Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Fourierism

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FOURIERISM, a system partly of co-operation, partly of socialism; advocated, and to a certain extent carried out, by François Marie Charles Fourier.

Fourier's scheme was that what he called from the word phalanx, a phalanstery, consisting of about 400 families, or 1,800 persons, should live together, combining their labor, upon a district about a square league in extent. The buying and selling transactions requisite for the support of the community, were to be managed by a single person, which would save a multitude of peddling operations. If any brought capital into the concern, it was not confiscated, but he was allowed interest upon it. The labor being carried on in common, the profits were apportioned on the following system: First a minimum of mere subsistence money was assigned to every member of the society, including those incapable of labor. The remainder of the profits were then divided in proportions agreed on beforehand, to remunerate labor and talent, and pay interest on the capital received. The profits divided thus were then expended by the individual recipients as they pleased. An effort was made about 1852 to form an industrial colony on Fourier's plan, but the attempt was unsuccessful.