Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fourier's response to the Gazette de France — II


For some time past the secret influence of the philosophic Pandemonium had enjoined the discipline of general science in the press, concerning the science of "attractive industry," but the indiscreet Gazette has disobeyed the word. It is proverbially noted for its gossiping propensity, and notwithstand the tactics of obscurism, one of its scribes, inspired with a new idea, has aimed a fatal blow of calumny against my principle, by charging them with insult to our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The cause of this attack was a speech made by one of my partisans, at a scientific meeting on the subject of attractive industry; alter which, the orator, Mr. V. Considerant, took part in a religious controversy, a subject quite foreign from my science; and, therefore, whatever may have been said on such a question, does not, in the least, affect my responsibility. I never interfere with the religious opinions of those who adopt my principles of science, nor do I deem it necessary for me to do so.
Why should I be more intolerant than the Pope himself, who forms alliances and enters into contract with people who deny the Divinity of Christ? The agent of the Pope, in contracting for a loan with an Israelite banker, does not make s point of attacking his religion; and why should I, a simple individual of no authority, take upon myself to force conformity with my religious feelings and opinions? Some of my partisans are Jews; and what have I to do with that? My science, being purely industrial, is equally free to all religious sects; and though I am myself a Christian, I only teach the science of attractive industry; and neither my religion, nor my science, are affected by the peculiar opinions on religion held by those who advocate my theory.
If, then, it were true, (but it is not.) that the orator, Mr. V. Considerant, had professed opinions in opposition to the Gospel, my principles could not be held responsible for his errors, or for any opinions contrary to my own.
But the fiery Gazette has brought my name in question, and declaimed against what its scribes are pleased to call Fourierism, indicating my theory of attractive industry. Amongst a number of perfidious misrepresentations, the scribes have manufactured and inserted a dozen lines or more, in which Jesus Christ is really insulted, but, by the scribe of the Gazette, who has falsely attributed them to Mr. Considerant, whose written and spoken opinions are diametrically opposed to those attributed to him by the impious journalist.
Mr. Considerant immediately threatened the Gazette with an action for libel and defamation, if his own reply were not immediately inserted; but the perfidious journal, not daring to refuse insertion, evaded the effect of justice, by an unfair manœuvre in the printing, and a delay of three weeks time in its edition for the provinces.
These scribes say that “I wish to be the God of the material World,” and sometimes they dub me with the title of “Messiah.” What a pity it is they do not add a handsome pension to these Godlike honors!
Is it, then, pretending to deity one‘s-self, when one simply follows the divine precept,—“Seek, and ye shall find?” and having discovered any of the laws of God and Nature, is it infringing on the power of God merely to explain those laws to man? Did Kepler and Newton pretend to be gods when they discovered and made known the laws of God concerning our solar system and the mechanical equilibrium of celestial bodies?
On the contrary, I am, perhaps, the only person who has fully ruined those who really usurp the right of God. I have proclaimed the principle of a Universal Providence, and, in virtue of that principle, the necessity of seeking for the pre-ordained laws of harmony and unity relating to society, instead of trusting to the arbitrary laws of man. Jesus Christ himself repeatedly enjoined us to seek for God’s social code of laws, and predicted its discovery when truly sought; and if those who take credit to themselves for ultra-piety, had sufficient hope and faith in Providence, they would adhere to the letter of the Gospel dispensation, and believe our Saviour, who assures us that his Heavenly Father’s Providence extends even to the numbering of the hairs of our heads. It is, indeed, injurious to our Maker to doubt his Providence in pre-ordaining laws of social harmony for man, when he see that, from the greatest to the smallest works of his creation, he has provided laws of unity and harmony for their correlative conditions. Having provided laws of social unity for the enormous globes revolving in infinity, and also for the smallest insects inhabiting those globes, how is it possible to think he would neglect to make a similar provision for the social regulation of mankind? “ Has he not provided for the fowls of the air, and how much more worthy are we than they?”
It is impious, then, to doubt the Providence of God; and Jesus Christ has told us that our duty is to " seek that we may find" the code of social harmony and justice which our Heavenly Father has prepared for us Irma all eternity. It is, in fact, impossible to think that God has not provided for the most imperious of our wants, a code of harmony for human society, to regulate industrial economy, producing an abundance of worldly comforts, for the happiness of all in perfect justice, and applicable to all the nations of the earth without exception.
The discovery of this code of social laws, is the task assigned to us by Christ himself, concerning this probationary state in which we should prepare for an hereafter; but philosophy has left us neither faith nor‘ hope in the universality of God’s providence, nor a spirit of charity extending to the whole of human-kind.
Philosophy only talks of gaining riches for one or two nations of the earth, leaving the rest to languish in ignorance and misery. Forgetting that God is the Creator of the I whole universe, and that his laws are made for all his creatures,—from the greatest to the smallest, the planet to the insect,—our modem legislators and philosophers have usurped the power of God; neglected the study of his laws of harmony, and made society the tool of men like Bartholus, Cujas, Mirabeau, and Target, of whom it may be said with truth, that they usurp the power of God in governing society by arbitrary rule, instead of following the precepts of the Gospel, and studying the will of Heaven: for, not only do they themselves refuse to study the will of God revealed to us in his eternal laws of mental, moral, and mechanical attraction, but they even vilify and persecute whoever questions their sophistical infallibility.
Christ has plainly told us what we are to think of such scribes and philosophers. "Ye hypocrites," says he, “well did Essias prophecy of you, saying,—This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me -with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the mmandments of men."—(St. Matth. xv. 7, 8, 9.)
It is utterly false, then, to say that I pretend to be a God, either of the Material or the spiritual world. I render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar; and to God, that which belongs to God, the right of legislating for humanity. But why should the scribes of the Gazette accuse me of wishing to be the “God of the material world” more particularly? This is a point requiring explanation.
It is said that my principles are subversive of Christianity, because they tend to harmonize in regular development, those passions or sources of activity in the human soul, which Christ enjoined us to subdue and mortify. Now, in the first place, nothing could tend more to subdue the passions in perfect harmony, than my science of passional mechanism and attractive industry, which prevents excess by infinite variety of action ; and as for the doctrine of mortification, it is not true that Christ intended it to last for ever. It was only meant to last during the periods of social incoherency which mark the progress from the fall of man to the full regeneration; and in these periods of ignorance, privation and injustice, it is absolutely necessary; but when, " by seeking, we have found the kingdom of Heaven and its justice," which means the laws of moral equilibrium in the physical and mental activity or human society, there will be no longer any need of an oppressive discipline to make us pure in heart and mind. We shall then be governed by a law of love in expansive equilibrium, infinitely more efficient than the law of fear, and compressive self-denial.
We must, of course, admit that the law of self-denial and positive restraint is absolutely necessary in the present state of things; but Christ, in telling us to “seek the kingdom of heaven and its justice, that all worldly comforts may be added unto us,” has also given a foretaste of physical enjoyment to those who manifested faith in his prediction. At the feast of Cana, did he not change the water into excellent wine? and did he not multiply the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude whose faith had led them to the desert with him? This miracle, he worked to recompense their faith in trusting to his power without anxiety for their own comfort. He himself took pleasure in speaking of his own dependency: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to repose his head.”
He also rebuked those who accused him of faring sumptuously; saying,—“John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine ; and ye say, He hath a Devil. The Son of Man is come eating nd drinking and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of all her children.” It is evident, therefore, that he deemed wisdom quite compatible with worldly comfort, and in order to join precept with example, he took his seat at a table served with delicacies, in the house of a publican who invited him; and when the courtezan anointed his hair with perfume, he rebuked the publican who blamed her for her services. To the woman herself he said, “Thy sins are forgiven: thy faith hath saved thee.” Compassionating with the sex that is most oppressed, he pardoned Magdalene and the adulteress, rebuking those who had accused .them. Nor did he forget to say, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—(St. Matth. xi. 30.)
It is clear, then, that our Redeemer was no enemy to riches and refinement; all he commanded was, that to worldly pleasures we should add a genuine faith in universal providence, and a proper use of heaven’s bounty, in seeking for the kingdom of justice and the science of social harmony.
Nor be it said that Christ, in speaking of the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, alluded to a future life alone, where worldly comforts are spoken of in allegory, for he knew well that neither food nor raiment would be wanting there. lt is not, then, of a future state he speaks, in promising us worldly blessings: and, the better to prevent mistake, he adds, " Let those hear who have ears to hear,” meaning that his parables were true both ways, and that there are two kingdoms of heaven; one already in existence, and another to be finally established upon earth.
Philosophers deny all this, and ridicule the notion of a better state of things, because it has been hidden from their mental vision; and the unreflecting public fondle the delusion. This state of things is spoken of in Scripture, where it says—" They are as the blind leading the blind.”
St. Mark has tnily said of these, " Ye neither understand the Scriptures, nor the power of God.”
A single instance of the power of God is quite enough to prove that the pretensions of philosophy to regulate society are incomparably deficient. The sole power of distributing our faculties, gives our Maker the facility of rendering any social law attractive and complete; while philosophers, who have no such power, can never make us like their schemes in opposition to our nature.
On the other hand, we are sure to err in misery by submitting to the arbitrary laws of human reason, which are not attractive to our innate feelings: for philosophy has not the power of altering our faculties, so as to adapt them to a liking for oppression, poverty, prisons, hulks, taxation, and anxiety, with all the other "graces" of human legislation and “liberal perfection."
These considerations are alone sufficient to inform us that God must have originally made a plan for social happiness, and that it is our duty to obey the Gospel, in “seeking for the kingdom of Heaven and its justice,” revealed to us in all the laws of natural phenomena in matter and in mind.
Such will be the mechanism of passional attraction and industrial economy. And Jesus no doubt alluded to the scientific mission of an interpreter of these laws, when he Said, “ I speak to you in parables; but he who will come after me, will speak to you in spirit and in truth.” He who wished “that the things of Cæsar should be given unto Cæsar, and that the things of God be rendered unto God,” also wished that human reason should be left to do the work imposed on it by God; and thus reveal to 111811 the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, in the scientific mechanism of attractive industry based upon the principles of moral and religious unity.
As John the Baptist came before Christ with the mission of precursor, to announce the coming of the word, so another was to come after Christ with the mission of coadjutor, to study and reveal the laws of social mechanism by which peace and plenty will reward the general practico of truth and justice, and the human race commence the work of absolute regeneration.
This is the task of the Messiah, of whom M. de Lamartine, in his conversations with Indy Esther Stanhope on Mount Lebanon, spoke as being " yet to come," affirming “that those who are now living will see him with their own eyes, and for whose mission all things seem to be preparing in the world.”
But here, again, we may apply the words of Christ, " Do not ye after their works, for they say and do not.”—St. Matthew, xxiii. 3.)
If it be true " that a man is soon to appear with an extraordinary mission in science, and that, as all things are prepared in this world for his coming, we shall certainly see him in person;" how comes it, that when he has actually made his appearance and proved his mission by revealing a new science that will solve all the problems of social and political harmony,—how comes it, say, that all the learned world refuse to hear him, and absolutely form a coalition of obscurism to prevent the public from acquiring a knowledge of his science, or even of his existence, though he can prove that he has nrictly followed the injunctions of our Saviour, and that he speaks in the simple, clear, and natural spirit of mathematical truth which children may understand ; and the science which he thus reveals will teach us how to banish from the earth those hideous social ulcers, poverty, crime, slavery, mercantile fraud, and all the moral evils so much loathed in the sight of God?
