Francis Bacon wrote a brilliant work promoting the scientific method, the Novum Organum. I look for people in Western history to serve as examples of what an American member of the Ru Jia could aspire to become.
Francis Bacon comes close. He was a brilliant thinker and writer. Those are qualities the Ru Jia, the school of scholars, should seek. He was an engaged man of action, which is very American. Unfortunately, he had character flaws, especially living beyond his means.
Nevertheless, in over 200 years of American history, where is our Francis Bacon? Since the founding fathers, America has not produced a man like Francis Bacon. If one said, "England had only one Francis Bacon," I would suggest Issac Newton, David Hume, John Locke, and Adam Smith are men of equal or superior intellect.
Are the best minds in America always inferior to the best minds in Britain? Or is there a problem in the way we education our children, an old and recurring problem?
This concern is why I have the Education for the 21st Century blog and the Timeless Way Foundation website.
America will either shrink or grow in world power over the next century. If we cannot develop better leaders, how can we florish in an increasingly competitive world?