The Problem with Ezra Pound

By Not Sure

27 March 2022


                Ezra Pound was a poet.  As a literary editor he helped discover and shape the works of such writers as T.S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce.  He was outraged by the senseless loss of life of World War I which he blamed on finance capitalism, something he called “usury.”  Moving to Italy in 1924 and living there through the 1930s into the 1940s, he promoted an economic theory known as social credit and supported Sir Oswald Mosley and Benito Mussolini and also expressed support for Adolf Hitler.

                During World War II, he made hundreds of radio broadcasts for the Italian government where he vocalized criticism of the United States, Great Britain, Franklin D. Roosevelt, international finance, arms manufacturers and Jews. 


Canto XLV

By Ezra Pound


With Usura


With usura hath no man a house of good stone

each block cut smooth and well fitting

that design might cover their face,

with usura

hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall

harpes et luz

or where virgin receiveth message

and halo projects from incision,

with usura

seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines

no picture is made to endure nor to live with

but it is made to sell and sell quickly

with usura, sin against nature,

is thy bread ever more of stale rags

is thy bread dry as paper,

with no mountain wheat, no strong flour

with usura the line grows thick

with usura is no clear demarcation

and no man can find site for his dwelling.

Stonecutter is kept from his stone

weaver is kept from his loom


wool comes not to market

sheep bringeth no gain with usura

Usura is a murrain, usura

blunteth the needle in the maid’s hand

and stoppeth the spinner’s cunning. Pietro Lombardo

came not by usura

Duccio came not by usura

nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin’ not by usura

nor was ‘La Calunnia’ painted.

Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio Praedis,

Came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.

Not by usura St. Trophime

Not by usura Saint Hilaire,

Usura rusteth the chisel

It rusteth the craft and the craftsman

It gnaweth the thread in the loom

None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;

Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered

Emerald findeth no Memling

Usura slayeth the child in the womb

It stayeth the young man’s courting

It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth

between the young bride and her bridegroom


They have brought whores for Eleusis

Corpses are set to banquet

at behest of usura.


n.b. Usury: A charge for the use of purchasing power, levied without regard to production; often without regard to the possibilities of production. (Hence the failure of the Medici bank.)


                Pound was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason, deemed unfit to stand trial (nobody wants a well-spoken defendant to “have his day in court”.  “Sanity” and “competency” are often used to silence or coerce.  Theodore John Kaczynski refused to enter an insanity defense and ended up pleading guilty to all charges to avoid a death sentence, but he did not get “his say” except perhaps in his 2010 book Technological Slavery which he had entitled The Road to Revolution.)

                And here I digress with a quote from Kaczynski’s book:


                Only the collapse of modern technological civilization can avert disaster. Of course, the collapse of technological civilization will itself bring disaster. But the longer the technoindustrial system continues to expand, the worse will be the eventual disaster. A lesser disaster now will avert a greater one later.  The development of the technoindustrial system cannot be controlled, restrained, or guided, nor can its effects be moderated to any substantial degree.

                This, again, is not an eccentric opinion. Many writers, beginning with Karl Marx, have noted the fundamental importance of technology in determining the course of society's development. In effect, they have recognized that it is technology that rules society, not the other way around. [Jacques] Ellul especially has emphasized the autonomy of technology, i.e., the fact that modern technology has taken on a life of its own and is not subject to human control. Ellul, moreover, was not the first to formulate this conclusion. Already in 1934, the Mexican thinker Samuel Ramos clearly stated the principle of technological autonomy, and this insight was adumbrated as early as the 1860s by Samuel Butler. Of course, no one questions the obvious fact that human individuals or groups can control technology in the sense that at a given point in time they can decide what to do with a particular item of technology. What the principle of technological autonomy asserts is that the overall development of technology, and its long-term consequences for society, are not subject to human control. Hence, as long as modern technology continues to exist, there is little we can do to moderate its effects.  A corollary is that nothing short of the collapse of technological society can avert a greater disaster. Thus, if we want to defend ourselves against technology, the only action we can take that might prove effective is an effort to precipitate the collapse of technological society. Though this conclusion is an obvious consequence of the principle of technological autonomy, and though it possibly is implied by certain statements of Ellul, I know of no conventionally published writer who has explicitly recognized that our only way out is through the collapse of technological society. This seeming blindness to the obvious can only be explained as the result of timidity.

