We are indoctrinated to love our Nation-State. In classic propaganda fashion, American school children repeat this mantra every day:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
But why love your Nation-State? There are two possible answers. The first--because it's MY Nation-State (and that of my Father's, hence Patriotism) is thoroughly irrational. The logic of that justification boils down to this: BECAUSE. The second argument about why to love your Nation-State is because it stands for "noble" principles: freedom, equality, justice, etc. Rather than digress into a debate over the relative merits of freedom vs. equality, let's just assume that these noble principles are in fact "noble", and worthy of our support (whatever they may be). Accepting this assumption highlights the logical fallacy of the second argument: there is no justification for transference of "love for a noble principle" to "love for a Nation-State that exhibits that principle". It MAY justify a love for the policy of a Nation-State that upholds such a principle as individual freedom (for example), but no matter how many times one iterates this process it never makes the final leap of logic to justify love for the Nation-State itself.
This is a critical distinction because Nation-States are dynamic entities. A well publicized history of supporting some noble principle (e.g. individual freedoms) does not guarantee a continued policy of supporting that principle. Let's look at a specific example of this. The principle of freedom of speech is, in my opinion, a "noble" principle--one worthy of "love". Many people--pundits--suggest that we should transfer that love to love for the United States because that Nation-State has a much propagandized record of supporting freedom of speech. This is the critical role of propaganda: to associate through symbols a Nation-State with a set of principles.
But despite the propagandized history of a Nation-State, they can--and often do--abandon these principles in reality. Despite the propaganda provided by the US, about the US, the principle of freedom of speech has been at least partially abandoned in the wake of September 11th. This is why the role of propaganda in transferring love for a principle to love for a Nation-State is so critical--if the American citizenry loved "freedom of speech", but did not irrationally transfer that love to the Nation-State "America", then it would not be possible for "America" to abandon that principle without losing the support of its citizenry.
The propagandized love for a Nation-State constitutes a virtual license for that Nation-State to abandon the very principles that its citizenry rightly found worthy of their love.
Most of us learned of the dangers of nationalism in the lead-up to World War I. Let us now accept that we are still not exempt from the lessons of history: Patriotism, Nationalism and loyalty to a Nation-State REMAIN irrational, and are dangerous tools of the Nation-State for control of the citizenry. Commitment to principles--but not the allocation of those principles as permanent qualities of Nation-States--is a citizenry's best defense against the depredations of the Nation-State. If we do, in fact, assign our "love" to a certain set of noble principles, then in order to defend those principles it is critical that we DO NOT accept the transference of that love to ANY Nation-State.
Sovereignty can exist at exactly one level. The individual can be sovereign, and voluntarily and temporarily loan that sovereignty to a collective entity as long as that entity works to uphold the individual's desired set of principles, and they can recall that loan if the collective fails to uphold those principles. However, if a citizenry, through propaganda, accepts the sovereignty of the collective, then the citizenry places themselves at the mercy of that state--and by definition the collective has become a state because it now exercises sovereignty OVER its citizens.