The Merchant. "So, sir, it is Fourier who discovered this beautiful science which you call phalansterian, which is so logical, so religious, that you have had the goodness to explain to us, and which has singularly modified my ideas respecting man and society?"Ah, yes. Good old wholesome Fourier. We're reminded that his disciples frequently neglected any mention of copulating planets, lemonade seas, or the particular virtues of lesbians. Still, while one could wish the fourierists had been bolder about the positivity of the passions, there is a good deal to like in works like The Organization of Labor and Association.
The Professor. "Yes, sir; at the commencement of this century, Fourier discovered the phalansterian or social science, which was propagated very slowly at first, like all new truth—but which is now known and discussed among all civilized nations."
The Magistrate. "I had formed, I confess, an entirely different opinion of Fourier's system. I thought it absurd, impracticable, subversive of property and the family."
* * *
A note on "association." Proudhon was pretty clear in his criticism of "the principle of association" that what he opposed was placing "association" as a principle ahead of the specific human drives and desires that led to association in practice. In this, I think, he would have been in accord with Fourier, if not always with the fourierists.