Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pound today

Ages ago, when I remarked to my high school English teacher that I was reading Ezra Pound, she pertinently responded: "Wasn't he, well, prejudiced?" Just so, yet Pound refuses to take his place peacefully in the dusty museum of early anglophone modernism. 

Like many others who caught the bug at one time, I continue to ponder him (sic). In different ways, we sense that he is relevant for the present. A recent essay collection, "Ezra Pound in the Present," explores these intimations. 

In summary, the editors single out three main areas of intersection: the excesses of finance capital and how, if at all, they are to be curbed; the renewed importance of China; and the continuing vitality of the American founders, especially Jefferson and Adams. 

The conventional view is that Lord Keynes decisively skewered the amateurish Social Credit theories of Major Douglas. True, but maybe something can be salvaged, since the current liberal remedy of regulation of financial institutions has proved all too easy for capture and dismantling. 

As a longtime admirer of the philosopher, Pound would surely appreciate the formation of Confucius Institutes in many countries. Pound was also interested in Japan; and one cannot afford to neglect that country either. 

Finally, the American foundation documents, leading to the Constitution, continue to be the subject of much study and debate.


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