François Marie Charles Fourier (/ˈfʊrieɪ, -iər/; French: [ʃaʁl fuʁje]; 7 April 1772 – 10 October 1837) was a French philosopher, influential early socialist thinker and one of the founders of utopian socialism. Some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become mainstream thinking in modern society. For instance, Fourier is credited with having originated the word "feminism" in 1837.
Fourier's social views and proposals inspired a whole movement of intentional communities. Among them in the United States were the community of Utopia, Ohio; La Reunion near present-day Dallas, Texas; the North American Phalanx in Red Bank, New Jersey; Brook Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts; the Community Place and Sodus Bay Phalanx in New York State; Silkville, Kansas in Kansas; and several others. Fourier later inspired a diverse array of revolutionary thinkers and writers.
François Marie Charles Fourier
7 April 1772
|Died||10 October 1837 (aged 65)|
Philosophy of desire
Fourier was born in Besançon, France on 7 April 1772. The son of a small businessman, Fourier was more interested in architecture than in his father's trade. He wanted to become an engineer, but the local military engineering school accepted only sons of noblemen. Fourier later said he was grateful that he did not pursue engineering, because it would have consumed too much of his time and taken away from his true desire to help humanity.
When his father died in 1781, Fourier received two-fifths of his father's estate, valued at more than 200,000 francs. This inheritance enabled Fourier to travel throughout Europe at his leisure. In 1791 he moved from Besançon to Lyon, where he was employed by the merchant M. Bousquet. Fourier's travels also brought him to Paris, where he worked as the head of the Office of Statistics for a few months. From 1791 to 1816 Fourier was employed in Paris, Rouen, Lyon, Marseille, and Bordeaux. As a traveling salesman and correspondence clerk, his research and thought was time-limited: he complained of "serving the knavery of merchants" and the stupefaction of "deceitful and degrading duties." He took up writing, and his first book was published in 1808 but it only sold few copies. Surprisingly, after six years the book fell into the hands of Monsieur Just Muiron who eventually became Fourier's patron. Fourier produced most of his writings between 1816 and 1821. In 1822, he tried to sell his books again but with no success.
Fourier declared that concern and cooperation were the secrets of social success. He believed that a society that cooperated would see an immense improvement in their productivity levels. Workers would be recompensed for their labors according to their contribution. Fourier saw such cooperation occurring in communities he called "phalanxes," based upon structures called Phalanstères or "grand hotels". These buildings were four-level apartment complexes where the richest had the uppermost apartments and the poorest had a ground-floor residence. Wealth was determined by one's job; jobs were assigned based on the interests and desires of the individual. There were incentives: jobs people might not enjoy doing would receive higher pay. Fourier considered trade, which he associated with Jews, to be the "source of all evil" and advocated that Jews be forced to perform farm work in the phalansteries. By the end of his life, Fourier advocated the return of Jews to Palestine with the assistance of the Rothschilds. John K. Roth and Richard L. Rubenstein have seen Fourier as motivated by economic and religious antisemitism, rather than the racial antisemitism that would emerge later in the century.
Fourier characterized poverty (not inequality) as the principal cause of disorder in society, and he proposed to eradicate it by sufficiently high wages and by a "decent minimum" for those who were not able to work. Fourier used the word civilization in a negative sense and as such "Fourier's contempt for the respectable thinkers and ideologies of his age was so intense that he always used the terms philosopher and civilization in a pejorative sense. In his lexicon civilization was a depraved order, a synonym for perfidy and constraint ... Fourier's attack on civilization had qualities not to be found in the writing of any other social critic of his time."
For Herbert Marcuse "The idea of libidinal work relations in a developed industrial society finds little support in the tradition of thought, and where such support is forthcoming it seems of a dangerous nature. The transformation of labor into pleasure is the central idea in Fourier's giant socialist utopia.":217
He believed that there were twelve common passions which resulted in 810 types of character, so the ideal phalanx would have exactly 1620 people. One day there would be six million of these, loosely ruled by a world "omniarch", or (later) a World Congress of Phalanxes. He had a concern for the sexually rejected; jilted suitors would be led away by a corps of fairies who would soon cure them of their lovesickness, and visitors could consult the card-index of personality types for suitable partners for casual sex. He also defended homosexuality as a personal preference for some people. Anarchist Hakim Bey describes Fourier's ideas as follows: "In Fourier's system of Harmony all creative activity including industry, craft, agriculture, etc. will arise from liberated passion—this is the famous theory of "attractive labor." Fourier sexualizes work itself—the life of the Phalanstery is a continual orgy of intense feeling, intellection, & activity, a society of lovers & wild enthusiasts."
