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Learning from history – when wealth accrues to public office, disaster follows

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By Alec Hogg

For every person alive today, 15 other humans walked the earth before. Scientists believe our predecessors were at least as smart as we are – technology makes progress different.

On a philosophical level, there is much we can learn from dead guys. Including one of my favourites, Benjamin Franklin, the American polymath and Founding Father who died in 1790.

Over the weekend it was my privilege to visit the house in London where Franklin lived for 16 years. While there, Franklin was a central figure in his homeland’s long struggle for independence.

After colonists secured what Franklin described as a victory for virtue and justice, his greatest concern was England, which he loved, hadn’t learnt anything from the war.

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