Historical Who is Who

FOURIER, Charles

1772 - 1837


Having lived through the decade of the French Revolution and observed what he saw as the distresses of contemporary society, he devised a utopian alternative. This abandoned the conventional norms of marriage and property and in their place designed a social structure which he believed would bring greater fulfilment and flourishing. This took the form of communal phalanxes – ideally 1620 size – with their members chosen for a balance of ages, aptitudes and skills. Close examination suggests that his imagination was not the most reliable basis for realising perfect harmony, but attempts formally to create such experimental units were made in both France and North America.



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