Is loyalty all too often a destructive force, rather than a virtue, as the speaker contends? To answer this question it is crucial to draw a distinction between loyalty as an abstract concept and its application. Apart from its consequences, loyalty is clearly a virtue that all humans should strive to develop. Loyalty is part of a universal ethos that we commonly refer to as the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. However, whether loyalty in its application amounts to virtue depends on its extent and its object.


  本段必背单词:all too often常常;destructive破坏性的;virtue美德;crucial必要的;draw a distinction between A and B区分A和B;strive to努力;develop培养;universal广泛的;ethos社会思潮;refer to as称为;golden rule重要原则;amount to意味着;object对象

  First consider the ways in which loyalty, if exercised in proper measure and direction, can be a positive force. Relationships between spouses and other exclusive pairs require some degree of trust in order to endure; and loyalty is part-and-parcel of that trust. Similarly, employment relationships depend on some measure of mutual loyalty, without which job attrition would run so rampant that society’s economic productivity would virtually come to a halt. And, without some mutual loyalty between a sovereign state and its citizenry there can be no security or safety from either revolt or invasion. The world would quickly devolve into anarchy or into a despotic state ordered by brute force.


  本段必背单词:exercise实行;proper measure合适的尺度;spouse配偶;exclusive排他的;part-and-parcel重要的组成部分;attrition摩擦;rampant蔓延的;come to a halt停步不前;sovereign有主权的;revolt反叛;invasion入侵;devolve衰落;anarchy无政府主义;despotic暴君的;brute残暴的

  On the other hand, misguided or overextended loyalty can amount to a divisive and even destructive force. In school, undue loyalty to popular social cliques often leads to insulting and abusive language or behavior toward students outside these cliques. Undue loyalty to a spouse or other partner can lead to acquiescence in abusive treatment by that partner and abuse of oneself by continuing to be loyal despite the abuse.



  Misguided loyalty can also occur between people and their institutions. Undue loyalty to college alma maters often leads to job discrimination---for example, when a job candidate with the same alma mater as that of the person making the hiring decision is chosen over a more qualified candidate from a different school. Loyalty to one’s employer can also become a destructive force, if it leads to deceptive business practices and disregard for regulations designed to protect public health and safety. By way of undue loyalty to their employers, employees sometimes harm themselves as well. Specifically, many employees fail to advance their own careers by moving on to another place of work, or type of work altogether, because of a misplaced sense of loyalty to one company. Finally, and perhaps foremost in terms of destructive potential, is misguided loyalty to one’s country or political leaders. History shows all too well that fine line between patriotism and irrational jingoism can lead to such atrocities as persecution, genocide, and war.


  本段必背单词:institution机构;alma maters母校;candidate求职者;qualified合格的;deceptive business practice欺诈性的商业行为;regulation:规则;all too well:太;fine line细微差别


  To sum up, without loyalty there can be no basis for trust between two people, or between people and their institutions. A world devoid of loyalty would be a paranoid, if not anarchical, one. Nevertheless, loyalty must be tempered by other virtues, such as fairness, tolerance, and respect for other people and for oneself. Otherwise, I agree that it can serve to divide, damage, and even destroy.


  本段必背单词:devoid of缺乏;paranoid多疑的;anarchical混乱的;temper调和;divide产生分歧