In fact, we consider that the symbol par excellence, the one which provides the paradigm to understand the rest of them, is precisely the sacrificial symbol. This amounts to saying that the function of symbols is to signify, more or less explicitly, the violence that constitutes the sacrifice. In this sense the symbol is political. But as we said it is also religious. The more the symbol gets close to religion, particularly in highly institutionalized religions such as Christianity, the more it tends to mask the violence, the more a stylized symbol is. Religion cannot be understood without violence, but its violence is quite sublimated, veiled. According to this logic, the basic strategy to deconstruct symbols, necessarily involves revealing such violence, making it explicit.
Image after Francisco de Goya's Los desastres de la guerra (The Disasters of War, 1810-1815) [pd] and Pedro Muguruza y Diego Méndez's Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen, 1940-1958) [fu/fd].