The Genealogy of Demons: Anti-Semitism, Fascism, and the Myths of Ezra Pound
Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988.
Robert Casillo’s The Genealogy of Demons is unique in Pound studies because the explicit purpose of it is to give critical insight into Pound’s anti-Semitism, and it accomplishes this by way of multiple techniques, which it must employ, because Pound’s anti-Semitism is prismatic. A great many games are played herein to discredit Pound’s views on the Jews, although this is sophistic liberal revisionism and intellectual masturbation at a very high level. For example: “One might view Pound’s anti-Semitism as in part a revolt against the punitive parental rival and superego, a conflict between the religion of the forbidding father Jehovah and that of the messianic son” (Casillo, p. 287).
Casillo often relies on Freudian psycho-babble. Advanced Frankfurt School techniques are not the limit of his probing deconstruction, but they are the preferred method. Nevertheless one can learn much from Casillo’s efforts — specifically his work on detailing the thought of French fellow travelers Charles Maurras and Maurice Bardèche. The earlier chapters are especially rewarding as they are the prologue to the trial, thus they are concerned with establishing the relevant background information, the intellectual anti-Semitic precedents and proto-fascistic streams of thought that foreshadowed and shaped Pound’s thinking. The later chapters then seek to wrap the a priori guilty verdict — of Pound’s insistent “demonological” anti-Semitism — in a nice bow.
As a Ph.D. in literature, you might expect Casillo to shy away from social-historical analysis of the validity of anti-Semitism and instead rely upon highly creative abstract devices to explain away this “irrational phenomenon” — and you would be right. For that is exactly the type of analysis that Casillo employs. Never does Casillo ask it it is possible that Pound blamed usury first and those who monopolized the mechanism secondly, or if, by way of studying the Social Credit economic system of Major C. H. Douglas, Pound was led to what Jonathan Bowden delightfully called the opposite of philo-Semitism. For Casillo, as for those who refuse to awaken to the reality of Jewish subversion and usury, there is a missing link.
By way of illustration, take a brief snapshot of the current situation in Argentina, which I plan on detailing in a forthcoming essay for Counter-Currents. While Argentina defaulted on $81 billion in 2001, as a result of President Menem’s neoliberal (laissez-faire) reforms, which allowed for the IMF and World Bank to secure short-term investments with the accompanying liberalizing policies of privatizing state enterprises, and constriction of government monetary policy. All this really means is that by breaking down the autarky of the nationalist-socialist strain of Argentina — most fully expressed in Peronism — the IMF and the World Bank enabled the country to slide $155 billion dollars in debt through securing short-term loans which artificially inflated the value of the Peso and simultaneously disabled government control on how the loans could be withdrawn. Essentially, foreign investors poured their money into Argentina only to pull the rug out when the dividends reached a certain level of profitability. This left bonds on the market at heavily discounted prices, which the vulture capitalists (economic terrorists) then acquired.
When we observe the facts, that the debt holders came forward to claim their pound of prime triple A Argentinian flesh, it was none other than the usual suspects: Paul Elliott Singer, a real New York Jew and CEO of Elliott Management Corp, who is described by Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez as a “vulture capitalist” and whose “principal investment strategy is buying distressed debt cheaply and selling it at a profit or suing for full payment,” and another tribesman Mark Brodsky of Aureilus Capital. Fellow tribesman George Soros has emerged as another of the bond buyers who is suing BNY Mellon for withholding funds from the initial settlement with Argentina. Of course calling the whole thing a criminal enterprise, which will negatively impact millions of Argentinians for generations and enrich a few investors like Soros and Singer, is beyond the pale. But not to worry, because the tribe has one of their own inside: Axel Kicillof, the economic minister of Argentina, overseeing the whole transaction of a nation’s wealth into the pockets of some Jewish hedge fund types. It is hard to avoid conclusion that the facts are anti-Semitic.
Unsurprisingly, israelnationalnews.com is quick to join a growing cacophony blaming the victim, Argentina, for the country’s woes. This is not unlike the NSDAP’s post-WWI claim that Germany was stabbed in the back by Jewish financiers, who sought to gain economic leverage over the nation by plundering it into debt and destabilizing the Second Reich. But the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy is, according to the Frankfurt School analysis, the result of projection and scapegoating by the German people because of their loss in the war. Never mind that Bavaria fell to the Reds in 1919, first under a Jewish socialist in Kurt Eisner then into a bloody regime of Bolsheviks under the Jew Eugen Levine, with fellow tribesmen Ernst Toller and Gustav Landauer filling out the vanguard, murdering Countess Heila von Westarp and Prince Gustav of Thurn and Taxis, among others. The strategy detailed in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which many commentators have suggested that despite being a “forgery” conforms to reality. But then the facts are anti-Semitic!
