Published January 13, 2011
In stores, businesses and public spaces, security cameras have long ago become part of daily life and no one says a word about it. The cameras are supposed to protect us but they do more than that, they rob us of all trust, as we become like animals in a zoo who are not trusted to behave unsupervised. Under these conditions, morality does not come from within, but is created and enforced only externally. After the economic collapse, there were loud calls for ethical reform in politics and business. But why is it that this surveillance of the public is left unchallenged? Between Christmas and New Years I received a call from a collection agency. The voice on the phone said: “Please be aware that this conversation may be recorded.” Why? Can’t two people be trusted to solve a problem?
It is also with regard to nature that value judgments are created externally, rather than being allowed to grow in our hearts. If the same course becomes established as in the rest of the western world, we are in danger of seeing our nature lost and our connection to it ruptured. In Völuspá it says that the land is made from the body of man. The land is thus a part of man, and when man interacts with the land, he interacts with himself; he is connected to the land and sympathises with it, and in return the land sympathises with him. In this way, our forefathers sought comfort and strength from our nature.
When I stood in protest because of the Kárahnjúkar dam project, I would get calls at night from women in tears because they couldn’t stand how the Hellisheiði area was being destroyed by the Hellisheiði power plant. I believe this relationship to nature is deeply in- grained in us humans, and it has endured in Iceland up until these past few years.
Moral consciousness is a feeling, and the trust it creates is a feeling also. And if feelings live in the heart then our hearts are being torn out, along with our liver and lungs.