Did Viking Pride Bring Down Iceland?

Since “The Icelandic Revolution,” the country took another leftward turn in its April 24 general election, creating a center-left governing coalition as the economic and employment situation has continued to deteriorate. The shifting political landscape has inspired yet more soul-searching among Icelanders, writes Sumarliði Ísleifsson at openDemocracy. Tracing the history of the Icelandic self-image, he notes,

… Icelandic politicians promoted an image that praised arrogance and risk-taking based on the heritage of a Viking people settled in the high north, and that extends the notion of Icelandic superiority over others. This discourse, insofar as those who believed in and promoted it allowed it to influence their judgments, must be accounted as having made some contribution to the severe financial shock that hit Iceland in 2008-09.

Ísleifsson suggests that “the search for new self-understandings … is timely as the country faces the future.”

(Thanks, AL Daily.)

Source: Open Democracy

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