Wednesday, March 18, 2009


1.) That the great affairs of the world, the wars, revolutions, etc., are carried on and affected by political parties.

2.) That the view of these parties is their present general interest, or what they take to be such.

3.) That the different views of these different parties occasion all confusion.

4.) That while a party is carrying on a general design, each man has his particular private interest in view.

5.) That as soon as a party has gained its general point, each member becomes intent upon his particular interest; which, thwarting others, breaks that party into divisions, and occasions more confusion.

6.) That few in public affairs act from a mere view of the good of their country, whatever they may pretend. Although their actions may bring real good to their country, yet men primarily consider that their own and their country's interest are one and the same, and do not act from a principle of benevolence.

7.) That fewer still, in public affairs, act with a view to the good of mankind.

--Benjamin Franklin, writing in August 1788. From Part 6 of his Autobiography.