06/13/2013 12:38 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2013

The New One Percent Doctrine

Adapted from "The Solution" by Bertolt Brecht

After the revelations of June 5
and the anger of many people who rashly supposed
that liberty of the person can't mean spying on the person;
after the sobriety of the inspectors and architects of behavior
who understand that these collections are serious and harmless;
after the well-advised president was heard to say
that he welcomes a vigorous public debate,
a debate concerning the "tradeoff" of liberty and security,
the "balance" of 100% security which is the essence of life
and liberty which may or may not be in the Constitution;
it would have been superfluous to add the debate will be peculiar
since the interpretation of the law presupposed by the government
must itself be kept a secret from the public that is free to debate
(and this for the safety and protection of the public).
No more attacks government heard people say,
and though other things were said they mattered less.
If the people grow forgetful of their obligations to the government,
if they fail to understand the promises implicit in their expectations,
may it not with serious regret be necessary to conclude
that the people have forfeited the confidence of the government?
The architects of behavior will thus be warranted in telling the people
they can win back the confidence of the government only by redoubled efforts.
Would it not be easier in that case for the government
to dissolve the people and elect another?