Benjamin Franklin, American Prophet
Benjamin Franklin was a type of All-American Prophet, and not necessarily in the religious meaning. The Puritan Fathers of the United States established the the religious foundations of the nation and embodied it with a certain moral rigor. Yet it was their descendent, Ben Franklin, who creatively weaved their teachings into an American Capitalist ethos.
Just as I said in my recent video, "America's Economic Rise to Greatness," Benjamin Franklin wrote "Poor Richard's Almanac" and later simplified it into "The Way to Wealth." His book introduced American Capitalism to the world.
Although we may think of capitalism differently nowadays, Franklin's focus was not on maximizing profits. He instead taught the best way to maximize one's ethics, which in turn would make the pursuit of wealth worthwhile. He taught a certain path of moral enlightenment and economic charity.
He started from humble origins. As the youngest of 17 children born to a poor candle maker, he learned first-hand the value of diligence and hard work. Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 and went on to live a life of remarkable achievement. In his youth, Ben Franklin was apprenticed to his brother James. James was a printer, and Ben learned the trade from him. He eventually started his own print shop and became a publisher, writer, poet, and inventor.
In 1728 he moved from Boston to Philadelphia and in 1730 he founded the Junto Club with some friends. "Junto" is Latin for "gathering" or "assembly. The organization was just a gathering of friends, and the group was interested in practical ways of making life more satisfying.
The Junto Club met once a week downtown in Philadelphia and discussed economic questions that made the group realize how bad the economy had become in Pennsylvania. They began to write letters to each other on how they could improve their situation.
Franklin published the letters in a newspaper called "The Pennsylvania Gazette." The newspaper became very popular, and it published many of Franklin's famous proverbs. It was during this time that Franklin began his life long focus on American Capitalism.
"The Way to Wealth" is a pamphlet written by Benjamin Franklin that was published in 1758. There are forty-one essays and more than one hundred proverbs.
He further learned real-world economics through his countless positions of inventor, Ambassador, writer, abolitionist, freemason, volunteer firefighter, soldier, scientist, Postmaster, librarian, bookstore owner, and printer.
After his life, as Master Ryuho Okawa explained, he went to the 7th Dimensional World of Angels. He is continuing to inspire and lead people towards wisdom and entrepreneurial success.
His life exemplifies the American spirit of reinventing society for the better through optimism, entrepreneurism, and imagination.