Chapter: 3

Civilization in Crisis

“The object of all science is to coordinate our experiences
and bring them into a logical system.”—Albert Einstein

“Intellectual property is the first and highest form of human property
and the source of material, tangible property which can not come into existence
until somebody thinks about it.”—Andrew J. Galambos

SYNOPSIS

History, anthropology and archaeology show that ever since most of humanity progressed beyond living in small bands of people preoccupied solely with the search for food, every major civilization of the past has collapsed, experiencing its own version of the events described by Edward Gibbon in his three-volume work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788).

The next developments in human history may be far worse than the decline and fall of a particular society; rather, we may be en route to the self-extermination of our entire species.

We have achieved the ability to destroy mankind with weapons derived from knowledge of the physical and biological sciences—enormously powerful explosive bombs capable of obliterating entire cities, and methods of infecting and killing vast populations and areas with deadly germs and chemical poisons.

We are in crisis because we lack a social structure that would prevent use of such weapons.  The purpose of the philosophy set forth in these lectures is to solve that problem once and for all and point the way to a peaceful, durable and prosperous civilization capable of indefinite expansion into the cosmos. The first step, and the basis for all else, is a higher concept of human freedom.

It is the thesis of these lectures that our social problems are soluble by using—in the domain of human interaction—the very same knowledge-acquisition and error-rectification methodologies that led to the rapid advances in the physical and biological sciences over the past 300 years.

Andrew Galambos was born in Hungary in 1924, son of an architect whose military service in World War I motivated him to remove his wife and young son to America in 1926 in order to protect them from the next war that he foresaw impending. Andrew Galambos volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army in World War II. His attitudes about society arose in the context of his awareness of the increasing destructiveness of war, the horrors of every day life under the murderous tyrannies of the 20th century, and their genesis in the failures of mankind’s political institutions.

* * *

The ideas in these lectures had their genesis in the author’s unhappiness and frustration with the most negative aspects of human society: that is, the eternal warfare, the use of knowledge of the physical sciences for increasingly destructive means; and tyranny over the mind of man by propagation of fraudulent ideas.

The author intentionally calls the subject matter of these lectures a “theory,” with full knowledge that in the physical sciences someone’s explanation of the cause and effect relationship of phenomena is at first called a hypothesis. A hypothesis becomes accepted as a theory only after it has been amply corroborated by observation, without a single falsification.

These lectures are at once a statement of the author’s hypothesis and a presentation of evidence which the author advances in support of his claim to the status of theory for these ideas.

These ideas are not a call to join a political or religious movement, or for any kind of concerted action to work for some “cause.” Nor are the ideas herein intended to appeal to the emotions of the reader. Rather, they are submitted for the reasoned consideration of readers.

The lectures are based on science. To say that may arouse skepticism because the proud image inherent in the word “science” has so often been misused to camouflage and market products and ideas that are wholly inconsistent with true science. For example, a multitude of supposed cures for illness have been marketed as science-based when in fact they were not. And since Karl Marx (1818-1883), advocates of communism have claimed that their absolute tyranny was a scientific pathway to a better way of life when, in fact, it has proven to be destructive of all that makes life worth living.

The first major subject of this book, based on the V-50 lectures of Andrew Galambos and Jay Snelson, constitute the first part of what the author, Andrew J. Galambos, describes as a new science that he calls the science of “volition.” This new science will provide the tools to build a free, non-coercive, durable and progressive social structure. The rest of the book contains Galambos’ theory of primary [intellectual] property which sets forth a means of encouraging, protecting and rewarding those who discover new knowledge and innovate new technologies.

Initially, it sounds impossible to achieve a totally non-coercive social structure, but it is not. Rather, it may seem impossible only because it has never been tried or even considered. Keep in mind that before 1776 most people thought it impossible for government to function without a king or monarch by another name, but the American Revolution falsified that idea.

