The Phalansteries: another way to demonstrate that the utopian ideas of lefts , beautiful from the pen, usually end badly …
Charles Fourier (1772-1837) is a child of the Revolution. he was 17 when Camille Desmoulins launches its « holy Bartholomew » People that led to the storming of the Bastille. It is on this fertile ground for new ideas that Charles Fourier devises his plan: create mini-companies, around a thousand individuals living in self: he understood peeling an apple that trade is -to say, all intermediary between the producer and the consumer, is a true abomination. For Fourier, the trade, but also the profit and private property are the three facets of the same evil: the flight that is causing the misery of the people.
I looked for you Charles Fourier (1772-1837) and Phalansteries
Fourrier wants to create a society that is in harmony with human nature, so that the individual feels comfortable. For Fourier , human passions are available from three main passions (we will see that this is a starting point which is in Fourier completely wrong):
- the composite that drives men to work together;
- the Kabbalist causing tension between the men;
- the papillone which, as its name suggests, always drives men to other plants for foraging always greener.
The solution: the Keepers
Keepers of Foundations must reflect its three passions to become ultimately a perfect mini-society. We need to Fourrier , 1620 members (combinations of passions). Every day, the activities must be different. Man must turn cultivate his body (physical work) and mind (the arts). Sharing is the primary doctrine. There is no hierarchy or classes in the Keepers. It is a kind of cooperative where everything is shared. The family is banished. Children are everyone. Intermediaries are of course deleted; apple goes directly from producer to consumer. There is no shortage (finally on paper).
Why it does not work ?
All experiments have failed. Under the leadership of Owen, 5000 Phalansteries flourished in America to die one after the other. Why ? Because the initial diagnosis Fourrier is completely wrong: the man is not benevolent in nature.
Man is a wolf to man. Hobbes
Man seeks primarily his happiness. And here the possessive adjective is important! Man naturally tends to favor his interest before that of the group. Epicurus and Democritus all atomic and Helvetius, Rousseau or Rochefoucauld, and the Anglo-Saxon philosophers (Adam Smith, Bentham) demonstrated long ago. Sharing in against-part does not obvious in humans.
Moreover, the Keepers requires a minimum of organization. Naturally, talents emerge and support this organization. A proto-hierarchy reappears.
Others include getting up in the morning or not the same result: the carrot intake will be the same. Human nature helping, some prefer to stay in bed In short, tensions are inevitable. And the Keeper bursts.
Spinoza and Rousseau
Spinoza had correctly identified the sad passions that torment the human soul: sadness, jealousy, anger … Rousseau, aware that the man is not naturally good, established the foundations of a social contract , only solution to men live in community and peace. Everyone gives up his power to harm (her sad passions) and in exchange receives the group of protection: the contract is possible for community living rules are established: Laws: freedom is then compliance with the Acts that can has prescribed.