Saturday, June 28, 2014


It must be dictionary month.  Merriam Webster says this of loyalty.:  'a feeling of strong support for someone or something'.  Like any word, loyalty can have nuances of meaning, is able to be used for weal or woe.  I'd say it has a decidedly negative connotation, accumulated over time.

Loyalty adheres to the time of kings and queens, when vassals were loyal followers and the rabble sought protection and even sustenance fro their lords.  Those times are over and the Constitutional Republic of these united States was the harbinger of the end. 

It reminds me of allegiance a related word.  Pledging allegiance is taken with a grain of salt by me.  Remember the Pledge was written by a socialist and the original salute was the right arm extended up and out instead of hand on the heart.  The latter became preferred after that German socialist movement in mid-twentieth century appropriated it.  If memory serves, it came from ancient Rome as a salute of fealty to the Emperor.

We may not need to be reminded (but it doesn't hurt -s-) that those who take the Oath in our Republic take that Oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  There are slight variations but that is the gist.

It is to be noted there is NO loyalty oath to a leader, just bearing faith and allegiance (the positive sense) to the principles enumerated in our chief document. 

These principles are being challenged, to put it mildly these days.  It's been a gradual process.  Tyranny is greedy but is also patient.  People, if you want to call them that, in 'high office' have usurped and turned round limited gov to unlimited power.  They think they are our bosses, that they know best.  And correspondingly there are attempts to dumb us down to accept their line of c##p.

We are slowly working to turn this around.  Bit by bit, shedding light, truth and the things which make these States great.

I know, this is the same theme I talk so often about.  Many others contribute so much more.  But each of us have something to give.  E Pluribus Unum-From Many One.  One accord coming from each.  It is the antithesis of collectivism.  And loyalty?

In its negative context, I remember two movies.  One is Dracula with the great Bela Lugosi and a fine cast.  The other is Licence to Kill, Timothy Dalton's second and regrettably last Bond, also with a fine cast headed by Robert Davi.

In Dracula, Renfield (Dwight Frye) is the Count's slave, turned to evil servitude.  He entreats the vampire that he is loyal and gets killed anyway.  Renfield's conscience had continued to occasionally prick his slavishness.  Dracula is destroyed by determined people who thus free the world of his darkness.

In Licence to Kill, Bond goes after druglord Franz Sanchez (Davi) after Sanchez has Felix Leiter maimed and his bride raped and murdered.  Posing as a rogue agent (partly true), Bond appeals to Sanchez' prizing 'loyalty' above all things.  Of course, it's the drug lord's downfall.  His loyalty is nothing but bribery and fear predicated by plomo o plata-lead or silver.  With such an unstable foundation, Sanchez' psychopathy quickly turns to paranoia, when he perceives those around him in betrayal.

There just might be some lessons learned, even in fiction/fantasy, concerning the world around us.  There is a 'message in the ravioli', as it were.  As an aside I give credit to Robert Davi for that expression, garnered from an interview at the time of the movie's release.

Loyalty versus fidelity.  Fear or love.

Which do you think ultimately wins?


teacher said...

Lest we forget 'Loyalist', during the War of Independence, was a term describing those who remained of the side of the British Crown.

Mike H said...