 We have many philosophers who speak and write piously, because piety is now-a-days a political instrument; but it is not so easy to find people who are really pious in fulfilling the commands of Christ. If our philosophers were truly pious, they would say, “This theory of attractive industry should be carefully examined and tested by experience, for, if it be really true and practicable, its results would be prodigious.Besides creating wealth in great abundance, it would totally eradicate the germs of revolution; and of moral and religious discipline, it certainly affords the most secure foundation. In our present moral theories, we do indeed inculcate a love of honest industry, but then we must admit that little has been done to render it attractive. This author says he has discovered the science of attractive industry in conformity with the natural impulsions of mankind, and that, besides being proved by all the principles of science, his theory may easily be tested by a limited experiment on a single parish containing three or four hundred families. This is a great advantage compared to the dangers of political reforms affecting a whole nation by every new experiment. Should the experiment fail altogether, it will only affect a single parish, and if it be found defective in some of its parts only, we can probably correct its defects, and improve it as a whole.”
This would be the language of impartiality, but it is not to be expected from the learned corporations of this bouted centre of civilization, Paris.
The title of “Messiah” is, however, as applied by M. de Lamartine, in speaking of the man whose mission was announced by Christ, improperly applied to a mission of mere science. John the Baptist was the prophet whose mission was that of a pre-cursor to Jesus Christ, and my mission is that of the prophet post-cursor and coadjutor, announced by Christ to solve the Christian problem, and complete the scientific part of human regeneration with respect to industry alone and social equity; but I am not a Messiah, though the Gazette de France, in its furious attacks, accuses me of being in pretension both a “God” and a “Messiah.”
There is nothing mystical in a purely scientific mission; and though the function of a prophet and coadjutor in human regeneration has fallen to my lot, it is not the Irission of one specially elected, like John the Baptist, but a mission open to all the human race, any one of whom was free to study and interpret the social code of laws devised by God to introduce on earth “the kingdom of Heaven and its justice,” whenever human reason should perform the task imposed by Christ, of "seeking till we find; asking that it may be given; and knocking that it may be opened unto us;” to see and understand the laws of social harmony and passional attraction.
I have performed this mission in accordance with the bidding of our Saviour, by leaving the beaten track of arbitrary speculation and the cunning of philosophers, of whom the world's Redeemer said,—“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."—(SL Mal. xii. 34.) " Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity-."—(St. Matth. xxiii. 27, 28.)
These words are truly applicable to those philosophers of our day, who laud the present state of civilization as the beau-ideal of society, though it is based on the most odious principles, such as the following, which are openly professed:
“It is absolutely necessary to keep the multitude in poverty in order to enrich the few, and, not being able to prevent the horrors of this state of things, we must learn to look upon them as necessary evils.”These maxims are indeed worthy of a sect which holds the principles of sceptical philosophy, and publicly asserts " that the mass of the people can never be happy until the last of the kings shall have been strangled with the gut-strings of the last of priests,” and whose watch-word in the work of human massacre, is "Down with the impostor," (écrasez l’infâme,) meaning Jesus Christ. ls it a wonder, then, that these philosophers oppose my doctrine, which was announced by Christ himself as the industrial mechanism of truth and the spirit of social harmony, to he revealed by the interpreter of God's social code, who was to come after Christ?
Let me not be misunderstood in saying this; for I ask nothing for myself, neither mediately nor immediately. My mission is to speak the truth, and minister to the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ has said, " He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you, hut the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever l have said unto you.” —(St. John, xiv. 24, 25, 26.) Now the literal meaning of the words Holy Ghost being the spirit of truth, it is clear that every principle of truth and harmony is an emanation of the Holy Ghost, or the universal spirit of truth, and, in this sense, the science of social harmony is the social “comforter," explaining all things relating to the practice of truth and justice upon earth.
We may again repeat with Christ, that “the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."—(St. John, iii. 19.) This is true of the present state of philosophy, containing at least one hundred thousand different and contradictory systems, none of which will bear the light of a comparison with that science of social mechanism and attractive industry it has been my lot to discover; and which consists in harmonizing all our instincts and desires by means of an industrial and domestic combination, the leading springs of which are,—@
1. Regularly graduated scales of discord and natural inequalities.
2. The proper combination of series and groups in the functions of industry.
3. Variety of occupation, and ii free choice of function, subject only to real skill and due qualification.
Whether this be or be not the true principle of industrial mechanism and social harmony, there can be no doubt that the present age, so frequently convulsed by the disastrous innovations of unsound philosophy, has need of some new science to secure stability and peaceful progress. After trusting to political and moral theories in vain for centuries and centuries past in misery, it is natural to try another mode of innovation, which, if even inefficient, is at least secure from danger and convulsion. Those who have property at stake might certainly to tire of a philosophy which only serves to generate iniquity, and oppose the influence of pernicious doctrines by s principle which is, in all respects, the very opposite. The arbitrary doctrines of philosophy would vanish into darkness and oblivion as soon as the real principles of social policy were practically tested; for this is the principle of which Christ has said, “Et portæ inferi non prævolebunt."
What are these "Gates of Hell” of which he speaks? there are, at least, two which are easily recognized: intolerant philosophy, and j the spirit of self-righteousness which is not less intolerant. Both of these are worshippers at the same shrine of superstition: that of a PASSIVE and INERT resignation to the principle of evil and the honors of competitive society. The one tells us that “crime and misery are the necessary results of civilization, and that we must submit to them patiently without hoping to avoid them;” the other tells us " that we must resign ourselves to suffering in this world, in order to obtain our reward in the next:" but those who preach these doctrines, take very good care not to follow them themselves. They invariably secure for themselves as much as they can of the comforts of life, and then deliberately tell their starving brethren to suffer patiently the wrongs which they endure.
It is no doubt proper to resign ourselves with patience and forbearing, as long as society remains in ignorance and poverty; but Christ himself has told us that this state of things was not to be perpetual, and that it was our duty to escape from it as soon as possible, by seeking the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, that all worldly comforts might be added unto us abundantly.---He expressly told us also to be active in our faith, and not to indulge our idleness in a passive and inert resignation to the principle of evil; but to seek that mechanism of the science of attractive industry and combined economy.
What can be the cause of this passive and inert resignation to the principle of evil, in the church? During eighteen centuries the ministers of Christ have warned us against the baneful doctrine. of philosophy;  was it not their duty, therefore, to follow the injunctions of our Saviour, and seek, till they discovered, the science of social harmony, and its principles of truth and practical equity? But, supposing their efforts to have been constant, thong inadequate, is it not, at least, their duty to protect the man who has devoted thirty-eight years of a laborious life to the seeking and discovering of the principles of justice and social regeneration?
The Church has evidently lost her equilibrium: she has been betrayed into the hands of vain philosophy; for those who call themselves the “pillars of the Church," are neither more nor less than skeptical philosophers.
What are these scribes of the Gazette, but sceptics in disguise, forming a pandemonium of obscurism? proscribing every attempt at social progress, and supporting the monopoly of privilege and sophistry.—Its proceedings in 1829 were more scandalous than those of any other journal published in Paris. It is a well known fact, that the most abominable system of intimidation was used to terrify those amongst the public functionaries who did not generally purchase the Gazette.
These pretended champions of religion, are betraying both the monarch and the Church, for no party is more deeply interested in the welfare of the people, than the clergy of the Church of Rome, and the King of the French nation, who is more or less suspected by all the kings of Europe.
The vessel of St. Peter has evidently lost its rudder, for, during the last half century, it has been so badly governed, that the clergy have lost almost all their former influence; and as for the throne of France, it is so far humbled, that it dares not venture to resist the influence of American chicanery, which has recently constrained us to admit a doubtful claim upon our treasury.
All parties, then, are equally interested in the progress of truth and general prosperity; and, as all the schemes of fanciful philosophy have failed, it is but rational to expect a contrary result from the practical application of those principles which are, in all their bearings, the very opposite of incoherency and individualism.
It is in vain for the blind members of the Church to think, that if it were possible to establish harmony and justice in society, Christ himself would have revealed to us the science of its organization; for, I have already proved that he commanded us to seek it in ourselves, and by the aid of human reason, in connexion with an ACTIVE faith in Providence and all his promises.
Ministers of the Church,—you whose mission it is to call sinners to repentance—are you not sinning, yourselves, against the doctrines of Christianity? By adopting the tactics of sceptical obscurism, and opposing my theory by your premeditated silence, are you not opposing the will of your master, who announced the scientific mission of human regeneration?
You are witnesses to the declining influence of Christian principles and the spreading influence of mystical and sceptical philosophy; and though you may deem these systems of philosophy too absurd to be generally introduced, still it is your duty to be active in your opposition; for the general aberrations of material and inductive philosophy may give rise to sects whose doctrines would be no less offensive than the Atheism of the Owenites, and the spoliating tendencies of St. Simonism in its doctrines of inheritance. If you remain blind to the duties of your mission, you will shortly have in Europe as many heterogeneous sects of religious doctrines as there are in America, and civil war is almost the inevitable product of this religious anarchy.
In this dilemma, your only safety lies in bringing into practical consistence my principles. which will rapidly supersede the influence of your natural enemies, the sceptical philosophers.
You need not be alarmed at the risk of fostering an error; for, one single experiment would prove it to be true or false without endangering the present constitution of society. Remember, also. that the most useful discoveries have been generally ill received at first: the simple grain of coffee, and that very useful root the potato, were prohibited as poisons, by the learning of a Parliament. The first inventors of steam-engine were most of them insulted, and some of them were even put to death. Columbus was banished for announcing even the probable existence of a New Continent, and the thunder of an excommunication was hurled upon his head from the Holy See of I Rome; then, surely, you should pause before you condemn.
And yet, we can hardly expect to find wisdom and discernment in the Church, when we see the Universal Bishop stigmatising equally both friends and foes. In the last index, published at Rome, we find names classed together without any rule of justice. The Church, in her distress, has lost her mental equilibrium and discernment. She has inconsiderately classed the name of the celebrated Christian poet, De Lamartine, with that of St. Simon, the avowed opponent of the Roman clergy; and to make the matter worse, my name has been connected with the enemies of property, although my principles would introduce at least twenty-four new source of security to private property, in addition to those which are already in existence.
It is a strange anomaly, that the Christian Pontiff should denounce the only man who has demonstrated, by mathematic revelation, the necessary existence of a God, and the universality of Providence. Before my discovery, the very existence of Deity was questioned in the name of science; but this delusion of Atheism, arising from the aberrations of reason, is now completely dissipated in the sphere of real science. These errors of the Church prove that vain philosophy has stolen its way into the Vatican, and the bewildered Pope of Rome is now the dupe of scepticism.
This language may be deemed severe, but no one has so good a right as I to call the Church to an account for her neglect of duty. lam, perhaps the only innovator, having every chance of founding a new religious sect, who has not thought of doing such a thing. My doctrine satisfies, at once, the natural desires of both soul and body, in this world and in the next: l have had, therefore, several chances of founding a religious sect, which no man ever had before.
But my mission is not to create a new sect; in fact, I look upon all religious schisms as brands of discord: and, as my task is to conciliate all parties in both Church and State, by the institution of attractive industry and social equity, I am opposed to all the arts of policy which would cause disturbance, and class me amongst mere turbulent agitators. I disavow also, beforehand, whoever might, when I am gone, make any such abuse of my conciliatory principles, which serve invariably the interests of all parties.
[To those who have “ears to hear,” and “eyes to see,” nothing can be more beautifully clear than Fourier’s elucidation of the Gospel; but many there are, within and without the pale of the Christian Church, whose mental visions is too much obscured to recognize the light. The Church itself has long been more or less eclipsed by negative philosophy; but soon, we feel convinced, the shadow of uncertainty will gradually vanish, and leave the type of unity to re-assert her mission by dispensing light and heat, in spirit and in truth, to all the human race.]

