Where does one draw the line between healthy nationalism (belonging, memories of one’s upbringing, culture, traditions, spirituality) and its potential toxic effects? The latter can range from a sense of superiority compared to other countries to a sense of entitlement (the US for instance) or even blatant racism, xenophobia and other types of bigotry.
Most people, I infer (and see in everyday life) are somewhere in the middle, enjoying the positive, harmless aspects associated with nationalism and at least frowning upon a radical view.
There is, however, a growing trend towards isolationism in the West, especially as an opposition to adverse cultural aspects found in certain minority communities. My sole intent is to extrapolate on this as a general idea, which I dare think applies well enough.
Travelling and meeting people from all corners of the Earth is the most efficient transformation a human being can experience, from being self-centred and presumably all-knowing, to being humble and accepting of others.
There is no reason why one should not be able to enjoy their cultural specifics without turning into an apologist for cultural superiority and moral hegemony (which is religiously-inspired in many countries where faith is the main drive of what is accepted morality).
Moreover, though many think that because the availability of information is such a plus nowadays (and it is), they can gain an objective perspective of life in other countries with a single click. The fact is that most reporting is biased, focused on what the purpose of said reporting is. There are many different realities in each country and each one either under-represented or over-represented, according to the bias and ultimate objective of the media outlet doing the reporting.
We are all limited in our knowledge and experience, and seeking certain sources of information may very well solidify certain biases.
Whereas one can never get the full perspective on the world, they can very well try, and try to do so in an objective manner.
Ironically, although countries and by default their citizens were separated in the past by more restrictions on travelling (or the physical difficulty of it, which is no longer an issue) isolationism and “othering” seem to be more prevalent nowadays, when the media reaches nearly every home and every person in the West (and I’m including the alternative media here).
The end goal seems to be a major clash, violent perhaps. Unless it’s avoided by people’s realism and why not, humanity.