( To clarify this: Cowardice and the Amarr Empire )
For me, in my native tongue, the words for [translator: loyalty, trust, constancy, (non-romantic) love | patriotism, tribal affiliance] and [translator: ally, associate, affiliate | colleague, brother/sister-in-arms] are primarily words for emotions. They mean something you feel for people. There are proper and improper targets for such feelings and sometimes, it is proper to act as if you felt loyalty towards someone even when it is hard to really feel it - say, a difficult child of your clan, or a superior officer in the military. Still, in the end loyalty is something you cannot command.
In some other languages, the translations of our loyalty are subtly different. For example, [translator: loyalty, fidelity, obedience | duty, dedication] has the subtext of following orders, of respecting someones position rather than feeling loyalty to them as a person. Or [translator: loyalty, love, fidelity] has the nuance of staying loyal to a romantic partner, though it can also be used otherwise.
The Minmatar concept of loyalty - as I have learned it - stems from organization around kinship and around other status networks. Who you know, who feels loyalty towards you, is what public life is based on. One feels loyalty to one’s tribe, of course, but a lot of that loyalty goes through individual loyalty - to local managers of government, to my clan leaders, to my Chief. When one of them changes, the loyalty is not expected to simply shift to the new official based on their position alone. The position brings them some of it, but the rest they will earn. Or not.
It is often difficult for us free-born Matari, I think, to understand the Amarrian concept of loyalty to a position, rather than a person, and the concept of loyalty as obedience - implicit rather than earned trust. And I hesitate to speak of those, because, well, they are hard for me too. I can get loyalties to tribe or nation, but to a person based only on the position of that person - I have been raised into self-reliance and using my own judgment in a way that makes it hard to even think about such concepts.
I hope this clarifies. I am open to further questions.