[Source: The Phalanx, 1, 14 (July 13, 1844) 205-209.]

Monday, July 23, 2012

Terrence, "A Short Introduction to the Works of Charles Fourier" (1848)


“In Nature and in State, it is easier to change many things than one.” BACON.Essay on Health.

“Entertain variety of delights rather than surfeit of them.Idem.

“ And let the main portion of the lands employed to gardens or to corn be to a common stock, and to be laid in, and stored up, and then delivered out in proportion.” BACON.On Plantations.

“Fourierism, which is diametrically opposed to Communism.”Morning Chronicle, March, 1848.




At a moment when the extraordinary and sudden events of Paris have stirred the political condition of Europe from its very foundation, and have commenced “‘hat is professedly a social revolution, the following rapid sketch of what is termed the social science, or in a wider sense, “The Theory of Universal Unity,” may not be without interest to the public, as it may help them to a clearer comprehension of what is now occurring, and enable them to distinguish between those acts of the Provisional Government which are inspired by a spirit of communism, and those which emanate from the school of Fourier.
The whole of the English press, in mentioning the tendencies of the late revolution, have attributed them to the Communist doctrines disseminated through the medium of the works of various authors, among whom they include Fourier; being, however, so little acquainted with his views, that they are even ignorant of the real orthography of his name; for they have, with few exceptions, most amusingly agreed in spelling it with two rs, thus—Fourrier. This point, though minor in appearance, is in reality most important as an argument against them; for this error originated in a ridiculous and ignorant criticism made several years back, which criticism seemingly has remained the only source of information which the guides (?) of public opinion have deigned to consult on the subject.
Now this accusation of communism arises from a very general, although most erroneous notion; for Fourier, whatever may be. thought of the practicability of his whole system, is, as we will presently prove, the only author who presents a definite, just, and unanswerable argument in favour of the existence of property, and he who alone has sought efficient because equitable means of rendering its enjoyment perpetual.
Fourier, from his earliest childhood, evinced the profoundest love for truth and justice; and though educated at a period when professions of atheism were in full vogue, he always breathed the purest religious sentiments, free however from intolerance and cant. On looking around him, he found all things subjected to a Divine Harmony, save the social relations of man, in which fraud, misery, and vice were but too much the predominant features. Yet, that such was the final destiny of mankind, his notions of divine justice would not for one instant allow him to suppose. Trusting, therefore, to the words of Christ: “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;”—”There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known;” and seeing how completely society, in its present form, is devoid of truth, justice, and happiness, he determined to devote his life to the research of the natural or Divine social form, in which God’s will being done on earth as it is in Heaven, these blessings should exclusively reign; and after several years of incessant labour, he produced to the world what all who have studied it proclaim a most wonderful and complete system of universal science.
The metaphysical foundation of Fourier’s theory, (and we must crave the indulgent reader’s patience for a few paragraphs that may perchance be deemed abstruse,) is as follows:—All that exists, being the work of one great Creator, must bear upon it the impress of His harmonious mind, and be therefore analogous, though never identical in its various forms; accordingly, Fourier, taking a complete survey of all the natural sciences and arts, finds a perfect analogy between the harmonies of sound, of colours, of curves, of numerical and grammatical functions, &c., distributed according to a certain series or regular distribution of parts, into groups, varieties, genera, species, orders, and classes; hence his science of Universal Analogy, the radiant spring of poetry,—and its manifestation, the serial Law, for the development of which we must refer to his works, or those of his disciples. Fourier, with this guide, arguing with true mathematical precision, from what was known to what was as yet unknown, boldly dived into the past and the future, and foretold most of the discoveries which have since shed so much glory on the scientific men of our age; among these may be numbered Levenier’s planet, instantaneous communications with all parts of the globe, painless operations, &e. &c.
Carrying out these views in his vast investigations of nature, he found that all things were formed of three principles, corresponding to the three essential functions of motion: one active or spiritual (the moving force,)—one passive or material (the moved force,)—and one neuter or regulative (the directing force). His theory of Production may serve as an illustration of this division of parts; for Production, in its widest sense, the source of the activity and the wealth of nations, is, like all other things, a compound of these three elements, viz. :
1. Labour, the active principle.
2. Capital, the passive principle, on or by which labour acts; land, buildings, money, machinery, implements, &c. &c.
3. Talent, the neuter principle, by which labour and capital are directed.
Now, if the rights of anyone of these principles remain unsatisfied, the other two are endangered, and impeded in their progress. According to Fourier, the fault of society has hitherto been in overlooking the rights of labour and talent, granting all permanent advantages to capital alone, which has in consequence indirectly but greatly suffered. The Communists, on the other hand, in their reaction against the exclusiveness of capital, commit a similar error in an opposite direction.. The exclusive reign of capital occasions unperfect production, pauperism, and revolt. Communism, or the negation of individual property, by destroying emulation, and compressing superior minds, without raising the interior, would be a death-blow to the ideal and the sublime, and both are subversive of all justice and liberty; yet both represent equally legitimate rights, which can only be satisfied by the free association of the three essential elements of production, whereby every individual may reap the fruits of the seed he has sown, by participating in the profits of the common produce, each in proportion to the amount of capital, labour, or talent employed in its creation, every member being thus personally interested in the success of the whole. The creative powers resulting from unity of purpose and action are thus substituted for the fearful and destructive antagonism which now reigns between the employers and the employed. (The practical difficulty of such an arrangement will be mentioned hereafter.) This proportionality, according to capital, time, and skill, is evidently in direct opposition to the principle of Communism, which is based on an absolute equality of rights; and Fourier is so far from denying the rights of property, that it is chiefly to large capitalists that he addresses himself, inviting them to combine freely, and carry out his views, promising them in return a new and happy social era, in which they will be the first to benefit largely; for one of his fundamental principles is, that the science of society must accept and classify all existing interests, and the social transformation be such, that those who reap the greatest advantages in our present state, shall profit still further instead of losing by the new order of things.
But this is only one branch of Fourier’s vast system of scientific and social reform. Analysing with great acuteness, the past and present history of humanity, and examining the fundamental character of the five social phases, viz., 1, Edenism; 2, Savagism; 3, Patriarcate; 4, Barbarianism; and 5, Civilization, through which it has successively passed,—he ascertained (as any unprejudiced mind might have done before him,) that Man had as yet never been placed in a social medium in accordance with his nature, though he had gradually advanced towards a superior state of society, according to the natural law of progression. Yet man, with all his passions[1] or tendencies, which according to circumstances urge him on to virtue or to vice, and which, in spite of human institutions, have maintained their dominion in all countries and all ages,—man, we say, with all his passions, is the work of God. The social form, essentially variable in its nature, differing at the beginning and at the end of the same age, differing on the opposite sides of the same mountain or river, is the work of man. If man, and the social conditions he is placed in, clash, whose is the fault, and whose work must we modify? Surely not God’s!
As well might our tailors and shoemakers propose one model of their own creation, as a standard whereby all men were to be dressed, as our philosophers and constitution-framers pretend that man, as created by God, is imperfect, and must be made to bend to fanciful and oppressive institutions of their invention, which centuries have proved to be inefficient in producing the desired end. This misconception of man’s nature has forced them to uphold their false institutions by means of constraint and tyranny, thus forming a lamentable scission between the lovers of order and those of liberty, and keeping the world in a constant state of turmoil and warfare.
The important point is, however, to fully understand the nature of Man, the primary element of society, and the social problem then resolves itself into the following terms:
“Man and his passions being given, to determine the social conditions in which these may be harmoniously developed, so as to produce the greatest and most beneficial results by the smallest means.”
Now man is himself, according to what we have said above, a compound of three principles;
1. The Passions, active or motive principle.
2. The Body, passive or material principle.
3. The Intellect, neuter or regulative principle.
The body is the mere instrument or tool through the medium of which the passions act; and the intellect is the principle by which man judges, ( and by which he governs and directs the other two.
The passions, again, are composed of three principles—the material or sensual; the spiritual or affective; and the directing or distributivesubdivided into twelve radical passions, summed up in one pivotal passion, which, like white and black among colours, is, in its positive form, the result of the combination of all the others, while, in its negative form, it is the result of their absence.[2]

