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Charles Fourier, “Melons that Never Deceive”

THE THEORY OF UNIVERSAL UNITY

VOLUME 3, pages 47-50.

CIS-AMBLE,

Melons that never deceive, or prodigies of composite serial Gastronomy.

Let us give some articles to each of the classes of readers. There are those who love amusing demonstrations, connected to their favorite pleasures; the gastronomes are among this number: I attempt, in this mediant, their conversion. I suppose that they are already moved by the depictions of the refinement that the Passional Series introduces into good food. I will give gormandizing some more nobles colors, and present it as the principle aide of the economic views of Providence, provided, however, that this passion is developed in Grouped Series.
A little gastronomic debate will prove that by learning the theory of the Passional Series, we acquire the gift of explaining all the apparent eccentricities of nature, tearing down all the veils of brass. It is the melon which will serve as our interpreter.
Everyone knows the dictum, that melons are as hard to know as women and friends. it would be a true wonder if we could find a means of never being fooled by this fruit which bewilders the most expert judges. We often ask ourselves why nature has not attached to it some sure sign of quality and maturity; does it intend to make light of man? I will explain that enigma, and show a sure means in the societary regime of never committing any error in the choice of melons.
That would be a slight advantage, if it did not lead some something more precious: but if the method which will avoid all deception about melons can preserve the advantage in a hundred more important relations, it becomes very interesting to learn how we can introduce this judgment into the distribution of melons, this appropriateness that the Civilized order cannot establish either in little things or in great ones.
There is no fruit more generally suitable for all tastes than the melon of high quality, like the muskmelons of Persia, Astrakhan, Lower Provence, etc. Men, women and children, even animals, from the horse to the cat, are fond of the melon, which, for that reason, is a fruit of high harmony and unitary affinity.
However, this vegetable so eminently destined for man and his domestic animals is the most deceptive, as to appearances: it seems that nature has created it to mock the human species. Whatever care we bring to the choice of the melon, we are constantly fooled, especially in cold countries; and the tables resound with jeremiads on the unpleasantness of having paid amply for a good melon and only encountering a squash.
We take, however, when purchasing this fruit, some extraordinary precautions: we exclude women from it, as incompetent and uninformed in gastronomy; and in every country, it is not the housewife, but the husband who is charged with the purchase of the melon. Despite so much care, blunders are so frequent, that we joke about the one who carries a melon, it is so well known that the most deft buyers often find they have miscalculated when it comes to the opening of them.
What then was the intention of nature, when it covered that fruit with an enigmatic husk, made to mystify civilized diner? Did she want to fool these legions of double-dealers; to pay them in their currency, which is falsity? Yes: but that calculated irony is linked to some arrangements of distributive justice, impracticable in civilization.
In the societary order, the choice of the melon is as exempt from error as if we bought it already sliced. Let us explain the mystery.
Every agricultural Phalange establishes seven classes in its distributions of comestibles, which are,

1st. The command,             approximately 50 individuals
}
1500
2nd. The sick and the patriarchs,  approx. 50
3rd. The 1st class,                       approx. 100
4th. The 2nd class,                       approx. 300
5th. The 3rd class,                       approx. 900
6th. Children from 2 to 4 ½        approx. 100
7th. The caravanserai, unlimited number
!K. A lot of animals containing the coarse dishes and waste.



Let us examine how none of these classes can be fooled about the melon or other comestibles.
Each day the groups of melonists, the cultivators and distributors of melons purchased or gathered, lay out the quantity necessary for the day’s consumption.
Moments before the meal of each of the classes, one carries out the probing and tasting of the melons for the day: we begin with the lot considered superfluous, and intended for the companies of the command and the first class, for the sick and the patriarchs.[1]
From these melons probed and chosen from among the best in appearance, we separate all the inferior for the tables of the 2nd class, who, paying less, should have the average quality. We then probe a mass of melons estimated as 2nd class, of which we accept only the precious portion to be mixed with the remnants of the 1st class. Then for the 3rd tables of 900 persons, whose meal is later, we probe the entire mass of melons to be consumed, the best of which is added to the remnants of the 2ndclass. Thus all the melons served at the tables of various degrees are not only well suited to the degree, but adorned with a mark indicative of their qualities; so that, far from having any error to fear, we see by indicative marks the real value of each of the melons placed at the buffet.
Let us conclude on the general conventions of that distribution. The pieces that are too small, the small bits of very good quality, which would not be presentable to the companies of the 1st class, agrees wonderfully for the children of the aforementioned class. After all the choices completed, they find some melons spoiled or inferior, which are left to the horses, cows, sheep or other animals, along with rinds of various degrees. The comes the distribution of the scraps from the edges, neglected although good: they are distributed first to the cats, then to the poultry and fish as fertilizer. The scraps of an inferior sort are divided among the animals of lesser value, like the swine.
Thus, not a man, not a cat, can be deceived about the melon, a fruit so treacherous for the Civilized, because they do not regulate the distributive order according to the serial method desired by God; method with which he has made all the dispositions of nature coincide. It is quite right that the Civilized, in these distributive details, are dupes of their social division or familial regime; and God exercises an irony as fine as judicious, by creating certain products enigmatic in quality, like the melon, made to innocently mystify the rebel banquets in the divine methods, without being about to in any way deceive the gastronomes who line up in the divine or societary regime.
I do not mean to say that God created the melon exclusively for that joke; but it was part of the numerous uses of that fruit. Irony is never neglected in the calculations of nature; you will see the proof I the article Inverse Pivot, pollen of the lily. The melon has among its properties that of harmonic irony, independently of other more important [properties], which there is no time to mention. It will suffice for this description of the combined uses of the melon, to disabuse ourselves of so many apparent/related eccentricities of nature. It is only bizarre in civilization, which is not compatible with the views of the Divinity, nor with the distributive system ruled prior to creation, and adapted to the societary state or regime of the contrasted, rivalized, enmeshed Passional Series.
It is, I feel, very humiliating to give way to such an opinion, when we have piled up 400,000 tomes to prove that civilization is the aim of God, and that is why the Buffons, the Senecas and other beautiful minds, prefer to claim that nature has erred in creatingthe passions and kingdoms, that to put into question if the passions and passions do not have another destination, and by what means one can determine that unknown destiny, of which the whole material and passional creation makes us suspect the existence, by its impropriety with the civilized and barbaric order.
Obliged to reproduce the different aspects of the fundamental truth, that neither man, nor the products of the various kingdoms are made for civilization, I have recourse, in this article, to the familiar dissertations, like the induction drawn from the uses of the melon in the societary state. I could support it with other examplesof the same kind, furnished by these products, like the melon, which appear made to mock men, only mocks the civilization incapable of using them.
Let us conclude by observing that in the civilized order where the work is repugnant, where the people are too poor to participate in the consumption valued dishes, and where the gastronome is not a planter, his love of good food lacks a direct link with cultivation; it is only simple and ignoble sensuality, like all those that do not attain the compositemechanism, or influence of production and consumption acting on the same individual.
I will take up this argument again in thetrans-amble, where gastronomy, which is only examined here in compositeuse, will be treated in bi-composite on another subject. It is enough, for “the moment,” to have demonstrated on this gastronomic trifle the disagreement of the civilized order with the dispositions of nature, the essential connection of the passions and the kingdoms with the series of industrial groups which we are going to deal with, and the impossibility of explaining other than by the societary destiny, all the apparent eccentricities of creation such as the rebellion of a couple of magnificent porters, the zebra and the quagga, more precious than the donkey and the horse, and which, uncontrollable for the Civilizees and Barbarians, will become mounts as docile as they are precious for the societary state. Nature, in refusing us the possession of these superb quadrupeds, mock us still more bitterly than in the traps of the melon.

