It seems like these days, tens of thousands of people in country after country have absolutely nothing better to do with their time than to complain about some brutal, repressive, merciless regime rubbing their liberties into the mud and trudging all over their basic human rights. I know what you’re thinking: isn’t there anything else going on in Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Iran, or Jordan that allows people to just relax for a minute and let a dictatorship work its unique breed of magic, keeping the economy in shambles and making sure that hoards of young, restless, unemployed men stay the hell out of main plazas and instead spread out, preferably at arms length, in the streets or upside down in back alleyways on some sort of mind-altering drug, or at least fast asleep after begging for money all day, or, if need be, going to university for a few hours a day, only to graduate from an engineering program in Cairo to be a street vendor or taxi cab driver? Yeh, me too. Christ.
Autocrats have vision, dammit, and if people, even in groups of 100,000, think that yelling and screaming about their incredibly desperate situations is supposed to convince me that repressive regimes aren’t just about the most patriotic and American thing I can damn near think of–particularly when they are occurring thousands of miles away from my tract housing, hip coffee shops, and blonde-haired son, and even more specifically, when they can guarantee to me that I can take a few trips to Bed Bath & Beyond every now and then, and bring my kids to soccer practice, then to the beach, in my Ford Explorer, or even my Chrysler Minivan depending on which one is being serviced, before heading for cheeseburgers and watching a few hours of A&E before sleeping very soundly at night–then honestly I feel sorry for them. Well, not that sorry because frankly I don’t have the time with all of these family activities to attend to.
And maybe if the citizens of Turkemenistan, if that indeed is a country, could look into the beastly and remarkably offputting face of a disingenuous and dedicated giant like Gurbanguly goddamn Berdimuhamedov, they could see, in his cold, sunken eyes, the benefits that a colorful blend of domestic repression and unfettered access to resources in their country can so effectively bring to us here, in this fair country. Maybe, just maybe, if the citizens of Egypt think about it enough during the many hours they spend unemployed, or being unrelentingly tortured, they too will be able to fully appreciate just how vital their police state is; in the grand scheme of things, yes, but to me and my immediate family in particular. Just a few measly courses in geopolitics might help, don’t you think?
Well, anyhow, I got a bit off topic and flustered thinking about these young adults protesting for democratic representation when they don’t even understand a basic tenet of democracy, which of course is that it’s only good when it helps me out directly and frees up my weekends for family activities and some delicious, mildly expensive meals. Otherwise, maybe some of us–before we march out on the streets and demand to be treated like a human being and not have our family members beaten to death by police forces–can take a step back for a minute and think about how a dangerously representative government might impact the interests of others in the world who would like to be able to get a resource or two at an affordable price, or at least have a land route for equipping our troops in other countries so we can set up police states there as well.