I recently finished watching the entire Game of Thrones series, and if you are wondering, that consists of more than 50 hours of immersion into George R. R. Martin’s world. However, I would not let 50+ hours of my life pass by without learning something, so then it hit me. We live in conditions so similar, although visually less appealing, with characters immensely worse looking than the original cast, we are enduring a Lebanese game of thrones.
Count with me, and there is no particular order here, but these are the country’s most powerful kingdoms:
Amal, Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Future, Lebanese Forces, Hezbollah, Kataeb, Progressive Socialist Party (PSP)
Generations have lived and died under the power of those SEVEN for decades.
They want the throne, they conspire, they share the feast and poor people of the seven kingdoms are locked out of the castles and the fortunes. They roam around the realm, and allegiance is sworn just to save lives, because well you never know who might stick their sword in your back if you support the wrong king.
People live in dirt and among trash, some own slaves, while the majority are slaves. The feasts continue, and the little kings save their best tricks for the people’s most important and empowering event: National Elections.
So, what do they do?
They open their castle doors a few days before the ballots are cast and close them a few days after. People start rushing to allegiance, because their mouths are fed, and their streets are cleaned. They are conditioned so drastically over generations to wait for the crumbs, because they have lost all faith in their actual power, and forgotten that the only salvation they have left are the elections.
Except, what better drug is there than to make helpless people believe that they have a choice, when truly the kings are rigging the game?
Lebanon always belonged to one of the kings, yet since the last elections the kings decided to rule together. Let me tell you why, because they are getting old and weak. They are afraid of children, they are afraid of women, they are afraid of youth and strength, they are afraid of being over-thrown by people not even playing their old and withered game, they are afraid of the new that carries hope, acts rightfully, and gives justice where necessary. They are terrified of political dragons, flame throwers, freedom seekers, ones they thought didn’t exist, ones they thought they had crushed under the rubble of civil war.
The old kings dwell in their thrones, some in the north, others in the south and people rush about carrying their expensive stuff, and fresh haircuts waiting for the palace gates to open wide.
Except, what happens if someone comes around and tells them: you do not have to suffer anymore, you don’t have to protect your back, you no longer need your leash. You will get the life you want without falling at their feet, without fighting their wars, all you have to do is not enter that castle gate, cast a different vote!
A slave can pretend to love their chains, they can even pretend to wear them by choice. When given power with a piece of paper, what will the slave do?
In my opinion, A Game of Thrones is fiction for a reason, a slave who has been born and raised into slavery learns to serve not herself. A slave will not use the paper to free themselves, because the fear of living without chains is far greater than the fear of living with them.
So then, here is your choice: Vote wisely, or don’t vote at all; and if you do decide to fall for their tricks yet again, don’t start wailing when you get kicked out of the castle and into your reality again.