Odon Por (1883-?) was a Hungarian-born Italian economist. During the 1910s he wrote several articles elaborating and defending the theory and practice of revolutionary Syndicalism. Later, he came to support Benito Mussolini's Fascism, believing that fascist economic policies could provide a route for implementing economic reforms such as Social Credit. During this period, Por became a friend and frequent correspondent of the poet Ezra Pound, and a major influence on Pound's economic ideas.
From The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia
From Tim Redman, "Por, Odon," in Tryphonopoulos and Adams (eds.), The Ezra Pound Encyclopedia, pp. 237-238
- Por, Odon (1883-?)
- The Hungarian-born economist Odon Por wrote to Ezra Pound to introduce himself in early April 1934. He described himself as "an old New Age-Orage man... trying to propagate Social Credit here" (Redman 156). Before coming to Italy, Por had lived in England, where he contributed several articles on trade unionism to the New Age. The correspondence between the two was one of the richest of Pound's fascist period. Earle Davis correctly observed that Por strongly influenced Pound's ideas about "the intent and execution of Mussolini's program."
- Por contributed articles to important Italian periodicals such as Osservatore Romano and Civilta’ Fascista. He had influential friends among fascist intellectuals and politicians. Por's letters to Pound gave the poet hope that the economic reforms he advocated were being put into effect by Mussolini's regime. But Social Credit never happened in Italy, and the two friends' correspondence functioned largely to shore up each other's fede fascista and help each other with journalistic contacts and assignments. Editors occasionally demonstrated skepticism about Pound's economic theories: Por wrote to Pound on 14 June 1935: "The editor of Civilta’ Fascista asks you to write him an article on anything except economics" (Redman 163).
- Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Por wrote to Pound sounding him out about contributing to Italian propaganda efforts, perhaps by writing a pamphlet to be called "Pound, an Open Letter to Americans." On 11 September 1939, Pound sent Por a mild letter addressed to the English, with a proposal for a more scathing one for the Americans. Pound was in financial difficulties at this time, and Por helped him out, finding him work translating Por's new book Politica Economico-Sociale in Italia Anno XVII-XVIII into English. Italy's Policy of Social Economics 1939/1940 appeared in September 1941.
- Por was proud of his work on political economy. He wrote to Pound on 22 February 1936: "I will send you my early stuff. Much of the best buried in New Age (Orage's)—of which I have no copy." Pound's own assessment of their contribution appeared in a 6 March 1939 letter to Henry Swabey: "E. P. with Por one of first to compare and correlate the DIFFERENT contemporary programmes: Corp[orate], State, Doug[las], Gesell" (Redman, 186). Attempting to find, combine, and put into practice the best ideas in Italian fascism, C. H. Douglas's Social Credit, and Silvio Gesell's stamp script absorbed most of Pound's and Por's journalistic and epistolary energies during this time.
- September 1910: The Railroads for the Railroad Men, Wilshire's (September 1910).
- 1912: "Syndicalism", co-authored with F. M. Atkinson, in The English Review.
- Later reprinted in The Living Age (July, August, September 1912).
- December 1912: Syndicalism in Action: How the Italian Glassblowers became their own Employers, Wilshire's (December 1912).
- Later reprinted as The Italian Glassblowers' Takeover of 1910: Syndicalism in Action by the Kate Sharpley Library.
- 1923: Guilds and Co-Operatives in Italy