Despite what the title suggests, George Floyd has nothing to do with this post.
And I'm not talking about US politics.
The title just borrows the image and overlays it to a much broader idea: How oppressive regimes got their knee to people's throat. How can we breathe?
This is not a profound blog post that makes the news and gets cited everywhere, just a voiceless citizen's heart-bleed.
There's this shapeless pain swelling in my chest every time I take the status
quo and start inspecting it. I feel so helpless and hopeless.
Unemployment, poverty, mandatory conscription, privilege and classism, ..., They all translate to years wasted in one's life, all for bread crumbs. All the dreams and aspirations, all the chances to make a difference, all are much more rare. Unless you give up your freedom and be the regime's pet. That's the fast ladder up in an authoritarian state, and no-other works.
Democracy, in its essence, is incompatible, as the rule of majority to the
rights of minority. And our supreme leader can't have that in his house.
I find it funny that what would amount for a miracle here is told like its nothing by other nationals. From teens working in big positions in big companies to generous research grants for silly but unconventional research topics, ..., to just being able to travel around as a middle class citizen without wasting months jumping from one bureaucracy to the other kissing military boots for a travel permit.
The only value to my life in this living grave is to feed the whales and pigs ruling us from above. And, of course, worry about my day-to-day survival, nothing more. It's no surprise. Even if the regime advertises itself as democratic, it's not even being creative about following the dictatorship handbook down to the punctuation. We are so alienated from any form of hollow democratic practice that technically makes our state democratic, like say, a 98.9% vote to our current president in a presedential elections play.
I know this hopelessness is precisely what the regime wants me to feel, the best way to control mass resistance is to kill it from within each individual after all.
I'm a fucking sore loser though. So I start to search -fruitlessly so far- for
any new source of hope. People are dissenting. I know many aren't happy. I
know no one believes the bullshit propaganda that's thrown in media day and
night. I know I'm not alone, but I don't know who or where are the others.
See, the big problem here, I think, is that I can't find "the underground".
It is advised we should assume all communication is tapped. We shouldn't trust anyone, and we should assume the regime is already following our movement. The obvious reaction to that is to take our activities underground. Where we can gather our strength.
But as an outsider, why would I be trusted in an existing oppressed community? It goes directly against assuming everyone is listening and no one should be trusted. I would like to be part of a community but I can't even imagine a community growing under such paradoxical climate...
Many dissenting movements I heard about (Political movements, LGBT rights organizations, Human rights organizations, activists even) seem to be radio-silent or far-removed. The crackdowns were violent. Many people were driven to flee and many organizations were shut down entirely. It's all so bleak and I feel so lonely even among my friends. I want to meet others like me. What if they were undercover police? What if they thought I was undercover police? Do you see how this complicates things?
It also seems to me that the regime is so successful embedding the wrong (or right, depends on whose perspective it is) thoughts into the minds of people around me. The state of collective mind that is sure to preserve the regime itself. "Be smart, stay silent, don't let them hold something on you, don't assimilate, that's suicide, it's no use, the state is in this too deep, we tried demonstrations and it didn't work, ..." I get told these things so often it's depressing.
I'm conflicted. I'm still a student. Born to a below middle class family with
not much social privilege. We can ensure food of the day and roof over our
heads, but won't dare to dream. I want to dream. I want to feel alive. Travel
the world.. I want to help the planet my own way. Help poor people. Live a good
life. Marry a good person. I can't ever see that future here. I can't see myself
changing the 'here' either. I can only look outwards.
But it still pains me.. It pains me that I see no future for myself in my own country. And that's the essence of my conflict. It is in whether I should stay silent and try to weasel myself out of this bleak future, with my dreams dead if I fail..., or if I should fight a (probably losing) fight for democracy and freedom, to maybe win and achieve some of my dreams, or definitely lose and give my life (or many decades of it in prison and torture) to a lost cause.
So far I chose the weak self-preserving path. To stay under the radar. But the unfairness and awful life conditions are building so much anger and frustration within me that wants to explode. I want to shout and object. I want to demand my rights to live and dream without worry. I'm not sure anymore.. I need to understand what my options are...
sometimes I doubt myself; am I wrong for thinking these living conditions are
intolerable? Is it ok to live with so little personal freedom and agency? Many
countries are authoritarian. The majority of people in the world are sharing my
life. They're still carving their own piece of the world. Maybe I'm just too
No. It feels so wrong to me on a fundamental level. No one is really happy and hopeful. Most are just choosing to focus on the little piece they carved, their bubble. Most are content, but I don't want to just be content. I want to live and leave the world better for my children.. This can't be the right way to live.
The only hope I can hold onto is knowing, as the history tells, that revolution spans decades and even centuries.. Once the spark is lit, it never dies. I'll hold onto that if nothing else.