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]


[1] Nota. The first class, although the wealthiest, is seated first, contrary to the civilized custom which, by sedentary labors and an apathetic life, takes away the appetite of rich people, or hardly leaves them enough for a diné at nightfall. The opposite takes place in Harmony, where the rich, by a life which is still more active than that of the poor, enjoy a thriving appetite at their five meals, and will not put up with a diné that will take the place of the soup, according to the custom in Paris.

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Charles Fourier, “Major or Gastrosophic War”

[A colleague and I have been working on a translation from Fourier’s New Amorous World, which focuses on the “wars” between the armies of Harmony to determine the most generally pleasing series of means of preparation for petits pâtés. This is a companion piece from The Theory of Universal Unity, which describes variations on the same process.]


Major or Gastrosophic War.

Let us banish calculations from an article dedicated to beautiful subjects, to nice tastes. Let us not, however, entirely neglect method.
We call nice tastes those with which we can form at least a regular series of about thirty persons at minimum in each Phalanx, according to the following table, with 2 pivots, 4 transitions and 9 sub-groups.
Y : [K rotated 270°] : 3. 4. 2: K : 3. 5. 4 : [K rotated 180°]: 2. 3. 2: [K rotated 90°]: [Y rotated 180°].
These nice tastes are of various degrees, depending on whether they include 1/12, 2/12, 3/12, 4/12, etc., of the Phalanx: let us give two extreme examples at 1/12 and 12/12.
Good musk melonsare a fruit which pleases nearly everyone, the three sexes[1] all together, and without culinary preparation. As to squash, despite the interventions of the cook, they are a poor sort of food, good for the present populace, but they will not reach well-stocked tables.
Thus the melon, in Harmony, will easily bring together in series twelve twelfths of the Phalanx; it will be a nice taste of a high degree. The squash will barely assemble the series of one in twelve, as tabled above: it will be a nice taste of a low degree, and not a pleasing taste which would gather a sub-series or regular group (343).
The nicest tastes, in high degree, relate to good food and love. These pleasures, for which the taste is most general, are the principle mechanisms which Harmony uses to involve the armies in intrigues by infinitesimal series. From this arises three sorts of military rivalries or wars, namely:
The pivotal [X rotated 270°], war of intrigues in industry.
The major Y, war of intrigues in gastrosophy.
The minor [Y rotated 180°], war of intrigues in love.
I will not speak of the wars of love, which will not be compatible with our customs; a table in the gastrosophic regime will suffice to make known the intrigues of the Harmonian armies. (Trap for the censors; I warn them of it.)
Let us suppose a great army of the 12th degree, bringing together divisions from a third of the globe, about 60 empires thathave each provided 10,000 men or women. The 60imperial divisions or armies are gathered at the Euphrates, having their headquarters at Babylon.
This great army has chosen two campaign-theses[2], one of which, in industry, involves the art of embankment. It must embank one hundred and twenty leagues of the course of the Euphrates, by some method or methods.
The army being of the major order, it also has a gastrosophic thesis: the determination of a series of petits pâtés in the hygienic orthodoxy of the 3rd power, with 32 varieties of petits pâtés, plus the foci, all adapted to the temperaments of the 3rd power, conforming to the table on page 314.
The 60 empires which want to compete have brought their materials, their flours and garnishes, and the sorts of wine appropriate to their varieties of pâtés. Although the costs are paid jointly by the whole world, each empire assembles its provisions as it wishes for the thesis of battle.
Each of these empires has chosen the gastrosophers and pastry chefs most apt to defend their national honor, and to make prevail the sorts of petits pâtés that they want to have admitted into the orthodox series of the 3rd power.
Before the arrival of the 60 armies, each of them have sent their engineers to arrange battle-kitchens which are appropriate for the object of the challenge and for the accompanying dishes. The battled-kitchens do not provide the daily service of sustenance; each army is fed in the caravanserais of the Phalanx where it is camped.
The oracles or judges who sit in Babylon are drawn, as much as possible, from all the empires of the globe, and not exclusively from the 60 empires which figure in the competition.
The army, 600,000 combatants strong, with 200 systems of petits pâtés takes a position on the Euphrates, forming a line of about 120 leagues, half above and half below Babylon.
Before the opening of the campaign, the 60 armies choose 60 cohorts of elite pastry chefs, which they send to Babylon pour to serve in the high battle-kitchen serving the great gastrophical Sanhedrin. It is a high jury which functions as an ecumenical council in this matter.
At the same time one detaches from the 60 armies one hundred and twenty battalions pastry chefs of the line, who are split up by squads in each army, so that each has 59 squads drawn from 59 other armies, making the petits pâtés according to the instructions of the competing chefs of their empire.
Each of the 60 armies is positioned in the center or the wings, depending on the nature of its claims in the series:

The right wing, on stuffed petits pâtés,   20.
The center, on vols-au-vent[3] with sauce,  25.
The left wing, on garnished mirlitons,[4]     15.
}
60

