequence of this overemphasis on Legal Rights to the absolute exclusion of Legal Duties? How did this affect the Western world and its interactions with the rest of humanity? How much of this trend was influenced by Neoliberalism and how much of it was done by social reform movements that wanted to address genuine social injustices?   

Legal Rights in the Western World

In an America and Western world controlled by the Empire of Liberty, a world order predominately characterized by Parliamentary Democracies, Market/Mixed Economies, Fractional-Reserve Banking Systems, and OECD-Type Student Economies, this has led to many of the problems related to their social policies. By the mid-to-late 20th century century, it was assumed for granted that everyone is entitled to a vast array of Legal Rights devoid of Legal Duties. They include specific examples like the “Right to Education,” the “Right to Healthcare,” the “Right to Food and Water,” the “Right to Shelter,” and so forth. Everything was conferred to their Totalities on the sole basis that everyone within those same Totalities had the correct Citizenship. The consensus more or less continued well into the early 21st century.

This all sounds great on paper until one realizes how that consensus came into question during the Death of Bretton Woods. Neoliberalism realized that a lot of these Legal Rights happened to be related to the “social safety net” designed to prevent everyday people from realizing Pure Socialism. In essence, those Legal Rights were in actuality products of Production of Utility, which meant that they can be readily converted back into products of Production for Profit. When the Liberal Capitalists discovered that those Legal Rights are extensions of Welfare Capitalism, they had their funding slashed and the programs themselves privatized. Thus, they could argue that those actions could not be considered as ‘infringements’ on the Legal Rights of the Totality insofar as these same Legal Rights can still be bought with Kapital.   

Other Legal Rights were changed by the loss of certain Legal Duties. Citizenship once meant that one had the Legal Right to acquire Productive/Personal Properties-as-Power, in addition to turning the latter into Enterprises. It also meant that in order to a “Pension,” one needed to serve in the armed forces as either a volunteer or as a conscript. The Legal Duties that came with those Legal Rights have ceased to exist when it became possible for citizens and foreigners alike to own and operate Properties if they had enough Kapital, thereby giving rise to the dynamics of Private/Common Properties-as-Wealth. A likewise case occurred with the formal end of conscription into the workforces or the armed forces throughout the Western world. Proposals like “Universal Basic Income (UBI),” even in its original conception as Milton Friedman’s “Negative Income Tax” proposal, can be seen as extensions of this same overarching phenomenon.  

By eliminating Legal Duties, practically anyone possessing Citizenship can be entitled to receiving Legal Rights. The real problem with this issue becomes obvious when one is forced to ascertain the question of ‘selling’ Citizenship to the wealthy for Kapital. The moment Citizenship becomes a transactional sale in exchange for anything, that is when the nation gets treated as a trust fund as one among many manifestations of Neoliberalism. Since Citizenship no longer comes with any Legal Duties that would bind the Self to the Totality through lifelong vocational civil service, what is the point of being a citizen to begin with? Is it no wonder why, in the context of immigration law, the influx of non-Western foreigners into the Western world have stoked fears of demographic decline and xenophobic sentiments?

After all, the concept of Citizenship in the Western world has Legal Rights divorced from Legal Duties. This means that citizens will be forced to ‘compete’ for Welfare Capitalist programs like housing, education, healthcare, and other Legal Rights affected by the paradigm shared by the first and second Modes of Production under Neoliberalism. The question confronting people in the “Political Left” and “Political Right” of the Left-Right Political Spectrum concerns the distribution of those kinds of Legal Rights. Should they be restricted to citizens and legal immigrants or should they be extended to illegal immigrants?

The issue itself is made more apparent in the context of the movement of people across international borders under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The current ideological language among certain Liberal Capitalist factions is to use terms like “economic migrants” or “undocumented immigrants.” The implication discerned from such terms is that the concept of Citizenship is not something that anyone has to actually achieve and bear the burdens of being a member of the Totality. Practically anyone who can generate any given Quantity of Kapital and Quantity of Schuld can be entitled to those Legal Rights.

