Biography of Charles Fourier, father of utopian socialism

Biography of Charles Fourier, father of utopian socialism

Charles Fourier was the father of utopian socialism. Thanks to his travels through France, he was able to be in contact with the most needy classes and devise appropriate forms of government and social organization to solve the problems they suffered.

He devised a system of phalansteries that will operate in the form of cooperatives in which the benefits are distributed fairly and fairly.

He was born on April 7, 1772 in Besançon (France) in the bosom of a wealthy family. At first, he wanted to join the School of Military Engineering, but it was restricted to sons of nobility. However, when his father passed away in 1781, Fourier inherited a considerable fortune that allowed him to travel through Europe and see the world around him.

In 1791, he settled in Paris to do various jobs. Young Charles's theory was that the best was “get knowledge in everything you could”, So he repeatedly changed jobs to experience more.

So much so, that between 1791 and 1816 he worked in Paris, Rouen, Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux. His life in these years was marked by the impression made on him by the most disadvantaged classes of French society, so he set himself the following goal: “help humanity”.

He came into contact with a large number of ordinary people during these trips and they were all the ones who inspired his theories about utopian socialism.

Along with his travels, Fourier began a career as a writer. He has always shown himself to be an implacable enemy of commerce, violence and dictatorship, since recognized no other moral than that of the natural passions of man.

Fourier's 13 passions

For him, there were twelve passions coordinated by a thirteenth, which he baptized as "harmony”. The precise coordination of all of them could serve as the basis for a just and equitable society that would eradicate all kinds of social differences.

The passions were not negativebut a fundamental part of the human being that had to be dealt with. In this respect his mentality differs from that of Karl Marx and the communism, a theory that starts from a just base of the human being.

Utopian Socialism

Fourier envisioned and tried to establish a new political and social order that responded to these human passions. For this, in 1808 he developed the pillar of what would become known as “utopian socialism", His great work:"Theory of the four movements”.

In this theory, the French postulated that to make work attractive, men would have to be grouped into phalansteries (communities), which became, at the same time, production and consumer cooperatives.

Through this division, profits were shared between capital, talent and labor. Is social utopia, whose most extensive theory he presented in "New industrial and corporate world”, prompted Fourier to spread his thought in magazines in which he criticized the supporters of Saint-Simon.

Finally, on October 10, 1837, he died in Paris after having finished traveling through France. His legacy lasted throughout the 19th century and lasted until the 20th. A group of followers of his theories was created that became known as “Fourierists” and that had a great impact within the Revolution of 1848.

In 1967, he was recognized as one of the only people who clearly differentiated between free and unfree society, placing him next to thinkers such as Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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