With regard to Nation States, America et al, I like to make the distinction between the Institution known as a state, its apparatus and its servants and those people who just happen to be living in the areas claimed by any given state.
As in, America, the State, sent people known as American Soldiers (Servants of the State) to depose Saddam Hussein and the State Aparatus he represented to the area known as Iraq, uninvited by the people if that area.
Thus the American State, an Institution, toppled the Iraqi State, an Institution. Those who suffered the most (1.6 million dead, 4 million 'displaced' 27 Million traumatised) were not part of either Institution other than being born in either area and/or paying taxes to either Institution. An accident of birth, more or less, becomes the rod with which to beat them to a senseless pulp....
If one travels the world, one finds that PEOPLE, are pretty much the same at the grass roots levels, and that the Institutions of Power Over People are also very similar.
They are two separate entities, one controls and abuses the other.
Thus generalisations about nations (national identity, characteristics) are all about crafting and illusion of us/them, serve the rulers and divide the people...
Do not ever fall into the trap of thinking that YOUR Government is BETTER or WORSE than any other.... all are utterly corrupt. Every Government has hired, and directed KILLERS, be they assasins, mercenaries or serving military, to KILL others to protect their Interests.
Every Government TAKES wealth from people that properly belongs to people, and concentrates that wealth in the hands of a few.
Every Government forces all the children of the people into Education, which is merely indoctrination dressed up as learning. The Children of the Elites get their own schools. And a different learning experience.
Time to get real, folks and to drop all that does not truely serve us, even if it exposes us to an unknowable future - the known of our future at present is the sum of the depredation, degradation and insanity of our consumer war mongering culture, and well worth losing. Indeed it is an appallingly gross insult to the great gift that life truely is.
Do what you love, it's your gift to universe