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Extra resources for Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing: A Study of The Cantos
The present type is primarily a mask, his ideal is the nickel-plated cash register, and toward the virtues thereof he doth continual strive and tend. The first man dealt with men, the latter deals with paper. l? Somewhat paradoxically, Pound would place Bacon in the first category, thereby making him rather an anachronism. 32 Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing This, of course, is precisely the point, and the evocation of the pioneer spirit harks back to an earlier period of American capitalism in which individual freedom apparently coincided with the socio-economic structure.
Pound's attempt to make his own aesthetic interest in music the basis for a scheme to 'liberate' the worker's sensibility was predictably unconvincing, and his blustering rhetoric only made his ignorance of industrial conditions the more apparent: 'there is no use waiting for millennia', he declared, 'primitive man cries out to god; the proletarius [sic] cries out to Social Justice. ' Gold was not impressed and wrote to Pound to tell him so. tO Clearly Pound was not about to endorse Gold's revolutionary programme, and he made this explicit in his third piece for New Masses: I am not a revolutionist, if by that term one means a man who believes that a complete smash of the existing order is necessary before one can get improvement.
And the corrupt economic system responsible for this state of inertia is felt as an oblique pressure throughout the Canto ('the leasehold is / Touched with an imprecision'). Douglas's contempt for the mass-produced 'tawdry The Emergence of the Economic Theme 23 "ornament" ('the direct and logical consummation of an economic system which rewards variety, quite irrespective of quality'P ] lies behind Pound's references to the 'tawdry class' and the 'tawdry table ', but his fragile evocation of 'Nicea'is hardly a substantial counterweight to the emptied language of the 'dry pods '.