We spend a great deal of time destroying humanity with our delightfully, brilliant (cynical, asinine) nature. But in the end, people can really shape their future and determine their fate with nothing more than the very best trait we have as a race: the complete inability to ever substantially give up on anything, no matter how bad it gets. We’re not doomed until we accept it as inevitable. For now, we’re battling on.
Nigeria is now Africa’s largest economy. In a country so corrupt you can’t buy a bottle of water without bribing a government official the public has made it happen. Don’t believe the folks who will say it’s only about the oil. South Africa’s number one status was also buttressed by minerals. Certainly the oil helps, and is a large percentage of this, but the heart of Lagos is not just petroleum fueled towers. It’s a flourishing commercial and cultural center. Yes, South Africa’s per capita income is still many times larger than Nigeria’s, so in a sense this status is worthless. But these things matter to a country. This is legitimate and well earned.
Your government is corrupt, your allies hate you and are leaving, your enemies want to take you back to the year 300, and so when you’re asked to vote what do you do? Well, if you’re an Afghan citizen the answer is you vote. You make a statement to the world that you want a brighter future and that you’re prepared to trust democracy to deliver it for you. Based upon the results of past elections, any rational human has no reason to expect this election will deliver the promise of a brighter future. And yet there they are. Defiant, hopeful, and brave. It’s awesome to see and one hopes this time the result is different.
“Dear Taliban, Fuck you. Signed, Free Citizens of Afghanistan”