It is the existing coercive social structures that are impossible to sustain in the long term because they are leading our civilization to self-destruction. These lectures show that a non-coercive social structure is necessary for our species to survive and build a durable civilization. We are living in the most critical phase of human history in that physical and biological science provide the technological capability to destroy all human life on this planet, while our social structures lack the means to prevent this from happening.

The word “volition” signifies the act of choosing. Human action is characterized by choice. Volitional science is derived from physics, i.e., the physical sciences. Physics is organized knowledge about the physical universe, about the stars and our planet earth; about oceans, forests and mountains; and about energy from sunlight to gasoline.

Similarly, volitional science is organized knowledge about the activity and interaction of human beings. There is a fundamental difference between the domain of physics and that of human action. Inanimate objects have no capacity to choose while human beings have the inborn ability to choose what they do. Therefore, until now it has been thought that the methodology of physical science could not be applied to improve the human condition. However, volitional science shows the way to do just that by adapting the tools of the scientific method to fit the unique characteristics of the domain of human action.

Humanity has suffered from incessant conflict and the inability to prevent those conflicts or resolve peacefully the conflicts that cannot be prevented. All recorded history and the study of anthropology testify to our species’ history of continuous violence. The predominant subject of history and anthropology is conflict—war, civil strife, and coercive rule by tribal chiefs, witch doctors and their more evolved equivalents. This is striking because if you were to ask most people they would almost certainly claim to prefer peace and cooperation to war and civil strife.

Everybody is for freedom, but what do they mean by the word freedom?

Adolph Hitler, Germany’s ruler from 1933 to 1945, said the aim of his national socialist (“Nazi”) dictatorship was to achieve “justice and freedom” for Germany by establishing a new German empire he claimed would last for a thousand years. Within six years of coming to power Hitler launched an attack on Poland which initiated his attempt at military conquest of all Europe, and quickly developed into World War II. In the war Germany suffered total defeat; over six million Germans—about 8% of the country’s pre-war population—lost their lives, 1

The stated goal of communist dictatorships was to free workers from exploitation by bourgeois capitalists. However, rather than producing freedom, communists enslaved the populace and wrought death, destruction and disaster in every country they ruled.

The purpose of the theory of volition is to make it possible for mankind to survive and prosper indefinitely by developing a civilization based on a clearly defined concept of freedom. That purpose can be achieved by using the scientific method to solve the social problems mankind faces.

In these lectures the term “volitional science” is used to replace the term “social science” because in the latter the word “science” has been corrupted by associating it with the quackery of the social “scientists.”

All attempts to produce freedom up to now have failed. Why? Because the means have not been suited to the ends. Freedom is an individualistic idea that can not be achieved through collectivist means.

The solution to the problem of the future survival of human civilization depends on individual action. It is an individualistic solution. Each person, acting in his own best interests, can do something towards the solution. The advance of scientific knowledge illustrates the power of individual action.

James Clerk Maxwell, an individual scientist, discovered the theory of electromagnetic wave propagation by integrating the work of prior innovators such as Faraday and Ampere. Maxwell’s work is the basis for the electronic age in which we live, and his ideas have affected the lives of vast numbers of people through such derivative inventions as radio, television, radar and the global telecommunication system. However, very few who use TV or a mobile telephone have even heard of Maxwell. Fewer still understand his theory. Yet this one individual changed the world with his discovery.

Past methods of solving social problems have always failed because they are all based on coercion of the individual. However, we can learn from the scientific method how to solve social problems without coercion.

So, where do you find freedom? No one will give it to you. Freedom is a product that is created, built, manufactured and achieved by knowledge. In essence, freedom is the absence of coercion. Freedom is a manufactured product.

Understandably, people who hear this claim about freedom may be skeptical. They may consider it utopian—something that will not work in the real world. However, it is our existing social structures that are not working. They have exposed our entire civilization to the imminent risk of total destruction by weapons of mass destruction. Our current political systems have placed these weapons in the hands of the kind of people who are ready and eager to use these weapons for coercive purposes—to force their will upon others. This lecture series is about the alternative to coercion and destruction.

