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Communistic Utopian system for the reorganization of society, devised by Charles Fourier (1772–1837), French socialist author. He argued that the universe was so created that there is a harmonious connection between the organic and inorganic, between man and God, man and the world, and the world and the universe. Human passions are unchangeable, but, with due allowance for the variety of individual aptitudes and abilities, they may be brought to an equilibrium or harmony. For this purpose, Fourier wished to create phalansteries, social units of some 1600 persons, who would divide their labor according to their natural inclinations and abilities. Thereby the artificial restraints of ordinary civilized life would be destroyed, while a systematic agricultural society would be created in which all could live as one family, and yet retain many individual rights. Albert Brisbane, Horace Greeley, and Parke Godwin were the principal figures in developing Fourierism in the U.S. The best-known colony was the North American Phalanx. Brook Farm was for a time Fourierist, and a colony was founded in Texas by Fourier's chief disciple, Victor Considérant. The movement had a temporary vogue among U.S. reform groups, but declined after the 1850s.

Subjects: Literature.

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