Charles Fourier

From Academic Kids

François Marie Charles Fourier was a French utopian socialist. He was born on April 7, 1772 and he died on October 10, 1837. Fourier inspired the founding of the communist community called La Reunion near present-day Dallas, Texas as well as several other communities within the United States of America.

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François Marie Charles Fourier

Biographical Information

François Marie Charles Fourier born on April 7, 1772 and died on October 10, 1837. In 1789 he began studies of unitary architecture and in 1791 he moved from his native Besançon to Lyon, the second largest city in France.

Fourier declared that concern and cooperation were the secrets of social success. He believed that a society that cooperated would see an immense change in their productivity levels (for the better). Workers would be recompensed for their labors according to their contribution. Fourier saw such cooperation occurring in communities he called "phalanxes." The includes structures called "grand hotels," these building were four level apartment complexes where the richest had the top most apartments and the poorest enjoyed a nice ground floor crib. Wealth was determined by one's job, jobs being assigned to who would like to do them. There were incentives, jobs people might not enjoy doing would have a higher pay, but the choice is there: liv'n at ease or liv'n at an ease inspired by a bigger pay check. Some jobs Fourier imagined would never be taken by sane adults, such as garbage control. And so novelty struck Fourier when he realized children love trash. And so, children ended up taking care of all muck and yuck.

Fortunately for those who lived in these communities, they were not obligated to follow Fourier's beliefs. Phalanx style communities started developing beginning in 1840, and Fourier was no longer around. The reason for their fortune was that Charles Fourier had a unique religion to call his own. He believed that the Earth is going through stages of life, the present one (during Fourier's life time) being the one of wealth and success. Up and coming, to the misfortune of greater society and not to those who lived according to Fourier, was an age of drudgery and poverty. Also slated to hit planet Earth was the anti-bear, the anti-whale, and many many more anti-creatures. One must understand, to have followed Charles Fourier while he lived, required a great patience and an outstanding faith in the unrealized.

Fourier's work has significantly influenced the writings of Gustav Wyneken, Guy Davenport, Hakim Bey, and Paul Goodman.

See also:

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