Galambos, Snelson & the V-50 Lectures



By Frederic G. Marks

“The best test of truth is the power of [an idea] to get itself accepted in the competition of the market . . . “–Oliver Wendell Holmes

I first heard the V-50 lectures of Andrew J. Galambos ably presented in 1967 by Jay S. Snelson (1936-2011). Almost immediately I thought that here was something highly interesting and profoundly, even radically different than anything I had heard before.

Andrew J. Galambos

Andrew J. Galambos

Later I heard the lectures several times from Andrew J. Galambos (1924-1997), both in person and via recording. All the while I examined these ideas and probed them for inconsistencies with my understanding of both current events and the history of human society. Over the years since 1967 I have found ample corroboration of the ideas in these lectures, but not a single falsification that would invalidate the ideas.

Galambos intended to write a book setting forth his ideas. Unfortunately, he did not write that book. However, he did have his lectures transcribed in written form. And he provided for the transcribed lectures to be published posthumously.

In 1999 the trustees of the estates of Andrew Galambos and his wife Suzanne Galambos published an essentially verbatim but lightly edited transcription of the V-50 lectures under the title Sic Itur Ad Astra, Latin for “this is the way to the stars.” This was the title Galambos wanted for these lectures because he believed that the open-ended acquisition of new knowledge by means of the scientific method would take mankind out into the cosmos beyond planet earth and our solar system. Galambos was an astrophysicist and college professor before he began a new career presenting his lectures in 1961.

In a second set of lectures, called Course V-201, The Theory of Primary Property, Galambos focused on intellectual property. Galambos called intellectual property “primary property” because ideas are the source of and lead to all advances and progress in the human condition. In the Primary Property lectures Galambos innovated and developed a theoretical justification of a  system for registration, accreditation, compensation and protection of intellectual property through a science-based approach to this all important subject.

Galambos pointed out that mankind owes virtually all progress in science to a small number of people, for example Archimedes, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, who are rightly considered to be geniuses. According to Galambos  the function—and the passion—of the scientific genius is to observe natural phenomena, including the behavior of fellow human beings to discover principles and laws by which our species can maximize our understanding of the universe and pursue happiness more effectively in individual and cooperative ventures.

Similarly, in the arts, there are a small number of geniuses, such as Shakespeare in literature, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in music, and in the visual arts Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Claude Monet. Such geniuses created art of enduring appeal and led the way to new modes of artistic expression.

Galambos’ trustees have apparently decided it was a mistake to publish the V-50 lectures they published in 1999; and they have withdrawn from sale their remaining inventory of the books containing the printed V-50 lectures. The trustees have not published the transcribed intellectual property lectures, which Galambos entitled V-201, The Theory of Primary Property. Furthermore, it appears that the trustees will not publish the intellectual property lectures any time soon, if at all. This failure and refusal to publish is discussed at the beginning of the V-201 portion of this presentation.

Galambos taught that initially innovators should protect their intellectual property by contractual means, i.e., by carefully limiting and restricting the use and application of the ideas to individuals contracting directly with the innovator. However, he also said that an innovator should release his ideas to general use as soon as possible because otherwise he could be relegating his work to oblivion. Accordingly, in my view, this book is justified and is compatible with Galambos’ intentions, in order to make his work known to a wider audience before the ideas sink into oblivion with the death of those who heard his lectures.

Galambos believed that it would be appropriate for students to publish their own notes of a teacher’s lectures if the teacher fails to publish. As a model for such an undertaking he pointed to the example of Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903), professor of Mathematical Physics at Yale University and his student Edwin Bidwell Wilson, a professor at Harvard University. Similarly, the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BC) and the Greek philosopher Socrates (470 B.C.E. – 399 B.C.E.) did not write about their ideas; rather their ideas were preserved for posterity by writings of students, disciples and followers.

Josiah Willard Gibbs was an authentic American genius in mathematical physics and founder of the science of physical chemistry. Gibbs also did outstanding work in statistical mechanics, including an unpublished work entitled Elements of Vector Analysis. A vector is a quantity having both magnitude and direction.