Fourier was also a supporter of women's rights in a time period when influences like Jean-Jacques Rousseau were prevalent. Fourier believed that all important jobs should be open to women on the basis of skill and aptitude rather than closed on account of gender. He spoke of women as individuals, not as half the human couple. Fourier saw that "traditional" marriage could potentially hurt woman's rights as human beings and thus never married. Writing before the advent of the term 'homosexuality', Fourier held that both men and women have a wide range of sexual needs and preferences which may change throughout their lives, including same-sex sexuality and androgénité. He argued that all sexual expressions should be enjoyed as long as people are not abused, and that "affirming one's difference" can actually enhance social integration.
Fourier's concern was to liberate every human individual, man, woman, and child, in two senses: education and the liberation of human passion.
On education, Fourier felt that "civilized" parents and teachers saw children as little idlers. Fourier felt that this way of thinking was wrong. He felt that children as early as age two and three were very industrious. He listed the dominant tastes in all children to include, but not limited to:
Fourier was deeply disturbed by the disorder of his time and wanted to stabilize the course of events which surrounded him. Fourier saw his fellow human beings living in a world full of strife, chaos, and disorder.
Fourier is best remembered for his writings on a new world order based on unity of action and harmonious collaboration. He is also known for certain Utopian pronouncements, such as that the seas would lose their salinity and turn to lemonade, and a coincidental view of climate change, that the North Pole would be milder than the Mediterranean in a future phase of Perfect Harmony. 
"When, as a consequence of human improvement", said I, "the globe shall arrive at its final perfection, the great ocean is to be converted into a particular kind of lemonade, such as was fashionable at Paris in Fourier's time. He calls it limonade a cedre. It is positively a fact! Just imagine the city docks filled, every day, with a flood tide of this delectable beverage!" 
The secret of turning work into play, as Charles Fourier demonstrated, is to arrange useful activities to take advantage of whatever it is that various people at various times in fact enjoy doing. To make it possible for some people to do the things they could enjoy it will be enough just to eradicate the irrationalities and distortions which afflict these activities when they are reduced to work.
Events from the year 1772 in France.Alphonse Toussenel
Alphonse Toussenel (March 17, 1803 - April 30, 1885) was a French naturalist, writer and journalist born in Montreuil-Bellay, a small meadows commune of Angers; he died in Paris on April 30, 1885.
A utopian socialist and a disciple of Charles Fourier, he was anglophobic and anti-semitic. He was at one time editor-in-chief of the newspaper La Paix, and his studies of natural history served as a vehicle for his political ideas. He was also the brother of teacher and translator Théodore Toussenel. An avowed antisemite, Toussenel's Les juifs rois de l'époque, histoire de la féodalité financière (1845) argued that French finance and commerce was controlled by an 'alien' Jewish presence, typified in the malign influence of the 'Rothschild railroad'. In this, he drew upon a tradition of French socialist antisemitism (as seen in the earlier work of his inspiration Fourier, and Proudhon).Anna Maria Mozzoni
Anna Maria Mozzoni (5 May 1837 – 14 June 1920) was born in Rescaldina in 1837. Regarded by many as a feminist much of her adult life, she is commonly held as the founder of the woman's movement in Italy. One of the roles she is most known for is her pivotal involvement in gaining woman's suffrage in Italy.
