(Part II of CAM Correspondent Ron Ridenour’s Perspective on Near-Pristine Island-Nation — Part 1 here in Covert Action magazine)
By Ron Ridenour
We can learn from the Icelandic people’s sense of assuming political responsibility, their tightknit togetherness—98% know people they can rely on—and from their culture, which fosters more authors per capita than any country in the world.
I am concerned, however, that a growing fast life sub-culture—especially in the ever-growing Capital Region where 60% of the 345,000 population live on just 1% of the land—could lead this peaceful and intelligent people to deteriorate into ruinous consumerism as happens to most people in the world when they have the chance.
Tourism has produced drug smuggling, rampant pornography, escalating prostitution that did not exist before, and gouging by some businessmen and politicians. Rampant growth in tourism—from 200,000 in 1995 to two million in 2019, exceeding six times the population—too many cars, and the partial return of the United States to Keflavik Naval Base are all signs of decaying humanistic values.
Prostitution is a growing industry in Reykjavík, largely due to growing tourism. This growing industry is primarily operated online, through websites that advertise escort services or through social media, including Facebook. Most of the women are foreign, and police suspects they are victims of international prostitution rings which ship them from one country to the next, stopping only for a very brief time in each city.
Prostitution is not illegal, but buying the services of a prostitute or profiting from prostitution is. In other words: Prostitutes are treated as victims of human trafficking and are not punished by law, while pimps and johns are arrested. However, no arrests have been made for several years.
“At least three motorcycle gangs are trying to establish themselves in Iceland, Hells Angels, Outlaws and Bad Breed. In previous years, the Icelandic police had been successful in hindering motorcycle gangs in gaining significant foothold in Iceland, but…there are now definite signs that they are actively working to expand their presence in Iceland. Many members of the motorcycle gangs in Iceland have ties to the illegal drug trade, money laundering, and are known to be armed.” Organized Crime and Prostitution on the rise in Iceland – Iceland Monitor (mbl.is)
Is this peaceful island nation becoming something uncertain, something cosmopolitan or will the majority of the people, conscious of the dangers of greedy capitalism, recall the humane possibilities of creating a cooperative socialist economy, and an end to the ever-expanding warmongering NATO?…
For the rest of this article, published originally in Covert Action magazine by RON RIDENOUR, a ThisCantBeHappening! collective member (now in retirement) and a US expat living in Denmark, please go to: https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/06/18/could-icelanders-herald-path-to-economic-equality-with-prosperity-and-peace/