When Edwin Wilson undertook to publish Vector Analysis in 1901, Gibbs provided a preface in which he said:

“As . . . the years passed without my finding the leisure to [publish], I was very glad to have one of the hearers of my course on Vector Analysis in the year 1899-1900 undertake the preparation of a text-book on the subject.

“I have not desired that Dr. Wilson should aim simply at the reproduction of my lectures, but rather that he should use his own judgment in all respects for the production of a text-book in which the subject should be so illustrated by an adequate number of examples as to meet the wants of students of geometry and physics.”

The full title of the book published by Wilson is “Vector Analysis: A text-book for the use of students of mathematics and physics, founded upon the lectures of J. Willard Gibbs,” (1st ed. 1901) by Edwin Bidwell Wilson.

I have undertaken herein to do for Andrew J. Galambos what Edwin Wilson did for Josiah Willard Gibbs. To make Galambos’ most important ideas available to thinkers and students, I have deemed it best to present both the V-50 lectures and the V-201 lectures as a single work. This is what Galambos intended, as V-201 absent V-50 is out of context, since V-201 is founded on and depends on the ideas in V-50.

Since the V-50 and V-201 lectures contain well over 1,250,000 words, to make this high quality intellectual property more accessible, I have deemed it appropriate to condense and restate it, in effect transforming the materials to give the reader a speedier understanding of the lectures through the infusion of my own understanding, thoughts  and observations over many years of study, consideration and reconsideration.

NOTE: Verbatim quotes from Galambos’ lectures are accompanied by a citation to a particular lecture in Courses V-50 or V-201, or to the transcribed publication of Course V-50, entitled Sic Itur Ad Astra: This is the Way to the Stars (1999), or to both. E.g. ,  V-50  lecture #4, 1968, and Sic Itur Ad Astra, pages 106, 107, and 326.

There is precedent in science for such an approach. For example, James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) published his famous theory of electromagnetic wave propagation in the form of lengthy, abstruse mathematical equations. Several years later Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894), Oliver Heaviside (1859-1925) and Josiah Willard Gibbs rewrote Maxwell’s equations into much simpler versions that were easier to work with and understand.

This book is based on my personal notes for the V-50 and V-201 lectures, listening to the live and recorded V-50 and V-201 lectures, extended and extensive conversations between myself and Galambos over the years 1967 to 1984, Jay Snelson’s detailed notes of Galambos’ V-201 lectures on which Snelson based his authorized presentation of the V-201 lectures, and my examination of the excellent and detailed lecture notes of fellow student William Vetter. I also acknowledge with thanks that fellow students Jack Hurwitz, Ronnie (Mrs. Ted) Marshall, and David L. Wood, M.D. made available to me their lectures notes for V-201. Several readers, and especially Dr. David Wood and Mr. Richard Boren, have been generous in taking the time to read portions of the text carefully and identify the need for some corrections in presentation of the text, synopses and commentaries.

I owe special thanks and gratitude for the valuable inputs of John W. Deming, including our stimulating colloquy about Galambos’ ideas over the past three decades, for pointing out important sources of information corroborating Galambos’ ideas, and for his generosity in reading the manuscript of this book and making constructive suggestions to improve it.

Richard Boren and Dr. David Wood have helped to improve this book by questions and suggestions that have stimulated the author to make changes or to reexamine ideas discussed in the book.

I am grateful for information from Alvin Lowi and Peter Bos. Alvin Lowi was a colleague of Galambos at the time he first presented his ideas. Galambos entrusted Lowi with presenting Galambos’ lectures in a class entitled Course 100: Capitalism–The Key to Survival, the predecessor to Course V-50. Peter Bos took this class from Alvin Lowi and provided a most valuable input to Galambos’ refinement of his ideas for a durable, non-coercive society, namely an expanded concept of insurance as the ideal means for all protection of property.

This internet book is based on Galambos’ 1968 presentation of his V-50 lectures, covering the topics generally in the order that they were presented in the lectures. Subsequent chapters are planned to summarize the V-201 lectures by subject matter, rather than being geared directly to sequence of the lectures.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a brief synopsis intended to provide an introduction and overview to the chapter.