Now the Casillo types would point to these assertions of a Jewish strategy of domination as fanatical delusions, processes of psychological projection and scapegoating for failed artistic types (Pound and a certain Austrian corporal come to mind). Liberals (I use the term broadly) like to play the individualist card and don’t employ notions of groups or peoples or essences (stereotypes), which to them seems a highly barbaric and unenlightened form of thinking. Singer, Brodsky, and Soros are individuals who conform to negative stereotypes and not representatives of the Jewish people as a whole — while the Jews refuse to hold their own to the fire. Pound, however, understood the distinction between the “big Kikes” and the “little Yids” but still managed to see the forest as well as the trees.
Individualism vs. collectivism is the great divide between the Semitic Freud and the European Jung. Jung was able to image a collective unconscious that is a social-historical aspect of the psyche, while Freud could only imagine the isolated individual struggling with his neurosis. Jung was social, while Freud was anti-social. Pound sides with Jung, who, like Pound, would likely look upon individual Jewish usurers — Rothschilds, Soros, Kuhn, Warburgs, Sachs, etc. — and see not only individuals but archetypes or mythologized symbols of Jewish subversion of Western civilization as it has morphed into different forms through the centuries. The essence is the constant, or as Jung would write: “Because the behavior of a race takes on its specific character from its underlying images, we can speak of an archetype.”
But Pound was not an individualist thinker. He did not see himself or others as isolated individuals concerned only with their own morality and conscience. Pound was a European thinker, whose thought worked in the poetic language of myth and tradition: “The Pound-Eliot ‘revolution’ was a return to the past in order to renew the links connecting past and present.” Pound was a holistic thinker who entertained a certain amount of essentialism. He concerned himself with European civilization as a living, breathing entity entirely connected to the smallest of its parts, and thus objected to forces undermining its coherence. Thus, his identification of the Jews as bacillus and related imagery is a “natural” thought within the processes of racial and cultural consciousness. Correspondingly, Pound followed “Douglas’s idea that the basis of credit is social and not private.”
The trick of the liberal education/indoctrination establishment today is to isolate the individual from these modes of thinking, to atomize him as a neurotic member of a diffused society – to put him on Freud’s chaise-lounge (or in a psychiatric ward in St. Elizabeths mental hospital) while the Schiffs, Warburgs, Soros, et al. plunder the public purse. Pound sought to bring the diffusion and subsequent confusion together under a fascism which Europe would be reborn (experience a renaissance) under a more unified and pagan directive.
Casillo classifies Pound’s anti-Semitism as a result of personal “pressures” and as a “poetic strategy.” This discards all of Pound’s factual, historical, social, cultural, and spiritual reasons. Pound’s anti-Semitism is thus divorced from any real manifestation of Jewish misconduct and instead grafted onto Pound’s deficient personality complex. Pound is engaged in projecting his own short-coming onto the Jews.
Pound’s anti-Semitism was multifaceted and not just limited to economic exploitation. Pound was a man of the West. He felt not just an identity with the West but a moral responsibility for its preservation. This is “totalitarianism” as viewed by a Confucian: “having a sense of responsibility” and “thinking of the whole social order” and “creating a balanced system” (Casillo, p. 128). He saw our civilization through a fascist lens as “a supra individual spiritual entity capable of infusing with heroism and purpose the lives of those who fight for it.” It is essential to understand these traditional holistic foundations of Pound’s anti-Semitism.
As a general rule, whenever Casillo presents us with a “paradox” of Pound’s or fascist thinking it only appears paradoxical upon willful under-examination of their underlying principles. The Genealogy of Demons represents the most “rigorous” — i.e., niggling — attempt to deconstruct Ezra Pound’s fact-based political philosophy into “thoroughly arbitrary construct” and a psychological malfunction. But it has to be. Because the facts are anti-Semitic.
2. Gil Ronen, “Argentina’s President Sees Jewish Conspiracy?”http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185676.
4. Stock, Poet in Exile, p. 30. Quoted in Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right: Resisting Decadence (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Pub, 2012), p. 98.
5. Tim Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 69.
6. Roger Griffin, Fascism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 43.