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Additional info for Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing: A Study of The Cantos
That Economic Democracy had a radical effect on Pound's thinking can be seen from the chronology of the early Cantos. 4 This break in composition may have been due in part to the upheaval caused by Pound's removal to Paris in December 1920. It is more likely, however, that he found himself forced to reappraise the opening of the poem in the light of his reading of Douglas. Certainly he must now have been acutely aware of the increasing distance between the progressive programmes of his prose and the lingering aestheticism of 'Three Cantos'.
Economic Democracy thus provided one answer to a pressing question: how could lavish expenditure on war be reconciled with the miserly social policies inevitably pursued by governments in time of peace? For Douglas, it was a precondition of the present system that the community which rightfully owns the wealth 22 Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing it produces should be endlessly defrauded by a small group of financiers who control the flow of credit to suit their own anti-social purposes.
And the corrupt economic system responsible for this state of inertia is felt as an oblique pressure throughout the Canto ('the leasehold is / Touched with an imprecision'). Douglas's contempt for the mass-produced 'tawdry The Emergence of the Economic Theme 23 "ornament" ('the direct and logical consummation of an economic system which rewards variety, quite irrespective of quality'P ] lies behind Pound's references to the 'tawdry class' and the 'tawdry table ', but his fragile evocation of 'Nicea'is hardly a substantial counterweight to the emptied language of the 'dry pods '.