There is an abrupt time-shift in canto 46 from ‘how it was under Duke Leopold’ to how it is now, in the present moment. Moreover, the poet shifts his identity. He is no longer a searcher of archives, nor the preacher against usury. Now he is a contemporary investigator and prosecutor of crime. He has been on the case for seventeen years and longer, ever since he grasped what Douglas was going on about in the New Age office in 1918, that is, that the government can create credit and distribute purchasing power to its people. He can see the crime, has the evidence and a confession, but can he get a conviction?
The criminal he wants to put away is the banking system which has usurped the power to create credit and which exercises it for private profit and against the public interest. The confession was made by William Paterson, one of the speculators who set up the Bank of England in 1694, in its prospectus and charter. The Bank, he wrote, “Hath benefit of interest on all the moneys which it, the bank, creates out of nothing.”
David Moody. Ezra Pound Poet. Volume II: The Epic Years 1921-1939, 218.
CANTO XXII [Douglas and Keynes in 1918]
CANTO XXXVIII [capitalism, money and war]
CANTO XLV [usury and hyper-usury]
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