Most of those passions, the 10th, 11th, and 12th especially, are in civilization, productive of more harm than good; for instance, the love of change, termed by Fourier la papillonne or butterfly passion, in a society where each member is chained exclusively to one profession or trade, is a vice, breeding inconsistency, fickleness, inattention, and discontent; yet nature in her goodness meant it as a preservative against monotony, and excess in the development of anyone of his faculties, moral, intellectual, or physical, at the expense of the others, by instilling into him a strong desire to give a full and harmonious development to all in their turns. For a full comprehension of this psychological analysis, we must refer to the works of Fourier, or those of his school. Musicians will, however, understand us when we say, that the four affective passions are the cardinal, corresponding to the four notes which form the main chord and the sensitive note, in the octave. The three distributive correspond to the subordinate chord, and the five sensitive to the five semi-tones.
As the different combinations of the twelve semi-tones of the chromatic scale are sufficient to produce an infinite variety of melodies and harmonies; or, as all shades are the result of the various combinations of the prismatic colours, so the different proportions and combinations of these 12, or rather (including the pivots) 14 radical passions, form the various characters or temperaments which constitute humanity; and as Providence has balanced the number of the sexes, so also has it counterpoised the various springs of action among mankind, so that unity and harmony shall be the result, as soon as man, rightly and religiously using his reason and free-will, shall, by doing for society what he has lately done for locomotion, have sought, discovered, and practically established the conditions in which these passions or springs of action may act according to the eternal laws of God, and be productive of good instead of evil. A permanent revelation is granted as a light to guide us in this research,—Good being the heavenly sign that humanity is fulfilling its destinies,—Evil the invariable sign of its deviation therefrom; and who will deny that Evil has hitherto had the ascendancy?
Fourier, by this analysis of the nature of man, which all his disciples consider as unimpeachable, seems alone among philosophers to have carried into practice that admirable maxim of the ancients, “Know thyself,” and I has therefore alone afforded us the means of organizing society in accordance with that nature.
The 14 radical passions of man, being his data, Fourier seeks, by what external or social conditions they can best be satisfied and utilized. And first, he finds it will be necessary to offer to the sensitive passions none but the purest objects of gratification so that our senses, by which we are put into communication with the outward world, may carry correct notions only, to our soul and intellect. This duty falls chiefly to the lot of industry and the fine arts. Secondly, the effective passions must find their full development, which can only be attained by opening numerous gradual posts of honour, proportionate to each individual’s peculiar merit, so as to gratify the passion of ambition; and by increasing the general wealth of the community sufficiently to ensure the right of living by one’s labour to every man, woman, and child, and thus allow in all cases of love-unions, freed from those heart-rending anxieties which now attend most parents as to the future prospects of their children. Thirdly, in order to give due satisfaction to the distributive passions now productive of so much evil, corporative rivalship must be awakened in the community, but so organized as never to degenerate into personal jealousy and hatred. The various social duties must be performed no longer by individuals, but by friendly groups in order to satisfy the noble passion of enthusiasm, which requires numbers for its full development, and which doubles and triples our energies. Above all, constant variety must be introduced into our occupations, that we may call forth and satisfy alternately all the faculties of our soul and mind. And finally, the noblest of all passions, Uniteeism, the warm fountain of religion, philanthropy, charity, and self-sacrifice, must find a constant channel to flow in, for the benefit of others, thus counteracting the chilling influence of its opposite, individualism, whose function is the mere preservation of the individual.
By the Association of many interests, forces, and abilities alone, can all these conditions be realized; and civilization, though founded on the spirit of individualism, or the “chacun chez soi, chacun pour soi” system, has instinctively felt this; for in all great works, such as canals, railways, insurances, clubs, &c., it has always recourse to the fruitful principle of association, although, till this year, strictly confining it to capital.
Seeking what was to be the main-spring of action which was to introduce life and motion in the new social medium, and finding that Attraction was the great principle by which God gave motion and form to the material world, Fourier was led by universal analogy to suspect that the spiritual and social world might perchance be subjected to the same principle. This led him, by a succession of calculations, to the discovery Of what he called passional or spiritual Attraction, by which discovery he did for the whole range of science, including that of society, what Newton had already done for astronomy and natural philosophy, by his discovery of material or· physical Attraction, of which Locke even then said, “That admirable discovery of Mr. Newton, may be counted as the basis of natural philosophy; and how much further it could guide us in other things, if rightly pursued, is not yet known.”—(Conduct of the Understanding, § xlii.)
“The law of attraction,” says Fourier,” governs the whole universe, the plant, the insect, and the stars, accomplishing their revolutions. The animals obey a Divine law revealed by instinct, by attraction; all nature groups itself, associates in an harmonious concert, and accomplishes its destiny attractively. Man alone, ignorant of this Divine law, still struggles with his instincts, his desires, his passions, and attractions. In the midst of universal association and the harmony of worlds, human societies are sunk in discord and antagonism: their labours are repugnant; their relationships conflictive. Attraction, not being obeyed, becomes for man a source of suffering and .chastisement. His miseries are aggravated by the knowledge of enjoyments he does not possess. Like a bee, transported to a barren rock, languishing from want of flowers to call forth its industry, man, being out of his destiny, is not the less capable of fulfilling it, and suffers in proportion to the distance separating him from harmony and unity.
“Attraction in the hands of God is like a magic wand, which enables him to obtain by love and pleasure, what man can only obtain by violence. It transforms the most repugnant functions into pleasure. What can be more repugnant than the care of a new-born infant, crying, helpless, and unclean? What does God do to transform so repulsive a duty into pleasure!’ He gives the mother impassioned attraction for these unclean offices; he simply uses his magical prerogative-the impress of attraction. Thenceforth repugnant functions disappear, and are changed into pleasures.
“We see God confine himself to the simple lever of attraction to direct the planets and the stars, creatures immeasurably greater than ourselves; is man then alone excluded from the happiness of being guided to social unity by attraction? Why this interruption in the scale of the system of the universe? Why does attraction, the divine interpreter of unity in the highest and the lowest orders of creation, the law of stars and animals, sufficient to conduct them to harmony, not suffice for man, who is a creature between the planets and the animals? Where is the unity of the Divine system, if the law of general harmony, if attraction, is not applicable to societies of the human species, as well as to those of stars and animals, if attraction is not applicable to agricultural and manufacturing industry, which is the pivot of the social mechanism?
“Industry, the torment of the servant and the slave, nevertheless causes the delight of various creatures, bees, beavers, wasps and ants, wholly free to prefer idleness; but God has provided them with a social mechanism which attracts them to industry, their source of happiness. !Why should he not have granted us the same privilege? What a difference between their industrial condition and ours! A Russian, an Algerine, works from fear of the whip and the bastonade; an Englishman, a Frenchman, from fear of famine, which threatens their families; the Greeks and Romans, whose liberty has been so much vaunted among us, laboured as slaves under the fear of punishment, as the negroes do now in our colonial possessions.
“Such is the happiness of man in the absence of an attractive law of industry; such is the effect of human laws; it reduces humanity to envy the lot of the industrious animals, for whom attraction changes their labours into pleasures. What would have been our happiness had God assimilated us to these animals, had he impressed on us passional attraction for the exercise of all the labour to which we are destined? Our life would be a series of delights, whence would arise immense riches; while in ignorant subversion of attractive industry, we are nothing but a. society of galley-slaves, of whom some few escape from drudgery and maintain themselves in idleness. These are hateful to the mass, which tends, like them, to emancipate itself from labour: from thence arise revolutionary , ferments, agitators, who promise the people leisure, wealth, and happiness, “and who by some revulsion, having once obtained this for themselves, enslave the multitude anew to maintain themselves in the rank of idlers, or privileged directors of the industrious classes, which is a sort of idleness.”
According to the law of unity, the analogy of man with the creation, the Divine plan consists in a law of attractive industry, flowing from a mode of association in which all interests agree and harmonize instead of injuring each other in perpetual conflict as in the present state.
