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Friday, April 28, 2017

U.S.(C48) Debt

U.S.(C48) Debt

By Ezra Pound
(June 5, 1943)
U.S.(C48) Debt
April 28, 2017

Will you folks back in America NEVER realize that you are fightin’
this war IN ORDER to get into debt?

I mean just that, you have been dumped into the war IN ORDER
to get into debt.

To get in further, to get in up to the chin, the throat.

To get into the morass up to your eyebrows and
no man living can see WHEN you will get out of it.

Wars are made to make debt.

The other reasons are hooey.

It don’t in one way matter who got you into it.

In another way it matters a lot; because WHEN you
discover who got you into it, you may begin to cast
round toward, begin to wonder WHY you are in.

Debt is an implement for creatin’ and enforcin’ slavery.

Your Rhoosian allies are slaves of an infernal state,
life sentence.

You have pretty nigh got a life sentence.

Prosperity WAS just round the corner.

Now it ain’t, not by a darn sight.

It is NOT just round the corner.

And the LONGER you go on being at war,
the further off it will be.

Lunacies, manias, collective hallucinations are abstract.

They are general.

They do NOT look at the FACTS in front of their noses.

As for example Mr. Hopkins, dispeptic Harry.

Now Europe is fighting quite definitely for something concrete.

Europe is also fighting for something avowable.

The ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods?

Those also are something worth fightin’ for.

Great odds were NOT against you in 1939.

Nothing threatened your welfare.

You are NOT fighting for the bonnie blue eyes of old England.

That much is at least, and at last pretty clear.

England is getting indebted.

She WAS indebted.

She is now MORE so.

Do YOU get anything out of it?

I think most of you do not, and will not.

You most certainly did not, last time.

If Mr. Hopkins is to be believed, you are already constricted,
and Harry hopes you will be more so.

Sadism is one form of mania.

Do you NOTICE it, in particular cases, does it appear amongst ye,
in any PARTicular instance?

Have you by contrast ever known a single case in which a mortgage
did any positive GOOD to a farm?

Have you ever known a case in which a debt benefited the debtor?

In which the necessity to pay some interest per month or per year
on a loan was of any positive use to the borrower?

And if your personal interest payments on a loan or a mortgage
exceeded your income, would it help you to sleep and eat?

Your allies, the English, had the edge on you some years ago,
but they are NOT very intelligent.

Some of you see a net gain in things, mostly territory that used to
be English, and that seems likely to belong to the U.S.A. someday,
if somebody don’t take it from you.

It don’t strike me that anybody in Europe ever had any intention
of takin’ it from you.

But then there is Asia.

Russia is largely in Asia.

Russia and Japan are NOT at this moment at war.

Mr. Wallace foresees danger of war with Russia unless Stalin
will eat angel cake and give you the icing.

Mr. Stalin once spoke harshly of loan Kapital.

He once upbraided the Czarist regime with having spent a lot of
Russian blood in the interest of the loan sharks of Paris and London.

Why would he eat angel cake out of Wallace’s kitty-bag?

Why wouldn’t he be ready to divide up with Japan, say a sphere
of influence in Alaska, while the men of Nippon went down to
eat kangaroo meat and take a dip in the Australian wool trade?

Mr. Wallace’s propensity to venture forth on the apple bough is
such as would cause perturbation to any nation less acephalous
than that now in habiting the N. American continent.

Now lest you think I am making this up as I go along, or lest you
think my view is tinged by opinion picked up in the Mediterranean
basin, let me quote you one of your “allies” who wrote it back in
1931, in Mr. G.K. Chesterton’s paper.

Let me be serious.

Let me animadvert, or at least cite a few passages
from J. Desmond Gleeson on winning the War.

Oh no, not THIS war.

The last war.

Gleeson was writing in 1931 on winning the last war.

They saw the golden sun setting in the West.

They certainly did win the war and the losers stood about the
shores of their ancient continent looking toward the newer
continent where the world had begun splendidly again.

I prefer G.K. Chesterton’s style to Gleeson’s. Quote:

But though it seems a criminal thing to say the business men of
America were not quite so business like as they should have been.

They organized a scheme of debts due to themselves and appointed
a chief debt collector, but neglected to close down all workshops in
the U.S.A.

They piled up stacks of finished stuffs designed for every
imaginary purpose.

They anticipated the wishes and set a whole complicated and
expensive process in motion that should FORCE individuals to
own to the wishes that the big business man wished them to

That is a rather florid prelude, a florid way of expressing the
prelude to the present mass slaughter, but go back and read it.

There were, according to Gleeson, but two ways out.

Either the manufacturers must distribute their goods free of all
cost … or they must stop the incoming tribute at least for a space.

By riddin’ themselves of their goods without charge they might
still go on with their production.

Or by cutting off the gold stream, the gold might accumulate
abroad and THEN be used for purchase.

That was the end of Hoover.

The process of buying the gold with dollars, thereby robbing the
American people of THEIR purchasing power as well, was another
ultimate flower in the Talmudic garden.

It is not, and has not been my purpose in these talks to speak of
this war as an isolated phenomenon, a bit of meteorite fallen from
some other planet.

My function is to arouse a little curiosity about a PROCESS.

War is PART of a process.

Some men would want to know what part of a process it is,
and what process it is a part OF.,_1943)_

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