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By Charles Fourier, Jonathan Beecher, Richard Bienvenu

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Extra info for The Utopian Vision of Charles Fourier: Selected Texts on Work, Love, and Passionate Attraction

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By 1 8 2 4, after two years of unstinting efforts to publicize his book, Fourier had exhausted his funds. For a brief period he toyed with the idea of setting himself up as a geography teacher. He even went so far as to publish a pamphlet on the memorization of place names (which included some coy propaganda for his system ) . But nothing came of this venture. A subsequent effort to find work as an unlicensed broker at Paris failed for want of business connections. Thus, in 1 8 25, Fourier was obliged to return to Lyon to take a j ob as a cashier at a salary of 1 2 00 francs a year.

Fourier called these the "luxurious" passions because their gratification was dependent not only on health but also on wealth-on the kind of material luxuries that only a rich man could afford in civilization. Such was the inequity of the civilized state that men with "brilliant" appetites and strong stomachs lived on the brink of starvation and others with magnificent ears lacked the money to buy tickets to the opera. 57 Fourier's second category included the four affective pas­ sions : friendship, love, ambition, and parenthood ( or "famil­ lism" ) .

If Fourier was unable to win the backing of the rich and the powerful, he did eventually manage to gain the support of a devoted band of disciples. The first was Just Muiron, a minor functio n ary at the prefecture of Fourier's native city of B esanc;on. Muiron, who had come accidentally upon a copy of the Quatre mouvements in 1 8 1 4, described his first reading of the work as a revelation comparable to that bestowed upon Saint Paul on the road to Damascus. 25 Two years later, after a difficult search, Muiron succeeded in locating Fourier, and the two struck up a correspondence that was to last until Fourier's death.

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