Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire of power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality
The nationalist does not go on the principle of simply ganging up with the strongest side. On the contrary, having picked his side, he persuades himself that it is the strongest, and is able to stick tohis belief even when the facts are overwhelmingly against him.
Political or military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties
In societies such as ours, it is unusual for anyone describable as an intellectual to feel a very deep attachement to his own country.
The nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real worl. What he wants is to feel that his own units is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this by scoring off an adversary than by examining the fact to see wheter they support him. All nationalist controversy is at the debating-society level. It is entirely inconclusive, since each contestant invariably believes himself to have won the victory. Some nationalist are not far from schizphrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connexion with the physical world
One prod to the nerve of nationalism, and the intellectual decenies can vanish, the past can be altered and the plainest facts denied.