Whereas we grow into our own nation because we are, so to speak, members of it, we learn to know other nations. They work on us indirectly through our knowledge of them, our understanding of them. We learn little by little to love them with understanding; and in proportion to our learning to love and to understand mankind in its different peoples in their various countries, does our feeling grow for internationalism.
There are two absolutely distinct sources in human nature from which arise, respectively, nationalism and internationalism. Nationalism is the highest development of egoism. Internationalism is that which permeates us more and more, as we give ourselves to a wide understanding of human nature.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 332a – The Social Future: Lecture 6 – Zurich, October 30, 1919
Translated by Henry B. Monges
See also: The most unchristian impulse