At the end of some chapters there is commentary, usually not to critique the text but rather to provide examples of relevant subsequent events or new information that came to my attention after I first heard lectures by Andrew Galambos and Jay Snelson in 1967.

For example, the fall of the Soviet Union from 1989 to 1991 and the abandonment of communism in all but name and monopoly of political power by the Chinese Communist Party after 1979, validate AJG’s assertion that any society founded on socialist/communist ideology cannot long endure because this ideology is incompatible with human nature.

Also, an abundance of information has emerged recently that is supportive of Galambos’  thesis regarding the paramount importance of intellectual property and the counterproductive manner in which intellectual property has been treated. For instance, recent research documents a grave injustice done to the inventors of the telephone, corroborating Galambos’ trenchant criticism of the American law of patents.

This work is being published in serial form in the interests of starting the dissemination of  its message without the passage of the time needed by the author to complete the text in full before publication. Topics to be covered in subsequent chapters include, but are not limited to:

  • Abundance and its source; poverty and its cause
  • Political democracy and human freedom
  • The greatest false alternative in history—force vs. fraud
  • Total freedom is not anarchy
  • Economic democracy
  • Freely determined prices as indispensable information
  • Politics as the source of absurd and otherwise incomprehensible phenomena
  • Freedom is a product
  • Justice and defense
  • Total property protection as the way to eliminate war and establish a society where crime does not pay but criminals pay restitution
  • The perpetually open-ended nature of knowledge creation
  • The  role of knowledge in eliminating harm caused by ignorance
  • Individuals who changed the world
  • The paramount role of intellectual property in building a far better future
  • Making the world safe for everyone by making the world safe for innovators
  • Galambos’ system for registration, accreditation, compensation and protection of intellectual property through a science-based approach to this all important subject.
  • Eliminating use of science and technology for coercive and destructive  purposes
  • The transition to total freedom
  • Problems are inevitable but problems are soluble
  • Total freedom and social stability
  • Optimism for the future of our species

NOTE: Some of the concepts in the foregoing list of topics are inspired by a remarkable recent book, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World (2011) by physicist David Deutsch. It is anticipated that a considerable number of Deutsch’s penetrating observations will find their way into commentary on already posted chapters and chapters yet to be written or posted.

The second phase of this work will concentrate on discovery, innovation and the protection and proper compensation of the creators of intellectual property. Topics to be covered will include, but are not limited to:

  • Mankind’s great tool for creation of new knowledge
  • Identification of the true creators of new knowledge
  • A system for registration of the intellectual property of knowledge creators
  • Establishing unlimited protection of intellectual property
  • Technological innovation as intellectual property
  • Financing discovery and innovation
  • The role of investors and entrepreneurs in bringing to everyone the fruits of discovery, innovation, and technology
  • Methods of compensating all participants in property creation
  • Protecting all forms of property, including especially intellectual property, through a higher and more advanced concept of insurance


Andrew J. Galambos earned degrees in physics from City College of New York (now the City University of New York) and the University of Minnesota. He taught physics at New York University, Brooklyn College, Stevens Institute of Technology of Hoboken, New Jersey, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College of Northfield, Minnesota and Whittier College of Whittier, California.

In 1952 Galambos moved to Los Angeles, California to work at North American Aviation. Later Galambos left North American Aviation to work with Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation, which had been founded in 1953 by physicist-engineer Simon Ramo and engineer Dean Wooldridge. 2

From 1957 to 1959 Alvin Lowi, Jr. (Alvin Lowi or Lowi), an engineer, Andrew Galambos, an astrophysicist, and Donald H. Allen (Don Allen or Allen), a mathematician were colleagues at the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) division of Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation. 3

Galambos and Lowi were “rocket scientists,” working on rockets to be used as launch vehicles for space exploration and ballistic missiles. Galambos was calculating trajectories for rocket launch vehicles before the advent of high-speed digital computers. Lowi was engineering rocket thrust controls to put missiles into specific trajectories.

