... And so apparently does Jet Li, well, enough to actually get Singaporean citizenship. Apparently many of my fellow singaporeans do not like the fact that another rich and famous guy can so easily get citizenship, and just as easily give it up when it becomes inconvenient.
This doesnt actually bother me. Actually, I want such priveleges expanded to every non-criminal in the world! Really!! What really bugs me about immigration is that it is not open enough. Immigration in all countries should be as free as possible, without having to sacrifice national security. So Lets start at home.
Of course, at the heart of this, it is about the legitimacy of the social contract and the state. One of the pitfalls of social contract theory is that, well, people did not really sign social contracts. The fact that citizens receive benefits and that the better option is to sign the social contract does not in itself make the social contract legitimate.
However, ideally, if people don't like a society, they can leave and find another one that suits them better. But people cannot just leave, and people who wish to live in a society cannot just enter. There are often high entry and exit barriers. Therefore, people are often stuck in contracts which they are not signitories to. This is a lot like the situation where you are stuck in a traffic jam, and a homeless man just comes and cleans your wind shield, then demands that you pay him. Yes, you have received the services, but since you did not ask for them in the first place, it is not clear whether you are obligated to pay for them. However, if you go to a car wash, you choose to freely go there. Hence, even if you do not sign any explicit contract, or even physicall ask for the service, your mere presence is indicative that you desire to be there and will pay for the service. In that case, of course you have a moral responsibility to pay for the wash. The analogy can be extended to societies and the benefits of citizenship too.
Lowering entry and exit barriers to 0, therefore means that you are there in a country because you have agreed as if by contract to be there. Of course in practice, this is impossible. However, it would be really good if entry and exit barriers were lowered as far as possible. To the extent that we could leave if we wanted to, we agree to be subject to the laws of the land by staying here. Therefore, the power that government holds over us becomes more legitimate. Here is a graph that explains how the relationship works:
Dont mistake me. I love my country deeply and would stay here in Singapore among all other places on earth. That is why I want to change Singapore. Just because I love my country doesnt mean that I think that it is perfect. I love my country and I want to share it with everyone who loves it too. However, I dont think I should have to share it with people who don't want to stay here. That is why we lower entry and exit barriers: So that the people who are here really want to be here