On this condition only, the unity of the creation will be demonstrated; man will be in accordance with himself, with the universe, and with God.
Armed with this knowledge, and strengthened in his researches by his implicit trust in the infinite goodness of Providence, he confidently proposes a new social order in harmony with man’s nature, or attractions, “which,” says he, “are always in proportion to his destiny;” a social order in which, however, all that is good in present or past ages is sacredly retained, but so organized as to ensure the greatest sum of happiness to the great mass of mankind; in which, through the power of association, whereby unity of interest and action, as well as vast economies and positive wealth can alone be attained: and Attractive industry, under which term he comprises all incentives to the productive energies of man, viz., agricultural, domestic, manufacturing and commercial labour, education, science and art, freed from all that now tends to make them repulsive,—the various blessings of this earth shall be so multiplied, that an abundant share of them may become the lot of the poor, allowing at the Bame time for an incredible increase in those of the rich; in which the various tastes and attractions of mankind are so admirably balanced, that the satisfaction of all prevents excess[3] in the satisfaction of each, and that the cardinal or affective passions (conjugal and parental love, friendship and ambition), nay, the very pleasures of the senses, shall, by finding legitimate satisfaction, establish the happiness of the individual, furthering at the same time the welfare of the community; for the individual and collective interests are so intimately connected, that the misery or advantage of the one invariably reflects on the other.


But instead of beginning his reforms from above, and according to constitutional customs, applying to a whole nation ideas which, if erroneous or incomplete, would be productive of the greatest evils, Fourier, considering the Commune (parish, village), with its agriculture, trades, professions, magistrates and clergy, as the primary element of society, rationally proposes to begin the social reform by a reform of the Commune, or indeed of a single commune, which, if unsuccessful, will have been productive of no considerable injury even to the shareholders; whereas its success, like that of the first steamer, the first railroad, the first electric telegraph, the first painless operation, would soon lead to new and more complete attempts in all parts of the globe, and thus peacefully realize that regeneration of society which he so confidently anticipated. (See a remarkable passage in chap. iii. of “Butler’s Analogy of Religion,” in which he describes the general influence such a community would have over the face of the earth.)
A series of calculations led him to consider that in an assemblage of 400 families of different ranks and fortunes, (about 1800 or 2000 individuals of all ages,) all the varieties of character and tastes necessary to fulfill the various industrial, artistic, and social functions, would be found united. Such, therefore, is the number he fixes on for his model community, which, from its being associated, like the famous Macedonian legion, by ties of affection and interest, he terms a Phalanx. The collective property of the Phalanx consists of about one league square, indivisible in itself, but represented by transferable shares, on the principle of railroads, canals, water-works, and other joint-stock concerns. Instead, however, of covering the land with 400 small and uncomfortable houses or huts, all more or less deficient in water, fire, and light; 400 , kitchens, 400 cellars, 400 barns, a number of ill-constructed stables, &c. >&c.; a sumptuous palace, termed a Phalanstery, (abode of the Phalanx,) is, at a far less cost, erected near the centre, in which one kitchen, divided !!into compartments, as at a restaurant, or a club-house, and in which a few professed cooks, with every convenience at their command, is substituted for the 400 small or miserable kitchens employing as many hands, thus withdrawn from productive labour. This palace, of an imposing and varied aspect, in which beauty is no where neglected, nor utility sacrificed, and consisting of various suites of apartments of all prices, to suit all fortunes and tastes, is imposed throughout of a double row of buildings, to prevent its extending over too long a space, which , would necessarily render communications difficult and it encloses within its circuit vast courts adorned with trees and fountains. In the centre, from which rises a majestic tower, containing the observatory, the clock, the industrial flags and signals, &c., are placed the public halls, saloons, and libraries, the seat of the Government, and the apartments of the wealthy. This part of the building surrounds a spacious garden, in which are placed the green houses for the cultivation of the rarest species of plants and flowers, and which serves as a winter promenade, especially for the aged and the infirm. On the right and on the left there extend two wings, gracefully recoiling on themselves, and which contain apartments gradually diminishing in price as they remove further from the centre, yet all combining neatness and comfort; and the extreme ends of the wings are appropriated to noisy occupations, assemblages of children, and all that might otherwise disturb the rest of the population.
The internal communications are managed by a wide and covered gallery on the first floor, winding round the whole extent of the building, and extending over the courts in colonnades. This gallery, which communicates with all parts of the Phalanstery, and is warmed in winter, ventilated in summer, is as it were the street, and at the same time the picture and statue gallery and museum of the Phalanx. (The Long-gallery at Windsor may give some slight notion of what is here meant.) By means of tubes concealed in its flooring and walls, it distributes to all parts cold and warm water, heat and light; it also communicates by subterraneous passages with the workshops, stables, farm-yards, storehouses, dairies, barns, &c., which are, for convenience sake, placed at the other side of the road; and thus the population are never exposed to those sudden changes of temperature which, in our ill-constructed, filthy towns, are productive of so many colds and coughs, and pleurisies, and inflammations of the lungs, from which even the noble lady leaving the ballroom to enter her carriage is not exempt. Thus arrangement does away immediately with the need of those nuisances of civilization, the umbrella, the comforter, the clog. The constant out-door activity of the population will ensure their robust health, and the street gallery will, on minor occasions, free them from the annoyances and injurious influences of our muddy, comfortless streets.
In all the arrangements of the Phalanstery, comfort and convenience are always combined with elegance. Thus, the large public banquet or dining-rooms have several smaller ones adjoining them, for the accommodation of private parties of friends or industrial groups; and each family or individual may, moreover, without increase of expense, take their meals as at present in their private apartments. But for a full description of all the various details of this noble building we must again refer to Fourier’s own works, or Victor Considerant’s “Destinee Sociale.” (See also People’s Journal, Nos. 12 and 14.)
The Church—the temple of Spiritual Harmony, and the Opera—the school of Material and Artistic Harmony, complete the centre of Phalansterian Unity.
The same principles of unity are carried out in the distribution of the soil. Instead of covering the land with ditches and enclosures, and deadwalls,—instead of forcing it to produce what the nature of the soil is not suited for, at a vast expense of labour, and money laid out on manure, often brought from far,—instead of leaving waste fine tracts of land which a small outlay might soon cover with verdant crops, or luxuriant groves, the body of agriculturists analyse every portion of the common estate, and distribute the agricultural, horticultural, and agricultural labours according to the natural qualities of the soil and various expositions. The force of association allows of all these works being carried out on a large scale, the most perfect instruments of tillage being substituted for the paltry and imperfect ones still so much in use, from the poverty or prejudice of the farmers; besides every facility being offered by the unitary stables, for the collecting, classifying, and proper distribution of manure, without the present ruinous expense. Soiling, the rotation of crops, and judicious irrigation, can likewise be carried to the highest pitch of perfection, on an estate of 5,000 or 6,000 acres in extent, to the cultivation of which nearly 2,000 persons devote Rome portion, however small, of their time; and no portion of the soil is subjected, as at present, to the caprices of ignorance, or the necessities of individual poverty. Thus it is already easy to see that the profits of association are two-fold: negative, consisting in economies of time, labour, and produce; and positive, from an actual increase in the produce, consequent on the concentration of power, and the superiority of the methods and implements which a large body can command; for the bounteous earth asks only to be courted, and is prodigal in her gifts to those who bestow on her some portion of their attention, but often barren and cheerless as an abandoned lover, when neglected by man. Great however, as the increase of the general wealth of the community would already be, it might not still allow of a sufficiency for all, nor would the happiness of the individual yet be complete, for man is a creature compounded of matter and spirit, and the mere gratification of his material wants cannot satisfy him. Fourier would have only done a small portion of his duty towards man if, after having so acutely analysed his nature, he had not sought the means of satisfying his seven spiritual as well as his five sensitive or material passions, which latter he considered as the subordinate; nor would he have been true to the system of nature, had he not sought in all things to substitute attraction for constraint.