The definition of freedom in these lectures depends on the definition of property. Property is defined as follows: Property is an individual’s life and all non-procreative derivatives of his life. 2

Most people think of property in terms of material possessions. That is a restricted and erroneous point of view on property. In volitional science, property is a human being’s physical existence and everything that he or she produces and exchanges, classified as primordial, primary and secondary property.

Life itself is defined as primordial property. Therefore, it follows that no one may own any man but himself. Thus, this definition of property excludes slavery at the outset.

The first derivatives of man’s life are his thoughts and ideas. Thoughts and ideas are defined as primary property [which is generally known today as “intellectual property”]. Actions arise from primary property. Ownership of one’s actions is commonly called liberty.

Ideas and actions produce further, or secondary, derivatives of man’s life. They include the production, utilization, enjoyment and disposal of material, tangible goods of all kinds, from log cabins to skyscrapers, from ox carts to jet planes. These are all called secondary property. They are secondary both logically and chronologically. Secondary property is preceded by primary property which led to the generation and employment of secondary property. No secondary property, no tangible product, can ever come into existence until somebody thinks about it.

Further derivatives of man’s life lead to voluntary transactions involving property transfers (sales, trades, gifts, etc.).

Involuntary (coercive) property transfers are derivative not from the property owner’s life but from the life of the coercer. Therefore, property ceases to remain property and is converted to plunder when subject to involuntary (coercive) transfer.

The word “non-procreative” is used in the definition of property to exclude children from this concept of property. Children—being young human beings—have property rights of their own and cannot be owned; children are not property.

Galambos commented that typically the attitude of artists and scientists who have produced a high level of primary property [commonly called intellectual property at present] has been “anti-capitalist and pro-socialist. [For example, Albert] Einstein . . . had a great contempt  for the making of money, and . . . property acquisition . . . George Bernard Shaw . . . openly called himself a socialist. . . This is the reason why the socialist philosophy has spread around the world.”

Scientists and artists believe quite correctly that intellectual achievement–discovery of a law of nature or composition of a work of art–is of far greater value than money and material possessions. Therefore, commonly they scorn the pursuit and accumulation of money and material possessions whereby people of lesser achievement become wealthy while those of higher intellectual achievement almost invariably do not.

If creative people would recognize that ideas are also property they would not denigrate other, lower forms of property, as all forms of secondary and primary property are alike the product of individual effort and achievement.  As Galambos observed, “the key [to the anti-capitalist mentality of many of the most creative people] . . . is the . . . incorrect, inaccurate and incomplete definition of the larger concept of property . . . which is very much in the domain of intellectual achievement.”

Galambos, V-50 lecture # 1 (1968) transcribed in Sic Itur Ad Astra (1999), pages 106, 107 and 326

The definition of freedom is derived from and depends on the foregoing definition of property. Freedom is the societal condition that exists when every individual has full (i.e. 100%) control over his own property [including, most importantly, property in ideas as explained below].

In volitional science, freedom is an absolute concept and is the same for all people. It posits a social structure characterized by a single, universal, absolute and permanent concept of freedom.

Everyone claims to be for freedom. But to most people, freedom represents the condition that exists when their own views prevail over all others. That is not freedom. In this theory’s definition of freedom, no one’s views can be used to dominate or to rule over others. Everyone can rule himself—but not others.

Fighting tyranny will not produce freedom. The overthrow of a tyrant does not produce freedom. Rather, at worst another tyrant will seize power, or at best a new and less tyrannical regime will arise that is still founded on coercion. To achieve freedom it is necessary to build something we never had before. Trying to recover a freedom we once had will not do, because we never had freedom. Therefore, rather than fighting tyrants, one must build freedom alongside existing social structures, but independent of them.

We have never had freedom as it is described in this definition. The normal reaction to this definition would be that such a state of freedom is impossible. Most people believe that there would be anarchy and chaos without some limitations on human freedom, and thus some form of “legitimate” coercion.