 (I may be mistaken in this distribution, for I am a complete intruder in gastronomical matters. )
The affair is engaged with some batches from one of the corps, the left wing, of the mirlitons, which are tasted at Babylon by the great Sanhedrin or congress of oracles et oraclesses. No more than 2 or 3 systems can be presented per day. The tasting would become confused if the number exceeded three.
Each day, in the 60 armies, the battle-kitchens make and serve to their army the varieties presented to the judgment of the great Sanhedrin, in order that those armies have a fresh memory of it, and the aftertaste still, at the moment when the bulletin of Babylon arrives which will relate the opinions of the Sanhedrin on those varieties.
At the end of a week employed for the tasting of the systems of the left wing, the Sanhedrin renders a provisional judgment, and the bulletin of Babylon makes known to the 60 armies, and to the entire world, that the three empires of France, Japanand California have won a first advantage; that some systems of mirlitons presented by them have been accepted provisionally into the left wing of the orthodox series, or adapted to the conveniences of temperament.
So far, the struggle is competition and not battle, which can only begin after the admission of the entire series. A month would have to pass before the Sanhedrin could form a provisional cadre of orthodox systems of 12 varieties, distinguished into groups of 3, 5 and 4 for the center and the wings, plus a pivot.
This is only a preparation for battle, during which each army has other, more active intrigues: but this one, being the principal, must occupy the entire campaign, 5 or 6 months.
The cadre being formed at the end of a month and announced to the world, the battle is engaged along the whole line and in triple struggle; for each of the 48 empires which have failed in the competition of the cadre, preserve their chances:
To drive out one of the accepted systems or even a corps from the wings or center, by producing new systems of petits pâtés which have not yet competed;
Of being accepted in the counter-octave, when it is necessary to form a complete gamut of 12 major varieties and 12 minor varieties;
Of taking place in the 4 transitions, the 4 sub-pivots and the great pivots still not admitted.
These three chances give an extreme activity to the leagues, and to the voyages of diplomats in the 60 armies. Each day we see new alliances form between the various empires which judge it convenient to associate their varieties of petits pâtésand of wines and other beverages, to form center our wing, and to give battle to a mass of systems already accepted.
The multiplicity of these claims oblige 3 juries to form in a sub-order for the tastings and presentations. These juries placed in the three great divisions, at 30 leagues from one another, are served like the Sanhedrin, each by 60 squads of elite pastry chefs. Their decisions are provisional and subordinate to the tastings of the Sanhedrin. From then the struggle becomes general, and more variable as each acceptance or rejection causes new plans, produces new cartels directed at one or more empires, and demands new negotiations between victors who have attacks to fear until the definitive fixing of the orthodox series.
In the meantime, the 64 battle-kitchens work wonders of skill; travelers rush from all parts in order to bear witness to these complex struggles which will decide the claims of so many empires; the bulletins of Babylon are read avidly around the globe, especially in the empires which took part in the combat.
Nonsense, it will be said, you promise a treatise on Association, and you reel off twenty fairy tales!!!Patience, until the commentary which will follow; and the alleged nonsense will become the thoroughly methodical solution of a problem of equilibrium in the infinitely small, necessary counterweight to the infinitely large: but let us conclude.
At the end of the campaign, there would be 24 empires vanquished and 36 triumphant; perhaps less, for a single empire can succeed in making adopted 2 or 3 varieties of its making.
However, the vanquished are not considered beaten; they will reproduce their petits pâtés for a new Sanhedrin which will form a series of the 4th degree, with 135 varieties: until then their methods are heterodox, not applicable in the gamut of the 32 temperaments, and not accepted into the gastrosophic hierarchy.
The armies battle over a lot of these theses in various degrees, and each day at the meals they have some struggles between the empires, the procedures of which they review, depending on the distributions of cooks that each army makes to the others.
They also have, for their evening sessions, some propositions regarding affairs of the fine arts and occasional sympathy. In these numerous intrigues, they engage in a whole campaign before reaching the outcome.
Their pleasures are still varied by various incidents, like the encounters of characters or legions of adventurers and adventuresses, who travel to spread a particular character in the sciences or arts, and which contain many virtuosos in that genre.
At the end of the campaign, the armies assemble for some time, first in sub-divisions, then in three divisions, then en masse, to give some unitary feasts in the cities of the headquarters, to render public homage public to the individual victors, to the authors of productions adopted in one or another of the gastrosophic Sanhedrins.
A capital, in Harmony, is always surrounded at some distance with a circle of shady paths, or boulevards with several lanes, which are used to shelter and table the armies.