At STL Galambos became well known for his lunch-time lectures on astronomy, astrophysics, and astronautics, which were popular with the staff of STL.

Andrew Galambos and Don Allen had a business joint venture known as Universal Shares, through which they engaged in sale of mutual funds and other investments and insurance. Universal Shares was required by federal law to be a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), a quasi-governmental agency under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission. 4 According to Alvin Lowi, Galambos’ closest colleague at the time, Galambos’ disdain for state regulation of business may have derived originally from his unhappiness and frustration with the bureaucratic requirements of NASD.

In their years together at STL (1957-1959) Galambos and Lowi studied the works of economist Ludwig von Mises. Their interest in von Mises was due to the influence of Don Allen, who was an avid reader of the Freeman magazine published by the Foundation for Economic Education.

The Freeman was then, and still is, a popular forum for publicizing the free market principles espoused by the “Austrian” school of economics, named after its initial, influential founders who lived in Vienna, Austria from the 1870s through the 1930s. 5

In 1946 Leonard Read (1898-1983), together with famed economic journalist Henry Hazlitt, co-founded The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in New York. FEE was the first free-market-oriented “think tank.”

In the fall of 1960 Galambos went home to New York City, accompanied by Alvin Lowi, where they met with Leonard Read and his colleagues at The Freeman, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, and the eminent economic writer Henry Hazlitt. 6

Leonard Read either originated or at least popularized the word “libertarian” to describe those who advocate a limited government, in contradistinction to the word “liberal” which had come to mean, at least in America, people who advocate a major role for the state in the governance of human affairs. 7

Galambos insisted on calling himself a liberal, in the sense that word was used originally in 18th and 19th century Europe, and still is in Australia, to signify advocacy of maximum freedom of the individual and governmental protection of individual rights and civil liberties. Galambos rejected use of the word “libertarian” because it meant, in his view, surrendering the magnificent word “liberal” to collectivists. Although Galambos respected Leonard Read, he rejected Read’s “libertarian” label. In the common American parlance of Galambos’ time, he would be described as a “classical liberal.” Galambos could be described as “an eighteenth century liberal,” a comment made by someone else, and intended to be pejorative, that Galambos related with pride.

Don Allen got Galambos interested in the Freeman on the basis of improving Galambos’ exposition of laissez faire capitalism, which Galambos later taught at Whittier College in Whittier, California (see below).

Galambos became disillusioned with his work at STL when it became apparent that the focus of STL had evolved almost exclusively to development of inter-continental ballistic missiles for military purposes. Galambos did not want to work on weapons of war.

In or around 1958-1959 Galambos formulated a proposal to George Mueller, the director of STL, for a project to develop rockets for space exploration, including landing on the moon. Dr. Mueller turned down this proposal as not in the best interests of the company. Galambos’ proposal was too early for Mueller. A few years later Mueller left STL to take a position with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) as Associate Director for Manned Space Flight where he was one of the people in charge of the Apollo 11 manned lunar landing project, the same type of project he had turned down when Galambos proposed it to him at STL.

Alvin Lowi wrote that “. . . soon enough we all [Galambos, Allen and Lowi] came to realize that our employment made us part and parcel of a racket, that in principle, was not unlike the one [the Soviet Union] against which we were supposed to be defending America. Subsequently Galambos [left] the aerospace boondoggle and joined Whittier College 8 to teach physics, math and astronomy.” 9

At Whittier College Galambos presented a highly popular extracurricular lecture series entitled “The Decline and Renaissance of Laissez-Faire Capitalism.” Because Galambos offered these lectures during the weekly chapel period in competition with the College Chaplain, Whittier College terminated his position at the college.

When Galambos left Whittier College, Lowi and others urged him to start his own private teaching business, which Galambos did in 1960, under the name “The Free Enterprise Institute (FEI).” At first FEI had just three staff members, Andrew Galambos, his wife Suzanne J. Galambos, and Alvin Lowi and a single lecture course, entitled “Course 100: Capitalism—the Key to Survival.”