However, to determine if the absolute freedom of this definition is impossible, shouldn’t we first define what we mean by “impossible?” In the physical sciences:

That is impossible which would violate a law of nature.

For example, human flight was thought impossible—even by at least one justifiably renowned scientist—until Wilbur and Orville Wright demonstrated in 1903 that it was possible. Human flight was never impossible, because it did not require violation of any law of nature. It was only lack of knowledge that prevented human flight. By the time the Wright Brothers first flew in 1903, scientific knowledge and technological innovation already had advanced to a level where the further innovations of the Wright Brothers made human flight a reality.

The author submits that the physical science definition of impossible applies also to human action. Furthermore, the author claims that it is impossible for any society based on coercion, and thus lacking freedom, to sustain itself indefinitely and avoid collapse. To do so would violate a fundamental law of physical nature that has a direct analog in the volitional domain. The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed. The idea of getting something for nothing via political coercion violates the law of conservation of energy. Economists recognize this in their maxim “there is no such a thing as free lunch.”

There is historical evidence that all coercive social structures eventually fall. Edward Gibbons set forth the prototypical example in his treatise, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788). History demonstrates that every major society of the past has eventually replicated the fall of Rome. Existing societies, including the United States, are not immune to this general rule. It is just that their fall has not yet occurred.

However, there also is no natural law that says we must be passive victims of societal collapse. Subsequent chapters will explain why Galambos posited that it is not only possible, but also practical to achieve freedom as defined above and produce a non-coercive civilization that can survive and prosper indefinitely. They will also explain in simple, logical terms why a coercive political structure cannot survive.

The three concepts defined so far–property, freedom, and impossible–are basic building blocks for the science of volition. They are arbitrary definitions created by the author. However, all definitions, including the most fundamental terms of science, are arbitrary. People create definitions to facilitate communication and make it more effective.

Communication depends on understanding another’s meaning for words and phrases. Thus, scientists have found from experience that the most useful definitions tend to be those that are simple, clear and precise. An arbitrary definition comes into usage if it is useful for communication and it becomes universally accepted if it has a high degree of utility. For example, in physics, Isaac Newton in his laws of motion employs the term “momentum.” Newton’s definition of momentum became so useful that in physics the sole meaning of the word momentum is that ascribed to it by Newton.

Solutions to social problems must be compatible and consistent with the nature of the universe. Nothing can be accomplished that is based on trying to change the nature of the universe. Science is the organized knowledge derived from study of the nature of the universe. Science consists of discovery and innovation. Discovery is learning how the universe works. Innovation is harnessing that knowledge to accomplish something specific, such as building an airplane to achieve human flight.

Most technological progress has occurred in the past 350 years, and very little occurred before then. This is due to a revolution in science, the Newtonian revolution achieved by Isaac Newton in the seventeenth century. Newton created an intellectual framework that became the basis of all subsequent scientific progress. The Newtonian revolution was the direct cause of two more revolutions of great significance: the industrial revolution and the American Revolution. These lectures are an application of the Newtonian Revolution to the volitional domain of human action.

The author addresses his theory of volitional science to thinkers—people who possess the characteristics of curiosity, rationality, and intellectual honesty and whose aspirations include hope for a better world.

Nothing better illustrates those characteristics and their lack than the true story of Galileo Galilei and his friend Cesare Creminini. Both were professors at the University of Padua in 1609 when Galileo built a telescope to look more deeply into the night sky. He was intrigued by the Copernican hypothesis–that the earth revolved around the sun–and wanted to search the sky for evidence that might determine whether or not it was true. To his great surprise and wonderment when he peered through his telescope Galileo observed mountains on the moon. He invited his friend Creminini, an eminent Aristotelian scholar, to look through the telescope to see that the moon was not a perfect sphere as Aristotle had said. Creminini refused to look through the telescope, saying that if he did, and saw mountains on the moon, that could mean only that he had been deceived and bewitched because Aristotle could not be mistaken.

