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Magda Hassan
01-28-2011, 10:53 AM
Difficulty of Governing : Bertolt Brecht (1937)



1
Ministers are always telling the people
How difficult it is to govern. Without the ministers
Corn would grow into the ground, not upward.
Not a lump of coal would leave the mine if
The Chancellor weren’t so clever. Without the Minister of
Propaganda
No girl would ever agree to get pregnant. Without the
Minister of War
There’d never be a war. Indeed, whether the sun would rise
in the morning
Without the Fuhrer’s permission
Is very doubtful, and if it did, it would be
In the wrong place.
2
It’s just as difficult, so they tell us
To run a factory. Without the owner
The walls would fall in and the machines rust, so they say.
Even if a plough could get made somewhere
It would never reach a field without the
Cunning words the factory owner writes the peasants: who
Could otherwise tell them that ploughs exist? And what
Would become of an estate without a landlord? Surely
They’d be sowing rye where they had set the potatoes.
3
If governing were easy
There’d be no need for such inspired minds as the Fuhrer’s.
If the worker knew how to run his machine and
The peasant could tell his field from a pastry-board
There’d be no need of a factory-owner or landlord.
It’s only because they are all so stupid
That a few are needed who are so clever.
4
Or could it be that
Governing is so difficult only
Because swindling and exploitation take some learning?