There is in most modern Westerner’s minds a dissonance when it comes to the matter of citizenship and participation in the nation’s inner workings. The Western man will proudly state that he loves his country, while also saying citizenship and voting are rights. An argument once simply made for representation of those who wanted to see the country prosper is now a debate on the legality of requiring identification or even citizenship to vote in a nation of choice. The western man that would advocate for the concept of no citizenship and all voting sees himself as a righteous figure carrying the light of individual liberty. A more accurate description of him would be a fool. A country with no meaningful citizenship is not a country. It is a land of lawlessness. As I covered previously, those with no stake in a country or society with governance power have a singular incentive route: to extract all the value they can, regardless of its impact on the country. The result is the complete and total destruction of the economy, culture, and civilization from the bottom up.
A nation is not just spontaneously created when enough people are grouped together. A proper way to think of a nation would be to consider it as a company. When a nation is founded, a set of guidelines is created much like a company. In those guidelines the founders of the nation create a promise; a vision for the people. These promises include such things as rule of law, how the government will function, and even aspirations such as free public education, retirement benefits, healthcare, and more. Much like a potential hire looking at employment with a company, it is up to the individual to accept this contract. Should they accept, they willingly abide by the social contract of the land. They neither question the authority of the government nor condone attempts to undermine it. They are willing citizens and will work to improve the nation they chose. I should note, one can protest, refute, and work to change said government without having to question the authority of it. In fact one could even say such actions are a citizens’ way of showing they acknowledge the power of the land.
Now consider someone who rejects this contract, or never consented to it because they were simply given citizenry, such as citizenry by birth. What meaning does it have to them? They reject the authority of the government and will seek to break the social contract. Why? Because they never signed it, and a contract forced on anyone will be resented. This problem compounds when you consider the wider implications. Those who resent the contract and undermine it still hold all the benefits of that same contract. This means they enjoy the same legal standing, the same retirement benefits, the same education, the same representation, and the list goes on. The value of the contract then is lessened for those who actually willingly chose to be bound by it and worked to obtain it.
A citizenship is not meant to be some paltry document that only is meaningful when you want to vote. When done properly it is something more coveted than silver and gold; a golden ticket you marvel daily that you can call it your own. It is both difficult to obtain, and easy to lose. It is the physical manifestation of power, benefits, and national identity. For too long now the West has feared strong citizenship simply because politicians benefit greatly from citizenship (and thereby votes) being cheaply obtained. This must be changed if many Western nations wish to continue on. What then do I mean when I say citizenship must be made to be coveted?
To begin, it must be by design difficult to obtain. Any item of value is scarce as dictated by the laws of economics. This can be achieved using several methods in tandem. First, to attain citizenship an applicant must be a desirable person to add to the nation. You cannot import the homeless, poor, and uneducated and expect your nation to run properly. Instead you only weaken your nation with an added societal burden that contributes little or nothing. Nor can you import or immediately nationalize the family of citizens or legal immigrants. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to be a citizen to live within a country. That fallacy plagues the West. Instead citizenship must be reserved for those who have much to contribute to the society being built. Those of proven skill are considered on the basis of merit. Those of wealth being considered for the investment they bring. Those of education or trade being considered for their invaluable knowledge. When only the best and brightest may be endowed with the role of citizen all of society benefits and prospers. No company would hire someone inept to work for them, and that policy can and must be reflected in any nation that wishes to prosper.
The logical extension of this policy is of course that citizenship must be easily lost. Citizenship when rendered to an individual is the promise of benefits, the responsibility of self governance, and the guarantee of rights. Rights such as freedom of speech, personal privacy, a fair trial, and the list goes on. Rights do not apply to non citizens. They are earned, not given. A noncitizen has no right to protest. What say have they in the matters of a nation they neither built nor worked to have equity in? A noncitizen has no right to say what they please, nor to a fair trial, nor even to personal privacy. They live in the country as an alien. Note, they are not outlaws. An outlaw is someone who neither state nor person is bound by the laws of the land when dealing with. Noncitizens still must obey laws and must be handled according to law. They may not be guaranteed a fair trial, but they will still get one as law requires. However, they do not enjoy the fullest protections of that law such as rights. Citizenship when easily lost and hard to obtain solves three problems. First and foremost, it creates a powerful incentive to become a citizen. Second, it creates a situation where noncitizens are keen to follow the law, knowing that while legally a resident they do not enjoy the fullest protections of that nation. They are renters not the landlords. Third and final, it serves as a powerful discouragement for illegal immigration. Such people who would attempt it would be considered outside of the law (outlaws) and would enjoy no protections legally whatsoever. A man who kills an outlaw is not a murderer, but a hero in the eyes of the state. This protects the citizens and noncitizens alike while keeping the country free of criminals simply through discouragement.