In the fall of 1960 Galambos went home to New York City, accompanied by Alvin Lowi. The purpose of the trip was to meet with important intellectuals who lived in New York. They met with Leonard Read and his colleagues at The Freeman, the highly esteemed free market economist Ludwig von Mises, 10 celebrated novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand, 11 Rand’s disciple and colleague Nathaniel Branden, and the nationally prominent economic writer Henry Hazlitt. 12

These people and Galambos shared a passion to push back intellectually against what they saw as a rising tide of collectivist political thinking that was taking humanity down the path described by F. A. Hayek in his famous and best-selling book The Road to Serfdom (1944), which Hayek dedicated to “The Socialists of All Parties.”

After starting the Free Enterprise Institute in Los Angeles in 1960, Galambos sponsored guest seminars by well-known freedom-oriented thinkers. Ludwig von Mises and Leonard Read were the first two who spoke in Los Angeles under FEI auspices. Other guest seminars offered in the years 1962-1964 included presentations by Robert Le Fevre who was well known for his Freedom School in Colorado, F.A. Harper of the Institute for Humane Studies, and Spencer MacCallum, anthropologist, author, and advocate of a theory of proprietary community governance.  The idea of proprietary community governance had been pioneered by MacCallum’s grandfather, Spencer Heath (1876-1963),  lawyer, inventor, manufacturer social thinker and author, in his book Citadel, Market and Altar (1957). This was also advocated by Spencer MacCallum, notably in his book The Art of Community (1970).

During the years 1962-1964 there were several people presenting Course 100 at various locations in the Los Angeles area, including Galambos himself, Lowi, engineer Chuck Estes, patent attorney Billy Robbins, purchasing agent Jerome Smith, electrical engineer Richard Nesbitt, Ph.D. and George Haddad, M.D.

Working with Galambos, Lowi listened to a recording of each Galambos lecture in Course 100 and the following week Lowi would replicate that lecture in his own presentation of Course 100. The lectures ran long, starting at 7:30 p.m. and often going until midnight. In 1963 Lowi proposed to Galambos that some changes ought to be made in Course 100, for two principal reasons. The first was dissatisfaction with what Lowi and many students thought was the excessive length of the individual lectures. The second and more important reason was that Course 100 envisioned continuation of a political state under what is known as “limited government.” Limited government has become identified with what is known as “libertarian” ideology, in which there would be a political state but it would be subject to strict limits on its powers.

By 1963 Lowi and Galambos were getting feedback from Course 100 students who were questioning the need for a state at all, and questioning the utility and efficacy of a restrictive constitution in limiting the state. Robert LeFevre had been giving his popular Freedom School Lectures for several years. Some FEI students had attended the lectures or knew of them and were influenced by LeFevre’s contention that the state was absurd at best, and was actually an enemy of human freedom. LeFevre had also been a guest lecturer at Galambos’ own Free Enterprise Institute.

Galambos was unhappy with Lowi’s practice of holding lengthy after-class discussions with Lowi’s Course 100 students, and Lowi was unhappy with Galambos’ restriction on such discussions. That mutual dissatisfaction led to Jay Snelson becoming a lecturer for The Free Enterprise Institute.

Don Allen was instrumental in motivating Jay Snelson to attend a Course 100 presentation by Andrew Galambos in 1962. Concurrently Snelson also attended a Lowi presentation of Course 100. In consequence of Lowi’s dissatisfaction, in 1963 he proposed to Galambos that Jay Snelson take Lowi’s place as an FEI lecturer.

At first Galambos was reluctant to consider taking Snelson on as a lecturer for FEI. However, he was convinced to do so by (1) an effective slide show about Course 100 and freedom that Snelson had created and presented at a 1963 convention of FEI students, (2) Lowi’s firm opinion that Snelson would do a good job, and (3) the excellent performance of Snelson in two private lectures which amounted to an audition, given to an audience of just Andrew Galambos, his wife Suzanne, and Lowi.

