The Amazing Disappearance Of Gold From The American Psyche

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

In George Orwell’s seminal work 1984, there’s a really great scene early in the book between Winston (the main character) and Syme, a low-level functionary at the Ministry of Truth.

Syme is working on the 11th Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, and he explains to Winston how the Ministry of Truth is actually removing words from the English vocabulary.

In Newspeak, words like -freedom- have been struck from the dictionary altogether, to the point that the mere concept of liberty would be incommunicable in the future.

I thought about this scene recently as I was testing out Google’s new Ngram Viewer tool.

If you haven’t seen it yet, Google has digitized over a million books that were printed as far back as 1500, and they’ve made the contents searchable within their own database.

The Ngram Viewer allows you to search for particular keywords. And you can see over time how prevalent the search terms were for particular years.

Out of curiosity, I searched for the term “gold” in English language books starting in 1776.

As one would expect back in the 18th and 19th centuries when gold was actually considered money, the instances of the word ‘gold’ favored prevalently in English language books at the time.

The trend continued into the early part of the 20th century.

But then something interesting happened in the mid-1930s. The use of the word ‘gold’ in English language books reached its peak… and began a steep, multi-decade decline.

1 The amazing disappearance of GOLD from the American psyche

Further investigation shows that the peak actually occurred in 1933. And as any student of gold in modern history knows, 1933 was the same year that the President of the United States (FDR) criminalized the private ownership of gold.

It remained this way for four decades. And by the time Gerald Ford repealed the prohibition on gold ownership, the concept of gold being money had been permanently struck from the American psyche, just as the Orwellian Newspeak dictionary had done.

By the mid-1970s (and through today), people have become readily accepting of the idea that money was nothing more than pieces of paper conjured at will by central bankers.

The good news is that, according to Google’s data, there seems to be slight uptick in the number of instances of the word ‘gold’ in English language books over the last 10-years or so.

No doubt, this probably has a lot to do with gold’s seemingly interminable rise relative to paper currency.

One can hope that the trend will hold… that more people will wake up to the reality that the central-bank controlled fiat currency system is a total fraud.

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B-rock's picture

99% of people don't care it's a fraud and they never will.

NotApplicable's picture

Books??? Other than me and my kids, who the fuck reads books anymore? (I should know, I've given away a couple hundred books, and doubt that more than 3 of them were ever read)

Simon should find out the prevalance of the word "cheddar*" in popular music.

*would also accept "bling"

Pladizow's picture

Hey Simon, there's some gold in Room 101 if you'd like it.

TeamDepends's picture

Anyone remember the portfolio advice found in books from the olden days?  50% Stocks, 40% Bonds, 10% PMs.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

It's all part of their Grand Plan...The Great Game!

How else do you get the Asian Empire to overthrow/overtake the Western Empire without force...sturn language? How is China supposed to swap places with the West if a significant portion of their export market is indeed contracting Western Economies?...Gooooooold.

This has always been about Gold, and it always will be.


wee-weed up's picture

By design... by design...

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

in Soviet Oceania all bars of it are 6666. fine

Mad Mohel's picture

Books!? Wut the fuck is books baybeh?

LawyerScum's picture

What is books? You never heard of the great works of literature like Goosebumps, Choose Your Own Adventure, Animorphs...but you have to have at least a 6th grade reading level so most Americans will never enjoy them.

PartysOver's picture

Obama Phones.  Yea, thats the ticket.

thunderchief's picture

If you pull yourself back from the gold story, and every reason why it should rise and the dollar should decline, you see how high the stakes are. Go walk around a US embassy or a military installation and you will feel how much is to be lost for the USA.
When the USSR collapsed it was bad, but they were out of the world monetary system. If the dollar collapse's the USA will not function. It barley functions today with 1T in deficits.

carbonmutant's picture

Welcome to the American Academic System...

Sudden Debt's picture

and I bet the word gold was a reference of a game, a token or whatever that isn't real.... you know... the bitcoin stuff to buy virtual crap that doesn't exist.

mkhs's picture

No, its the color of the new iphone.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Cue fonestar and his endless gold bashing comments.

oddjob's picture

BTC aside, embracing the digital wallet and its no recourse transactions is lunacy.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I would never stick shove my pecker into a random hole in the wall, either.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

even a hole backed by the FDIC?
Or MF Hole, certified Primary Holer?