For the Student Body of an SSE, this is the equivalent of “refusing to grow up” and creating the conditions conductive to an “extended adolescence.” But for the Totality of the Council State, this is the equivalent of promoting a “dereliction of civil duty” and an “infringement of civil rights.” Both statements share the same criticism of treating the Self as being forever detached from any conceivable Totality, to be treated as a self-serving individual acting solely out of self-interest.

Citizenship under Production for Dasein

The question that must be addressed here is not about whether foreigners should be entitled to receiving healthcare, education or housing if they happened to be working in the Socialist Nation. That is an issue which deserves its own discussion within diplomatic treaties and Real Trade Agreements (RTAs). Instead, it needs to be internalized that any conception of Citizenship should contain a proper balance of Legal Duties and Legal Rights. The Self is part of the Totality, just as the Student is part of the Student Body. The Student receives Citizenship at the secondary educational level, complete with all its related Legal Rights and Legal Duties. In addition, there are also Constitutional Obligations and Constitutional Intents that must be fulfilled as part of one’s Citizenship in service to the Student Body and the Totality by extension.

When the Student or the Self fulfills their Legal Duties and Constitutional Obligations, the Totality and the State or the Student Body and the Student Government have their own Legal Duties and Constitutional Obligations to look after Self or the Student. This comes in the form of Legal Rights that may be exercised within their personal and professional lives. Special Rights related to receiving Education, Healthcare, Housing and others will thereby be reclassified as Constitutional Obligations. It will ensure that the Student Body and the Totality continues to be entitled to receiving them, even if the Council State and the Student Government have to make periodic adjustments to the funding of those social policies.

What is important to realize regarding this conception of Citizenship is that it accentuates the reciprocity of Arbeit and Geld in the LER and LERE Process. By providing a Legal Duty for every Legal Right, our general understanding of who is a “National” and who is “Foreigner” changes.

In Production for Dasein, there is a fine distinction between Nationals who are bound to the nation and Foreigners who just happen to be born within the nation. These distinctions cannot be conveyed through the concept of Citizenship alone, not to mention the contributions of Arbeit and Geld to the Life-Energy Reserve as part of the Work-Standard. A National has their own People’s Community, just as a Foreigner is attached to their own People’s Community. Both are equally capable of attaining Citizenship and the same set of Legal Duties and Legal Rights. They also contribute Arbeit and Geld to Life-Energy Reserve, but that is where the similarities end.

What differentiates the National and the Foreigner are related to the breeding–that is say, the upbringing and social conditions–that binds a youth to an identifiable group of people. No child grows up in a vacuum isolated from other children and their families. Each child is conditioned by a culture, tradition, language, social customs and norms, and heritage which makes them a part of a People’s Community. Most Nationalists, unfortunately, struggle to distinguish between Nationals and Foreigners because so many are too preoccupied with the issues described earlier. Therefore, for the purposes of expanding upon the overview of the SSE discussed in the previous Entry, I feel compelled to address some important questions for the next Entry.

  • Are all Nationals and Foreigners products of their People’s Communities, including those which are scattered across the international borders of existing nations?
  • Could a National be born into their People’s Community and instead perceive themselves as being part of another People’s Community, especially those in any nation other than their own?
  • Could a Foreigner join another People’s Community if they are better reflections of that People’s Community than a National which does not?   
  • How does the central government promote a unified national identity shared by different People’s Communities existing within its borders?
  • If this issue cannot be addressed as a question of Citizenship alone, could this instead be resolved by a philosophical discussion about human consciousness?
  • And how are all of these questions related to issuances of Citizenship to Nationals and Foreigners?

Regardless of how one chooses to answer these questions, the fact of the matter is that certain nations have been created out of a multiplicity of different People’s Communities. These United States, the German Reich, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union are all well-known examples from the previous century a national identity was created to unite the various People’s Communities within its borders as a Totality. The US and the German-speaking world have more or less succeeded in this endeavor, especially when compared to the other three countries. The “Czechoslovakian,” the “Yugoslavian” and the “Soviet” have become dozens of new-old national identities defined by a specific People’s Community. All of this and more will be discussed in greater detail in the next Entry.        

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