Danielle Risner


AP Euro Hist

.Appearing as they did in the first quarter of the 19th century, it is necessary to identify the Utopian Socialists according to how perceptively they understood and dealt with the massive challenge of industrial society. In this regard, it was Charles Fourier, Saint-Simon, and Own who seemed to have the most impact .

It was Charles Fourier, who seems to have been the most utopian of the Utopian Socialists. What I mean by this is that although Fourier was aware of what was happening in England as a result of the Industrial Revolution, he rejected industrialism wholesale. He despised laissez-faire liberalism and the factory system not because of what effects they might have on human society, but because he believed that industrial society was a passing phase. He saw no need to rectify the dangers inherent in industrialism. He simply went beyond industrialism by ignoring it.

Fourier's ideas seem quite fantastical and without ground in reality. Indeed, there is much in Fourier's writing that is pure nonsense. Yes, like some of the representatives of the early French communist movement, Fourier exhibits that almost characteristic pretension of the visionary: contradictory, confused, repetitive, chaotic and, of course, long-winded. Fourier wanted to elevate the status of manual labor, to rescue it from a long-standing tradition of degradation and denigration.
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He believed, on the other hand, that it was possible to make all work into play, to make it pleasurable and desirable and deeply satisfying, both physically and mentally. This was perhaps the one vision of Fourier's thought that most captivated other socialist thinkers of the 19th century, including Marx and Engel's

When we turn from Fourier to the ideas and work of Robert Owen , we move into a significantly different historical context. Although Owen was engaged in the textile industry, he was not repelled by his work, nor did he live out his life in ...

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