You are here

Iceland, the most peaceful country on earth

Being half-Icelandic in background I'd like to believe in intrinsic Norse wisdom but …

  1. The reason my great grandfather's trade (carpenter) was so revered was because Icelanders deforested their country (like the English).
  2. Icelanders are worse than Kiwis for being travellers. They are dumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in their constant trips to hot climes.
  3. They still think its their cultural right to hunt endangered whales.
  4. I think they are building or have built with big corporate dough a smelter with terrible implications for the atmosphere.

They are a wealthy people, but they pay a big price for that. As Scandinavians, they simply out-work most of the human race. A CBC documentary compared the Newfoundland economy with that of Iceland and really couldn't come up with anything much more than the fact that Celts are lazy drunks and Icelanders are hard working drunks. Work hard, Play Hard. Their hygiene and housekeeping standards reflect that too.

Both Newfoundland and Iceland are big islands dependant on fishery except now the Newfies have oil money to help. But the difference is that the Icelanders know that if they don't work hard, they starve, with no one to bail them out.

Newfies have been able to rely on constant welfare inputs from Ottawa and took on an Aboriginal work ethic. Whole joke books have been published exploiting that character trait. Except it is PC to tell Newfie jokes (the jokes are published in Newfoundland) but First Nations jokes are off-side. With the Alberta oil economy to lure them out, this welfare culture, five decades old, is disappearing.

Now Newfoundland and Iceland are both beginning to resemble each other more, especially in their disregard of the environment.

Other interesting parallels, both cultures, Celtic and Norse, place a huge value on literary accomplishments, writers and poets are highly esteemed and political debate is a pastime. Both societies boast a tradition of feisty women, but Icelandic women are actually more independent because they broke free of the church. They go on strike once a year and shut the whole country down to prove their importance to the economy.

Because it has always been a socialized welfare state with free health, education, employment and child care benefits and total female employment participation, taxes are sky high and inflation as well. This latter fact is something you should reflect upon. Because double-digit inflation discourages savings so much—in fact it makes it nonsensical to put aside anything—people are encouraged to be hyper-consumers.

They run out and buy things and blow everything they have on cars, clothes and trips. Live for today has always been the motto. So being seen in fancy clothes in a smart car and in a well-furnished apartment becomes a cultural requirement. I would be looked upon as a hillbilly. Also the pressure to work long hours at two jobs—not an Icelandic phenomena exclusively obviously—just to get the money to pay the huge rent and grocery bills ($5 for a lettuce) creates the stress that makes young people and everyone turn to alcoholism big time.

Promiscuous sex is also a cultural trademark with all its emotional and physical costs. It is like when socialist Gunnar Myrdal was criticizing the Swedish welfare state. Whatever model of society we design, whatever set of problems we solve, a new set arises with the better model. There are always trade-offs. But somehow the grass is always greener in other countries.

BTW, my mother's cousin, Helgi Seljun was a Communist deputy (Peoples Party) deputy in the Icelandic parliament. There were 7 parties at the time and I think 5 of them were left of centre. Today there would be a very interesting coalition I'm sure. The president I believe is still a woman whom I saw in Vancouver about a decade ago I think.

One positive statement I would like to make about the land of my mother—and obviously don't circulate this—is that they have always pursued true National Socialist1 objectives. They know they are keepers of a precious culture that is 1200 years old and have no right to let that be absorbed or diluted by the influx of other cultures.

As matter of fact, whenever a foreign word invades the language, a special government commission replaces that word with a Norse neologism. Anyone who becomes an Icelandic citizen through marriage must change his or her name to old Norse names. Thus the language spoken today would have been entirely intelligible to Eric the Red a millenia ago, and he could have read the Icelandic Bible that sits in my living room.

Icelandic libraries are full of Norse sagas, poems, ghost stories and debates. The food they eat is second to none. Fish and lamb and all the deserts my grandmother made for me, and coffee made like no one else did. Only you hold the sugar cubes in your tongue when you drink it. Point being, there is nothing “deficient” in Icelandic culture that needs “enrichment” from the immigration of other cultures that would threaten it and also rob the people of their irreplaceable low-density living.