Like Galileo looking through his telescope, Andrew Galambos observed the world in a new way that others had not yet considered. The reader is invited to explore that vision.

The timeline below is presented to illustrate a principal thesis of the first lecture–that progress in science has far out-stripped progress in human interaction. One thousand or two thousand years ago we had politics and wars not dissimilar to the politics and wars of contemporary society. However, science and technology have advanced so far as to enable the human species to engage in ever more destructive anti-social behavior. From killing people one at a time with swords and spears we have now achieved a technology where one person can decide upon and bring about the destruction of an entire city or numerous cities by activating an inter-continental ballistic missile.

Timeline—Science, Art & Politics

Selected events from 10,000 B.C. to 21st century C.E.

  • 10,000 BC

    Pleistocene age beginning of agSCIENCE & ART: End of Pleistocene Ice age; advent of agriculture. POLITICS: Advent of tribal chief and witch doctor
  • 3500 BC

    Royal CrownSCIENCE & ART: Invention of writing. POLITICS: Tribal chief and witch doctor coalesce, leading to monarchy.
  • 3000 BC

    WheelSCIENCE & ART: Invention of wheel. POLITICS: Monarchy continues.
  • 2000 BC

    El CastilloMaya civilization begins and flourishes for centuries in present day southern Mexico and Central America. Especially from 250 to 900 CE, the Mayan people formed a highly advanced civilization which included developments in art, mathematics, calendrics, and architecture (including flat-topped pyramids, temples, and towers that are still in existence today). The Mayans were probably the first people in the western hemisphere to develop a writing system. Their 365-day calendar is considered by many experts to be even more precise than the 365-day Gregorian calendar in use today.  
  • 551 – 479 BC

    Confucius_Tang_DynastyChinese philosopher Confucius developed what has been called "The Silver Rule" which states: "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."  This is a fundamental principle of morality that is also found in a variety of other religious and philosophical texts, including the Hebrew bible.
  • 550-250 BC

    Peloponnesian WarSCIENCE & ART: Greek civilization - Pythagoras, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristotle, Archimedes, Euclid, Aristarchus. POLITICS: Democracy in Athens, oligarchy in Sparta; external wars of Athens with Persia and Troy, frequent costly and bloody cicvil wars within Greece.
  • 270 BC

    SCIENCE & ART: Aristarchus of Samos articulates the first heliocentric hypothesis (sun at center of universe). POLITICS: Island city-state of Samos variously part of of Athens ruled by Egyptians, Persians or Romans.
  • 105 CE

    Papermaking in ChinaSCIENCE & ART: Paper invented in Ancient China and spread to the west via the Silk Road. POLITICS: Han Dynasty.  
  • 509 BC – 476 CE

    Urlaub in der Provence 18. - 21. Maerz 2008SCIENCE & ART: Roman architecture including the arch, vault and dome, aqueduct; poet Virgil. POLITICS: Roman Republic and starting in 27 BC the Roman Empire which was an autocratic dictatorship.
  • 380 CE

    Christian cross 2POLITICS: Christianity becomes state religion of Roman Empire.
  • 450 CE

    ZeroSCIENCE & ART: Zero first used in mathematics in India. POLITICS: Monarchy continues.
  • 900-1500

    FeudalismPOLITICS: Feudalism in Europe from 900 to 1500 and in Japan from 1200-1900.
  • 1076-1270

    Crusades Battle-of-Ager-SanguinisPOLITICS: Crusades: Seven wars between Christians and Muslims over control of Jerusalem.
  • 1140-1500

    Gothic ArchitectureSCIENCE & ART: The Gothic style of art and architecture developed in Europe. POLITICS:  Feudalism continues.
  • 1291 to present

    Swiss coat of armsPOLITICS: Swiss Confederation begins in 1291, grows and expands to present Switzerland over time; peaceful co-existence and religious tolerance among Switzerland's varied German-, French-, and Italian-speaking population for the past seven centuries.
  • 1300-1600

