Odds and Ends
Bye Bye England and Friends
3 4, 2:23am
That's not true at all. Nationalism is an ideology, the idea that the world's political and legal borders should reflect the world's socio-cultural divisions and is best embodied in the principle of the nation-state and of people's right to self-determination. A nation-state isn't a meaningless word that repeats the same idea twice, the words mean different things.
A nation is a society which population mostly shares a common culture, common language, common values and a common identity, that wants to live together and have solidarity with one another. A State is a government with established political and legal institutions that apply on a given territory. A nation-state is thus an ideal that each nation should have its own State, so that it can rule itself how it sees fit and according to its own values and norms, and not have to be subjected to another people's ideas and norms.
Nationalism as a policy is an attempt by the government to favor a convergence and a stronger national identity in the people who live in its territory and under its rules. It doesn't mean that you think you are superior to every other nation, nor that you want to bend them to your will (that is imperialism, which can grow out of nationalism, but also from internationalist ideologies like communism for instance). Nationalism is really useful to helping democracies function in a modern country, because it reduces tensions and brings the people together, reducing political polarization and preventing demographic wars for dominance by different cultural communities in the same country.
Multinational countries have a bad tendency to blow up without an authoritarian government to impose its rules (see USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, etc...). Federal arrangements, with every nation having an autonomous State inside a Federation can help prevent such collapse or explosion.