Anders als die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika haben sich die meisten europäischen Nationalstaaten auf der Grundlage von Homogenisierungen entwickelt; historisch liegt ihnen das Ideal einer Einheit von Blut, Kultur, Sprache und Religion zugrunde. Dieser Drang zur Vereinheitlichung war kaum irgendwo stärker als in Deutschland, eben weil es sich erst spät zu einer Nation herausgebildet hat, und das Deutsche niemals ein so natürlicher oder unumstrittener Bezugspunkt war wie England für die Engländer oder Frankreich für die Franzosen.
Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
It is very difficult to know people and I don't think one can ever really know any but one's own countrymen. For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives' tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.
England and the English governing class never did call on this absurd deity of race until it seemed, for an instant, that they had no other god to call on the truth of the whole matter is very simple. Nationality exists, and has nothing in the world to do with race. Nationality is a thing like a church or a secret society. It is the product of the human soul and will; it is a spiritual product. And there are men who would think anything and do anything rather than admit anything could be a spiritual product.