Published January 13, 2011
The year began with devastating earthquakes, proceeded on to a volcanic eruption in, and ended with a lunar eclipse. It felt like nature reiterated how big systems are crashing, and how the dirt and dust of lies and corruption surfaces, creating a mixed emotion of hope and despair.
Unsustainable financial systems crumble or are kept alive like a patient in an iron lung. Religious and pedagogical institutions are ridden with sexual abuse scandals, and fundamentalist fanatics threaten hard-won tolerance in religious matters. Instead of service to humanity “industries” and mere commercialism within all kinds of spheres, be it arts, sciences, health or technologies, become increasingly apparent.
The WikiLeaks-phenomenon promises to herald a new era, reviving the promise of the Enlightenment of an en- lightened population. Of people who are informed about the movers and shakers of the world, about the driving forces that only have one goal, to secure their wealth and might, regardless of how the Earth fares.
Politics stand on the one hand as a Berlusconian type of corporate power, and on the other hand as the power of people, who wake up from consumerist apathy and act up. There is smoke and fire in the inner cities. The paint-stained car of the Prince of Wales getting stuck in the midst of a crowd of demonstrating students is symbolic for the rage against the regime(s).
Against the lies and the corruption there is a call for intelligent innocence and transparency. For a new kind of politics and for a better-informed population. In post-crash Iceland we see an opening of cracks where the light shines through, but there is also a widespread disappointment over how the murky old forces seize power again.
On a global scale, the openings of the new are threatened by powers that resist to disclose their secrets. The next decade will tell whether they will dominate or burst due to the contradictions inherent to them.