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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9386/a-blast-from-the-past/

A blast from the past

February 6, 2009 by

Every now and then it can be productive to dig around the archives of Time magazine.

Exhibit A is from October 1933 entitled “Gold Indictment No.1” which discusses the life and times of a New York lawyer who refuses to allow his gold to be confiscated by the US Treasury.

About four months later another interesting piece “Roosevelt Money” was published detailing Roosevelt’s devaluation of the dollar and confiscation of gold. In particular it was rather striking to read the quotes from Japan’s finance minister as well as the thoughts of soon-to-be infamous Joseph Goebbels.

See also: De Gaulle the gold bug
Good as Gold

{ 8 comments }

J Cortez February 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

The above articles make me wonder what kind of draconian measures Obama will take when things head much further south during his administration.

Chad Rushing February 6, 2009 at 9:49 am

This historical account is the kind that leads me to believe that even converting one’s wealth to precious metals will not keep it safe from the ravenous federal government in the long run; that is, nobody’s wealth in any form is safe from here on out. Sure, gold is a great hedge against monetary inflation, but that only works when you actually get to keep it once you have acquired it.

Pat February 6, 2009 at 11:58 am

Chad is right, except that it will have to be at the international level, rather than simply in the US. That would require them to nationalize the mining companies, passing a law that forbids the trade and acquisition of precious metals, except for industrial purposes, the complete ownership of the land by the state (Good examples are most African countries in which the state is regarded as the ultimate owner of the land. This makes private ownership of the land practically nonexistent. It is effectively a lease. And that is one of the reasons behind poverty in those places), and other controls over the economy…Seriously, they might as well come out and say they will have to suppress individual liberties. There is a point where you have to go all the way or you will have some individuals messing up with your program. Hitler and Mussolini understood that. Castro understood that.

liberranter February 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Pat:

What you describe is pretty much in effect now, or is on the brink of becoming formalized as extra-legal positive fiat. Given the ceaseless acceleration of government power over the last decade, and the de facto nationalization of whole industries during the last six months, what exactly is left to stop the State from dropping any remaining pretext of constitutional government (other than the efforts of liberty lovers, of course)? If anyone can bring this full-scale socialism to fruition, it’s the Obama Regime.

liberranter February 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Pat:

What you describe is pretty much in effect now, or is on the brink of becoming formalized as extra-legal positive fiat. Given the ceaseless acceleration of government power over the last decade, and the de facto nationalization of whole industries during the last six months, what exactly is left to stop the State from dropping any remaining pretext of constitutional government (other than the efforts of liberty lovers, of course)? If anyone can bring this full-scale socialism to fruition, it’s the Obama Regime.

Reason February 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Stop the confiscation.

Really really rich folk will find some risky political protection somewhere. Some people will accept Obama’s wishes out of ideology; some will get mercantilistic contracts in exchange for acquiesence; some will be able to hide wealth; and some might resist.

But what of the nay sayers? Will they learn from that NY lawyer’s failed attempt at Constitutional redress? Suing Obama will go as far as the Ron Paul campaign. As profound, spirited and right as it was- it did not win the presidency, nor even come close.

The regime has the advantage of segmentation, divide and conquer. When it conscripts, it targets just the 18-24 yr olds and the Military Industrial Complex wins. When it taxes, it levies hardest against some and rewards others. Inflation works similarly, and only a few know about it.

It is concentrated interest that impacts the future. Concentrated political interest gets its way via the state. Peaceful and concentrated efforts at educating the public, like LvMI’s m.o., are long term solutions; Christianity overtook an empire through centuries of hard work.

So what if you do not want to part with your gold, property, life or liberties—now!? Concentrated efforts focusing on the short run would mean what? Passive resistance, ‘stealing’ back stolen property from the gvt, disrupting bureaucratic operations via sabotage, secretive militias, kidnappings, secession, targeted assasinations, bombs, and…?

Justice beckons the better part of our humanity. Yet, would fighting today’s oppression be a sure route to third world society? Not if NAP and proportionality is followed. I say fight the power. Justice will beget justice.

Lowell Sherris February 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Frederick Barber, the New York lawyer indicted for refusing to return is god, was a real hero. Barber had deposited approximately 3250 ounces of gold with Chase national bank. When FDR ordered the confiscation of gold he sued the bank which, complying with FDR’s executive order, refused to return the gold. Barber was indicted for failure to register the gold.

However, Barber didn’t have possession of the gold. The bank had the gold. I don’t understand what law Barber could have broken. Apparently he was indicted for having the audacity to file suit. What naivety to believe the courts would follow the constitution.

Lowell February 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Note the typo correction in the first sentence; I may be typing too fast (or thinking too slowly):

Frederick Barber, the New York lawyer indicted for refusing to turn in his gold, was a real hero. Barber had deposited approximately 3250 ounces of gold with Chase national bank. When FDR ordered the confiscation of gold he sued the bank which, complying with FDR’s executive order, refused to return the gold. Barber was indicted for failure to register the gold.

However, Barber didn’t have possession of the gold. The bank had the gold. I don’t understand what law Barber could have broken. Apparently he was indicted for having the audacity to file suit. What naivety to believe the courts would follow the constitution.

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