I recently started reading the popular investment book, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. I'm only on Chapter 2, but I came cross an off-the-cuff-remark he made that I found pretty mind blowing.

“The standard policy of people all over the world who mistrust their currency has been to buy and hold gold. This has been against the law for American citizens since 1935—luckily for them.”

When Graham wrote this, buying gold was ILLEGAL for Americans. Like any good Bitcoiner worth his satoshis, I of course knew this, but what I found mind-blowing was his attitude towards this. Graham not only doesn't seem outraged by being banned from investing in an entire class of assets, but makes light of it. "Luckily for us we're banned buying a type of stone."

The ban on gold apparently lasted until 1977, before I was born. Of course, growing up in the USA, we were taught in state-run public schools and Hollywood movies about how our society was about freedom and democracy. No one bothered to mention that it was public policy in the so-called "Land of the Free" to use violence to prevent our neighbors from buying chemically inert, shiny rocks.

What did people alive at the time think of being banned from owning one of the most ancient stores of value? Did they talk about it? Did they find it contradictory to the purported values of their society?