WARNING: LONG TEXT AHEAD. NOT SUITABLE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE READING.
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Democracy the Bulgarian Way
- a bunch of ruthless greedy bastards (we have plenty of those);
- a bucketload of lobbies and financial interests;
- some quality mafia essence;
- a jug of corrupt public media;
- plenty of natural resources to pillage;
- sufficient amount of external parties willing to help pillaging;
- essence of the society's ignorance or disinformation, or preferably both (poorly educated societies provide the best quality essence of this kind);
- we don't use honour, decency, morality, shame and other such tasteless spices, they just make the mixture harder to bake and generally worsen its qualities.
Bulgaria. Not a day goes by without life reminding me what an amazing and unique country I live in. But a unique country is made up of unique people. We always say "Bulgarian business" to describe something which has been awfully messed up. When we are angry we make love with everyone and everything around us. We cuss in most vulgar ways at our national heroes because the sportsteams we hate were named after them. We congratulate each other when we have taken a bath. Our banks get closed for no apparent reason and emptied with no explanation whatsoever, leaving thousands of people unable to use their own money - but this is hardly really a problem since anyway that money is probably not theirs anymore. We believe that the best way to prevent a river from flooding the nearby villages is to cut down all the trees along its bed, so that they don't get in the way of the water. We are experts at everything, especially things that are not our specialty - so when things get messy (which happens rather often, it's Bulgarian business after all), it's always doubtlessly somebody else's fault. We are unemployed and very poor, but we still enjoy life, and the cafés, bars and malls are always full. Just our electricity taxes sometimes exceed our monthly income, still we manage to survive. Our humble orthodox clergy on the other hand, drives last-model expensive cars and wears golden watches, each of which probably costs more than most peoples' yearly salary. Instead of growing more educated, in the XXI century we grow more illiterate - but this is not a problem either since our official institutions don't bother with grammar anymore. Speaking of which, the European Union may have acknowledged our alphabet as one of the official European alphabets, but in our everyday life we more and more use preferrably the Latin, even for our own language. And I could go on like that for hours.
However, our greatest achievement of all, is democracy. It is also our most unique feature.
Until 25 years ago we were a communist country. In 1989 with a sheer revolution we brought the communists down, or at least so we believed back then. We keep electing the same people to govern us ever since. Many of them have already grown "blue" and "right" though, so they are obviously much better politicians and persons now.
Our president, whom the people lovingly nickname Weedy (free self-made translation), was elected in 2011. A lot of people entertain themselves by speculating that the elections were manipulated and he is not a legitimate president. I cannot tell for sure if this is true (although personally I believe it), but one thing is evident in every second of his speeches - he is a very erudite person whose intelligence by far surpasses that of the majority of Bulgarians.... downwards. He alters or ignores grammar on regular basis, he likewise alters the geography of the world and Europe and fails in various other ways as a main representative of our country. Or who knows, perhaps he represents us rather well. Yet the best thing about him is that it is obvious to the deaf and blind that he serves unconditionally the interests of a single party and mainly - it's leader, who was the prime minister from 2009 until 2013. I said "party" although it is really the leader, a few people around him, who manage to benefit through servitude, and just a bunch of other people who make absolutely no difference, except for in numbers - which is necessary in the Parliament.
Said prime minister, lovingly called BB by the people, also an erudite (even though he didn't exactly finish the only book he ever started reading), is an extremely intriguing personality himself. He calls himself "simple-minded", likewise he calls his nation, us, that. He is however a fireman and a bodyguard. What a better choice for a man to lead a country. Furthermore, he was the bodyguard of our late communist leader himself, and after that of our ex-prime-minster-ex-ex-monarch (who was banished by the communists when he was a child but returned to govern us again for a few years after their fall). During the leadership of said ex-monarch BB became chief secretary of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior (i.e. the police structures), and apparently for good reasons. BB has been investigated by external institutions (including the CIA) and according to them he has close and deep relations to the Bulgarian mafia (come on, CIA, we all know that). He is involved in drugs traffic and illegal oil dealings, while his partner in life (NOT wife) owns a bank accused of massive money laundering. Having this in mind, it is only natural that BB became the chief secretary of MI since he is so familiar with the affairs of our well-organized criminal world. It gets better. He actually made excellent use of this post by concealing his illegal activities and wiping out a lot of his mafia opponents. No one was ever arrested for all the killings that took place during his time as a chief secretary.
His second in command in his party, whom the people lovingly named TsvTsv, was his vice prime minister and BB's successor as a minister of MI. In many ways he continued the noble work of his boss, but he also added some new tricks - like illegal wiretapping for example and turning the MI into the private security and repression institution of BB. A trick we know all so well from our bright communist past. After their mandate's untimely termination in 2013 TsvTsv was convicted by the Bulgarian court's first instance and, according to his own words regarding cases such as this, he should be in jail now. Instead, he was the campaign leader of his party for the recent elections and since now he is a deputy again, Bulgaria's prosecutor's office itself decided he cannot be judged any further.
Let's talk about said elections. Oh, we love elections, we practice them all the time!
Having that said, a strange phenomenon is that the electional activity drops all the time. We protest against governments, and then don't bother to go voting. But after that we keep protesting for new elections.
