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Lecture For The Week Essay

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1. What advice does Franklin, Carnegie, Douglass and Ross give toward become “self-made” in America?

Franklin gave the advice to become “self made,” by saying that hard work and integrity is as important in the process of making money as having the opportunity. According to Franklin, the road to self-making and personal fulfillment resided in the display of such moral virtues as initiative, perseverance, honesty and loyalty.   As described by Franklin, these virtues are not “owned” by any one class, but can be mastered by anyone.   Taken to its logical extension, this argument could also imply that individuals who lack initiative and moral virtue will not be able to transform themselves or transform such material conditions as income and employment. He comes from a protestant background where they believed hard work was not only a way to make money and live outside of poverty, but a duty to God – showing him obedience and love through the Puritan faith.
American millionaire Andrew Carnegie continued to argue that hard work and moral character remained equally important in the process of self-making.   Carnegie also acknowledged the importance of what can be described as “moral luck” in the process toward becoming a self-made man
Frederick Douglass was another advocate of the idea that virtue played an important role in the process of self-making. Douglass’s lecture on “Self-Made Men emphasized the morality of success over the economics of success.   For Douglass, it was more important to work toward developing strong personal values rather than simply amassing a fortune. Yet like Carnegie and Alger, material advancement still played a role in Douglass’s view of the self-made man.   Douglass reasoned that individuals who demonstrated virtue in the workplace were likely to earn the attention of their superiors-and were therefore likely to earn opportunities for material advancement.
Ross interviews Anthony Robbins, who believes that anyone can achieve their goals...

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