[Ben Franklin] "does not conceal his dedication to clarity of thinking. In a world in which wishes pass for facts, he offers sober counsel and witty encouragement so that each of us might come both to see better and do better. He would help one and all to disentangle themselves from snares and traps largely of their own making or neglect. At the same time he has no illusions that the bulk of mankind can perform the kind of auto-emancipation that he managed to accomplish while still an adolescent . . ."
-- Ralph Lerner, Naive Readings: Reveillies Political and Philosophic