No need to worry about voting activity though. While we barely reach 40% activity here, there's plenty of exiles in Turkey ready to vote. Some vote there, others are kindly transported to Bulgarian cities in order to vote and then just as kindly transported back, all paid by the state. Well, of course, the lot of them don't read or even speak Bulgarian, but the cause of one anti-constitutional and anti-bulgarian ethnic/religious party (not BB's) is worth some compromises.
Enough of that, let's get serious for a moment.
BB's government was legitimately elected in 2009. Due to the pure naivity of the Bulgarian people. Ever since, our country has been brutally pillaged, the state has been ruthlessly abused and its institutions have been shamelessly enervated so that they cannot stand their ground against The Party. As a result the Bulgarian state is as good as fallen apart. I have no doubt however that they will manage to make things worse. They are talented in this respect.
A year and a half ago, after we had finally had enough (the Bulgarian people are ridiculously tolerant towards their own shitty politicians), we poured out on the streets in one of the few biggest protests since the fall of the communist state. We brought down the BB government with the sheer power of society's wrath. Ironically, we probably did him a favour. After the protests a caretaker government was appointed (by BB's obedient president, but that's details), elections were carried out and - surprise - BB's party got the highest results again. Another small detail is that a small pack of 750 000 falsified voting papers were caught by the police in the electon day. (Up to this day I cannot explain myself on how come they were *actually* caught and didn't go unhindered.) Anyway, politicians found a way to form a government without the participation of the ridiculously huge number of BB deputies in the Parliament. 3 days after the government was formed, protests broke off again. Not because the people were angry, but because BB was angry he didn't get to rule again. In synchronism with those protests he refused to show up in the Parliament (and his whole "party" did exactly as him, a paragon of unity), thus compromising the work of said Parliament and rendering it virtually unable to function normally. You'd say they finally began to listen to what the people wanted. These protests were different though. Many people argued, and still do, that these protests were no less authentic. Some people apparently believed that 3 days after the elections the vote results would be drastically different, and for the better. Others though just believed in the money which wanna-be prime minister BB was paying them. So even though those protests appeared authentic, before long it was more than obvious - at least to me - that they don't serve a cause, but just one man and his ilk. A lot of people would admit they were paid to go there and blow whistles all day long. Those protests went on for more than an year. Don't even ask what did our capital city's center look like during that time. But that's local. Let's get global. The non-BB government was too unstable and a few months ago it fell. Another caretaker government was formed (again by BB's good obedient president). New elections were carried out on October 5. Guess who won. BB "beat", as he likes to say himself, the rest of the parties by more than twice their votes.
So.... from what happened now it appears that we didn't take the criminals down because we didn't like them governing us. A majority of people voted for him again anyway. No, wait. The majority of people didn't vote at all. But a majority of those who did, voted for BB. Or at least so did the election results point. Some people claim half those votes were falsified or bought. No one believes such things. The fact that some puny 750 000 falsified voting papers were captured the previous time means nothing to no one in this country.
Big mess, huh? Bulgarian business. What does it look like from my point of view.
Everything has probably been carefully planned and executed. This man first managed to clear his path up to the high levels of authority in the country, eliminating rivals, building a machine for propaganda, preparing the stages. He predictably became a prime minister because we are naive and we always vote for the next "savior" who appears on the stage. I underestimated him back then. A lot of people did. After that he made sure to make his puppet into a president and this way secure his stay in the state's leadership. Election falsification machine was constructed. The only remaining thing that could still endanger his power was the sheer, direct power of the people, which simply cannot be controlled - not without bloodshed anyway. (By the time of the 2013 protests, he was a step away from turning that way.) He then so stepped off of leadership for just a little while, just enough to turn protesting into a grotesque of itself. He turned the act of protesting - the one incorruptible tool of society's power over the politicians, into a mindless whistle-blowing which means nothing and is being massively ignored. Even worse - he turned said protesting into yet another thing which divides us and makes us fight each other.
An year and a half ago we celebrated that the Bulgarian society has finally woken up and will no longer tolerate criminals ruthlessly pillaging it. Now this society has been abused in a way we hadn't even imagined before. An awful lot of these people still don't realize that. They go on paying their overwhelming bills, they still cannot find a job or a way to pay their debts, they keep striving to survive after their own hard-earned money have been denied to them by someone, they keep losing their homes and dying in natural disasters.... but the much more tragical disaster was brought upon us by a man. And in his simple-minded cunningness he managed to make us forget it.
In case you did read the long text and didn't quite understand its logic here and there, check out Wikipedia for the definitions of "irony" and "sarcasm". The rest is purely Bulgarian logic, sadly this one cannot be in any way explained to non-Bulgarians.
Years ago, when I wore a younger man's clothes, as the song goes, you would often hear me say: "I'll never leave Bulgaria to live elsewhere - this is my homeland, I love it and I'm proud with it." Now I wish I were already gone to live elsewhere. I still love my homeland, or well, what's left of it, but I fucking hate its corrupted state. Better I'd go somewhere else than stay here and watch how said state is ruining both my homeland and my life, as well as the life of millions of other people.
There is one sad truth though. The state doesn't come from abroad or from some outer space. It is formed by the people who live in it. So each time we start cussing at our politicians we'd better remember we might just as well cuss at ourselves.