- The Phalanx, 1 no. 13 (June 29, 1844): 185-187; 1 no. 14 (July 13, 1844): 205-209
FOURIER‘S REPLY TO THE GAZETTE DE FRANCE,
in which his doctrines were grossly misrepresented as being anti-christian.
“Having been publicly calumniated in the columns of a daily newspaper, by some pseudo-Christians, who are evidently influenced by that false pride which they pretend to condemn, it is my duty to refute their sophistry, and show the inconsistency of those absurd critics and false prophets who publicly admit the want of that very discovery of practical truth, which they blindly calumniate in my theory.
“‘Tant de fiel entre-t-il den l‘âme des dévots?’”
Yes: Uncharitable feeling and angry prejudice possess the souls of pseudo-saints and scribbling hypocrites, who treat religion as a mere material of mercantile monopoly. These pious mountebanks would plead as zealously for Judas as for Jesus, if money could be gained by it. The most triﬂing incident furnishes them with p. pretext for opposition against the Government of the day; to sound a general alarm, and raise a cry of “the Church in danger,” “religion undermined,” and “Jesus Christ insulted.” And all this is merely to secure a “living,” or realize one hundred francs per column in a newspaper. Calumny, in fact, is a. fruitful source of profit in mercantile Paris.
A science which reveals the secret of abolishing slavery, banishing poverty, preventing crime, and neutralizing false doctrines, such as atheism, materialism, and other philosophical aberrations, has provoked the angry censure of the Gazette de France, in one of its recent numbers, (December, 1835.) The writer in the Gazette is indignant at the very mention of such a thing as the discovery of the science of human destiny, showing the wisdom of the Creator to be greater than that of philosophy with regard to the passions and instincts of the human race, and the industrial mechanism of society.
Up to the present time, the Creator of all things. who has displayed so much wisdom in the mechanism of the material universe, had not manifested the same harmony in the social world, which appears to have been subject to the Evil Spirit during the last 5000 years, since the fall of man; and this apparent lack of Providence has brought into repute a false philosophy or scientific superstition, amongst atheists, materialists, and matter-of-fact-mongers generally, who point to the falsehood and injustice of society as a matter-of-fact proof against a ruling Deity, omnipotent, omniscient and infinitely good.
This want of faith is now proved to he unreasonable, as well as irreligious, by the new science which demonstrates that the passions and instincts of mankind are subject to a two-fold mechanism in society,— the one being false and sinful, the other just and true. In the first, we are doomed to misery; in the second, to redemption.-— (The science of social harmony may be deemed the forerunner of that spirit of the Holy Ghost, which Christ has promised should regenerate the world, and introduce the kingdom of heaven and its justice on earth.—E. P.) This science demonstrates that which we are told in Scripture, i. e. that the fall of man is not permanent and irreparable, but accidental and redeemable. After the fall of man, the false mechanism of the passions was a necessary and an inevitable transition ; but this subversive state has been unnecessarily prolonged, and more particularly since the mission of Christ, by the aberrations of philosophy, and the indolence of pseudo-Christians. The work of regeneration may, however, be at once commenced by a practical demonstration of attractive industry and associative economyapplied to a school of three or four hundred children, and proving its efficiency on a larger scale, by which the whole human race may gradually and speedily emerge from the gloomy maze of barbarism and anarchial civilization.
When we see the possibility of realizing these effects, may we not conclude that the real cause of anger in those who oppose us by calumny, is the fear of such a change tending to expose the deeds of false piety, and tear away the mask from those pseudo-Christians, who, having neither faith, hope, nor charity, nor a true conception of God’s power, degrade his providence, by supposing that the sufferings of humanity are. agreeable in his sight.
We must not he deceived by the mere diferences of profession: there are false prophets and arrogant philosophers amongst both priests and laymen. I am not, however, to he duped by their disguise, and whether their sophistry assume the name of religion or philosophy, I shall show their impious tendency in striving to mislead us with regard to the will and the wisdom of our Maker.
