Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 10 years ago

Does Ezra Pound show traces of Fascism in his poetry?

I'm writing a paper for school and I chose to write about the poet, Ezra Pound. I need to prove whether he shows his Fascist beliefs in his poems or not.

2 Answers

  • 10 years ago
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    It can sometimes be very difficult to identify where 'fascism' is visible in The Cantos. Fascism as a political system had relatively few unique features; both Hitler and Mussolini borrowed political and economic ideas from other systems, and it was only the blend that was called fascism.

    But there is some rabid anti-Semitism in many of the Cantos - particularly the USURA cantos between XL and LX. In the original drafts the Rothschilds were excoriated as Stinkschuld (though Eliot made sure that most of these lines were left out of the Faber published text). See the link.


    More relevantly, a major theme of fascism was state control of the finances. The idea that the state has a right - or a duty - to intervene in controling the currency recurs over and over in the Cantos. The first full appearance is as early as Canto III, where El Cid finances his military adventures by tricking the pawnbrokers Raquel and Vidas (also Jews); but there are also thematic references to the financial systems of Kublai Khan, the Medicis, the founding of the Bank of England by Charles II, and the bankrolling of medieval architecture. Pound's theme is always that private involvement in finance is wrong (usura) while state direction of the finances is necessary (see the references to management of public debt by the Medici at the link).

    Pound's economic ideas actually came from the depression-era theorist C H Douglas. But Douglas' ideas were also a major source for fascist economic thinking (fascism standing for a centralised state control of an economy, without any democratic accountability for that control). So while Pound perhaps isn't strictly following fascist economic thinking, he is getting his ideas from the same source.

  • 10 years ago

    What poems of his are you looking at specifically? This would help in your analysis.

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