The role of artists and intellectuals in political resistance is a well documented and generally well respected modern and contemporary feature, but their role in actual governance has been littered with failure and ignorance.
Up until fairly recently, art and intellectuals were primary supported by (or actually part of, by way of birth) the governing class, which placed them in a different role vis a vis politics.
But at least since the Romantic period, certainly artists and also, to a great extent, I think, intellectuals have been put into a role as outsiders.
This is all about Ezra Pound and what to do with him. Because that question never goes away, does it?
I was reading this article about Pound’s relationship with Mussolini and the impression is that Pound was roundly duped by Il Duce.
Listen to this comment by Mussolini’s aide:
This is an eccentric proposal thought by a foggy mind lacking any inkling of reality. Keeping in mind the affection Pound has for Italy and the enthusiasm that motivates him, it is sufficient to let him know that his interesting proposal is being studied…
Pound as a stupid little man, tossed meaningless sops to keep him happy with being effectively ignored so he could be blithely trotted out as a meagre tool of propaganda when time permitted.
The great genius… reduced to so little.