As yet, labour, the destiny of man, has been looked upon as an evil, and only resorted to through the compulsion of law or necessity; and this has I led to the general belief that repose, or inertion, is the state man is most inclined to. Yet man is essentially an active being; and generally none are more so than the professedly idle. For behold a group of children in their hours of recreation, when perfectly free, if so inclined, to indulge in sloth and indolence. How active are they in the pursuit of pleasure! how laborious the occupations to which they voluntarily subject themselves! And how great their courage and endurance in overcoming difficulties of their own choice or creation! What also can be more fatiguing, more laborious than a fox-hunt or a steeple-chase? and what more monotonous, more tedious than fishing? Yet these occupations are the delight of many. It is not, therefore, labour in itself that is repulsive, since on the contrary it is so frequently resorted to as a source of supreme pleasure, for voluntary labour is ever attractive. We must therefore seek for its repulsiveness in the form in which it presents itself, in its mere accessories. We have already seen that there are implanted in man three distributive passions-the spirit of rivalry, or emulation; enthusiasm, or blind zeal; and the love of change. These passions not having had as yet a legitimate development, have generally been proscribed by our philosophers, who presumed to correct these works of God, while their duty was to seek how they might be properly directed to ultimate good. Now labour, as it has hitherto been constituted, gives satisfaction to none of these. The spirit of rivalry has found development only in the various forms of gambling (cards, dice, racing, stock-jobbing, &c.) or in religious, political, and legal discussions, which have generally led to bloodshed and ruin. Enthusiasm, which is chiefly awakened by large masses, united by some common interest or sentiment, finds, alas! its most complete development in a body whose chief function is destruction—the army. And the satisfaction of the love of change, so essential to the full development of an our faculties, is the privilege of a few rich only, who, using it in the mere pursuit of unproductive and egotistical pleasure, often find it an insupportable burthen.
But let us enter into the field of civilized labour. What do we see? A man, a woman, or a child spending a whole day in a solitary field, ploughing, digging, or weeding incessantly; or a human being, changed into an animated machine, spending whole days, years, a life, in making the eighteenth part of a pin, or feeding with flax a spinning machine, which performs the really creative part of the work! What enthusiasm can be awakened in the workman’s breast, and renew his energy, in the performance of such duties? What spirit of rivalry can call forth his ingenuity? and by what means can he develop the faculties of his head, of his heart, the several talents which perchance lay dormant in his bosom? If we add to this the poverty of the workman’s fare and dress, the unsightliness and impurity of the generality of workshops, and the offensiveness of their atmosphere, we cannot wonder that labour should be considered a hardship, and only resorted to through the dread of starvation. Yet these conditions, not being inherent to labour, can and should be removed, and perhaps attraction, or the pleasure men feel in exercising their various faculties in occupations of their own choice, may, by a change in its mechanism, give to production an impetus which society has been in vain striving for three thousand years to attain by violence. Fourier, to satisfy these three passions or impulses implanted in us by the hand of God, proposes what is only feasible in an association of 1500 or 2000 persons of every age, rank, and fortune, viz., that all the branches of human activity, agricultural, domestic, manufacturing and commercial labour, education, science, and art, shall, as is already the case in most manufactures, be subdivided into classes, species, varieties, sub-varieties, &c., until the minutest subdivision be reached; but instead of condemning a few individuals to adopt exclusively one of these subdivisions, which makes life dwindle down to the limits of thirty or forty years of moral and physical misery, he leaves them all open to the free choice of the population, who, following the true bent of their nature, or their attractions, form friendly groups for the accomplishment of any particular variety or sub-variety. As these groups are formed of persons who have a liking for their occupation, they work with enthusiasm and zeal, as is the case when men assemble for their pleasure, however laborious it may be in itself (racing, cricket, rowing, &c.). If at the same time, rivalry or emulation can be excited between two groups engaged in almost identical occupations, the exertions of both will become extraordinary, and the work will be incomparably more joyously, more quickly, and more perfectly performed, than if the members of each group had undertaken a small share of the work, and accomplished it alone.
But enthusiasm, from its very intensity, is of short duration, rarely exceeding the limits of two hours. Once this fire extinguished, the attention lags, energy fails, and indifference ensues; and unless some fresh occupation arouse the spirits anew, they fall into a torpor which borders on stupidity. An opera of four hours’ duration would become tedious. How much more so a mere material occupation! With the exception therefore of the sciences and fine arts, few employments will last more than two hours; nor in this new organization is it likely they could be of a much longer duration; for groups of workmen are always substituted for individuals, and it is evident that the work which would employ one mall for twelve hours, would only employ six men for two hours, independently of the influence of enthusiasm and rivalry, which more than double the active energies of man, and cannot be awakened in solitary and long-continued labour. After two hours’ work, more or less, the group breaks up, and each member proceeds to join some other group of his own choice, which he again quits for another, and so on in succession through the course of the day. This breaking up of the groups prevents any jealousy, however strong, between any two industrial bodies, from turning, as at present, into hatred between persons; for it may happen that the very individuals who were corporatively opposed in the morning, may in the afternoon be amicably leagued together in the pursuit of some common occupation. The simplicity of the work entrusted to each group being, in consequence of its extreme subdivision, very great, it will require no long apprenticeship; so that every individual, man, woman, or child, may, after having given satisfactory proofs of competence, belong to twenty o thirty different groups, and yet attain more or less excellence in each. The gardens and orchards are placed, as nearly as the nature of the soil, will allow, in the immediate vicinity of the Phalanstery, the remoter portions of the domain being reserved for fields, pastures, and woods; and as all the manufactories and workshops arc on the opposite side of the road, but little time will he lost in moving from one group to another. Conveyances are moreover provided for those groups whose occupations may require their presence at the limits of the domain, the greatest distance of which from the Phalanstery is always under two miles.
Our abilities can only be justly and soundly appreciated by our peers; hence to each group belongs exclusively the right of electing its director or chief. Thus, mathematicians must be elected exclusively by mathematicians, agriculturists by agriculturists, and musicians, painters, or architects by those who are alone competent judges, from their pursuing similar avocations. The election of the most talented is thus ensured in each particular group; for ever) member is personally interested in the perfect fairness of the choice, as the placing of an incompetent person at the head of the group would injure it materially, by diminishing its productive powers, and morally, by calling down upon it the criticisms and jeers of rival groups, The chiefs of the groups elect from among themselves the chiefs of the varieties to which they belong. These again choose the chief of the species; and thus, by a series of progressive elections, we arrive at the chiefs or ministers of the principal branches of human activity (agriculture, manufactures, education, commerce, &c.), who form the general council or Regency of the Community.
To ensure a just equilibrium between all the labours essential to the welfare of the Community, a larger share of artificial attraction, such as honours, privileges, superior remuneration, &c., will be superadded to those functions which of themselves are less attractive. But this rule is subject to some exceptions, in order to leave a scope for the satisfaction of the passion of Uniteeism, or social charity and self-sacrifice.
Thus labour, now so repugnant, is rendered attractive by the mere fact of every man, woman, and child being enabled to follow the true bent of their inclination in the choice of their several occupations and industrial companions; and of giving due satisfaction to the three distributive passions, viz., those of rivalry, enthusiasm, and variety, or discord, concord, and modulation. Add to these spiritual attractions to activity, the material charms offered by a participation in the fruits of the united exertions of the members of each group, and above all, the substitution of airy, comfortable, neat, and even handsome workshops, enlivened by various artistic ornaments and the delights of music, for the filthy, cheerless, dark dens in which so many emaciated and demoralized human beings now perform their monotonous and health-destroying duties j and we think that all unprejudiced minds will freely admit that industry may become attractive, yea attractive, when, by a good and natural organization, every useful occupation shall have become a pleasure, and every pleasure a useful occupation.
In the division of profits among the three elements of production, the rights of capital are, as at present, proportionate to the original investments. Those of labour are calculated upon the number of hours each member has worked; and those of talent are determined by the rank held in the industrial hierarchy. Thus, an operation which may at first sight have appeared of a most complicated nature, is, from the admirable organization of Phalansterian society, reduced to a simple arithmetical problem, termed Fellowship, or Partnership, which any school boy may solve.
It is needless to say that, enriched as the Phalanx would be by both positive and negative wealth, (increased produce and economies of all sorts,) it could easily afford to advance to every man, woman, or child, a minimum in food, lodging, and clothing, as a substitute for the natural rights of hunting, fishing, pasturage, gathering, &e., enjoyed by, the savage, but which are incompatible with an organized society. That this advance of the first necessaries of life would be no inducement to idleness where industry is rendered more attractive than pleasures are in civilisation, will be evident to all those who have examined a group of idlers, for, as we have already stated, idlers are often the most active of men, and in order to become most useful members of society, and more than repay the advance made to them, only require labour to be presented in an attractive form, with a constant change of occupation; for they have generally the love of variety as their dominant passion. Should such an anomaly as a perfectly inert man present itself, the Phalanx will consider him as a madman, and as such he will, like the infant, the aged, and the sick, have an incontestable right to their assistance.
We must however admit that this minimum can only be ensured where labour is attractive, for were it guaranteed to every member of civilised society, in which labour takes its most repulsive forms, the whole population would soon fall into the most complete idleness. The English poor laws, which constitute a sort of minimum, tacitly acknowledging in all men the rights of subsistence, though most inadequate even to the first wants of nature, have however had a decidedly pernicious effect on the population. There is no liberty without the minumum; there is no minimum without attractive industry.
Such is a rapid and most imperfect sketch of Fourier’s system of organizing labour, in which attraction is substituted for the compulsion of law or want, and by which the produce may be increased ten fold without injury to the labourer. It may be summed up in the following terms:
Collective labour universally substituted for individual labour; and its natural consequence:
Short and varied occupations substituted for long-protracted and tedious occupations.