Tim Murray, 27 Dec 2007
Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada

See also The Australian's April fool's joke


1. This means ‘national socialist’ in the earlier sense, which pre-dated the appropriation of that term in the 1920's by Hitler's National Socialist (Nazi) Party.



I woud like to quote part of this article on my blog, but it says "don't circulate this".

I believe the connection between a peaceful society and one who also protects itself from foreign influx is no accident.


This was also posted to

Hi Skip,

Good that someone else is raising his voice against high immigration.

In regards to Tim's article, "Iceland, the most peaceful country on earth", please feel encouraged to reproduce it as long as you acknowledge the original source, preferably with a link back to the article.

For the record, I take issue with some of the content of the sites linked to from there, for example which, in turn, links to sites which apparently support aggressive US wars against other countries, for example MilBlogs.

I support the defence of the Australian continent against overt military attacks and terrorist attacks and I oppose high immigration into this continent as trampling on the rights of the current residents of this continent.

However, this should not imply support for this country or its allies violating the rights of other countries such as Iraq. I strongly recommend that you read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine". I have quoted from in on Online Opinion Discussion.

I think you should ponder why US citizen Rupert Murdoch through mouthpieces such as The Australian both supports the invasion of Iraq and, as you have noted, high immigration into Australia. I think they are two sides of the same coin.

I also recommend you read Tim Murray's Article "Closing our borders can't mean turning our backs". Whilst Tim resolutely opposes high immigration into the US and Canada, he points out that it would not be nearly as much a problem if neo-liberal globalism had not previously destroyed the self-sufficient agricultural economies that had previously existed in the countries from which prospective immigrants want to come.

We aren't going to solve our problems by perpetually waging war on everyone else on earth as the bloggers at MilBlogs seem to think. By all means we must act prudently against military threats, but we are only going to fix the mess for good if we deal with the cause instead of just the symptom of immigration.

James, sorry for the delay. I went collecting info on Iceland's immigration and found too much. I will post it to my blog shortly, hopefully. I don't disagree with anything in your comments. Thanks for the tip on blogs that I link to: whilst some of them are a bit gung-ho the main reason I link to them is their info on Islam, immigration, Left-liberal lunacy, etc.

The following was posted to the mailing list Optimum Population (optimumpopulation AT The web-site of the UK group Optimum Population Trust is

Re Tim Murray's outline of Icelandic culture it seems that they don't wish to have their culture diluted but don't mind the dilution of their recently very pure blood and genectic line by the immigration of, as I have heard, a large contingent of Pakistani men in the past so many years as long as they change their name, speak Norse, presumably not open kebab/tandoori food establishments etc. and everything stays the same except the look of the immigrants and their offspring.

This is a very enlightened, accepting attitude the Icelanders are taking which shows immigrants are welcome as long as they are really integrated. It would be interesting to know how the Muslim immigrants have handled the strong women, promiscuous sex and the high consumption of alcohol all around them.

The Icelanders must be hard working as, at least until recently (their currency was devalued) they had a higher per capita income than those in the UK with a population of 1/25th of the population of London with no exportable natural resources except fish, which they sensibly had a war with us to protect. They must be living from the rest of the world's population by clever investments and expertise. An interesting place.

This article is just so wrong and outdated that I wonder who told you this stuff. Having an Icelandic background doesn't seem to have encouraged you to learn about the country from reliable sources. It is not perfect, no country is but Vigdis (the woman president you saw a decade ago) hasn't been the president for about a decade. "Women go on a strike once a year"? What? There was this one strike (decades ago) where women did that and again in remembrance of that day a few years ago but it is not a yearly event. People who move there are not forced to take a new name, that was years ago that they removed that rule. "stress that makes young people and everyone turn to alcoholism big time" This is such bullshit. Alcoholism doesn't have a stronger connection with Iceland than any other country. But yes I could go on and on about how inaccurate this piece is but I'll leave it here. What is the point of writing something like this when you have absolutely no facts excepts tales of a grandmother of drank her coffee strangely which means all Icelanders drink it strangely, or a tale of a slutty cousin who got so overstressed over having to own everything that she turned to alcohol and sex. Try to find the facts next time, it would save people the trouble of reading bullshit like this.

