The Narrow Path of Freedom and Other Essays

By Eugene Davidson | Go to book overview

17
EZRA POUND

“Ezra Pound speakin’” was the way he began his early wartime broadcasts beamed to the United States on behalf of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. They were delivered in a drawled, upcountry dialect sounding more like lines from an old-time musical comedy than an account of affairs of state. What followed would be an incoherent tour of the horizon, Confucius, Roosevelt in the hands of the Jews, and the hopeless state of the world without Fascism. “Lord knows,” he said after Pearl Harbor, “I don’t see how America can have Fascism without years of previous training.” He had a good deal to say about a “humane” monetary system matching some of the impenetrable poetry he was also capable of writing.

Later in his semiweekly broadcasts he was introduced as Dr. Ezra Pound, who, in accord with beneficent Fascist cultural policy, would be free to talk on whatever interested him. His harangues bore no trace of the man his fellow inhabitants of Rapallo, with no doubt Dante in mind, referred to reverently and simply as Il Poeta and to whom T. S. Eliot had dedicated his Waste Land as the “better workman.” The ideas he expressed in his broadcasts were inextricably tangled in the woolly economics that abound in times of depression. He advocated social credit, a certificate of purchasing power to be issued for work performed in the place of currency no longer as sound as a dollar. He gave his jumbled reasons for his devotion to Mussolini and his party, a devotion that had come to

Written in 1996.

-138-

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The Narrow Path of Freedom and Other Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Part I - Foreign Affairs 1
  • 1 - The Nuremberg Trials and One World 3
  • 2 - Nuremberg 21
  • 3 - The United States and Europe 28
  • 4 - Visiting China 47
  • 5 - The Narrow Path of Freedom 56
  • 6 - Global Aspects of East-West Relations 62
  • 7 - The End of the Cold War? 69
  • 8 - Saddam and a New World Order 73
  • Part II - The Idea of History 77
  • 9 - History as It Really Is 79
  • 10 - Domestic Peace 84
  • 11 - Looking Backward 90
  • 12 - The Thin Coat of the Higher Learning 95
  • 13 - The Path of the West 103
  • 14 - The Further Decline of the West 110
  • Part III - Individuals 115
  • 15 - Remembrance of Uncle Charlie 117
  • 16 - Albert Speer 134
  • 17 - Ezra Pound 138
  • 18 - The Suzette Morton Davidson Gallery 146
  • Index 149
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