It is manifest that in a society where all its members, men, women, and children, are guaranteed a respectable maintenance through their own industry, the condition of woman will be materially altered, and that the gentler half of humanity will cease to be held in thraldom by the physically stronger. But there would be so much to say on this subject, that we prefer reserving it for a special article. Suffice it to say, that even in marriage, woman would still retain her individuality and independence, and no longer be absorbed in the person of her husband, and often brutalized by his power. Her property, her earnings, her inheritances, all would remain indisputably her own, and be subject to no marital influences. The great equalizer, Love, would of course make all things common between those whose union originated in the heart; and in the Phalanstery there would be no other unions; but the law would not step in and say to the wife, “All that was yours belongs henceforth to your husband; your duty is for the future resignation and obedience to his will and his caprices.” And let it be observed, that every step towards the complete emancipation of woman is likewise a step in the progress of humanity; and that, were civilised nations suddenly to exchange monogamy and the civil rights of the wife for polygamy, or the seraglio, they would in a short period relapse into barbarianism. Independence and the general education of the mind and heart of woman will do more towards the extirpation of vice than all the moral treatises that were ever penned by hoary-headed men; and modesty and virtue will reign universally, when woman, the protecting angel of our infancy, the fairest dream of our youth, the companion of our life, being fully emancipated and conscious of her supreme worth, shall universally receive that esteem, love, and reverence, to which she is so eminently entitled.
Then will the chivalrous sentiments which cast such a charm and lustre over the early parts of modern times, and which were, alas! rather the creation of poetic minds than a genuine picture of the social habits, be in truth realised; for when woman, becoming free, no longer depends upon marriage to obtain a certain standing in life, a feeling which but too often induces her to form a union against the inspirations of her heart, man will be aware that to obtain her, he must win her affections, deserve her esteem, and far from commanding and tyrannising in what is essentially the dominion of woman, must in Love subject himself to her will. These principles will no doubt seem far from orthodox to the stronger sex, who in framing the laws of marriage, have been careful to reserve for themselves the lion’s share; but let them consider well that they may yet be the gainers by the change; for woman, restored to her rights and dignity, will no longer have recourse to the cunning and duplicity by which she now but too frequently regains the influence of which she has been so unjustly deprived. If any man doubt this influence. obtained by double dealing and deceit, let him but examine attentively the domestic circle of his neighbours and friends, though it were better he shut his eyes against his own.
While on this subject we will briefly state that the few pages in which Fourier treats of matrimonial doctrines have called forth the most bitter and no doubt virtuous animadversions of our modern Tartuffes, who instead of attentively studying the system as a whole, in order to be able to judge fairly, even though unfavourably, of its parts, act like boys with a book of medical or natural science, seeking out certain passages with the help of the index, and then, taking their own impure minds and our corrupt civilisation as a standard, build thereon a system of turpitude and vice by which they alarm innocent and unsuspecting minds, and thus deter them from the study of a science which bears in it the germs of the future regeneration of mankind. But, to pacify the pure minded, thus alarmed by mere sophisms, we will simply assert that Fourier has striven to introduce into the relations of love that same truthfulness and sincerity which he makes the basis of all-our other relations in life; and though he foresaw that in a purer state of society, in which all impediments are removed from genuine unions of the heart, and in which that monstrous legal prostitution, that infamy of infamies, the “mariage de convenance” is utterly unknown, some modifications may without danger take place in matrimonial institutions. Though he foresaw this, still, unlike Plato, Owen, and St. Simon, he always strenuously maintained that the present conjugal institutions should be most religiously preserved for three or four generations after the general establishment of harmony upon earth; and even then only altered when all those whom the question most vitally interests, viz., husbands, fathers, magistrates, and the clergy, shall have agreed, after due consideration, that a change would be desirable and unattended with peril. Still, unlike the above-named philosophers, he lays down no positive or dogmatic rule on this subject, but merely states that such and such forms of conjugal relations, which he describes, may possibly, and in all probability will be, the result of the serial or natural organization of labour, which is alone proposed by him as an absolute rule. The pertinacity with which all his opponents-attack him on this point only betrays their utter ignorance of his works; and more than one has been surprised in perusing them carefully, neither to find as the rule of this new social order the polygamy of the Patriarchs, nor the revolting community of women paired off yearly by lots, proposed by the divine Plato.


