[Marxism] Icelandic myths

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 26 07:42:19 MDT 2012

In April, a video entitled ‘Iceland forgives mortgage debt of its 
population’ went viral. The 30-second clip, a Spanish-language 
news broadcast by the Latin American TV network teleSUR with 
English subtitles, reported that the mortgage relief was ‘a 
response to citizens’ demands’. Within 24 hours of being uploaded, 
the report had been watched tens of thousands of times (videos on 
teleSUR’s English-language YouTube channel often struggle for 
double digit viewing figures). Activists on Twitter and Facebook 
hailed Iceland as an example to the world, reposting as they went.

The teleSUR video was not the first story characterising Iceland 
as David standing up to the Goliath of international finance to go 
global since the 2008 crash. Last year, an article claiming that 
‘this little-known member of the European Union’ had defied the 
‘FMI’ and recovered ‘their sovereign rights’ appeared on the 
popular liberal US blog Daily Kos. The piece was ‘liked’ more than 
1200 times on Facebook and reposted on countless blogs.

Like the teleSUR video, the Daily Kos article tells an uplifting 
story of the population of a small country asserting their 
collective rights and refusing to kowtow to the demands of bankers 
and profiteers. If only the stories were true.


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