The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
How we cite our quotes:
There seems to me at present to be great Occasion for raising an united Party for Virtue, by forming the Virtuous and good Men of all Nations into a regular body, to be govern't by suitable good and wise Rules, which good and wise Men may probably be more unanimous in their Obedience to, than common People are to common Laws. (3.3)
Imagine that. Instead of just a two-party political system, we also had Virtue-icans or Virtue-acrats who we could vote into office. How might that change the political landscape? And yet that's precisely what Franklin is arguing for here: an organization that can rise above individual or national quibbles and quarrels to focus on what he thinks are the really important things. Even so, this is already problematic. Who decides what the "good and wise" rules are? How do we know that "good and wise" men would abide by them? What does it even mean to be "good and wise"?