On the day of triumph, the victors are honored with a military salvo. For example, Apicius is the pivotal victor; his petits pâtés are served at the beginning of the dinner; all at one the 600,000 athletes are armed with 300,000 bottles of sparkling wine whose loosened corks, held in by the thumb, are ready to pop. The commanders face the beacon-tower of Babylon, and at the moment when its telegraph gives the signal to fire, the 300,000 corks are released at once; their clamor, accompanied by shouts of “long live Apicius!” re-echoes far off in the caves of the mountains of the Euphrates.
At the same instant Apicius receives from the head of the Sanhedrin the gold medal, bearing the inscription: “To Apicius, victor Y in petits pâtés, at the battle of Babylon. Given by the 60 empires, etc.” Their names are engraved on the reverse side of the coin.
Such homage will be rendered to the pivotal inverse victor, man or woman, whose petits pâtésare adopted as term [Y, rotated 180°] of the orthodox series.
Gastronomic pygmies of our time, dare to compare your lowly trophies to those of a gastrosopher of Harmony, whose triumphs, in a single dish, ring out with so much brilliance throughout the entire world! Everything is just arbitrary in your science; the Beauvilliers and Archambaults are only confused guides, operating without the distinction of temperaments, without the avowal of competent authorities. Their laurels are as often the object of facetious remarks as they are a path to glory; those of Apicius will join interest and glory, for they will be for him a road to high honors, even to various degrees of magnature and scepters, by title of ambition *2, and of institution *3 (275).
I have given these details to support a principle, namely, that the armies of Harmony, of all degrees, have feasts so brilliant and intrigues so active, and so numerous, that acceptance into the army is a favor, and is obtained only on good titles. For example, in this campaign of the petits pâtés, we require half the applicants to have the ability to work as pastry chefs, and the other will be subject to the most minute questions of taste.
Similar battles will be established for all the nice tastes, whether in gastrosophy, the fine arts, or love. Now, the petits pâtésare a nice taste of a very high degree, and perhaps even the highest, for we find very few people—men, women, or children—who are not amateurs of some sort with regard to petits pâtés or mirlitons.
That army, aside from its theses on nice tastes, will have to work on the nasty tastes by a divergent series in reverse. The armies of Harmony have a large number of functions which always tend to form connections of all sorts between the regions of the globe, and to establish them in proportion to the degree of refinement; when the orthodoxies are established, we will see in every army of 10,000 men, some feasts in the 5th degree for example:
They will provide meals according to temperament, divided into 810 companies, which will prepare each dish in 810 ways, which are different, but still orthodox, for each of the 810 temperaments.
It is only in the armies that such feasts can be found; for 810 companies of 9 or 10 persons already make 8,000 persons at the table, plus the servants: it requires then gatherings of 10,000, to have celebration in the 5th degree of dishes or other objects. An army of 30,000 can hold celebrations of the 6th degree, much more refined and spreading more charm on the links of which they are the source.
One would thus be grossly mistaken about the purpose of the passions, claiming that they will bring uniformity of development. Their harmony, their equilibrium in the societary mechanism, depends on the extreme variety of developments given to a single passion.
Listen at a Civilized table as different tastes are expressed regarding a bagatelle, an omelet: a sober man will believe he speaks philosophically, saying that all the omelets are equal in rights, and that one must eat without distinction all those that are presented.
Far from that: it is necessary, in order to harmonize the passion for omelets in the 5th degree, to open 810 paths of development, by a classification of 810 varieties, applied to as many temperaments, and adopted by a Sanhedrin which will theoretically transmit to all the empires of the globe the rules of fabrication for 810 omelets, the practical science of which will be communicated to those empires by the legionnaires who have waged the campaign of omelets of the 5th degree.
If one noticed a delay in digestion in some series of temperaments, in those who those who devoted themselves to the omelette soufflée, that would be a thesis to propose to the armies. The unified congress seated at Constantinople would indicated an industrial struggle for the following year, linked to a battle of omelettes soufflées, to be engaged in somewhere, say at Paris, by an army from various empires, which would take positions from Rouen to Auxerre, to debate there both theoretically and practically the question of omelettes soufflées, and their orthodox assortment in the series of temperaments.
While seriously concerning itself with these apparent trifles, an army of Harmony executes immense and magnificent labors. What does it matter if it has, at mealtime, some intrigues involving pâtés and omelets? These apparently frivolous rivalries, are principal branches in the balance of the passions, and the more we manage to raise the refinements to a high degree (according to the table on page 336), the more we are assured of establishing a perfect equilibrium in the development of each passion. What a denial of that philosophy which wants to bring us back to the holy equality of tastes, to universal monotony, and which would claim to found on uniformity that equilibrium of the passions that we can only establish on the progressive and methodical development of the varieties of tastes, whether nasty or nice!

