Are we in a crisis, recovering from crisis or facing a crisis? The problem seems to be that crisis is difficult to grasp. What the problem is, is not easily understood. What will happen if global warming continues? (Global warming will continue). What if the financial system continues to develop in ways that will eventually […]

On the last evening of the last session

Is anything more foolish than a vote in parliament where each voting MP gets a chance to explain his vote – i.e. say why he/she votes yes or no? Who cares? Why not get on with voting? It is maybe nothing more than the ultimate expression of what parliamentary debates tend to be: expressing opinions. […]

Revolution or not

In 2009 something happened. It looked like this: Hundreds (or maybe thousands?) of people gathered in front of the parliament building in Reykjavík, Iceland. They had their pots and pans with them and hit them with sticks and spoons and other kinds of blunt objects (apparently forks and knives were left at home). A few […]

Local matters

The way in which the greatest ambitions sometimes appear in an intense desire to achieve very limited goals can be quite stunning. Look at the constitutional bill, here in Iceland. It’s been created in a highly unusual way, through open consultation between a first elected, then appointed, council and the public. It has evoked interest […]

Democratic faith

Dewey’s concept of democratic faith looks like an oxymoron. It is not that one cannot believe in democracy—of course one can—but to say that democracy can be an object of belief, something one believes in, and, in a way, idolizes, seems to go against the very idea of democracy. A truly democratic mindset seems to […]