Piet (later Peter) Bos was a student in one of Lowi’s presentations of Course 100. Mr. Bos was employed as an engineer with the same company that employed Lowi. In after-class discussions Bos suggested that insurance companies could replace the state in the vital rôle of security and protection of life and property which Course 100 pointed out the state did very poorly. In the above-mentioned 1963 convention of FEI students, Bos made a formal presentation of his idea that the insurance mechanism could replace the state.

Chuck Estes innovated an idea of restitution-based justice and a private, non-state justice system. Estes made a presentation of this idea at the 1963 FEI convention.

Snelson was an effective speaker with experience working in that capacity. Snelson had some conditions of his own to be satisfied before he would agree to give up his prior position as a speaker on the benefits of capitalism under the auspices of Coast Federal Savings and Loan Association of Los Angeles.

Snelson did not want to teach Course 100, but instead wanted to design a new basic course for FEI in which the lectures would be shorter in length and would include the following:  the position advocated by Robert LeFevre that the state in any form was incompatible with human freedom; the ideas of Peter Bos regarding the insurance mechanism as a replacement for the state’s poor performance in protecting people from domestic and foreign attacks on property; and the Chuck Estes idea of restitution as the basis for justice in place of the laws of the political state in which offenders are subject to incarceration rather than being required to make restitution to victims of their misconduct.

Snelson asked for the consent of Galambos to use the term “Volitional Science” to describe what would become a new lecture series to be designated Course V-50. It was agreed by Galambos that Snelson should create this new course based on Course 100 with the foregoing modifications requested by Snelson, and that the new Course would be designated V-50, with the “V” standing for “Volition.” 13

The genesis of Course V-201

In designing Course 201 Galambos intended to present a grand plan for identifying, recognizing, rewarding, encouraging and protecting not only inventors, but also discoverers, those people who discover laws of nature, for example men such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, whom he called “cosmological innovators.” Such discoverers are not protected by the American law of patents, which provides only a short-lived and ineffective legal monopoly to someone who invents a useful device, while denying patent protection to those whose cosmological discoveries revealed the knowledge from which inventions of products were derived. While American law of intellectual property was analyzed in the lectures, the law of other countries does not differ greatly–nowhere are  the highest of intellectual achievements in science and the arts accorded the legal protection that would be appropriate were the state not such an immoral institution.

For example, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent on the invention of the telephone. However, it has been recently established, as Galambos suspected, that Bell copied the telephone technology invented by another man, Elisha Gray. 14 The Bell and Gray telephone technology depended on inducing electricity to flow through copper wire. That in turn depended on the discovery of the law of electromagnetic induction.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) in England and Joseph Henry (1797-1878) in America, independently of each other, discovered the law of electromagnetic induction and showed that electricity could be induced to flow through a copper wire. Therefore, the original copper wired telephone technology could not have been developed without the discoveries of Faraday and Henry. Yet under American patent law Faraday and Henry would be denied the economic benefit of commercial application of their discoveries in telephones and all other inventions depending on electromagnetic induction.

Galambos deplored the use of science and technology for destructive purposes. He posited that in a society advanced in freedom an innovator could prevent use of his discoveries for destructive purposes. In this regard Michael Faraday was a role model for Galambos’ ethics of science and technology. In addition to being one of the foremost geniuses in physics, Faraday was also a discoverer and innovator in chemistry. “When asked by the British government to advise on the production of chemical weapons for use in the Crimean War (1853–1856), Faraday refused to participate, citing ethical reasons.” 15

Galambos also found grave fault in the concept of a politically granted and enforced monopoly of the commercial application of inventions. It was Galambos’ view that compensation of innovators ought to be paid by means of a free-market based mechanism involving registration and acknowledgment of the source of a discovery, and that such acknowledgment should be both primary–that is acknowledgment of and credit to the discoverer–and secondary–that is payment of compensation for the use of the idea.

Galambos was outraged that those who discovered the laws of nature would be denied all secondary (financial) compensation, while those who invented devices derived from such discoveries would be awarded a state monopoly, of limited duration, for the commercial applications of the basic discoveries. And he was equally outraged by what he deemed the injustice of the patent law concept of  granting patent protection to only one of two or more persons who developed an invention independently of each other–namely the one first to apply to the state for a patent.