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]


[1] Men, women, and children, according to Fourier’s reckoning.—Translator.
[2] The theses are competing methods of achieving some taste: preparing a particular dish, embanking a river, etc.—Translator.
[3] A hollow puff pastry.—Translator.
[4] Based on Fourier’s descriptions elsewhere, another small pastry, probably a meat-filled tartelette.—Translator.

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Charles Fourier, Cardinal and the Principal Movements in the Harmony of the Universe

FOURIER.
I am aware that it is very humiliating for an age in possession of so much physical and mathematical science, to be branded with ignorance concerning other branches of knowledge; to be openly accused of entertaining false notions on many subjects, and of not being initiated even in the most elementary details of several very important sciences; such, for instance, as the four following:—
Industrial Association.
Passional Attraction.
Aromal Mechanism.
Universal Analogy.
If the pride of modern learning feel offended at this sweeping declaration, let it reflect upon the following table of distinctions in the branches of universal unity; from which it will become apparent that the genius of modern science has hardly penetrated into one-tenth part of the system of Nature.
A Table of the Cardinal and the Principal Movements in the Harmony of the Universe.
4. The Material branch of Universal Movement.—The theory of astronomy only explains the effectsand not the causes of material movement or attraction.
3. The Aromal branch of Universal Movement.—This branch relates to the distribution of the different sorts of aroma or imponderable fluid, known and unknown, operating actively and passively on the different orders of creation in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. These different sorts of imponderable fluid are not known systematically, nor are the causes of their influence respectively attached to them at all understood, particularly as regards the conjugations of planets which are regulated according to the laws of aromal affinity.
2. The Organic branch of Universal Movement.—The laws according to which the creator regulates and distributes forms, properties, colours, flavours, &c., to all the substances which have been, or are to be created on the different globes of the universe. Up to the present time nothing has been known concerning the distribution of different properties to those creatures in actual existence, nor of the causes and effects of such productions as may be expected in future creations.
1. The Instinctual branch of Universal Movement: or the Laws of Necessity, according to which the passions and instincts are distributed to different orders of beings in the creation. Neither the mode of distribution nor the causes which regulate the distribution of instinctive faculties are known to our Divines and Philosophers.
And, finally, the passional or social branch of universal movement: or the laws which govern the organization and succession of different forms of society on different globes. Neither the causes nor the effects of this pivotal or leading branch of universal movement and harmony are known to our men of learning and influence. They have no idea of the laws of unity which harmonize the passions of mankind without thwarting them by repressive discipline.
From this general view of universal movement it is quite clear that one of the five primordial branches only is known to our men of science, and even that has been but partially discovered, for, the science of Astronomy only explains the effectsof material attraction and not the causes. One half, therefore, of one of the five primordial branches of universal attraction, or one-tenth part only of the laws of universal movement, is all that our leading men of science can explain.
The aromal branch of universal movement is hardly dreamed of by Philosophers, and scientific corporations: it has never been a subject of systematic investigation; and yet its influence is of a very superior order in the material harmony of the universe, which our learned Astronomers have only partially explained, for want of a knowledge of aromal affinities or the natural functions of the imponderable fluids in planetary attraction.
By putting the following questions to our Astronomers, we should certainly reduce them to a confession of ignorance:—
1. What are the law, which regulate the distribution of satellites and their respective conjugations with the primary planets? Why is it that the planet Uranus, which is hardly one-fourth the size of Jupiter, has a greater number of satellites?
2. What are the laws of planetary conjugation? How is it that Vesta the smallest of all planets does not revolve as a moon round one of the others; not even, round the enormous Jupiter to which it is so nearly located.
3. What is the law which regulates the position of the planets with respect to the sun? Why should Uranus, being considerably less than Jupiter, be immensely more distant from the sun? and why should our earth, being even smaller than Uranus, be nearer to the sun than Jupiter?
These and many other questions on the laws of universal harmony, are beyond the learning of our great men, for all their science is confined to the analysis of general effects, but of first causes, they know nothing. As I have already said, they have not yet discovered one-tenth part of the laws of universal nature. Newton certainly commenced the study of attraction as a universal law, but he commenced at the wrong end of the subject. It has been very well said, but ill attended to, that “the proper study of mankind is man,” and that is certainly true; for the study of human nature, or the scientific analysis and synthesis of passional attraction is the real key to the study of universal attraction and repulsion, or the law of universal movement and harmony.
As a mathematician, Newton did all that we had a right to expect from him, but, on seeing the brilliant success which attended his labours in the study of material attraction, our men of science might have been led to augur well of a similar investigation of the laws of moral or passional attraction. This would have led them on to the discovery of Nature’s laws with regard to the causes and effect. of movement and harmony in the aromal the organic and the instinctual spheres of attraction.
It would have been very natural to suppose in accordance with the unity of system which governs the universe, that, as a regular analysis of material attraction or gravitation had explained the material branch of harmony and unity in Nature, a systematic calculation embracing analytical and synthetical views of passional attraction, might reveal to us the natural method of realizing unity and harmony in the moral branch of universal activity.
This method of investigation has been entirely neglected, and thence it is that the world is in total darkness with respect to moral and social harmony.
*        *        *        *        *        *
The real science of association is inseparable from that of universal unity, or unity of man with man, with God, and with the universe. It is for this reason that I deem it necessary to treat of universal analogy, or unity of man with the universe, and the immortality of the soul, or unity of man with God, as well as of social science, or unity of man with man.
This method may perhaps displease Atheists and Materialists who are now become so numerous and intolerant, particularly in France; but, as I believe unity of doctrine to be the only true basis of progress, I must be allowed to think for myself on these subjects, and those who do not think proper to examine or concur in my views of analogy and immortality, may deem them merely conjectural, and confine their attention to that branch of unity which they deem most important; namely, the unity of man with man, which is the special object of social science.
Source: The Morning Star,  No. 8 (December 30, 1840) 59-60; translated from The Theory of Universal Unity.