Now the pressing question may be in your mind of just how to ensure citizenship can be attained, if not easily. The answer is actually rather simple. First, reasonable proof of desirability. As you send resumes to companies so too you would for immigration. College education, years working a skilled trade, or maintaining a business are all great examples. When such qualifications are met a thorough examination must occur. This examination should cover the legal system of the nation, the history, geography, and culture. No person has business in a nation that cannot or will not assimilate into. If you dispute the necessity of this cast your eyes on the United States and observe how it crumbles with a thousand cultures. The final step of citizenship would be a two year term in the military. This instills national pride, training with firearms, the abilities to conform to a group, a sense of identity, and verifies household skills such as routine chores. Upon completion someone is a fully nationalized citizen. They are attuned to the culture they have entered, and have demonstrated the resolve to follow through as well as having to pass all requirements to attain nationality. This set of testing would apply also to family of citizens, with the omission of having to be selected for talent. Instead citizenship for them would require the same examinations (which could be taken optionally at the end of high school education) and two year military term. Cultural assimilation is not needed as they already live in the country.
What about the loss of citizenship? It’s actually fairly simple. Two possible methods are social credit (which I am less a fan of) and illegal activity strikes. In a social credit style system, once citizenship is attained a starting score is provided to the recipient based on the results of their examinations and military term. The better they assimilated the higher their score. Such a score then would be lowered upon illegal actions taken. Point would be taken based on severity. If the points hit zero, the individual loses their citizenship and becomes a resident alien with no score. They may reapply for citizenship, however limits would be set on them. The benefits of such a system primarily come from the ease of use. You can look immediately and know your standing in society. Additionally a uniform score allows for it to be utilized in other things such as loan approvals or election clout. As for the other method, that is one of simple demerits. Everyone starts at zero, and gains them based on illegal activities. They reset with time. If a sufficiently high number is reached then as the other method citizenship is terminated. There are downsides though to both methods, not the least of which being it can be easily weaponized. If not used carefully they can create subclasses of citizens which can take away from social cohesion. One way to mitigate this is to only allow the citizen to know the exact number (meaning government nor company would). This could be achieved with zkproofs.
Having now covered what citizenship should look like for acquisition and retention we can now speak of the benefits of this system. A country when properly functioning is a beautiful thing to witness. When individuals are productive, the GDP of the nation grows. When the GDP grows the resources available to both individual and government alike are increased. A nation driven by a singular goal will then feed these resources back into itself, starting a loop of reinvestment which continues the cycle on and on, ever upwards. A positive feedback loop. Suddenly ideas such as national healthcare, free high level education, and national dividends go from being ridiculous burdens on the taxpayers, to common sense practices. When the individual is healthy they are productive, benefiting everyone in the nation. When the individual learns a new skill or gets another degree it increases their utility, benefiting everyone in the nation. When your taxes can be mitigated or even reversed (government paying you) simply for national productivity Year Over Year, everyone in that nation benefits.
Nothing is impossible for the nation with a singular objective. A nation that sets itself upon a task and wholly dedicates itself to that task is a nation that will be immortalized in history. It is a country that will be renowned for being the best in all because it has no patience for mediocrity. The greatest civilizations were born in blood as the driving force of the nation was the singular goal of conquest. Every empire that united was done so under the banner of conquest. My proposal for Technocracy is not to turn inward, but outward. The goal of a Technocratic nation is not to conquer Earth, but the stars. There is no harsher environment nor fierce foe as the universe itself. All other things shall be added to the nation with a singular goal. With this goal in place all other things will follow.
The goal of a country is to better itself and the life of every single person with the luxury of possessing citizenship. Citizenship itself is to be coveted; a legal and social status that empowers those who have worked hard and have a stake in the shared destiny of the nation. It is not a right, but a privilege. When citizenship is coveted and merit exalted all other pieces for a prosperous society fall into place. Combined with a singular national directive there is nothing out of the reach for its people; no impossible goal, no idea beyond being realized.