Early in her career Mozzoni embraced the utopian socialism of Charles Fourier. She later defended the poor and championed women's equality, arguing that women needed to enter the workplace to develop the female personality outside of the "monarcato patriarcale" (patriarchal family). In 1864 she wrote Woman and her social relationships on the occasion of the revision of the Italian Civil Code (La donna e i suoi rapporti sociali in occasione della revisione del codice italiano), a feminist critique of Italian family law. In 1877 Mozzoni presented a petition to parliament for woman suffrage. In 1878 Mozzoni represented Italy at the International Congress on Women's Rights in Paris. In 1879 she published her translation from English into Italian of The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill. In 1881 Mozzoni joined with other republicans, radicals, and socialists in a call for universal suffrage, including woman suffrage. In 1881 she also founded the League for the Promotion of the Interests of Women (Lega promotrice degli interessi femminili) in Milan to promote a variety of causes of interest to women.Bob Black
Robert Charles Black Jr. (born January 4, 1951) is an American anarchist. He is the author of the books The Abolition of Work and Other Essays, Beneath the Underground, Friendly Fire, Anarchy After Leftism, and Defacing the Currency, and numerous political essays.Democratic Association of Victoria
The Democratic Association of Victoria was the first socialist organisation in Australia. The group was founded in February 1872, but it lasted less than a year. Its political outlook was largely utopian socialist. The group borrowed more inspiration from Robert Owen, Charles Fourier and John Stuart Mill rather than Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. However, the organisation did borrow material from The Communist Manifesto in some sections of its programme. The organisation became the Australian section of the International Working Men's Association in September 1872, the international organisation led by Marx (the 'First International'). George Scammel Manns was the Secretary of DAV. The group published the journal The Internationalist between February-August 1872.The launching of DAV was received with negative reactions from the local mainstream press (which also had expressed hysterical reactions towards the Paris Commune). DAV had connections with trade union groups. It also established a cooperative store and a Needlewomen's Cooperative. After the dissolution of Democratic Association of Victoria, ten months after its founding, it would take a decade until socialism would re-emerge as an organised force. During this period, however, there were many different democratic, republican and pro-land reform groups active. The Democratic Association of Victoria produced some offshoots, such as Victorian Cooperative Association and the Land Tenure Reform League.Eugenio Tandonnet
Eugenio Tandonnet was a French utopian socialist, who lived in Uruguay and Brazil during longer periods. Tandonnet was a follower of Charles Fourier. In 1845 he founded Revista Socialista in Brazil.Fourierism
Fourierism is the systematic set of economic, political, and social beliefs first espoused by French intellectual Charles Fourier (1772–1837). Based upon a belief in the inevitability of communal associations of people who worked and lived together as part of the human future, Fourier's committed supporters referred to his doctrines as Associationism. Political contemporaries and subsequent scholarship has identified Fourier's set of ideas as a form of utopian socialism – a phrase which retains mild pejorative overtones.
Never tested in practice at any scale in Fourier's lifetime, Fourierism enjoyed a brief boom in the United States of America during the middle of the 1840s – owing largely to the efforts of his American popularizer, Albert Brisbane (1809–1890) and the American Union of Associationists – but ultimately failed as a social and economic model. The system was briefly revived in the middle 1850s by Victor Considerant (1808–1893), a French disciple of Fourier's who unsuccessfully attempted to relaunch the model in the American state of Texas in the 1850s.Jacob Woodruff House
The Jacob Woodruff House is a two-story octagonal house constructed of concrete walls, featuring a large, windowed cupola, and metal roof. It is located in Ripon in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jacob Woodruff was a member of and the librarian for the Wisconsin Phalanx in 1846, a communal society based on the philosophy of Charles Fourier, a French socialist.Jonathan Beecher
Jonathan French Beecher (born 1937) is a historian who has taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz since the early 1970s. He specializes in French history and European intellectual history, including Russian. He received his B.A. and his Ph.D from Harvard University and also was a student at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris for two years.
He authored a biography on the utopian socialist Charles Fourier. He has also written a biography of Victor Considerant.L'Astrée
L'Astrée is a pastoral novel by Honoré d'Urfé, published between 1607 and 1627.
Possibly the single most influential work of 17th century French literature, L'Astrée has been called the "novel of novels", partly for its immense length (six parts, forty stories, sixty books in 5399 pages) but also for the success it had throughout Europe: it was translated into a great number of languages and read at every royal court. Even today, this novel is regularly republished, both in full and in abridged edition, and even in comic book form. The first three parts were published in 1607, 1610 and 1619; after Honoré d'Urfé's death in 1625 the fourth was completed by Balthazar Baro, and a fifth and sixth were supplied in 1626 by Pierre Boitel, sieur de Gaubertin. The last two are often counted as one.
