Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

18 January 2011

Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

17 January was Ben Franklin's birthday.  Ben was America's most important diplomat and before that worked hard to unite the colonies.  He was also a world-famous scientist and inventor.  He signed the Declaration of Independence, the Alliance with France, The Peace Treaty with Great Britain, and the Constitution.  Marsha Enright and Gen LaGreca have written a great piece commemorating him here.  I especially enjoyed this part:

Franklin’s pamphlet “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America” (1784) illustrates how his own values of self-reliance and industry also shaped the new nation. In giving advice to potential immigrants, Franklin explained that there were no lucrative public offices in America, “the usual effects of which are dependence and servility, unbecoming freemen.” Such offices lead to “faction, contention, corruption, and disorder among the people.” In Franklin’s America, government played a minimal role in life. A man seeking to live off public salary, Franklin said, “will be despised and disregarded.”
In America, “every one will enjoy securely the profits of his industry.” And “if he does not bring a fortune with him, he must work and be industrious to live.” Franklin contrasted hard-working Americans with the indolent European nobility. He proudly repeated an American saying of the time, “God Almighty is himself a mechanic!” In short, “America is the land of labor, and by no means” a place “where the fowls fly about ready roasted, crying, Come eat me!”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Franklin was the epitome of individualism. He proved how individualism can lead one to liberty and prosperity. It amazes how he proves in "Information to Those Who Would Remove to America" (1782) that an individualistic society can thrive, provide riches, provide opportunity, and enable one to pursue his happiness liberally. That pamphlet ought to be taught to everyone. As always, Mr. Franklin refutes collectivism of any kind. Through voluntary and mutual means, the "common good" can be achieved; Mr. Franklin proved so.