(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
In The Duel, 10 May – 31 July 1940: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler historian John Lukacs says:
In June 1940, a few days before Paris fell, Premier Reynaud broadcast to the French people: if Hitler wins this war, “it would be the Middle Ages again, but not illuminated by the mercy of Christ.”When Lukacs wrote that in 1990 the Cold War had just been declared over, and most people in the West were talking about how to spend “the peace dividend.”
A few days later, on 18 June, in his “finest hour” speech Churchill evoked the prospect, not of a return to the Middle Ages, but of a lurch into a New Dark Age.
If Hitler wins and we fall, he said, “then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a New Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the light of perverted science.”
That was a more precise statement than Reynaud’s - and perhaps more apposite now, fifty years later, when within and without the great conurbations of the Western world many of the signs and symptoms of a New Dark age are rising. (p. 222)
I doubt Churchill would have been one them. I think like Lukacs, he'd have warned the West. Today, he’d be shouting that warning.