This essay originally appeared at Libertarianism.org. Our trek through the major theories of political obligationcontinues as we now move on to the association account. It’s probably easiest to think of association theory as the “We’re all Americans” version of obligation. If you live in the United States, you’re an American, meaning you’re part of this thing called America, which is both the collection of all citizens and bigger than all of us. And being an American means respecting and obeying America’s institutions, including its laws.