Nationalism and patriotism exists nowhere other than in our imagination. As history unfolded, this fictional reality become more and more powerful. In fact, we, humans, became dominant over Neanderthal man (our recent ancestor) only because of our unique ability to create the fiction even though we were less strong and have less cranial capacity than Neanderthal (1650 vs 1400). And to make each nation function cooperatively, we started to believe in common myth which gave rise to national culture and patriotism.
When it comes to nationalism, it is very important to know that there is both bright and dark side. I believe nationalism is a triumph over xenophobia. Most people believe that without nationalism, we would be living in some paradise but I believe without it, we would be living like a chimpanzees because this imagined reality has made us live human. Can you imagine 100,000 chimpanzees living cooperatively? or Can you imagine 100,000 chimpanzees sharing bananas or talking about their rights? I’m from Nepal, a small country with a population of 30 million and I don’t know 99.99 percent of the people. I pay taxes so that poor people on the other side of the country will get a good health services and education. Nationalism makes it possible for me to care about this millions of strangers and to cooperate with them. This has been the greatest advances in the human history. But don’t get me wrong, extreme nationalism can lead to xenophobia and history proves it. Ultra nationalism which becomes fascism and which leads to war and genocide is one of the worst phenomena in the human history.