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Charles Fourier, Framework for the Integral Study of Nature

FOURIER
ON THE UNITY OF SYSTEM IN UNIVERSAL NATURE.
Modern sophists, particularly in France, have generally aimed at explaining the unity of system which is remarkable in universal nature, and yet the philosophical world never was farther removed from the right line of study on this subject than at present. There is hardly a correct idea abroad
concerning the fundamental basis of universalism or general unity, which may be thus resumed:—
Unity of man with man,
Unity of man with God,
Unity of man with the universe.
In this book it will be demonstrated that philosophers have either purposely or unwittingly neglected to study the first of these three primordial branches of unity: that of man with man, or man in society, and particularly of man with himself or his own passions, which, in the present incoherent slate of social organization, are in a slate of general deviation and discord, hurrying headlong to ruin those individuals who suffer them to rule.
This duplicity of action, or discord of man with his own nature, has given birth to a science called morale, which mistakes the duplicity of action in human nature for a sign of innate depravity, and the irretrievable destiny of mankind. This science teaches us to resist the impulse of our passions, and be constantly at war with our natural inclinations; and, as a necessary consequence, it places man in a state or opposition to his Maker, who created those inclinations; for those passions and instincts which animate all living beings were given to them by God as the laws of their being, and guides to their respective destinies.
To this it is objected by metaphysical casuists, that reason was given to man to control his passions; whence it would follow, 1st—That God had subjected us to the rule of two guides, which are eminently dissimilar and irreconcileable, i. e., reason and passion. (This constitutes a thorough discrepancy in theory.)
2nd—That God would be absolutely unjust towards 99 men in every 100 to whom he has not given enough reason tp govern their passions. In all countries it has been observed that the mass of the people are almost devoid of reason; and, therefore, according to this doctrine, there is a great lack of distributive justice on the part of Deity. (This constitutes a thorough discrepancy in distributive unity.)
3rd—God, in giving us reason as a means of counter-balancing the passions, would have acted very injudiciously; for it is notoriously evident that reason is totally inadequate to the government of the passions, even amongst the fell’ who have been most richly endowed with it, for those very men who talk most about reason, such as Voltaire and other philosophers, have been more subject to the impulse of their passions than any other men. (This fact constitutes a thorough discrepancy in the practical part of moralism.)
So that the boasted science of moralism sets out by a complete negation of the first branch of unity, and places man in a triple state of duplicity with himself and his fellow-beings; a principle winch is as monstrous as it is arbitrary, and which aims at nothing less than accusing Deity of a triple and wilful duplicity in creating the passions.
There is nothing admissible in these three hypotheses of moralism: they will be duly analysed and fully refuted in the three first sections of this book, wherein it will be demonstrated that all the aberrations of metaphysical sophistry have originated in one grand error; that of omitting the study of passional attraction, the analytical and synthetical calculation of which would have led to the discovery of their natural functions in the equilibrium of passion and reason, which are as perfectly accordant with each other in an associative medium as they are necessarily discordant in competitive society.
Being ignorant of the first primordial branch of unity, that of man with himself and his fellow-beings, it is not extraordinary that philosophers should be ignorant of the second and third branches of universal unity; unity of man with his Maker and with the universe. The study of the first branch being incomplete, the two others were necessarily undiscovered.
Thus, therefore, has the whole system of nature been unknown to philosophy, and the genius of man has been limited to an imperfect knowledge of a few secondary branches of nature’s laws, such as the theory of gravitation or material attraction, which is only a fragment at the third primordial branch of general unity. Newton’s discovery ought to have led the way from the study of material to that of passional attraction, in order to discover what were the natural laws of passional affinity; what was the domestic and social organization which God had pre-ordained, as being best adapted to the natural and harmonic development of human instincts and passions; what was the true Slate of industrial activity, for it has ever been abundantly evident that the present state of things is out of harmony with nature.
It has been vaguely laid down as a general principle, that man is made for society; but it has not been clearly stated that society may be organized on two fundamentally different principles: that of association and that of individualism, or competition and cooperation. The difference between the two is exactly analogous to, and correlative with, the difference between truth and falsehood, riches and poverty, justice and injustice, light and darkness, brutality and refinement; and, to go from the medium to the two extremes in the creation, the difference is analogous to that which distinguishes the planet from the comet, in the solar system, and the creeping caterpillar from the beauteous butterfly, in the world of insects.
The natural method of speculation on this subject is exceedingly simple.
There can be but two fundamentally different modes of organizing industry, namely, the divisional system of culture by isolated families and individuals as we see it now, and the associative system of culture and industry, by means of numerous bodies acting in co·operative unity, and possessing an exact science of equitable repartition to each individual, according to the respective faculties of industrial production, i. e, capital, science, and labour.
We have only to ask ourselves which of these two modes of social activity is the one especially designed by God? The competitive or the co-operative organization? There can be no room for hesitation in deciding this question. As the Supreme Economist, God must necessarily prefer the associative state of society, which is the most perfectly economical, and, in order to facilitate the establishment of this perfect state of society, the Creator must have pre-ordained a scientific basis of co·operative organization, the discovery of which was the task of human genius.
If association be the law of justice and the will of God, it follows as a matter of course that the competitive state should be the very contrary, and generate every thing which is in contradiction with justice and truth; in a word, it naturally engenders effects which are diabolical and contrary to the spirit of truth, and such are its natural results as they are manifested in poverty, fraud, violence, oppression, carnage, &c. &c.
And, moreover, since it is evident that every variety of competitive society, patriarchal, barbarian, and civilized, only tend to perpetuate these diabolical results in defiance of scientific discoveries, it is quite clear that our only resource is in the adoption of co-operative principles and organization.
The present generation ought to have turned its attention to the problem of association, but neither statesmen nor economists have thought seriously of doing so, and philosophers are too deeply enamoured of their own theories to think of abandoning the long cherished sophisms.
At length, however, the discovery is made, and what is more, it is made completely, in all its degrees; but it has one great blemish in the eyes of philosophy: it is in direct contradiction with all previous systems of social mechanism, and it dispenses at once with those uncertain sciences called politics, metaphysics, moralism, and economism.

