We sit amid the ruins and desolation and wonder how the verities of our age became a ‘colossal Wreck’. Our illusions have been snatched away by the course of world affairs. Rights, abrogated. Democracy, denied. Lives, suspended. Not so long ago we were told that we stood at ‘the end of history’, on the cusp of a ‘new world order’. Now that vain boast echoes the mandate of Ozymandias: ‘Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ As if on cue, the political class who drove us to this despair have gleaned from among the ruins of their governance and taken up ‘these lifeless things’ in service to that most predictable of refrains: the defence of civilisation.
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