Nationalism - although classed as a political ideology - is much more. Nationalism provides a set of practical guidelines for a better life - for individuals and the wider community alike.
Nationalism recognises the nation - a body of people and communities bound together by common culture, history and descent - as the highest form of community development possible compatible with democracy. Larger units of organisation, based on ideas or power are inorganic, unnatural and are recipes for tyranny.
Smaller units of organisation invariably lack the resources or scale to achieve anything beyond existence.
Thus the nation state is the political expression of the will of a people to unity, the preservation of their identity, self-government and freedom.
It also represents the best balance between the desire for unity and the need to belong on one hand, and individual liberty and independence on the other.
Nationalism sees the nation as an extended family. It is no accident that the old English word ´kin´ is closely related to the word ´kind´, because the modern sciences of socio-biology and evolutionary psychology explain clearly why it is natural and unavoidable for kin groups to favour their own at the expense of ´the other´. Nationalists learn the lessons of history that having one people in one land is the best guarantor of peace and social cohesion, while having different peoples competing for the same land and resources is a major source of conflict and human misery.
In addition, nationalists, through loving their own nation, understand that other peoples naturally feel the same way. Further, we value the great worldwide tapestry of different identities, different ways to belong, different ways to be truly human (for no man is an island, and all identities are both locally based and set apart by their differences).
Nationalists therefore stand as the only force in the modern world with the ideological and moral power to resist the destructive, homogenising trends of global capitalism, because we alone truly values and wishes to preserve diversity.
Through loving our own land and therefore sympathising with others who feel the same way about theirs, nationalists should be staunch advocates of self-determination and justice for all peoples and opponents of the various political and economic imperialisms whose efforts to dominate others are the root cause of most wars.
Nationalism believes that the people of each nation should mind their own business and concentrate on making their own part of the world a better place, rather than lecturing to or interfering with others.
We believe that the people of each nation should be the masters of their own body politic and their own destiny.
Principled nationalism is therefore a force for peace in the world and for a constant striving towards a more just, happy, sustainable and beautiful life in each country.
The nationalisms of Europe champion the right of the traditional peoples of Europe to be recognised as the indigenous inhabitants of their lands, and to be accorded the moral right to the special status and right to self-preservation that all native peoples enjoy.
From recognition of the nation as an extended family comes support for the principle of a welfare state safety net for those members of our family who are vulnerable and in need of protection and aid from fitter and more fortunate members of our national family.