I think nationalism is incredibly dangerous. I don't and have never understood why loving your country is so important. Support it when it does well, criticize it when it doesn't do well. I'd say a healthy citizen is one who constantly seeks to improve it's nation - question everything the gov't does, question why you think you should love your country at all, question, question, question.
Call it a Canadian culture barrier, but we don't think like that here. It's not a myth. I went to Arizona for vacation recently and I was just blown away by the unending support of the US military, the US flag, the US anthem - all these things are quasi-religious.
Supporting your country is a bizarre concept to me. It's where you live. I don't support the trees and the roads. If you mean the gov't, then you should never support them, because history has shown they will only screw you over if you trust them to run the country by themselves.
Nationalism to plenty of Arizonians wasn't even debatable - you just do it. That is dangerous. That is ideological in the same way religion is. It's a kind of faith, and faith is very dangerous indeed. Just count down the wars that either religion or nationalism caused. It's a majority.
Nationalism is nothing but pride in specific lines drawn on maps. Humans should eventually become a global race, and be less divided by boundaries between countries. Nationalism also creates many problems, such as territorial nationalism, or national purity. As Orwell said, nationalists think mainly in terms of competitive prestige, they might use their mental energy in boosting or denigrating, but at any rate their thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations.
As a German I do not need to point out that nationalism encourages the general public to commit atrocities towards minorities. Besides nationalism is making less and less sense in this new global, digitalized age. Ethnicities are becoming more mixed. Why do we need nations at all? We share one world. If the planet would unite, we would no longer fear WW3 or any major wars at all. I recommend that everyone should favor the world instead of your country.
Solutions to real, complex problems like global terrorism or climate change require working across nations, across interests, across entrenched divisions. Nationalism sets us in de facto conflict with others with whom we need to work with to solve shared problems. People might divide themselves into nations, but politics and shared challenges in the world don't divide themselves so neatly. Nationalism blinds us from seeing potential collaborations, potential compromises, potential solutions.
A nation is not capable of love and compassion. Nation is a deceptive tool of the devil. A nation is nothing but an emotional brain washing from the elites. You don't love your country, you love the people within it. I don't support putting politicians before God, family and friends.
Nationalism makes a large group of people across an entire region be loyal to other members of the group. Nationalism would be fine if it were simply harmless flag-waving and parading. Unfortunately it's not; because nationalism attaches people to those that are in their own nation, inequity emerges. Citizens of country A are more likely to help their compatriots than others even at the expense of citizens of country B. This belief leads to the restricted borders and immigration laws that are largely accepted today. We are not willing to help the dying in other countries, even when doing so would be easier than saving our own citizens. Geography and borders have nothing to do with life and death! In summary, nationalism has its basis in an unjustified partiality towards a certain group, which makes it inherently evil.
Love of one's country ensures a healthy society. This doesn't mean the person will blindly agree with the state on all matters. A national religion is also a good thing. This doesn't mean everyone follows that religion or are forced to-- it is symbolic. It allows a person to be proud to be "Japanese" or "Irish" or "German". The radical parts of nationalism that reside in the right wing, such as fascisim, is not nationalism. It is extremism and racism taken to the next level. It has elements of nationalism, but it is not the de facto definition of nationalism.
Nationalism is certainly not evil on its own but it does carry a huge risk to not only its own country but to countries around it. Nationalism can, given the push, blow over into racsism and could push expansionist policies. Furthermore nationalism simply does not offer enough benefits to overcome its glaring flaws. When you look back on history some of the worst genocides are usually carried out by nationalists and are often targeting ethnic minorities. Simply look at nazis germany, stalin's USSR, democratic kampuchea and imperial Japan to name a few.
Supporting your country is healthy, and often Nationalism encourages productivity and unity. For instance, some people would prefer a product made in America over one made in China. Also, there really is no partisan basis for Nationalism. Two people can disagree about issues in politics and still both love their country.
Nationalism is not about loving your government more than other people. A person can be a nationalist and still look out for his fellow human. Nationalism is the loyalty a person has to the nation that raised him, not the government, and a good nationalist will support the removal of governments inherently poisonous to the country out of love for his people.
In other circumstances, nationalism is not evil either. Humans have a natural attraction to their nation, people and history, as it is human nature to feel such devotion and loyalty to their race and culture.
Patriotism is not serious enough, and thus, extremely easy to exploit by corporations, who prey on people disinterested with serious, proper national pride in order to extort money from them, because they want to show "what a good patriot" they are, by throwing money at meaningless souvenirs, and flags they wave once a year at football games.
Meanwhile nationalism is your devotion to the protection of the soil upon which you were born, to the memory of your ancestors, who toiled with blood, sweat and tears to create the nations and lives we cherish today, as well as to these ancestors' other descendants, who also share the same culture, history and national pride as you.
Borders are not mere "lines drawn on a map", they were shaped by thousands of years of racial development. Humans are not the same, and anyone who believes in evolution and natural selection should have no issue agreeing with that statement, so I see no reason as to why we should all live together, when we have our own separate traditions to those of other races and ethnicities, and I also fail to see why we should not encourage people of said races stand up and show unyielding pride for the blood that flows through their veins, and I fail to see how this is somehow supposed to be evil.
There will never be true equality between races because we are all different. We should cherish these differences, instead of suppressing them.
However, while we are not the same race, and anyone attempting to tell you otherwise is incorrect, we are still the same species, and helping out our fellow humans is off the table. Nationalism merely promotes giving the people who share your ancestors, culture and history your best.
Nationalism isn't the same as loving the government that runs your country or even every person who lives there. It does mean caring about the concept of the nation you live in and the identity it gives you. The people who hate nationalism believe it always leads to hate and being blindly led into wars. I agree that you shouldn't be a blind nationalist or just beat your chest about how superior you think your country is. We all have a natural connection to our country's history and values which are geographically and culturally specific. The nationalist cares about this connection and wants to protect it. Put it this way, if your country was suddenly invaded by a neighbouring country, would you defend it? If so then you are categorically a nationalist because you care that your nation exists and remains sovereign. It's important to note that it does not necessarily mean you wish to invade other countries and expand your own nation.
NAZI's were evil because of their belief in ethnic nationalism. If one is merely a political Nationalist then that is not evil but a good thing. Would you class the SNP or Plaid Cymru as Evil? They are nationalists and they want to see Scotland and Wales have independence from the UK. Therefore I argue that Nationalism is not evil as long as it is only political and not ethnic.