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Charles Fourier, The Critical State of Civilization (2 of 2)

FOURIER,
ON THE CRITICAL STATE OF CIVILIZATION IN EUROPE.
There never was a greater want of useful discoveries in the civilized world than at present. Society is now afflicted with four disastrous elements of a comparatively modern date, which aggravate the primithve causes of human suffering. These modern elements of social misery are,
1. The new pestilence and its complications.[1]
2. The insalubrious effects of injudicious culture and the destruction of Forests.
3. The permanency of revolutionary ferment
4. The alarming increase of public debts and stock-jobbing speculation.
This quadruple plague proves that civilization and refinement are progressing like the lobster, backwards instead of forwards. Instead of approaching nearer to human happiness, society is daily becoming more and more miserable.
To these elements of social calamity we must add another which is worse than all; namely—The charlatanism of the scientific world which is more baneful in its effects on society than all the other social evils taken collectively, for it not only misleads public opinion, by advocating the present system which engenders so many evils, but it offers the most obstinate resistance to all effective plans of improvement.
The modern sect of economists are constantly lauding the present system of society and the incoherent principles of free trade, as the beau ideal of social perfection, and the pride of modern genius. If we believe them, the science of social progress has attained the limits of perfection in their refined sophistry concerning the wealth of nations.
To refute; these pseudo-economists we have only to point to the practical results of their doctrines, as they are embodied in the evils just now mentioned. If we take one of these evils alone, the increase of national debts and the penury of governments, where are we to look for a remedy? Can politicians and economists remedy the evil. Their arbitrary speculations only serve to increase national burdens, for those countries in which economists are the most numerous and their doctrines, have the greatest influence, are also the most oppressed by the weight of nominal property. France and England for instance. *  *  *  *
What folly it is for the present generation to pin their faith to the sophisms of these economists, who delude them. selves and society by visionary speculations concerning free-trade, and persuade the public that all truly progressive principles are impracticable. We shall prove however, in this work, that there are numerous modes of improving society on associative principles, though all plans of incoherent progress can only tend to enslave the people and increase the despotic power of money monopoly.
The exact sciences, mathematics, chemistry, &c., are progressing rapidly in real discoveries, and far from pretending to have already attained perfection, their votaries very modestly avow that much more remains yet to be discovered in every branch of these sciences. The philosophers and economists of the present day have adopted a very different line of conduct. The more their doctrines increase the real evils of society, the more they persist in their visionary mode of speculation, the absolute failure of which, after 30 years experience, proves that a new science is necessary to save society from ruin. *   *   *   *
If men had any real faith in the universality of Providence, they would be convinced that God has provided a natural code of laws for the government of society, and that It is I possible to discover those principles which are best adapted to the domestic and industrial prosperity of mankind.
I do not mention the principles of government, because the grand error of philosophical speculation on that subject, during the last three thousand years, has consisted in agitating questions of government, instead of studying the principles of social organization, The true method of progress would not give umbrage to any government, for all are desirous of seeing industry progress and prosperity increase, as the best sources of peace and security in society.
It is well known that domestic and industrial association if it were practicable, would realize an immense increase of wealth and comfort: The creator, therefore, must know this better than we; what, then, must be his intention in this respect? There are but two fundamentally different modes of social organization: the present system of incoherent industry and the associative method of organization. Which of these states of Society is the natural destiny of man? All the mental, moral, material, and religious advantages indicate the latter to be our real destiny upon Earth, and therefore it was the duty of philosophers to study the natural principles of association, which would have been easily discovered by a diligent inquiry,
But such an inquiry, concerning the laws of nature would have been in direct opposition to the arbitrary speculations of moral, political, metaphysical, and economical science, based as they are upon uncertain philosophy. A want of faith in Providence has caused men to trust to human reason instead of studying the divine will as it is revealed to us in the laws of nature. *   *   *   *
Let us examine more minutely the present state of society and the evils generated by political ignorance. This will give us an idea of the insufficiency of arbitrary science and the necessity of a new policy to save us from ruin.
THE MATERIAL ELEMENTS OF DECLINE.
1stly…. The Plague and its additional complications.
1. The inhabitants of Northern Europe think themselves secure from the effects of this pestilential disease, because it has been generally confined to the coast of Spain, but in spite of quarantine regulations, the yellow fever will sooner or later be imported to England and France, for it is becoming more and more prevalent in the West Indies, while medical men are still ignorant, both of the nature of the malady and the means of curing it.
2. The old pestilence peculiar to the Levant is likely to become more prevalent in Europe, since the increase of intercourse between the Turks and the Christians.
3. The typhus fever, which decimates both the negro and the while population of America is another specimen of modern perfection, which is already said to increase the malignity M the yellow fever.
4. The cholera morbus is approaching from the East. It has already reached Bagdad, and will no doubt be speedily transmitted to us through the medium of our amiable allies, the Turks, who, from their filthy habits and blind belief in fatalism, will soon have allowed the Indian and the Egyptian plagues to unite, and these two united to the typhus and the yellow-fever, will form a compound of pestilential elements, and a new plague of more malignant and disastrous effects than any of the simple infections. These are the material results of our present system of progress, and our philosophers are deluding themselves and the public with  declamatory twaddle about progress. This one positive symptom of decline is enough to undeceive all thinking people; but we will enumerate three others.
As a set-off to these positive signs of decline, great stress is laid on partial degrees of progress, such as the discovery of vaccination, which has almost entirely neutralised the effects of the small-pox. That is certainly an advantage, but it is not enough to counterbalance the very serious evils which are rapidly increasing around us. The general of an army might as well boast of having taken a thousand prisoners in the field of battle, after losing several thousands of his own men, as for, statesmen to boast of progress in the present state of things. How is it that the statesmen of the present age, who are constantly talking of the balance of power and the progress of civilization, do not perceive that both the political and the material world are receding ten times as much of the one hand as they are progressing on the other? I shall often have occasion to remind them of this curious result of their learned theories concerning the progress of commerce and the balance of power.
2ndly: The insalubrious effects of injudicious culture and the destruction of forests. The seasons are now completely deranged in their alternations; they are subject to sudden transitions and periodical excess which cause permanent injury to the culture In Europe. The chief cause of these pernicious irregularities and inclemencies of the seasons, is the reckless manner in which the great mountains in Europe have been deprived of their forest wood. This one blunder alone will be the cause of very serious injury to the agricultural interests of Europe so long as it remains unrepaired; and as that is not likely to be very soon, we have nothing but an increase of bad harvests to expect for a long time to come.
There has been already so much said on this subject that it would be difficult for me to make the picture worse than it has been made by others, unless I add that the evil is often increased by those unexpected seasons which are generally deemed favourable. For instance; after a series of bad seasons from 1816 to 1821, the mild winter and the early spring of 1822 were mistaken for a return to a healthy state of alternation in the seasons, but the result proved the contrary. After experiencing a series of winters which were prolonged to the month of June, our planet seemed in 1822, to have had no winter season; and this irregularity was the cause of an Immense increase of vermin, in addition to premature and persevering droughts and innumerable hurricanes, Which devastated, not two or three parishes here and there, but whole provinces; so that, after all the fine appearances of crops, and the high expectations of the people, the harvest was one of the most indifferent.
These multiplied irregularities, and their disastrous consequences sufficiently prove the material derangement and decline of our planet, and the urgency of a general system of progressive improvement, but how are our natural philosophers to discover a remedy which they never think of looking for? Which of our philosophers is likely to speculate concerning the causes of decline and irregularity in the material functions of our planet, when none of them has ever yet thought of calculating and classifying the mere effects of evil, either in the physical or in the political department?
The political world is evidently not less diseased than the physical world, as we shall clearly show in our next article.


[1] Formerly the pestilential disease which ravaged different parts of the world from time to time was of a comparatively simple nature, and commonly called the Plague, but it has now assumed a quadruple developement: namely,
1. The Ancient Plague or Mediterranean Pestilence.
2. The Yellow fever or American Pestilence.
3. The Typhus fever or European Pestilence.
4. The Cholera-morbus or East Indian Pestilence, which is rapidly progressing towards Turkey and Africa, and will soon be in Europe. (The reader must bear in mind that Fourier made this prediction in 1822, and in 1831 it was fully realized.)

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Charles Fourier, The Critical State of Civilization (1 of 2)

[This section from The Treatise on Domestic-Agricultural Association immediately follows the material already posted from The Morning Star. It appeared in the November 25, 1840 issue (No. 6) of that paper.]

