The plight of citizenship is this: that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. If this were not the case, nationhood, hence citizenship, would not exist. And when the citizens, i.e., that ‘parts,’ move to change the whole, whether or not the whole (nation) changes, they remain citizens and subjected to the collective’s tyranny by presence and belonging.
Slaves, yet free.
By being born into a nation (or tribe, family …), one is forced into subjection—or slavery even—to the organization and operations of that nation. One is automatically stamped with an identity driven by the expectations and experiences of others; by peoples of the same or other nations.
The guardians and ambiance then puts one through a process of transformation and acclimation, to, unwittingly or otherwise, shape the modelled citizen. We all had few choices because we had to be cared for—our first few years.
And however volitional and voluntary an individuals identification with any nation may be, or subsequently become, there’s always embedded within it that element of training, and of an innate/imbibed love for one’s origins.
Slaves, yet free.
Train up a child in the way he should go.
Make yourselves slaves of righteousness—godness. Paul said in Romans 6. It’s a good master …
so that it is not as though we’ve lost our liberty, but rather that we have gained ourselves.
Then elsewhere he says:
All things are lawful to me but not all things are necessary/expedient;
all things are lawful to me but I will not be brought under the power of any;
all things are lawful to me but not all things make me a better person.
(1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23)
One context should be obvious: that our liberty isn’t an occasion to kill ourselves, or souls. Rather, it is to live in the preservation of human dignity (of self, and of others), in the discovery and promotion of truth, and in the experience and communication of the divine presence in love.