I'm exhausted. We've been having 8 days of anti-government protests. I've only been to two days because I was out of town before, but I already have huge reservations. I support protesting because our government is ridiculously corrupt, like, cartoonishly so. But the protests have been framed as the voice of the young, intelligent, free people, and purposefully contrasted to the February protests of people who took to the streets out of desperation because they couldn't afford to pay their electricity bills. 4 people self-immolated then. And now these young, intelligent, beautiful protesters (all words they've used to describe themselves) look down on those desperate people because they were not as hip and democratic, they only wanted free stuff and were basically communists (with our history, this is more than an ideological insult, it's basically an indictment).

The smugness, elitism and decidedly right-ish overall energy of the protests is really, really turning me off. I go, and will continue to go, because there's nothing else we can do at this point, but I can't fake enthusiasm and I feel completely excluded, because I'm very left-wing and because I feel terrible for the poor, undereducated, old and desperate people who can't afford to partake in spontaneous choreography and witty hashtags because they're too busy trying to stay alive; and the attitude I see towards them, the burgeoning right-wing rhetoric is killing me.

I wish people would see that the issue we have is capitalism gone wild. The problem is not just that the mafia people who are at the helm of the state used to be high in the ranks of the Communist Party pre-1989, it's that they've concentrated political and economical power in one. People are holding it as a badge of honour that their grandparents were huge business owners pre-1944, and calling themselves "middle class" as though that's a moral category. We don't even have defined social classes here, we're all just various degrees of poor, except the mafia, of course, who are spending everything we produce.

Advertisement

Oh and all my friends who identify with the adjectives cited above are super enthusiastic about the protests. They believe we're making history or something. I'm all out of faith. I don't think we'll ever get out of the bog, because the people who do understand politics are only looking to profit from it and the rest are easily manipulable. I just want to leave forever.

ETA: I'm in Bulgaria.