Critique of Economic Liberalism

By Charles Fourier

Entry 8237


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(1772 - 1837)

François Marie Charles Fourier (/ˈfʊrieɪ, -iər/;French: [ʃaʁl fuʁje]; 7 April 1772 – 10 October 1837) was a French philosopher, an influential early socialist thinker and one of the founders of utopian socialism. Some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become mainstream thinking in modern society. For instance, Fourier is credited with having originated the word feminism in 1837. Fourier's social views and proposals inspired a whole movement of intentional communities. Among them in the United States were the community of Utopia, Ohio; La Reunion near present-day Dallas, Texas; Lake Zurich, Illinois; the North American Phalanx in Red Bank, New Jersey; Brook Farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts; the Community Place and Sodus Bay Phalanx in New York State; Silkville, Kansas, and several others. In Guise, France, he influenced the Familistery of Guise [fr; de; pt]. Fourier later in... (From:

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Critique of Economic Liberalism

Despite all its vices, commerce is regarded as a perfect method of exchange because the contracting parties are free to come to terms or to decline to do so. This freedom is only a negative benefit. It has no value except by comparison with the methods of the barbarians, with requisitions, maximums, tariffs, etc. It is far from sufficient in itself to secure equity, fidelity, confidence or economy in exchanges. These and other benefits have no place in the commercial order, which establishes all the opposite vices. Commerce allows deceit and plunder to triumph; it creates a climate of mistrust which impedes the development of economic relations and necessitates expensive precautions. Finally it hinders and complicates the whole process of exchange.

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