The plot is immensely complex, but the main thread of the storyline is the perfect love between a shepherd and shepherdess of fifth-century Forez, the heroine Astrée (named after Astræa) and her lover Céladon (who gave his name to the ceramic). The perfidies and political ambitions of the other characters, which result in many misadventures for the couple, occupy the greater proportion of the novel, which is frequently interrupted by digressions into stories that are strictly unrelated but which serve to flesh out the world in which they live. D'Urfé's descriptions of Forez are sufficiently detailed for many locations to be identified without ambiguity. Visitors to Boën can today follow the chemins de l'Astrée ("paths of Astrée") by visiting the Grand Pré in the grounds of d'Urfé's old estate.
The most important editions are those of 1733, 1925 and 2006. A film version, Les Amours d'Astrée et de Céladon, by Éric Rohmer, was made in 2007. An opera by Gérard Pesson was performed in 2006 at the Stuttgart Opera, and in 2009 in Paris.
In his work The social destiny of man: or, Theory of the four movements, Charles Fourier discussed celadony (l'amour Céladonique), describing it as purely spiritual love embodied by Céladon in L'Astrée.La Réunion (Dallas)
La Réunion was a utopian socialist community formed in 1855 by French, Belgian, and Swiss colonists on the south bank of the Trinity River in central Dallas County, Texas (US). The colony site is a short distance north of Interstate 30 near downtown Dallas. The founder of the community, Victor Prosper Considerant, was a French democratic socialist who directed an international movement based on Fourierism, a set of economic, political, and social beliefs advocated by French philosopher François Marie Charles Fourier. Fourierism subsequently became known as a form of utopian socialism.Initially, plans for the colony were loosely structured by design as it was Considerant's intent to make it a "communal experiment administered by a system of direct democracy." The crux of the plan was to allow participants to share in profits derived from capital investments and the amount and quality of labor performed. La Réunion existed for only eighteen months with its demise attributable to financial insolvency, a shortage of skilled participants, inclement weather, inability to succeed at farming, and rising costs. On January 28, 1857, Allyre Bureau, one of the society leaders, gave formal notice of the colony's dissolution. By 1860, what remained was incorporated into the expanding city of Dallas.List of socialist economists
This article lists notable socialist economists and political economists.Marhaenism
Marhaenism (Indonesian: Marhaenisme) is a socialistic political ideology originating in Indonesia. An adherent of Marhaenism is known as a Marhaenist. It was developed by the first President of Indonesia, Sukarno.Some scholars argue that Marhaenism is a variant of Marxism. It emphasizes national unity, culture, and collectivist economics. It was established as an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist ideology. It promotes democratic rights in opposition to authoritarianism, while condemning liberalism and individualism. It combines both western and eastern principles. Marhaenism is the guiding ideology of the Indonesian National Party Marhaenism and the now defunct Parti Marhaen Malaysia.Petrashevsky Circle
The Petrashevsky Circle was a Russian literary discussion group of progressive-minded intellectuals in St. Petersburg in the 1840s. It was organized by Mikhail Petrashevsky, a follower of the French utopian socialist Charles Fourier. Among the members were writers, teachers, students, minor government officials, and army officers. While differing in political views, most of them were opponents of the tsarist autocracy and Russian serfdom. Like that of the Lyubomudry group founded earlier in the century, the purpose of the circle was to discuss Western philosophy and literature that was officially banned by the Imperial government of Tsar Nicholas I.
