Nationalist insanity is a terrible thing. Once an idea has taken root in a nation, is respected and held in high esteem, how could it not be truth? Who would even dare to doubt it? Language, law, education, the course of daily life — everything confirms it. Whoever does not share in the folly of others is an idiot, an enemy, a heretic, an alien. And if — as is usually the case — this folly is a boon to certain prominent people, or even is thought to benefit all classes; if it has been sung by poets, demonstrated by philosophers, if fame has trumpeted it as the glory of the nation — who would want to contradict it? Who would not prefer, out of courtesy, to share in this folly? Even vague doubts of an opposing folly serve only to reinforce an established one. The disparate natures of peoples, sects, classes, and individuals jostle against one another, and each clings all the more tenaciously to its own point of view. Folly becomes a national emblem, a coat-of-arms, a guild banner. It is frightening to see how strongly folly becomes attached to words, once it has been forcefully imprinted on them…. When taken over by political parties, watchwords previously associated with no concept, signs which meant nothing at all, have plunged minds into madness, sundered friendships and families, assassinated men, devastated countries. History is full of such demonic words — it could yield an entire glossary of human error and folly….
— Johann Gottfried Herder, 1794