                The political left is technological society's first line of defense against revolution.  If we want to precipitate the collapse of technological society, then our goal is a revolutionary one under any reasonable definition of that term.




                Ezra Pound was incarcerated in a Washington D.C. psychiatric hospital for over 12 years.  Eustace Mullins worked at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in Washington D.C. and there he met Ezra Pound’s wife, Dorothy, who introduced Eustace to her husband.  Mullins visited the poet frequently, for a time serving as his secretary.  He credited Pound with setting him on a course of research that led to him writing The Secrets of the Federal Reserve.  Mullins became a researcher at the Library of Congress and helped Senator Joseph McCarthy in his investigations into Communist Party funding sources.  He was cited in 1954 as a "neo-Fascist" by the House Un-American Activities Committee, which noted in particular his article "Adolph Hitler: An Appreciation", written in 1952, in which he compared Hitler to Jesus and described both as victims of Jews.

                The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve is an interesting history of the Federal Reserve by G. Edward Griffin.  I enjoyed it as a summary but there were some obvious omissions.  I went down a few rabbit holes to see how others characterized those omissions.  What I found is a world so full of hatred and name calling, in-fighting and slanging, that it’s painful (and boring) to spend much time there.  Yes, the book doesn’t talk about Zionism or Jewish bankers and Griffin doesn’t acknowledge the debt of the excellent research done by Mullins who laid bare much of what Griffin later exposes…again.  But if one credits Mullins, they end up swimming with the anti-Zionists.  It’s back to Ezra Pound and years in prison without an opportunity to defend oneself.

                Everyone owes someone a debt and hopefully that debt is free of compound interest (usury.)  Just one of the debts we owe Alan Watt is that he didn’t fall into these “elephant traps.”  Those traps so big and so obvious that it should be easy to avoid them.  In this talk from June 8, 2007 entitled "Masters of Money, Mayhem and Mass Manipulation in All Ages", Alan takes the money con way back in history, and that is where it belongs.  If we cannot see how ancient this con is, how it predates all “isms” then we are really helpless in the face of its destruction.

                This is a short blurb and a good little chunk of it is devoted to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first fireside chat from March 12, 1933 where he tells his listeners, the frightened citizens of America, about the “Banking Holiday” that he has instituted.  On March 6, FDR had issued Proclamation 2039 ordering the immediate suspension of all banking transactions.  He had taken the oath of office of the President of the United States only thirty-six hours earlier.


                In the spirit of avoiding elephant traps and supplying you with the very best historical references for your further research, I suggest you read the writing of the late Antony C. Sutton, a British-American researcher, historian, economist, professor and writer.  He wrote many excellent books including Trilaterals Over Washington, which he co-wrote with Patrick M. Wood (Technocracy News).  His trilogy of books Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, Wall Street and FDR and Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler are unparalleled in deep, original research and analysis.

                If you go anywhere near the topic of international bankers and their influence over policy, you will be slanged as a “conspiracy theorist” or worse and Sutton was no exception to those slurs.   But a more balanced and I believe accurate review of his body of work comes from T. Hunt Tooley, professor of history at Austin College of Sherman, Texas, writing in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, who said Sutton was the most important of the conservative and libertarian writers who "took up the subject of the bankers from the 1960s, bringing to paleoconservative and libertarian audiences a highly critical picture of bankers and their influence".   


                From Chapter One of Sutton’s Wall Street and FDR:


                The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson—and I am not wholly excepting the Administration of W.W.* The country is going through a repetition of Jackson's fight with the Bank of the United States—only on a far bigger and broader basis.

    -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Col. Edward Mandell House, November 21, 1933, F.D.R.: His Personal Letters (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce 1950), p. 373.


“The Du Ponts and Rockefellers are certainly on record in Congressional investigations as the largest contributors to the 1928 Hoover campaign. But Wall Street withdrew its support of Herbert Hoover in 1932 and switched to FDR. Why did Wall Street switch? Because Herbert Hoover would not adopt the Swope Plan created by Gerard Swope, long-time president of General Electric. FDR accepted the plan, and it became FDR's National Industrial Recovery Act.  So, while Hoover was indebted to Wall Street, FDR was much more so. The hand on the purse ultimately decrees which policies are implemented, when, and by whom.”