Among those connected to the circle were the writers Dostoevsky and Saltykov-Shchedrin, and the poets Aleksey Pleshcheyev, Apollon Maikov, and Taras Shevchenko.Nicholas I, alarmed at the prospect of the revolutions of 1848 spreading to Russia, saw great danger in organisations like the Petrashevsky Circle. In 1849, members of the Circle were arrested and imprisoned. A large group of prisoners, Dostoevsky among them, were sent to Semyonov Place for execution. As they stood in the square waiting to be shot, a messenger interrupted the proceedings with notice of a reprieve. As part of a pre-planned intentional deception, the Tsar had prepared a letter to general-adjutant Sumarokov, commuting the death sentences to incarceration. Some of the prisoners were sent to Siberia, others to prisons. Dostoevsky's eight-year sentence was later reduced to four years by Nicholas I.Phalanstère
A phalanstère (or phalanstery) was a type of building designed for a self-contained utopian community, ideally consisting of 500–2000 people working together for mutual benefit, and developed in the early 19th century by Charles Fourier. Fourier chose the name by combining the French word phalange (phalanx, the basic military unit in ancient Greece), with the word monastère (monastery).Pre-Marx socialists
While Marxism had a significant impact on socialist thought, pre-Marxist thinkers (before Marx wrote on the subject) have advocated socialism in forms both similar and in stark contrast to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' conception of socialism, advocating some form of collective ownership over large-scale production, worker-management within the workplace, or in some cases a form of planned economy.
Early socialist philosophers and political theorists:
Gerrard Winstanley, who founded the Diggers movement in the United Kingdom
Charles Fourier, French philosopher who propounded principles very similar to that of Marx
Louis Blanqui, French socialist and writer
Marcus Thrane, Norwegian socialist
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Genevan philosopher, writer and composer whose works influenced the French Revolution
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French politician writerRicardian socialist economists:
Thomas Hodgskin, English Ricardian socialist and free-market anarchist
John Francis Bray
Werner Sombart, German economist and sociologist of the Historical school of economics
John Stuart Mill, classical political economist who came to advocate worker-cooperative socialismUtopian socialist thinkers:
Claude Henri de Saint-Simon
Étienne CabetScăieni Phalanstery
Scăieni Phalanstery (Romanian: Falansterul de la Scăieni) was a utopic experimental community (phalanstery) created in 1835–36 by Romanian boyar Teodor Diamant in the town of Scăieni, Prahova County, Wallachia (today part of Boldești-Scăeni Commune) based on the ideas of the French socialist Charles Fourier. The experiment was forcefully closed down by the authorities.The Abolition of Work
"The Abolition of Work" is an essay written by Bob Black in 1985. It was part of Black's first book, an anthology of essays entitled The Abolition of Work and Other Essays published by Loompanics Unlimited. It is an exposition of Black's "type 3 anarchism" – a blend of post-Situationist theory and individualist anarchism – focusing on a critique of the work ethic. Black draws upon certain ideas of Marshall Sahlins, Richard Borshay Lee, Charles Fourier, William Morris, and Paul Goodman.
Although "The Abolition of Work" has most often been reprinted by anarchist publishers and Black is well known as an anarchist, the essay's argument is not explicitly anarchist. Black argues that the abolition of work is as important as the abolition of the state. The essay, which is based on a 1981 speech at the Gorilla Grotto in San Francisco, is informal and without academic references, but Black mentions some sources such as the utopian socialist Charles Fourier, the unconventional Marxists Paul Lafargue and William Morris, anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin and Paul Goodman, and anthropologists such as Marshall Sahlins and Richard Borshay Lee.Utopian socialism
Utopian socialism is a label used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought as exemplified by the work of Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Étienne Cabet and Robert Owen.Utopian socialism is often described as the presentation of visions and outlines for imaginary or futuristic ideal societies, with positive ideals being the main reason for moving society in such a direction. Later socialists and critics of utopian socialism viewed "utopian socialism" as not being grounded in actual material conditions of existing society and in some cases as reactionary. These visions of ideal societies competed with Marxist-inspired revolutionary social democratic movements. The term is most often applied to those socialists who lived in the first quarter of the 19th century who were ascribed the label "utopian" by later socialists as a pejorative in order to imply naiveté and to dismiss their ideas as fanciful and unrealistic. A similar school of thought that emerged in the early 20th century is ethical socialism, which makes the case for socialism on moral grounds.
However, one key difference between utopian socialists and other socialists (including most anarchists) is that utopian socialists generally do not believe any form of class struggle or political revolution is necessary for socialism to emerge. Utopians believe that people of all classes can voluntarily adopt their plan for society if it is presented convincingly. They feel their form of cooperative socialism can be established among like-minded people within the existing society and that their small communities can demonstrate the feasibility of their plan for society.