Primary Sources for the Presbyterian Masses

Fourierism, or Socialism

In Uncategorized on 10/10/2012 at 14:26

Another interesting short article from The Evangelical Guardian, and an interesting reflection on the last 40 years, during which these same ideas have been ceaselessly drummed into our heads, neatly summed up in the old Blind Faith song, “Do what you like.”

FOURIERISM, OR SOCIALISM.

How vile and despicable appears the system of infidel socialists, when brought into contrast with the holy principles of revealed religion. The best rules for refining the heart and promoting the social happiness of man are found in the gospel.—The Christian Watchman, an excellent religious paper of the Baptist denomination, recently issued an able article on the “Social influence of Christianity,” in which the superlative value of the gospel system is eloquently set forth. In the concluding paragraphs we find the following just rebuke, of the licentiousness of our would-be reformers:—

“The more impressed any one becomes with the truth here suggested, the more profoundly will he abhor those pretended systems of social reform which discard the elementary doctrines of Christianity. Such are the theories of ‘Socialism,’ the schemes of [Robert] Owen and [Charles] Fourier. They set their philosophies above the authority of Christ. They overlook the fact of man’s depravity, and the need of regeneration. They have no affinity, therefore, with that gospel which discloses the disease before it prescribes the remedy. They have a seeming of piety, and the dialect of morals, but they seek to fill the world with happiness by pandering to sensual passions, and gratifying fleshly lusts. They would break down the marriage law, rend or dissolve the family association, and aim to produce a millennial state wherein the ‘impulses of the heart,’ should be the universal law, where enlightened human nature should be free from all ‘conventionalism,’  and act itself out spontaneously. We judge not these systems from the studied phrases of popular lecturers, but from the words of their founders, and the fundamental principles which they expounded. Although Fourier possessed naturally finer elements of character than Owen, yet the system of the former is as anti-christian in its character, and as base in its tendencies, as is the vile materialism of the latter.

[excerpted from The Evangelical Guardian, 4.8 (January 1847): 370-371.]

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