Anyone born in the USA may have no occasion to see it; but all born elsewhere who wish to become US Citizens must swear the Oath of Allegiance. This makes clear how the government perceives those within its domain, and since all are equal under the law, that perception applies to everyone, not just greenhorns. It's quite a revelation.
It's all one sentence, but I see two divisions even so. The first refers to the switch of allegiance:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;"
That looks very emphatic and clear; an absolute renunciation of all previous loyalties. Yet it is totally bogus, and the government knows that perfectly well; the applicant for citizenship may well also know it, presuming he did some homework before entering this country.
It's bogus because it's perfectly possible to have dual citizenship, or even triple or more, and the FedGov certainly knows that because the FedGov negotiated each of the inter-country deals involved. There's a list here of countries which do, and do not, allow multiple citizenships - and the US does.
So, for example, an immigrant from Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bangladesh, Canada, Cyprus or Denmark who recites the US Oath of Allegiance and solemnly swears to renounce his former allegiance is lying under oath; and the judge overseeing the ceremony knows very well that he's lying and does nothing about it. The proceeding is a charade; the speakers are actors, mouthing words that mean nothing, rather like players in a movie who portray a wedding. They speak the words of commitment but have not the least intention of marrying each other and may well each be married already to someone else.
Then come the solemn promises the applicant makes:
"that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
Are these equally bogus and empty? - that, I doubt. There is no contract here (no quid for the quo, no promise made by the FedGov to the applicant in exchange) but those words certainly have the form of an unambiguous undertaking. Since in times past the FedGov has certainly "required by law" that citizens bear arms for it, I see no reason to suppose the promises will not be accepted for what they say.
Consider then what they declare: any time the government writes a law to compel citizens to fight for it, perform noncombatant service for it, or do important work for it under civilian direction, obedience is expected; and those who acquired citizenship by reciting this Oath (rather than just being born here) have already recorded their willingness to obey.
To serve upon direction is to submit to slavery. That's what these three promises mean, starkly and simply; as government sees it, citizens are a resource that, by the mere writing of a law, it can turn into slaves and use as it sees fit. ZGBloggers know that, of course, for it's implicit in the whole scheme of having a government direct society; but here in the Oath, it is made explicit.
Those, then, are the shackles that are placed on every baby born in these United States, whether he or she knows it or not; five or six years later he is taught how fortunate he is to be living in the Land of the Free, and except in four states he will be told to recite the Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
No explicit promises to submit to slavery appear there but fulfilment of them is, even so, most assuredly expected. If it were otherwise, native-born Americans would be treated differently from greenhorns, which would never do. While here, however, let's take a look at those extraordinary words.
First there comes the sheer nonsense of swearing allegiance to a piece of cloth. That is so meaningless it's astonishing that kiddies are expected to recite it. Surely the purpose must be to dumb down the naturally inquisitive, intelligent mind.
Then there's the Republic bit; some other countries have inhabitants swearing fealty to a monarch, and while some such monarchs have some merit others are despicable wastrels. But the brainwashing has the kiddie exclude from his mind the possibility of society not having a ruler at all. There must be rule, and it must be by the people; res publica. Lest his learning at school suggest a better form of society to his mind, he must swear daily to suppress the thought.
And it's "indivisible", so any wild ideas of secession must be flushed away, by this oath.
"Liberty and justice"? - Ha! The swearer has just promised allegiance to a ruled society, which is the opposite of a free one, so this is an absolute contradiction. The kiddies are being forced to perform the impossible: to believe simultaneously in A and Non-A. As for "justice", that's a very sick joke; see here.
In the coming zero government society, there will be no such oaths as these. Just possibly, there is one that may replace them - voluntarily, of course; the one Ayn Rand fashioned as the John Galt Pledge: "I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."