Jacob Bronowski, a renowned scientist and philosopher, observed that “. . . knowledge in general and science in particular . . . [consist] of man-made ideas. . . [T]he underlying concepts that unlock nature . . . arise early and in the simplest cultures of man from his basic and specific faculties. And the development of science is . . . human: discoveries are made by men . . . so that they are alive and charged with individuality.” Bronowski, Jacob, The Ascent of Man (1973), pages 13-14.
The V-50 lectures bespeak the individuality of the lecturer: Galambos had a burning desire to find a way for humanity to rid itself of the plague of war. Andrew lived through World War II, serving in the U.S. Army. He always said that a principal purpose of his life and his lectures was to point the way to a new understanding of human interaction that would eliminate the cause of war.
As a scientist Galambos thought in terms of cause and effect. He knew that war had a cause in human society. Therefore, he examined society to determine what it was that led to wars and what would be needed for mankind to achieve permanent and universal peace.
Galambos focused on the physical sciences in his under-graduate and post-graduate university education. However, his interests went far beyond the physical sciences. He was knowledgeable in history, economics and investing. His father, Joseph B. Galambos, an esteemed architect in his native Hungary, imparted to his son much of the highest and best of European culture.
During World War I Joseph B. Galambos served four years in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When Andrew was two years old (in 1926) his parents emigrated to the U.S., in large part because Joseph Galambos wanted to protect his son from being cannon fodder in the next European war, which Joseph predicted would occur, as it did, within the next generation.
Andrew Galambos claimed that he innovated a new science–the science of volition, which he said is just as much a science as physics and biology; that volition is based on and follows and is derived from the first science, which is physics; that the second science, biology, is also derived from physics; and that what he was teaching was a third science, which he named volition. As Galambos explains volition in his V-50 lectures, it too is derived from physics.
Andrew J. Galambos was born in Hungary on June 27, 1924. He pursued higher education at the City University of New York and in post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota. His first teaching post was at Carleton College in Minnesota. Galambos was an astrophysicist. He taught physics and mathematics at the college level before moving on to enter the aerospace industry in Southern California in the 1950s.
Professor Galambos worked as a rocket scientist for a leading American aerospace company. In the late 1950s, mindful of the perversion of science and technology for military use, Galambos no longer wished to work on military applications of rocket science. Galambos proposed to his employer that the company employ him in a new venture, building rocket vehicles for non-military space exploration and travel. After this idea was rejected by the company’s management, Mr. Galambos left the aerospace industry and took a position teaching physics and mathematics at Whittier College in Whittier, California, near Los Angeles.
At Whittier College Galambos presented a course entitled “The Decline and Renaissance of Laissez Faire Capitalism.” This class was offered on campus, on Galambos’ personal initiative. Although this class was not offered by or authorized by the college, it was well received, attracting a considerable audience of students and non-students.
In 1960 Galambos left academia to establish his own teaching business, under the name The Free Enterprise Institute (FEI). Galambos’ first lecture through FEI was entitled “Capitalism: The Key to Survival,” denominated as “Course 100.” From the outset his wife Suzanne Galambos assisted him in the management of this lecture venture. Galambos also had colleagues, admirers, and acquaintances who assisted him in the Free Enterprise Institute in the early years of FEI (1961-1964) Galambos’ colleagues included, but were not limited to, Alvin Lowi, a friend from the aerospace industry, Don Allen, Billy Robbins, a patent attorney, LeRoy Taft, also an attorney, Harry Browne, and most importantly Jay Stewart Snelson. Lowi, Robbins and Browne presented Course 100 to assist in wider dissemination of the ideas of Galambos.
The unpublished and unadvertised title of the V-50 lectures was “Capitalism, The Liberal Revolution.” Galambos joked that he could not advertise this secret title because each of the words would have antagonized some people, and in totality they could antagonize just about everybody who might otherwise be interested in attending the lectures. Upon inception of the website of which this biographical sketch is a part, it appeared timely to convert the secret title to the public title for the V-50 lectures.
Jay Stuart Snelson was born in Redlands, California on April 4, 1936 and is a graduate (1959) of the University of California at Los Angeles. Mr. Snelson passed away at San Clemente California on December 21, 2011. Mr. Snelson was a Senior lecturer for Galambos’ Free Enterprise Institute from 1964 to 1978.
At the request of Mr. Galambos, in 1964 Mr. Snelson revised the predecessor lecture series to V-50 (previously known as Course 100, Capitalism: The Key to Survival) into its ultimate format.
Jay Snelson is a creative person in his own right. He did not just parrot the ideas of Galambos. While adhering faithfully to the precepts in Galambos’ lectures, Snelson also employed material of his own discovery to provide concrete examples of the connection between science and freedom, addressing his students in a way that was at once personal, absorbing, interesting, and entertaining.
Jay Snelson estimated that in his 15 year association with Galambos and FEI he attracted as much as 90% of new students to FEI. The author of this website attended a first lecture of a Snelson V-50 in Orange County which had attracted an audience of nearly 500. Snelson presented both Course V-50 and Course V-201, the lectures on intellectual property, called “primary” property by Galambos because ideas are always the source of actions that create tangible and intangible property (such as financial assets), which Galambos called secondary property.
After the close of Snelson’s association with Galambos, Snelson innovated and presented lectures of his own creation, initially based on the ideas of the great economist Ludwig von Mises. Eventually Snelson’s lectures developed into an expression of what Snelson calls “win-win” philosophy, in which all parties to a transaction benefit. This is in contrast to and opposed to the “win-lose” paradigm in which for someone to profit or benefit others must accept loss.
Jay Snelson established a website for his lectures, known as Human Action Principles that can be accessed here.
Mr. Snelson wrote a book entitled Taming the Violence of Faith: Win-Win Solutions for our World In Crisis (2011). It identifies what has been a perennial cause of war, poverty and enslavement: the belief in organized religions that theirs is the one true faith with the one true god, which must triumph over all other religious beliefs–by coercion and force if necessary.
Taming the Violence of Faith points the way to fulfilling an old paradigm of religious belief in many cultures–the original Golden Rule: that which is hateful to you, do not unto others. A global paradigm shift to understanding this as the epitome of true religion would have a profound and beneficial effect in bringing in to existence, at long last, a universal human condition of peace, freedom and prosperity.
With the help of his wife Nancy Rheim and his long-time colleague David Woodward, Jay Snelson established The Sustainable Civilization Institute and related website entitled Human Action Principles that can be accessed here.