                From Chapter Three -- FDR: International Speculator


                One of the most morale-damaging aspects of the inflation was the "sack of Germany" that occurred at the height of the [1923] inflation. Anyone who possessed dollars or sterling was king in Germany. A few American dollars would allow a man to live like a millionaire. Foreigners swarmed into the country, buying up family treasures, estates, jewelry and art works at unbelievable low prices.

   --  Marjori Palmer, 1918-1923 German Hyperinflation, (New York: Traders Press, 1967)


“Franklin D. Roosevelt was organizer and president of several speculative international financial enterprises linking Germany and the United States, and in particular one enterprise to profit from the ruinous German hyperinflation of 1922-23. In 1922 FDR became president and was one of the organizers of United European Investors, Ltd., with a Canadian charter, but based at 160 Broadway, New York. In 1927 FDR was also organizer of the International Germanic Trust Company, Inc. and the Federal International Investment Trust, which never got off the ground. By far the most important of these speculative enterprises in the world of international finance was United European Investors, Ltd., formed to accumulate German marks deposited in the United States and to reinvest these marks in Germany by purchasing property from destitute Germans. Fully to understand the scope and meaning of United European and to follow the activities of International Germanic Trust Company, we need to make a brief review of German financial conditions in the early 1920s.”


From Chapter Twelve-- FDR and the Corporate Socialists


                At the first meeting of the Cabinet after the President took office in 1933, the financier and adviser to Roosevelt, Bernard Baruch, and Baruch's friend General Hugh Johnson, who was to become the head of the National Recovery Administration, came in with a copy of a book by Gentile, the Italian Fascist theoretician, for each member of the Cabinet, and we all read it with great care.

   -- Mrs. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under FDR.


“It is worth recalling at this point the epigraph to Chapter 1, that Franklin D. Roosevelt privately believed that the U.S. government was owned by a financial élite.  There is, of course, nothing notably original about this observation: it was commonplace in the 19th century. In modern times, it has been averred by such dissimilar writers as Robert Welch and William Domhoff that America is controlled by a financial elite based in New York. The Soviets, who are not always altogether inaccurate, have used this theme in their propaganda for decades, and it was a Marxist theme before Lenin came along.


It was under Roosevelt that quaint Keynesian notions—the modern versions of John Laws' con game with paper money—were introduced to Washington, and so the seeds of our present economic chaos were laid in the early 1930s under Roosevelt. Contemporary double-digit inflation, a bankrupt Social Security system, bumbling state bureaucracy, rising unemployment—all this and more can be traced to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his legislative whirlwind.


But while we now pay the price for these unsound and irresponsible policies, so pervasive is prevailing misinformation that even the identity of the originators of Roosevelt's New Deal and their reasons have been forgotten. While our economists cover their blackboards with meaningless static equations, a dynamic looting operation of the economy has been in progress by the authentic formulators of the liberal New Deal. While the bleeding-heart social engineers have screamed at capitalism as the cause of the world's misery, they have been blissfully unaware that their own social formulas in part emanated from—and have certainly been quietly subsidized by—these same so-called capitalists. The tunnel vision of our academic world is hard to beat and equalled only by their avarice for a piece of the action.


What we do find is that government intervention into the economy is the root of our present problems; that a Wall Street cotérie has substantive, if subtle, muscle within this government structure to obtain legislation beneficial to itself; and that a prime example of this self-seeking legislation to establish legal monopoly under big business control was FDR's New Deal and, in particular, the National Recovery Administration.”



                Also see the links we’re providing that touch on other current news, e.g. Ukraine, Covid vaccinations, etc. and please continue to support the official websites of Alan Watt by your donations and your orders for Alan’s books and discs.  Thank you.


© Not Sure



Additional reading:


Wall Street and FDR – Antony C. Sutton


The Best Enemies Money Can Buy (1980) - Antony C. Sutton


Reconstruction Finance Corporation


The Truth About the 1933 U.S. Banking Holiday


The TRUST GAME [EP 05] 'Who Holds the Gold Makes the Rules...' (Truthstream Media)


Technological Slavery by Theodore John Kaczynski