Ezra Pound: Canto LXIX

This is a relatively short Canto compared to last few – less than five and a half pages. It mixes English with some tidbits in French and what I believe is Dutch.

Still addressing Pound’s obsession with finance, this Canto focuses on inflation as a means of depreciating debt and the consequences to the nation. The ‘time’ is  Revolutionary War period.

While there’s little poetic about it, some things were interesting.

Once again, what he writes seems relevant in the wake of the last economic crisis.

The depreciation, he writes

but by no means disables the people from carrying on the war
Merchants, farmers, tradesmen and labourers gain
                               they are the moneyed men,
The capitalists those who have money at interest
                                        or those on fixed salaries
                                                                                                     lose.

If you think of ‘war’ as standing in for the ‘real economy’ – the economy of real assets, like physical items or labor, as opposed to the shifting of financial instruments – then doesn’t this point to the current inequity between those who live and work in the ‘real economy’ (most of the 99%) and the 1% who so often are those ‘who have money at interest’ as Pound says. Pound suggests that, really, we could do quite well and shouldn’t worry about the latter.

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