The most beautiful and interesting part of the economical portion of I’ Fourier’s Theory is perhaps his system of Education, of which we will also make a separate article. The tender care with which he seeks out and awakens the tastes and talents of children from their earliest infancy, and directs them to the beautiful and the good—the paternal solicitude with which he keeps from them all that might corrupt their innocent minds, or awaken dangerous passions before the natural age of puberty (17 or 18),—measures which are impracticable in the incoherence of civilisation, where everything, books, pictures, conversations, bad examples, and legions of human beings living chiefly by the corruption of youth, tends daily, hourly, to awaken in the child’s mind ideas which are pollution and death to body and soul, but which become possible and easy in association; and finally, the social use he makes of the activity, talents, and propensities, of what he so quaintly and profoundly, but alas! in civilisation, so satirically terms the neuter sex, are well deserving- of the attention of all philanthropists and thinkers, and above all, of mothers, the only competent judges in matters of infantine education.
We will not enter either into any details respecting the balance of population, a question which Fourier has treated with truly scientific, humane, : and religious sentiment, vastly distinct from that which presides over the cheerless, cruel, heartless theory of Malthus, who makes all the nobler feelings of the soul subservient to the mere material necessaries of life (and these how scanty!); who subjects spirit to matter, and finds no other means of keeping population on a level with the means of subsistence, than moral restraint, or a prudential restraint from marriage, which is nothing short of an absolute crushing of the heart, an abstaining from the two gentler affective passions, love and familism; neither will we show how several phalansteries, grouping round a phalanstery of the second degree or borough, form a canton,—several cantons grouping round a phalanstery of the third degree or town, form a shire,—several shires a province, several provinces a nation, several nations a continent, and finally, all the continents grouping round the Capital of the globe, (probably Constantinople, from its favourable position,) the superior centre of all the social relations of spherical unity, which, being the brain and the heart of the globe (to assimilate it to the human frame), will receive life from, and distribute it to, all parts through the means of its nerves (the electric telegraph), and of its vast arteries (lakes, rivers, canals, railways); neither will we speak of the amelioration of climates, through the gradual cultivation of the deserts, and reclaiming of unwholesome marshes, by means of industrial armies substituted for those numerous armies of destruction which society, as yet unable to organize labour and production, has displayed so much ingenuity in organizing; for the reader will find all these questions admirably treated in the works of Fourier and of his now numerous disciples. But we will close this short sketch of so vast a subject by saying, that Fourier’s system, unlike the Commonwealth of Plato, More’s Utopia, Cabet’s Icaria, and all other social schemes, is not the offspring of a blind though well-meaning imagination; it is the genuine discovery of Nature’s laws, the bearing out of what Newton so wonderfully began; it carries the precision of the mathematical and natural sciences, the warmth of feeling and beauty of the fine arts, the elegancies of refined life, and more than the aspirations of the democrat into our social relations: it acknowledges that all parties, however opposite, are founded on a partial truth, a legitimate right, only unjust because exclusive, but to which a well organized society should and could give entire satisfaction, and it seeks the law by which these partial and contending truths may be combined in one sublime and harmonious unity. In it, all the vital questions of the day—the rights of property, the rights of labour, universal suffrage, the extinction of pauperism, general sanatory measures, public education, protection of women, universal peace, &c. &c.—find their only logical, only complete solution; and by its means alone can the struggle between capital and labour cease, or rather be converted into a friendly and beneficial emulation—a struggle which may otherwise burst forth into a fearful conflict, equally destructive to both parties; for, says Bacon, “The matter of seditions is of two kinds: much poverty and much discontent;” and again, “The rebellions of the belly are the worst,”
The free association of the three essential elements of production, whereby every individual, man, woman, or child, may participate in the produce, each in proportion to the Capital, Labour, or Talent employed in its creation; and the Organization of Labour, in which attraction or pleasure is the great incentive to activity, developing at the same time, the physical, moral, and intellectual faculties of every member of society, each in proportion to his or her natural endowments:—such are the two leading features of Fourier’s Model Community or Phalanx, the experimental establishment of which on one square league, is the great hope and final object of the most ardent endeavours of his school.
We have, of course, in this short pamphlet, given a most incomplete and unsatisfactory view’ of this vast subject; tut our aim was merely to clear the Phalansterian. doctrines from the accusation of communism and immorality. For further information, we must refer all who have the happiness of mankind at heart, to the various publications of the “Ecole Sociétaire.” Though Fourier’s own works might be considered too voluminous and abstruse to begin with, there are many concise and popular views of his theory, the perusal of which would amply repay the few hours spent on them, and probably add as many converts in different degrees as there were readers. By these simple means the Phalansterian ranks are daily increasing, drawing their chief recruits from among scientific and literary men and artists. The central school at Paris which twenty years ago consisted of a deaf man, a lady, and a child, has lately been enabled to publish a daily paper, “La Démocratie Pacifique,” which has within the last six weeks increased its daily sale from 1,500 to 25,000; a monthly review, “La Phalange,” in which Fourier’s principles of universal unity are applied with great success to the higher questions of religion, science, literature, and art; and the works continually issued by them are sufficiently numerous and varied to suit every degree of knowledge and satisfy every taste.
We should, indeed, advise every student of Fourier, to begin by some of the simpler works of his disciples; for Fourier’s own writings, like those of Newton, are, from their inherent abstruseness, and the novelty of the doctrines they present, difficult to be understood and appreciated without some preparation. The following works are among those we chiefly recommend:—
l.Exposition Abrégée, by Victor Considerant, 9d.;
or, Organisation du Travail, by M. Briancourt, 10d.
or, Exposition de Victor Hennequin.
2.Solidarité, by R. Renaud, 1s. 3d.;
or, Notions Élémentaires, by H. Gorsse, 1s. 6d.
3.—Destinée Sociale, by V. Considerant, 14s.
4.—Le Fou du Palais Royal, Cantagrel, 4s.
5.—Visite au Phalanstere, by M. Briancourt.
6.—Vie de Fourier, Ch. Pellarin, 5s.
7.—Nouveau Monde Industriel, Ch. Fourier, 6s.
8.—Théorie de L’Unité Universelle,       20s.
9.—Théorie des Quatre Mouvements,     6s.
10.—La Phalange, a Monthly Review, publishing Fourier’s numerous manuscripts.

Fourier’s doctrines had made but little progress in England, till within the last month, owing no doubt to their abstruseness, and the dread entertained in this country of what is termed socialism. But be it remembered, that Newton’s sublime doctrines were long held up to public odium by Leibnitz, as subversive of true religion, and that the same accusations of absurdity, immorality, or imposture have always been the lot of great and glorious novelties; nor were the first Christians themselves dealt With more ceremoniously at the hands of the pagans of antiquity.
However this may be, the English sketches of the Phalansterian system are few and imperfect, being limited, we believe, to the following:—
“Attractive Industry,” by Abel Transon; with a sketch of Fourier’s Life, by H. Doherty. “Fourier and his System,” translated by T. Wood, which though good in parts, is imperfect as a whole. Four brief articles, in Vol. I. of People’s Journal, by Tito Pagliardini. A Translation of “Exposition Abrégée,” in the Topic, June 1st, 1847. The article, “Fourier,” in supplement to Penny Cyclopedia, and “Morell’s History of Modern Philosophy,” 2nd edition, 1847, though it is evident from the concluding remarks, Vol. II., page 388 and 389, that the author had taken but a hurried and incomplete view of the subject, which is the more to be regretted, in consequence of his general tone of impartiality.
The Morning Chronicle which, from being the most retrograde and shortsighted paper in London, has, since it recently changed hands, become one of the most enlightened, has also given, in its numbers of 29th and 31st March and 1st April, a short but impartial summary of the practical portion of Fourier’s views. A Society termed the Phalansterian Association, is however formed with a view to translating and publishing Fourier’s works and those of his disciples. All communications, on this subject, are received at 55, Rupert Street, Haymarket, and at P. Rolandi’s, Bookseller, Berners Street, where also the above-named works can be obtained.

[1] By Passion, Fourier means any motive, or spring of action whatever—the source of all our virtues as well as of our vices; for, like all other movements in nature, the passions are subjected to a twofold. development (Dualité de mouvement): one harmonic or direct, the other subversive or indirect. The action of the passions is harmonic when in accordance with, and subversive when opposed to, the Divine will. But as all the social conditions in which man has hitherto been placed, have been opposed to his real nature and tendencies, his passions have in general taken the subversive direction; hence the exclusively unfavourable acceptation in which the word passion is at present generally taken.
[2] Before we continue our account of his views, we must warn the reader that Fourier, like all inventors, has presumed to adopt a few new words in order to express new ideas; and carrying mathematical precision into the science of society, has even ventured to use mathematical formulae. This boldness on his part has, however, called forth the censure of many plain, straight-forward, practical men, and has even, we are assured, deterred many from paying due attention to his system. We have more reasons than one for supposing that the same practical men have avoided, on a similar plea, the study of algebra, geometry, astronomy, and especially of chemistry, natural history, and botany; for these sciences, though already overladen with hard and barbarous words, to wit—dodecahedron, megatheridae hypogenous, caspidate, pinnatifid, papiilionaceous—are daily adding to their stock. We confess ourselves, however, at a loss to account for the immunity granted on this point to the inventors of steam-engines, railways, and pomatums, as well as to the reporters of the money-market and city-news. The chief sins of Fourier in this respect, are the terms of Phalanstery, Cabalist, Composite, Unitecism, aroma!, pivotal, serial law, binivers, with about a dozen others, together with a peculiar use of the letters X, Y, and K, (in imitation of algebraists,) which, however, we must confess, add greatly to the precision and clearness of his formulae. We must likewise in justice to him state, that all these terms are as clearly defined in his works as the geometrical terms are in the books of Euclid, and that his formulae and tables are wonderfully clear and concise even for those whose scientific education has been neglected.
[3] How frequently does a repast, from being too much prolonged, degenerate into an orgia! Yet if, when the necessities of nature were duly satisfied, any important or attractive occupation were immediately to follow the banquet, such ns a religious or political meeting, a ball, an opera, or any scientific or artistic pursuit, this excess would be presented, to the great advantage of each individual, as also of the moral and physical condition of society in general; hence tile utility of the alternating passion, and the need of so arranging society as to give it due satisfaction.