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Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 May 2000 15:55:53 -0500
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Tim Romano wrote:

> [snip]
> I have a clear sense of the ideological foundations of Pound's racism. But
> the man does not seem to me to have been capable of this kind of
> monstrosity. Has someone assembled convincing evidence that Pound was truly
> this inhumane in his race-thinking?
> And to En Lin Wei: What is your understanding of the refrain: "Out of which
> things seeking an exit"?

While I am not ordinarily a political proponent of the worse the
better, I could see an argument for honoring the *Cantos* the more
if one saw *ego, scriptor cantilenae* as indeed this inhumane. Surely,
Mussolini in Ethiopia was no more inhumane, and far less hypocritical,
than the U.S. in (for example) Haiti up to and including the present.
If the *Cantos* is the "American Epic" (i.e., the epic of imperialism),
such fundamenal features of the nation as Haiti must at least be in
it at least implicitly. And this would provide a gloss on the line "Out
of which things seeking an exit." Pound must support or celebrate
the glory and horror of empire -- but (cf. Properitus & Mauberly)
needs also seek an outlet from the clutter of empire. Like most
intellectual "converts" to Fascism, he sincerely sees such a ruling center as
providing the framework within which "ordinary" people can: "dig well
and drink of the water / dig field; eat of the grain" -- people to whom
and for whom "Imperial power is? and to us what is it?"

Carrol Cox

P.S. Did Pound ever refer to Proudhon or indicate he had read him?
What I describe above is the core of Proudhonist politics.