CHARLES FOURIER (1772-1837)
Francis Marie Charles Fourier was a french social reformer during the period of french revolution. He advocated the need for utopian society based on the voluntary association of producers in units known as “PHALANX”. Fourier earned a high reputation as great social thinker. Fourier’s mind showed high degree of imaginative literary ideas in his earlier writings. He foresaw certain 20th century socio-economic practices and direction of thought, such as social insurance, job classifications, industrialization fatigue, pathological urban livings. Free association for co-operative production was, to Fourier, the true basis for organizing an economy to achieve stable expansion of output and an equitable distribution of wealth.
Fourier is best known for his idea of “PHALANX” a co-operative community of approximately 400 families each living together in a community pattern of development, deriving incomes from various economic pattern prevailing at that time. His lasting practice of “PHALANX” was the emergence of the mixture of capitalism co-operative and social control. He has left the legacy of new ways of production, distribution and control of wealth, surplus. I think our philanthropic understanding of our community, society, urbanity is parochial in nature, masking the surplus under the imaginative disguise of NGO. I
t also brings the argument to center within our context that “is democratic doctrine a political right , economic opportunity, or social equality?..” or something else….