Men tend to struggle with, even to feel strangled by, “I love you.” More easily and powerfully expressed: “I hate you.” Nationalist leaders know this about men. Stadiums are filled with their chants.
Individual egos generate all manner of interpersonal suffering, but the damage inflicted by collective egos—which are the congealment of conformity—is vastly worse. Patriotism is ego in a uniform. Us and them.
Men stand apart who live between two or more cultures, and who do not completely identify with any one of them. Pico Iyer makes exile exquisite. He reminds us sotto voce that home is not a place.