Malevolent Mystique

Journalist Catherine McIntyre has opined that the swastika cannot be rehabilitated, and she's right. This is because—to state the obvious—the once-life-affirming hooked cross now symbolizes a political architecture understood by most people as uniquely vile. A spray-painted swastika is a hate crime, a child with a swastika drawn on her hand is removed from her home, a flea market selling Nazi memorabilia makes headlines. Lesser despots and competing totalitarian ideologies are notorious, but the only universalized bête noire is Adolf Hitler. Post-modernism has drained virtually every other once-sacred symbol of meaning, yet the malevolent mystique of Nazi iconography endures.