Thank you, Anna, for for taking the trouble to post your thoughts..

Firstly, I should point out it was published at my initiative and not Tim's. I published it on Tim's behalf after the news of Iceland being rated the most peaceful country on earth had broken some months after Tim had e-mailed the letter to me. Tim was reluctant to have it publishe because he was worried that the article would be misunderstood, as it seems it might have been in this case. Nevertheless, I believe it was right to have published the article.

I think the article needs to be judged in the light of what Tim's intentions were. Also, while it is true that Tim may have been careless in some respects, it seems to me that it was intended to be tongue-in-cheek and he was using some artistic license.

Clearly the essential thrust of Tim's article was to defend the rights of national communities, whatever may be their flaws (whether real or invented) to control their own destiny, particularly in regard to immigration.

If Tim said some apparently uncharitable things of Icelanders, as he did also of New Zealanders, and Newfoundlanders, it seemed clear to me that he was still sympathetic to them and understood the necessity of adopting measures that some might consider over-the-top in order to preserve their culture.

This question in regard to Iceland is a vitally important for many people around the globe, who are facing cultural extermination: Tibetans, West Papuans, and various tribal cultures in the remaining rainforests of the world.

Many of us choose, politically incorrectly, to follow this argument to its conclusion concerning the Anglo-European cultures of North America, Australia, New Zealand and even the British Isles where local communities are threatened with record high levels of immigration.

If you still, nevertheless, dispute the appropriateness of this article, I would encourage you to send us a more complete article to explain why you still feel this to be the case. We would also appreciate it if you stated your own thoughts on whether or not you believe that Icelanders are entitled to adopt measures they do (or at least those you don't dispute they do) to prevent their culture from being overwhelmed. If you send us an article, we undertake to publish it with a link and teaser displayed on the front page.

Alternatively, you may wish to simply post further comments in response to this.

Copyright notice: Reproduction of this material is encouraged as long as the source is acknowledged

I wondered why I see so many UN "studies" touting how great Icelandic life is, giving it the highest marks in the world on liveability, based on health care, crime, air quality, and wealth.

The studies are always used as a battering ram against capitalistic countries, particularly the United States. It's as if you could compare a small homogeneous WHITE country of 300,000 with our 300 MILLION racially diverse people living in climatically diverse America.

It's sad Iceland has abandoned religion, but lo. The fucking UN views that as a positive.

Premarital sex? No problem for the U.N. Christian people view that as a big problem.

I guess it's all in the values

Me? I'll take America and George W. Bush any day of the week

Note: I'm not sure how this comment relates to this article, but I agree with it. - JS

Hmm. You mean to say you endorse corruption and terrorism? Because thats what GW is and does. Also he was never once won a presidential elect in reality but has been inaugurated twice? Hmmmm.

I like their facade of needed "Wars" to allow the president to be head chief of the military and gives him absolute executive power to veto or pass bills without Congress. It makes one remember things like NESARA any many others. GW was only in office 7 months before a wonderful war was effectively fabricated. Since then they have been tromping the world without any regard for Mother Earth, nature, peace, integrity, people, the constitution, truth or even just a little common sense for the future. Funny, I used to think the Vatican was the purest evil group on this planet ......

You go ahead and keep your GW. Pretty soon your GW & residual Co. will have you locked in your house under Martial Law. Have fun!

I read through everything and found it interesting. Yes, my comment doesn't really relate to the thread, but I just couldn't let the GWB celebrating occur without a decent and logical retort!!


Subject was: What is the purpose of this - JS

What is the purpose of this?

Editorial comment: I thought the purpose should have been clear by now. It's a light-hearted self-deprecating vignette about the country from which Tim's mother came. It obviously blows out of the water of the dogma of multi-culturalism in which certain countries, with cultures deemed worthless, are supposedly morally bound to allow their cultures to be cast aside in favour of supposedly richer and more exotic cultures from elsewhere.