Political Activism In Iceland? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Political Activism In Iceland?

Political Activism In Iceland?

Published June 11, 2009

Depending on who you are, either a lot or practically nothing at all has changed in recent months. For the regular Joe who has little to no interest in politics, money is still hard to come by, work still sucks and a government of people he feels no real attachment with manages to find ways to make his life even more unbearable. For politicians, reporters, people with an interest in politics and middle class kids with a huge sense of entitlement and a rudimentary knowledge of outdated political rhetoric, however, the earth has spun off its axis and Iceland is headed for either a fate of grey totalitarianism and violence or a sunny utopia where Everyone Will Get Along (but we’ll still have a governing elite, of course).
    It’s exactly the kind of environment that spawns a class of political fanatics – lo and behold: political fanaticism has arrived. Self-described political activists have become more daring and aggressive than ever, spurred on by people’s displeasure with the government. Demonstrations have involved hanging effigies of men in suits, throwing rocks, burning public property and splashing green skyr on people they disagree with. Although throwing skyr at somebody may not sound like a truly vicious act, it’s the malice behind the act accompanied with the underlying message that makes it an effective weapon. “We could have thrown anything we wanted at you, and you wouldn’t have been able to stop us. This time it was skyr, keep angering us and who knows what we might throw next time?”
    Aftaka.org, one of a number of websites dedicated to the anarchist “movement” in Iceland, gives an interesting insight into what exactly it is that these activists are trying to achieve. Destroying capitalism, fighting “injustice” (i.e. what they perceive as injustice), and complimenting each other on their extreme intellectual and moral superiority seem to be the key factors and, really, the only things they can completely agree upon. Interestingly, those factors are also all things that Nazis, Soviets and Islamic Fundamentalists have in common – along with a hostile disregard for other people’s opinions and safety that is. Aftaka’s manifesto clearly states that they do not care about others’ opinions, that they state what they want tillitslaust (e. inconsiderately) and umburðarlyndislaust (e. intolerantly), and that they reject the idea of neutrality. In other words: you are either with them or against them. An attitude made very clear on their comment boards, where a number of people who dared to ask questions or cast doubts on anything written by the authors have been threatened with violence.
    All the above leads to the obvious question: How do you intend to fight tyranny by acting like a tyrant?

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