An example of necessary myths. I believe that my husband is the most beautiful, intelligent, and wonderful man on the planet. It’s completely unimportant whether it’s factually true. What matters is that I believe it because that’s what guarantees my happiness and the survival of our marriage.
Similarly, it’s utterly unimportant if America is factually the greatest, the Ukrainian language is really the most melodic, the Russian soul is truly mysterious, and a dry piece of ugly desert was actually promised to Jews by God. You can’t prove any of it definitively one way or another. But it’s absolutely crucial that people believe this stuff passionately if the nation-state, with all the goodies it offers, is to survive.
Remember the hyper-rational freak from Illouz’s book? He’s not a happy person.