Chapter Ten


Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. - Mark Twain

Beware of anyone who accuses you are being disloyal, or who attempts to persuade you that your loyalties are misplaced.

I will not argue against all loyalties, as loyalty to a faithful friend, spouse, family member, lover, animal, and yourself is a wonderful and admirable quality. But in other contexts, the concept of loyalty is used as a control mechanism. Like the concepts of duty, patriotism, honor, and responsibility, the concept of loyalty has been hijacked and bastardized by the deceiver class.

One of the most idiotic abuses of loyalty is the notion you should be loyal to a symbol, such as a flag or a name. A symbol may one day represent a cause or concept you revere, and later be co-opted by those you hate. Should you remain loyal to the symbol, regardless of what it now represents? The same is true of countries, governments, and other entities. Should you remain loyal to the country in which you were born, even if it commits acts which you abhor?

If so, why? How can loyalty to a symbol possibly be more important than loyalty to the concept that originally attracted you to that symbol? Even worse, what logic is there is spending your life being loyal to a symbol that you were never attracted to in the first place, but which you were taught to venerate as a child?

Whenever you are spoken to in a way that makes you feel guilty, ashamed, or inferior, there is an excellent chance the speaker is intentionally pushing your buttons, in order to manipulate your emotions and control your future conduct. In nearly all of these cases, the person preaching loyalty or duty feels no reciprocal obligation to you, regardless of any statements made to the contrary.

Your employer (if you have one) may preach loyalty to her employees, but this loyalty will be sacrificed once you are no longer a benefit to her bottom line. Even if she is a good person with the best of intentions, should conditions change, you will find that her loyalty to you is conditional upon you being a continued benefit. If you have any degree of respect for yourself, you must also place your own interests above hers, just as she places her interests above yours.

The same holds true, in varying degrees, to many other relationships in your life. Very few, if any, people truly love you unconditionally. You are filling some need of all of your friends, lovers, acquaintances, and associates, whether that need be stimulation, company, companionship, money, sex, connections, advice, or whatever other benefit you may provide. Should you cease to provide this benefit, the relationship will often cease as well.

This is not to say that you should not feel any sense of loyalty to those who have proven themselves worthy of your trust and friendship. It is, rather, a realistic acknowledgment of the fact that those who push your “loyalty” buttons are doing so for their own benefit, and are probably using you. There may even be situations where you will allow yourself to be used, when the benefit you receive justifies temporarily remaining in the situation. The key is to remain aware, and be ready to sever or alter the relationship when it is no longer beneficial.

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