    David by MichelangeloSCIENCE & ART: Renaissance in Italy which led to the rediscovery of art and science of ancient Greece and the rebirth of creativity in Europe. POLITICS: City-states in Milan, Venice, and Florence; Rule by Papacy in Rome; wars between the city states and against invading armies of foreign states.
  • 1337-1453

    Hundred Years WarPOLITICS: Hundred Years War between England and France.
  • 1413

    PerspectiveSCIENCE & ART: Italian artist Brunelleschi introduces perspective in painting.  POLITICS: Florentine city-state and Rome under the Papacy.
  • 1444

    SlaveryPOLITICS: First slaves brought to Portugal from Mauritania in Africa.
  • 1450

    GutenbergSCIENCE & ART: Invention of modern printing with movable type and printing press by Johannes Gutenberg generates rise in literacy. POLITICS: Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg's domicile, under church rule.
  • 1464-1550

    SCIENCE & ART: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Cellini become exemplary artists of the Italian high renaissance. POLITICS: City-states in Milan, Venice, Florence, then northern & central Italy under foreign rule.
  • 1483-1533

    Machu PicchuSCIENCE & ART: Inca civilization flourishes. Major achievements in the arts and sciences including advances in architecture, measures, calendrics and the development of wind instruments. POLITICS: Inca civilization grows through conquest (often violent); human sacrifices to appease gods.
  • 1507-1543

    Copernicus Solar SystemSCIENCE & ART: Polish scholar and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) uses scientific method to develop propositions of the triple motion of earth, that it revolves and tilts on its axis while revolving around the sun. POLITICS: Parliamentary government and monarchy in Copernicus’ native Poland.
  • 1517-1555

    Martin LutherPOLITICS: Protestant reformation, led in large part by Martin Luther, breaks away from Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1519-1522

    Magellan's shipSCIENCE & ART: Voyage of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, first to circumnavigate the globe, corroborates the idea that planet earth is round and revolves on its axis once a day. POLITICS: Monarchy in Portugal and Spain.
  • 1524-1648

    Religious wars in europePOLITICS: Religious wars between Catholics and Protestants throughout Europe.
  • 1543

    CopernicusSCIENCE & ART: Waiting until the year of his death Copernicus publishes heliocentric hypothesis, showing Earth revolves around the sun. POLITICS: Parliamentary government in Copernicus’ native Poland.
  • 1550

    ViolinSCIENCE & ART: Violin developed in Italy. POLITICS: Brescia, Italy, Republic of Venice.  
  • 1561-1626

    Roger BaconART & SCIENCE: Francis Bacon, English scientist, philosopher, and author. His essays served to establish an inductive method for scientific inquiry called the scientific method.
  • 1583-1585

    Giordano_BrunoSCIENCE & ART: Giordano Bruno develops cosmological hypothesis stating that sun is a star in an infinite universe. POLITICS: Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1600

    Bruno burnedPOLITICS: Giordano Bruno convicted of heresy and burned alive by Catholic Inquisition.
  • 1584-1613

    GalileoSCIENCE & ART: Galileo develops scientific method of experiment and observation, uses telescope for observation of moon, sun and planets, advocates Copernican hypothesis. POLITICS: Republic of Venice.
  • 1609-1619

    Johannes KeplerKopie eines verlorengegangenen Originals von 1610SCIENCE & ART: Johannes Kepler publishes laws of planetary motion. POLITICS: Germany under Holy Roman Empire.    
  • 1636

    Galileo House ArrestPOLITICS: Galileo convicted of heresy by Catholic Inquisition, house arrest imposed as life sentence.
  • 1665-1704

    CalculusSCIENCE & ART: Isaac Newton: laws of motion, gravitation, optics, mathematics: invention of calculus (also independently invented by Leibniz). POLITICS: England, monarchy, with beginning of parliamentary democracy in 1688.
  • 1687

