About the Franklin Junto: Rediscovering Civility
Benjamin Franklin had a mutual improvement club, which he called “The Junto.” It was alternatively referred to as the “Leather Apron Club.” The purpose was to share ideas, debate, discuss current events, and show off the best writing of the club. Before joining, every member had to make the following oath:
- Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? Answer. I have not.
- Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general, of what profession or religion soever? Answer. I do.
- Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name, or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship?Answer. No.
- Do you love truth for truth’s sake, and will you endeavor impartially to find and receive it yourself, and communicate it to others? Answer. Yes.
Democracy depends upon informed debate, thoughtful discussion, and impassioned disagreement. In short, civility.
We here at Franklin Junto believe the following:
- Democracy depends upon civility.
- Civility has taken a beating lately.
- We can do something about it–even if it’s something small.
If you agree, then this is the place for you. Welcome to the fray.