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Free, but "Citizen"?

> This week's Debate:
> =================== 
>	"The Free Citizen and Fair Society"

My apologies if I should cover ground you've already been over, simply 
let me know. I see two things in this document that appear to be 
contradictory, at first glance.

(a) The contractual nature that is assigned to government in this 
document seems to fly in the face of nationhood or patriotism. Why 
should we specifically attempt to make India #1 in anything, if our view 
of government is that it is the particular service provider we choose? 
It is true that we all (in free nations, at least) have some opportunity 
to change our citizenship, but within the framework of the plan for 
improving our nation, I see "changing the provider" as equivalent to 
opting out of the plan. Perhaps there is a subtlety I am missing here.

(b) On the other side of this fence too, the problem is just as 
intractable. Presumably, the rights we give ourselves are just as real 
in citizens of other nations, in the sense that we hold them to be 
universal, even if not self-evident. Does that mean that every other 
person on the planet has the right to switch his "contractor" to be the 
"government of India". Does such a "customer" have to subscribe to any 
of the ground rules that have been established by existing customers? 

I do maintain the supremacy of my rights as an individual, separate from 
the entities through which I obtain or enforce those rights. At the same 
time, nationhood requires some criterion for determining who lies 
outside the boundaries of our society. 

The problem here is partly in separating a democracy from a republic. In 
the first, majority is enough, whereas in the second, the allowances for 
protecting the rights of others is paramount. If I hold an opinion that 
is contrary or damaging to the security or safety (even if only in 
perception) of those who are already contracting for service from the 
tricolor, do I still have the option to establish a contract with the 
same state? Is everyone in the state under the SAME contract? Does that 
contradict the plurality inherent in individual freedom?

I have not thought of the state and citizen in such terms. Let me also 
say that I do have an alternate model, but in the light of the (large) 
possibility that my unfamiliarity with this approach may have left some 
big holes, I will hold off to hear what others (who have considered this 
more) have to say.


Ashwin Mahesh

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