    Newton’s personal copy of the 1st edition of Principe MathematicaSCIENCE & ART: Publication of most important & influential book in history of science, Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.  POLITICS: Monarchy under English King Charles II.
  • 1698-1709

    piano1SCIENCE & ART: Invention of piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori. POLITICS: Florence as a principality under rule of Medici family.    
  • 1759

    Emilie du ChateletSCIENCE & ART: Emilie du Chatelet (Mathematician, physicist, and author) translates Newton's Principia Mathematica from Latin into French. Her work remains the standard French translation in the 21st century.
  • 1708-1827

    MozartSCIENCE & ART: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (who is depicted above), Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Joseph Haydn, and Ludwig van Beethoven in music. POLITICS: City-states, principalities, monarchy.
  • 1754 –1763

    French Indian WarPOLITICS: Worldwide war in Europe, North America, and India between France, Austria, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and Spain on one side and Prussia, Great Britain, and Hanover on the other. The image above depicts a moment in the French Indian War when William Johnson of the British army helped save the life of a wounded French officer.
  • 1758

    Halley's CometSCIENCE & ART: Predicted return of Halley’s Comet validates Newton’s gravitation theory. POLITICS: Monarchy and parliamentary democracy in England.
  • 1759-1797

    MarywollstonecraftMary Wollstonecraft, English philosopher and women's rights activist who is best known for her work entitled "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" (1792).
  • 1760-1830

    Industrial RevolutionSCIENCE & ART: Industrial revolution begins in England. POLITICS: Parliament as central authority in England with reduced powers of  monarch.
  • 1765

    James Watt's steam engine developed 1763-1775SCIENCE & ART: Invention of steam engine by James Watt in England. POLITICS: English parliament shares power with monarch.
  • 1776

    Thomas Paine (1737-1809)SCIENCE & ART: Thomas Paine, Common Sense: invalidates monarchy; publication of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and first volume of Edward Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. POLITICS: Colonial America under British rule; Monarchy and parliamentary democracy in England.
  • 1776-1789

    13 star flagPOLITICS: American War for Independence from England; establishment of political democracy in the United States of America.
  • 1789-1815

    Robespierre_guillotined_Reign_of_Terror_1794POLITICS: French Revolution ends monarchy in France, followed by Reign of Terror then Napoleon as dictator and finally Emperor of France; Napoleonic Wars to establish French empire.
  • 1796

    JENNERSCIENCE & ART: Edward Jenner innovates immunization (smallpox).
  • 1804-1825

    James Watt's steam engine developed 1763-1775SCIENCE & ART: Invention and introduction of first steam powered railroad locomotive in England. POLITICS: English parliamentary democracy.
  • 1808-1827

    SCIENCE & ART: John Dalton elucidates the atomic theory of matter. POLITICS: English parliamentary democracy.
  • 1811-1896

    stowe_hbSCIENCE & ART: Harriett Beecher Stowe advanced abolition of slavery in America through her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852).
  • 1816-1830

    Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)
German soldier and military theoristPOLITICS: “War is a continuation of politics by other means to compel our adversaries to submit to our will.”—Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian military theorist.
  • 1824

    SCIENCE & ART: Sadi Carnot, theory of ideal heat engine (internal combustion), initiates and lays foundation for physical science of thermodynamics. POLITICS: Monarchy in France.
  • 1827-1839

    DaguerreSCIENCE & ART: Invention of photography by Louis Daguerre in France. POLITICS: Monarchy in France.
  • 1831

    English Parliament BldgSCIENCE & ART: Michael Faraday discovery of electromagnetic induction, basis for subsequent technologies using electricity. POLITICS: English parliamentary democracy.
  • 1837

    SCIENCE & ART: Invention of telegraph by Samuel F.B. Morse. POLITICS: Democracy in America.
  • 1846-1848

    Mexican American warPOLITICS: War between U.S. and Mexico - U.S. first war of imperialism.
  • 1846

    Morton EtherSCIENCE & ART: Ether anesthesia introduced for surgery by William Morton. POLITICS: Democracy in America.
  • 1848