JustObserving's picture

Americans are the easiest people in the world to brainwash  Look at the number of people who view Obama, Trump, Dimon or Icahn as heroes instead of crooks.  Look at the number of people who watch network TV which is pure propaganda in the US.

Besides, it you consistently attack gold and silver with HFT computers, people get the message

As they say in Hollywood: "No one has ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

Toolshed's picture

Yeah, Japan did real well with their estimations of the Americans in WWII. All humans are defective, period. The whole us against them thing is sooooooo passe. All races and nationalities of humans have their Obama's, Dimon's, etc. Just read a little world history. Villians come in all shades and stripes. Pointing fingers and placing blame based on color or creed is part of the problem and a very big part of TPTB's strategy. So, who is brainwashed again?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Yup. For years I never had a TV. Finally in the place I moved into one was left behind with satellite.
I turned it on once ever to watch How It's Made. That's it. TV robs me of valuable zerohedge & market-analysis time.

Sufiy's picture

We better learn it again quickly - China is Fed Up with QE and US Dollars:


US Dollar And Gold - PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves

  We are following the groundbreaking changers coming out of China after The 3rd Plenum and PBOC drops another shell-bomb on the US Dollar today. We are witnessing the end of US Dollar as the Reserve Currency of Choice now. Who will be buying all these US Treasuries after that? How can FED Taper now? We can be assured about much higher interest rates with very far reaching implications for the economy and the U.S. fiscal budget.   Timing of this release is very interesting - just yesterday Gold was killed after the release of FOMC minutes. We are entering the new dramatic stage of the Currency Wars, when China picks the old Austrian economics truth - strong currency means strong country. How long Gold Smashing can keep it down with COMEX running on fumes and record high leverage?


Kaiser Sousa's picture

dedicated to the 99.9 percent of sleepwalking voluntary debt slaves who still believe that a green peice of paper with the word "Note" at the top is REAL MONEY...

"You will pay the price for your lack of vision...."

Darth Sidious.....

keep stackin.......

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Will we keep the Golden Globe Awards?

new game's picture

cue manipulation and paper gold to render value useless until that day of true value arrives...

Bosch's picture

I own a little bit of physical, would like much more, but really what am I going to do when the shit hits the fan, drag it around in my ox-drawn wagon and exchange it for what? No one else will know what to do with it either anymore. 

new game's picture

just an insurance policy underwritten by time proven value. maybe beans and lead would be more useful.

nice balance is my advice. place paid for, garden, off grid possibility(firewood), cool place for stores, water supply.

neighbors of like mindset, most important...

Quinvarius's picture

You ever want to get laid again, or is your Ox ride good enough?  You want gold if you want to trade for the finer things in life.  Otherwise, enjoy your radish farm, or whatever.  Besides, your fiat will only be worth its ability to generate BTUs.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Just got a great idea for a booming business in the post-fiat apocalypse!
Ye Olde zerohedge hyperinflation logs! ZH logo on each flat end & across the round surface an engraving of Obamabux or Bennybux with about 20 0's for the denomination.
A good barter item for the holiday season!

Toolshed's picture

Might want read up un Weimar Germany. You could buy a city block for one oz of gold after their shit went bad. I am looking forward to offering whatever remains or takes the place of Wells Fargo an oz of silver to pay off my mortgage.

Backspin's picture

Having a mortgage is part of the problem.  Get out of debt.  Quit feeding them.

Agstacker's picture


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

they figured it out in Zimbabwe very quickly. Men with machine guns arrive with bread.
Those with 0.1 grams of gold get 1 loaf of bread.
People with no gold get to walk away hungry.

Joebloinvestor's picture

The next thing to disappear will be radiation poisoning.


Unless it is some dissident or political figure.

fooshorter's picture

Would you rather have gold or would you rather promises to be kept by bankers?



Kaiser Sousa's picture



Dow, Russell 2000, and S&P at........wait for it.......wait for it....

NEW ALL TIME HIGHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


TeamDepends's picture

Should we get in now, or wait for the next ATH?

new game's picture

Head first, I promise the depth of 6' or more...

superflex's picture

But we now have a gold iPhone.

Hell, HTC has an 18K HTC One for the Persian crowd.

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

The Amazing Disappearance Of Gold From The Hedge Psyche?