FOURIER
ON THE CRITICAL STATE OF CIVILIZATION IN EUROPE.
ELEMENTS OF DECLINE IN THE POLITICAL WORLD..
The most recent and the most remarkable elements of decline in the political organization of society in Europe, are, national debts and revolutions, which generate each other. Our political doctors have hitherto failed in devising remedies for these social evils. As a check on the prodigality of national expenditure and the increase of national debts, they have established what is called constitutional government and national representation, the principal property of which, according to experience, is to increase taxes, national debts, and popular fermentation. As a check to revolutionary ferment amongst the people, they have established repressive laws, which only tend to multiply the seeds of discontent, and generate a new revolutionary spirit by those very means which are used to put down sedition.
The only effective means of neutralizing the modern spirit of revolution, consists in creating new interests, having the power of absorbing popular-attention, by eclipsing the paltry interests of democratic institutions: such would be the effect of progressive association.
The first positive result obtained by association will change the popular current of opinion from the channels of political agitation to those of productive organization, and thus absorb at once the delusive spirit of sedition and false liberalism, which is now the cause of so much anxiety to all the governments of Europe. Political agitation will be scouted as a senseless loss of time, which only tends to thwart the collective and the individual interests of all classes. Those who deem themselves the most liberal, according to our present notions, will be found to be very wide of the principles of true liberality, notwithstanding their honourable intentions, for the present state of society offers us no type of real liberality.
We shall prove that the most enlightened policy of liberalism ought to conciliate the existing authorities, by confining reform to industrial and economical combinations, without disturbing the functions of general administration, which will always adapt themselves spontaneously to the social state of the people. Besides, it has already been proved by repeated experiments, that political revolutions only increase the burdens of the people for the benefit of intriguing factions, instead of bettering the social condition of the labouring population.
The increase of public debts and stock-jobbing rapacity are so well understood, and the rapidity of their progress is so very notorious, that it is hardly necessary to dwell upon them here; and this fact alone is enough to show the utter inefficiency of that arbitrary science called Political Economy. This leads me to speak of one grand defect, more or less connected with the preceding causes of decline ill society, and that is, charlatanism in science, or the delusive pretensions of arbitrary systems of economy, which are found by experience to produce effects contrary to those which they announce. Tile authors of these systems should be made more or less responsible for the results of their application, and then, perhaps, they would be less reckless in their speculations.
Those philosophers who have talked so long and so loudly about the responsibility of ministers and other public officers, have never said a word about subjecting themselves to similar laws of responsibility concerning the results of their own schemes. And yet it is probable that such a mode of proceeding might be very useful. A penal code for sophistical speculation, proved to be injurious in their results, would have cured the age of the mania for making arbitrary systems, and forced philosophers and economists into the natural method of speculation, which leads to useful discoveries. The present generation may be endowed with great powers Of wit and ingenuity, but it has proved itself to be very deficient in sagacity with respect to the direction of scientific speculation.
I have only mentioned four general causes of decline in the physical and the social world of the present day, but it would be very easy to multiply that number tenfold, as we shall see in the sequel of these pages; enough has been said, however, to show that our champions of progress and perfectibility are completely lost in their own sophistical labyrinths, and that they are causing us to retrograde, in a collective sense, faster than we- progress in an individual sense. It is evident that they are misleading us; and therefore it is highly necessary to verify whether or not association is the only source of healthy progress, and, if so, whether or not the method of corporate organization, which I am about to explain, is the true basis of progressive association.
Without association, it will be impossible to protect the rights of labour against the inroads of national debts, and secure property against the dangers of revolutionary re-action. But to understand the principles of association, we must divest ourselves of all that economico-philosophical superstition which darkens the minds even of those who think themselves open to conviction.. These prejudices may be truly termed the original sin of the present generation, and they will require a considerable degree of preparatory instruction to neutralize them effectually.
If we except the necessity of waging war with sophistical doctrines, we may present the science of association as a doctrine of universal conciliation, for it teaches us how to enrich all classes without injuring any. It will even conciliate philosophers themselves, when they become indifferent to the fate of their arbitrary systems, and can feel the pleasure of true knowledge concerning the science of destiny and the system of Nature, the discovery of which they have never dared to hope for.
The most limited experiment of association uniting about one hundred families on a plot of land containing a few square miles will prove that philosophers have never had any adequate idea of social happiness, nor of the true means of practising that truth, liberty and economy, of which so much has been said, and so little understood.
During a period of at least twenty-fire centuries, since the origin of moral and political science, little has been effected for the general happiness of mankind. Philosophy has only tended to perpetuate misery and reproduce the same calamities under different forms. This proves that mere philosophy is inadequate to the task of solving the problem of human happiness.
And yet, there is a universal uneasiness of mind which proves that humanity has not yet arrived at that state of existence which is called for by Nature, and this uneasiness seems to be prophetic of an extraordinary change in social organization. The nations of the earth, hundreds of times deceived by political quacks seem to hope for some miraculous delivery, like a sick patient abandoned by the doctors. Nature seems to whisper in the ears of the human race,—“that we are destined to a happy state of existence in this world, the road to which we have not yet found, but that a miraculous discovery will dispel the darkness of incoherent policy and reveal at once the true road to terrestrial happiness.
The science of association will justify this hope, and secure to the whole human race that Slate of graduated and progressive refinement which is universally desired. Science may be said to have effected comparatively little for social happiness, so long as the primary wants of humanity have not been satisfied by a graduated sufficiency of riches and comfort, securing a decent independency to the poorest individuals. Social science itself would only be another source of humility to human reason, if it only enriched the domain of science without creating that abundance of production which will destroy the fear of want and the cause of discord in society.
The present state of incoherent civilization and competitive industry, from which we are about to emerge, is only a temporary state of social existence, to which every globe is subjected during the period of its political infancy. The savage, the Patriarchal, the barbarian or military, and the civilized states of competitive industry are only so many successive degrees in the progress of society from ignorance and poverty to science and social comfort, and this transitional state has been greatly prolonged on our globe by the error of philosophy in neglecting the study of moral attraction and universal harmony.
It would have been eternally vain for philosophers to speculate on metaphysical subtilities concerning human happiness, with competitive industry as a basis of .social organization, for that basis is in opposition to the universal laws of truth and economy, and therefore it is not the natural destiny of mankind; it is not the perfection of society as designed by God.
Philosophers must now confess, either that terrestrial happiness is not the real destiny of mankind, or that their arbitrary methods have not been able to penetrate the secrets of Nature and her laws. And yet it must be owned that the laws of Nature are not impenetrable to those who observe them simply as the mathematicians and chemists do, instead of imagining arbitrary systems and substituting them in lieu of Natures laws, as moralists and metaphysicians have done generally.
The votaries of the exact sciences have observed nature instead of dictating laws to her, but moralists have constantly endeavoured to deny the authority of nature, and stifle the passions and attractions of man instead of studying their natural mechanism in society. Those human passions and desires which have been so long the subject of moral declamation, are nevertheless the eternal springs of human activity and -the permanent interpretation of the divine will, as it is revealed in the universal laws of attraction and repulsion, the analysis and synthesis of which lead us to association as the only means of harmonizing the innate attractions of human nature. And be it observed here, that we use the word passion in a general sense, and not in the common acceptation of brutal impulse or violent agitation.
The deviations of the passions have been mistaken by moralists for innate depravity, and thence it is that they have not been able to discover the laws of social harmony. Instead of observing human nature to discover the secret springs of ac lion, they have studied only to resist those impulsions which they could not destroy. This is the cause of all their blundering.
What a marked contrast there is between the errors of uncertain philosophy, and the sublime results of the exact sciences! Every day adds new errors to old sophisms in the sphere of metaphysical speculation, while on the other hand the physical and mathematical sciences are daily revealing new truths and shedding a lustre upon modern times which is only equalled by the depth of philosophical obscurity which disgraced the eighteenth century.

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