Article originally appeared on thefederalist.com.
On June 17, 1953, more than a million East Germans walked off the job and launched a massive strike in protest of unfair production demands imposed by the communist government. The playwright Bertolt Brecht, who was living in East Berlin, responded by composing a poem about the Soviet-installed government’s approach to the problem, “Die Lösung” (which translates into “The Solution”):
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
Anyway, you know things are bad in America when East Germany seems like a relevant historical analog, but here we are. Perusing the press these days, you’d think Brecht’s satirical joke about the government …
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