    POLITICS: Political revolutions across continental Europe.
  • 1820-1910

    Florence-Nightingale-9423539-1-402SCIENCE & ART: Florence Nightingale develops the profession of nursing.
  • 1853-1856

    Crimean WarPOLITICS: Crimean War between Russia, France, England, etc.
  • 1858-1859

    Darwin's FinchesSCIENCE & ART: Alfred Russell Wallace and Charles Darwin independently develop concept of biological evolution. POLITICS: English parliamentary democracy.  
  • 1861-1862

    James Clerk MaxwellSCIENCE & ART: Theory of electromagnetic wave propagation, James Clerk Maxwell, basis for radio, television, transmission of electricity, wireless communication. POLITICS: Scotland under English Parliamentary democracy.
  • 1861-1865

    Civil WarPOLITICS: Civil War in America, 750,000 military fatalities out of a population of 30 million.
  • 1865

    MendelSCIENCE & ART: Foundation of genetics by German scientist and friar Gregor Mendel. POLITICS: Monarchy in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1875-1879

    Thomas EdisonSCIENCE & ART: Invention of sound recording (Thomas Edison), first practical electric light (Edison) and telephone (Elisha Gray). POLITICS: Democracy in America.
  • 1880’s

    Scott_Joplin_19072SCIENCE & ART: Jazz music develops in America. Scott Joplin develops "ragtime." Invention of alternating current electrical energy transmission by Nikola Tesla. POLITICS: Democracy in America.
  • 1889

    SCIENCE & ART: Daimler and Benz invent automobile powered by internal combustion engine. POLITICS: Monarchy/oligarchy, German Empire.
  • 1893

    Nikola_TeslaSCIENCE & ART: Wireless radio transmission first demonstrated by Nikola Tesla. POLITICS: United States political democracy.
  • 1898

    Spanish American WarPOLITICS: War between the U.S. and Spain - second imperialistic war of the U.S.
  • 1867-1934

    95g35/bean/1642/s111SCIENCE & ART: Marie Curie pioneered research in radioactivity, Noble Prize winner in both physics and chemistry, first woman to win the Nobel Prize.
  • 1988

    Gertrude_ElionGertrude Elion (1918-1999), American biochemist and pharmacologist, wins the Nobel Prize for Medicine along with George H. Hitchings and James Black. Her work and research led to the development of new drugs to treat a variety of diseases.
  • 20th Century – Positive Developments

    EinsteinSCIENCE & ART: Positive developments. Physics - Einstein's relativity theory; quantum physics; space exploration and satellite communications. Inventions - the Wright brothers invent the airplane (1903); television, wireless telephony, digital computers, the Internet, transistor microchips and integrated circuits, microwave cooking; nuclear power for electricity generation. Medicine - penicillin, x-ray, MRI, elimination of infantile paralysis; psychoanalysis, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
  • 20th Century – Negative Developments

    Atom bombScience used for destructive purposes, e.g., rocket missiles derived from Newton’s laws of motion, gravitation and from laws of thermodynamics; atomic bombs derived from Einstein’s laws of relativity and physical science laws of atomic structure. 165 wars with 180 million total deaths and another 100 million deaths by political and civil repression and genocide in 14 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Virtual monarchy appeared under new names in fascist Germany from 1933 to 1945 and communist Russia from 1918 to 1953, where heads of state ruled with more absolute, unchecked and brutal power than the kings of the past.  

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Notes:

  1. During the war Germany’s major cities were reduced to rubble, but not before Germany inflicted far greater losses on the rest of Europe.
  2. Galambos published a printed definition of property in which he defined property as “individual man’s life and all non-procreative derivatives.” He did not intend to exclude the female gender from those who have property. At times he used the phrase “volitional being” in place of “man” to provide an all-inclusive definition of every living being that has the capacity for choice.

One Response to Civilization in Crisis

  1. Allison says:

    This is the perfect musical accompaniment to this chapter.

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