11 Jun 1999 Comment: Symbols: The Daily Telegraph (Q1:22)
By PETER SIMPLE
‘WHAT has happened,’ crows an exultant writer in the Observer, ‘is a decisive and perhaps terminal defeat for an older Europe, a place of tribal hatreds, double-headed eagles, flaming swords and obscure martyrs. A better world order survives . . .’
Everyone to his taste. Along with those ancient, long revered but now execrated symbols of local allegiances, national pride, glory, honour, nobility and beauty, the last of our European civilisation is perishing with all its treasures, giving way to a new world order, a place of internationalism, scientism, heartless accountancy, rationalism, egalitarianism, false humanity-mongering and everything that belongs to the legions of the dull.
But no one should think this new world order will be without powerful symbols and methods of persuasion of its own. High above the clouds, as the state-organised pop festivals and democratic sports rallies proceed amid universal rejoicing, the continual murmur and drone of bombers can be heard.
They are double-headed eagles and flaming swords brought up to date for a prosaic people. They are the symbols of the new order, the means by which obedience will be ruthlessly enforced.