Ezra Pound: racial preservationist

From one of his World War 2 radio speeches:
I am not arguing, I am just telling you. One of these days you will have to start thinking about the problem of race, BREED, preservation.

I do NOT like to think of my race as going toward total extinction
, NOR into absolute bondage.

The Cincinnati etc. erred from snobbery. They did not in George Washington’s time organize on racial basis. No one thought of it, no one could have then thought of it. There WAS a racially homogeneous population in the newly freed colonies. Certain privileges were dear to the privileged. Snobbism is NOT conservative. Fashion is not conservative. La Mode, etc. is a ramp.

[#51 (July 2, 1942) U.S.(B65) DISBURSEMENT OF WISDOM]
Incidentally, Ezra Pound is another person with more New England ancestry than George Gilder. (Four of Pound's great-grandparents were born in Massachusetts; one was born in New Hampshire; one was born in New York, with ancestry entirely tracing back to Connecticut; one was a Quaker from New Jersey; and one was from Ireland.) Update: More from Pound below.

From a 1939 letter to FDR arts commissar Hubert Creekmore:
I don't have to try to be American. Merrymount, Braintree, Quincy, all I believe in or by, what had been 'a plantation named Weston's.'

Vide also the host in Longfellow's 'Wayside Inn.' Wall ornament there mentioned still at my parents'. Am I American? Yes, and buggar the present state of the country, the utter betrayal of the American Constitution, the filth of the Universities, and the — — system of publication whereby you can buy Lenin, Trotsky (the messiest mutt of the lot), Stalin for 10 cents and 25 cents, and it takes seven years to get a set of John Adams at about 30 dollars. Van Buren's autobiog not printed till 1920.

An Ars Poetica might in time evolve from the Ta Hio. Note esp. my 'Mencius' in last summer's Criterion. And as to 'am I American': wait for Cantos 62/71 now here in rough typescript.

Literature rises in racial process. No need of letting off steam about process. You belong to the human species, you don't have to do anything about that; you can't become a kangaroo or an ostrich. Take all known family stocks from about 1630 via N. Eng. or Quaker whalers, landing I believe in N.J. Could write the whole U.S. history (American hist) along line of family migration; from the landing of The Lion, via Conn., N.Y., Wisconsin (vide Impact), to Idaho.

Ole Bull Wms. a mere dago immigrant. Finest possible specimen of course.

When are you going to make the place safe for natives? Or to hell with safe; when are you going to make it or permit it to be made a fit habitat?
From one of the radio broadcasts:
Well, you are their allies, and the allies of the Stalin canalites. Now what causes that? Press lies in part are responsible. Who HIRED the press lies? Are you, NONE of you, even amateur sleuths? Are all your Ellery Queens and Van Dines on cheap fiction paper? Is there NO Yankee curiosity left? Is New England (according to birth statistics) to be populated only by bohunks at the end of the next 60 years?

Razza, race? Is the ruck end of the old colonial stock so hog stupid, so sterile, so stubborn that NONE of ’em have the sense to raise the race issue? That none of ’em have an even polite parlor interest in enquirin’ even the ouija board or the whist table whether the American colonial race shall survive? Kipling said it: he said the Americans obligingly slaughtered each other during the Civil War, so that the Czechoslovaks could inherit Boston Common. Well, what causes that?

Is it too late to inquire, is inquiry become impolite and unYankee? And what races coalesce or amalgamate? What races can dwell together without constantly inciting other races to start fraternal slaughter, and civil assassination?

The Welsh didn’t spend 800 years trying to get English and Scotch to murder each other. The Irish refused to forget their race for hundreds of years, but they weren’t continually fomenting internal warfare in England, no third race was at the bottom of even the Wars of the Roses. English, Scotch, Irish and few minorities made the American colonies. Germans, and Italians came in without causing civil slaughter. If the American intelligentzia ever THOUGHT about anything, these facts would enter the mental range.

[#47 (June 15, 1942) U.S.(B58) VIOLENCE]


Anonymous said...

Download a PDF of the Pound's WWII speeches @ http://www.archive.org/details/EzraPoundSpeaking-RadioSpeechesOfWorldWarIi

Makes for easier reading.

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