Course 201 was originally called F-201, with “F” standing for freedom. F-201 was first given in 1963 and consisted of ten to twelve lectures. Galambos innovated this course, but he had some inputs from Lowi, including innovation of the term “Prototype” to stand for a concept of claiming authorship of intellectual property broader than just the ideas protected by the American law of copyright and patent; and the term “natural estate” to stand for a perpetual estate in the property (including ideas) of a person, in distinction to the time limit imposed by Anglo-American law on the duration of an estate.  The idea of an individual’s “natural estate” was under discussion between Galambos and Lowi as far back as the late 1950s when the two friends were colleagues in the aerospace industry.

Lowi taught a few lectures of Course F-201 as a substitute for Galambos. Starting in 1968 Jay Snelson taught V-201 while Galambos also continued to offer his own V-201 lectures live and through recorded presentation.

Alvin Lowi proposal to write Galambos’ book

By 1963-1964 Galambos had been talking to his colleagues and students about writing a book presenting the ideas of Course 100 and Course F-201. Since Galambos was very busy with his lectures, in or about 1964 Alvin Lowi proposed to write a book setting forth Galambos’ ideas and to print a limited edition of 100 serial-numbered copies of that book, all within one year. Lowi had obtained commitments for a total of $50,000 for production of such a book from around 20 to 25 individuals who were interested in seeing Galambos’ ideas perpetuated in book form. The purchasing power of $50,000 in 1964 was equivalent to a purchasing power of $375,000 in 2013, according to the U.S. federal state’s CPI inflation calculator. 16 Galambos turned down this offer.


In the preliminary chapter entitled “Replacements for the Political State,” in comments following chapters and in material placed on the Blog page there are or may be statements of fact, sometimes with references to source and sometimes without such references. The book and the Blog do not provide a reference for every fact that may be surprising to some readers as the Internet makes it relatively easy for readers to check the accuracy of statements.

Using an Internet search engine one can find readily a vast amount of information, ranging across the whole panoply of human experience–such as anything from the U.S. retail price of gasoline in the past to the current real cost, per pupil, of state operated public schools. In Replacements for the Political State it is stated that at the beginning of the 20th century private enterprise had already created the world’s largest mass transit system in the greater Los Angeles area. Internet links are  provided to the source for that statement. However, in the interests of brevity, and ease of reading, we usually omit source references for data which the interested reader could check readily on the Internet.

In the V-50 lectures Galambos credits the following, among others, as important sources of his ideas: Edwin Abbott, Frédéric Bastiat, Giordano Bruno, Sadi Carnot, W. M. Curtiss, Arthur Eddington, Albert Einstein, Joseph B. Galambos, Galileo Galilei, F.A. Harper, Henry Hazlitt, Sherlock Holmes (creation of Arthur Conan Doyle), Robert LeFevre, John Locke, Alvin Lowi, James Clerk Maxwell, Ludwig von Mises, Isaac Newton, Albert Jay Nock, Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand, Leonard Read, Scipio Africanus, Adam Smith, Jay Snelson, Baruch Spinoza, Lysander Spooner, The Biblical Ten Commandments (six referring to property protection), Nikola Tesla, Henry David Thoreau, Wilbur and Orville Wright, and not a few others.


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Bach – Aria Goldberg Variations – Andreas Pfaul

