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- To: p--@z--.net
- Subject: psychoceramics: Galambosianism
- From: Mitchell Porter <qix @ desire.apana.org.au>
- Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 01:18:48 +1000
- Sender: owner-psychoceramics
The following encounter is described in _It Usually Starts With Ayn Rand_,
by Jerome Tuccille (Stein and Day, New York, 1971), a history of the
author's involvement with Objectivism, libertarianism, the New Left
of the late '60s, and assorted political weirdos, of whom the Galambosian
is possibly the weirdest.
Around this time I met the Galambosian.
"I am a Galambosian," he said. [...]
"What the hell is a Galambosian?"
There was this individual, it seems, named Joseph Andrew Galambos who
evolved a theory of "primary property rights". Apparently, as soon as
someone came up with a new idea - whether an invention or an original
philosophical concept - the prototype belonged irrevocably to him and
was to be regarded forevermore as his primary property. Somewhere along
the line Galambos picked up the notion that Thomas Paine had invented
the word "liberty," whereupon he established the Thomas Paine Royalty
Fund, and every time he gave a lecture and used the word "liberty" he
dropped a nickel into his fund box as a royalty payment to Tom. How
he determined that a nickel was the proper measure of homage to Mr. Paine,
I have no idea. Legend even had it that Galambos was still diligently
searching for Thomas Paine's descendants so he could turn over moneys
due their famous ancestor.
Sometime in the early or middle 1960's, Galambos decided that his
name, Joseph Andrew, was actually the primary property of his father.
In order to avoid giving his father a royalty payment every time he
spoke the name, Galambos reversed the order and sent out notices to
all his friends that henceforth his name was Andrew Joseph, and that
he was to be addressed as Andy, instead of Joe.
"There are five legitimate functions of government," said the
"No kidding. What are they?"
"I am not at liberty to say. The theory was originated by Andy
Galambos and it is his primary property."
The Galambosian also informed me that Andy had been introduced to
Ayn Rand several years before, and that after five minutes of
conversation they had pronounced each other insane.
"Of course, it is Miss Rand who is really insane," said the
"Why is that?"
"I'm afraid I cannot tell you. The reasoning behind that theory
belongs to Andy."
The most peculiar thing about the whole Galambosian concept was
the impossibility of finding out anything about it. Galambos' disciples
were not at liberty to disseminate his philosophy without paying a
royalty to their leader - who could not even _waive_ payment, since
primary property was an absolute good and could not be given away.
You were stuck with it whether you wanted it or not, throughout
eternity. Consequently, all the converts were those proselytized by
Galambos himself - a time-consuming and self-restricting process, it
being physically impossible to convert more than a handful of people
at a time.
"If the rest of us were free to discuss his ideas," said the
Galambosian, "there is no question in my mind that Galambosianism
would spread throughout the world like wildfire." (pp59-61)
Fifty pages later (p119), the Galambosian has become an
anarcho-Galambosian. But we never do find out what the five legitimate
functions of government are.
Back-up your files!