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  1. The following text of this essay is based on telephone and email communication  between Alvin Lowi and Frederic Marks, and upon Alvin Lowi’s essay about his relationship with Galambos entitled “A Lasting Encounter,” available on the internet at
  2. Information in the foregoing two paragraphs appears at the website of The Free Enterprise Institute at
  3. Ramo-Woolridge Corporation and Thompson Products merged in October 1958 to form Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc., which later changed its name to TRW, Inc.
  4. NASD later changed its name to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
  5. The Foundation for Economic Education continues in existence and continues to publish The Freeman. For some time this institution has used “FEE” as its name, although on the home page of its website the original name is used in the following mission statement: “The mission of the Foundation for Economic Education is to ‘inspire, educate, and connect future leaders with the principles of a free society.’” The internet address of FEE is
  6. Hazlitt was a long-time financial writer for The New York Times and Newsweek and author of several highly influential books about free market economics, including Economics in One Lesson (1946) [based on the concept “that which is seen and that which is unseen” originated by Frederic Bastiat], The Failure of the “New Economics: An Analysis of the Keynesian Fallacies (1959) (a line-by-line commentary and refutation of one of the most influential and controversial economic treatises of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936)] and What You Should Know About Inflation (1960). Of Hazlitt, famed author and literary critic H. L. Mencken wrote that he “is one of the few economists in human history who could really write.” Quoted from Wikipedia, Henry Hazlitt,
  7. For a brief biography of Leonard Read see “Leonard E. Read: A Portrait,” by Edmund Opitz, originally published on September 1, 1998 in The Freeman and reproduced at
  8. Whittier College is a small liberal arts college located in the city of Whittier in Los Angeles County, California
  9.  Quoted from Lowi, “A Lasting Encounter”
  10. Mises left Europe in 1940 and lived the rest of his life in New York City, where he was a professor at New York University from 1945 to 1969,
  11. Author of the enormously popular sermonizing novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged
  12. Hazlitt was a long-time financial writer for The New York Times and Newsweek and author of several high quality books about free market economics, including Economics in One Lesson (1946), The Failure of the “New Economics: An Analysis of the Keynesian Fallacies (1959) and What You Should Know About Inflation (1960). Of Hazlitt, famed author and literary critic H. L. Mencken wrote that he “is one of the few economists in human history who could really write.” Quoted from Wikipedia, Henry Hazlitt,
  13. Frederic Marks, author of this website, attended the complete lectures of Course V-50 by both Jay Snelson and Andrew Galambos in 1967-1968. At that time the subject matter of both courses was the same; the only differences were in the manner of presentation and in some of the examples used.
  14. See Shulman, Seth, The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret  (2008). John Deming called this author’s attention to Shulman’s book.
  15. Quotation from Wikipedia, Michael Faraday, under caption “Later Life,”
  16. See

6 Responses to Galambos, Snelson & the V-50 Lectures

  1. Sanfords says:

    I am very happy you have undertaken this task and you seem to be one of the best qualified persons to do this job.
    Best of luck in this worthy endeavor!

  2. Jack Mathis says:

    Having been a student of and Course Contractor for Galambos in the 1970’s, I am extremely pleased to see you endeavor this crucial udertaking in what appears to be the final years of the American experiment in freedom. Living with the knowledge I gained from Galambos and Snelson has put me “out of sync” with mainstream political and social discourse for 35 years. I felt I had a “secret solution” to every major problem that plagues my fellow man that I could not share. Needless to say, I will now be providing links to your site to every frustrated comment I post in emails and comments to news articles of the day. I hope I have your implicit agreement to do so as these ideas need to be disseminated in order to create the necessary paradigm shift for man’s survival.

  3. Michael Barme says:

    Dear Fred:
    I am very happy that you are undertaking this big job. I always wished that my children would have heard Andrew Galambos,. So now there is a chance I can interest them in his ideas. I know they influenced me greatly and I can’t wait to read what you are writing now.
    Best of luck and best wishes,

  4. Don Taylor says:

    Thank you so much for taking on this project. Your expertise on this subject is appreciated by me and I’m confident your work here will benefit all who read it. Also, this blog gives me an opportunity to personally thank you for your assistance and wise counsel which allowed me to retire at age 51.
    Don Taylor

  5. Fred,

    I am grateful to you for your work on this site. As we try to get ideas out to people, just as you are, through the Sustainable Civilization Institute website we want to link to your work as deep background for our assertions. SCI is based primarily on the work of Jay Stuart Snelson, but of course his is a farther account to Andrew J. Galambos. Your work here is excellent! Thank you.

  6. MARGOT EBY says:


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