They pretend that religion is subverted, and Jesus Christ insulted, by my theory. How can Christ be insulted by the discovery of those principles of peace and harmony which he himself taught us to seek, and, which may be said to realize his own views, by a practical solution of the Christian problem? He preached the doctrine of freedom to the captive, and consolation to the poor. His Gospel has been the principal means of effecting that general emancipation from personal slavery, which was deemed impossible by the philosophy of antiquity ; and my theory of attractive industry and united economy will help to complete the work of redemption by banishing poverty and emancipating labor from the bondage of indirect slavery and mercantile anarchy. One practical demonstration of this theory will be the signal for universal emancipation, to be effected simultaneously in all parts of the globe.
Three hundred millions of slaves and‘ serfs may be rapidly introduced to freedom without any risk of lessening labor, and without incurring the expense of fiscal ransom in imitation of the twenty millions lately squandered by the English Government in blind concession to the clamors of an ill-advised philanthropy.
Such limited and partial applications of the principles of freedom only serve to excite ferment and rebellion amongst the majority of slaves still held in bondage, and particularly amongst those of the Brazils, whose numbers are said to exceed five millions, augmented by a yearly importation? of forty thousand, in spite of the prohibitionary regulations. These slaves are said ; to be in a state of permanent conspiracy.—Rebellion has already broken out amongst them in Bahia and Para, where much blood has been shed, and these commotions, may be deemed a prelude to the general massacre of the white population, unless a more efficient principle of manumission be speedily and generally adopted.
In the United States of America, those who speak of abolishing slavery are subject to Lynch law, and dispatched without ceremony. A strange result, indeed, in a Republican country, that a man’s life should be forfeited by democratic slave-holders, for having listened only to those who promulgate the doctrines of liberty. Such, however, is the fact; the fruit of modern theories of mercantile economy and sceptical philosophy.
It is of paramount importance, then, that the king, the ministers, and the parliament in France, should be duly informed of the folly of sacrificing ten millions sterling to the injudicious manumission of one thousandth part of the slaves on the globe, when the whole may be rapidly emancipated by the gradual extension of social combination, and without any danger to property and industry.
The associative method of emancipation being based on the principle of attractive industry, will render the arts of producing wealth infinitely more agreeable than any of the ordinary pursuits of pleasure in the present suite of things; and the three classes who are now the least inclined to useful industry.—that is, the free savage, the uncontrolled child, and the voluptuous sybarite,—will then become the most active and untiring agents of production.
The owners of slaves would soon be reimbursed by those whom they had held in bondage, and who, when industry became a pleasure, would soon enrich themselves, and liquidate collectively, by gradual instalments, the debt of their emancipation.
Poverty would speedily be banished from the earth ; the produce of combined and attractive industry would soon be so abundant, that a decent minimum of subsistence might easily be guaranteed to the most humble classes of society; even to those individuals who could not labor for themselves.
That these results should irritate in prospect the writer of the Gazette, is somewhat strange. He is perfectly free, however, to plead for the continuance of poverty and slavery; but it will not be very easy to persuade the Christian public that the final destruction of these social calamities would be an insult to Jesus Christ.
During the last thirty years, the newspaper scribes have assailed me by calumny in a great variety of forms, but none of them had ever before ventured to assert that my principles were contrary to Christianity.Fortunately, however, the Evangelists are there to prove whether my theory or the declaration of the Gazette is most accordant with the principles of truth and charity; and which is the most worthy of confidence, the doctrines of the Gospel or those of the Gazette!
There have been two instruments of Divine Providence with whom I could not disagree without denying my own principles; and these were, Jesus Christ and Newton. (And be it understood that in speaking here of Jesus Christ in connexion with Newton and himself, Fourier does not pretend to compare his own discovery of the laws of passional or moral attraction, and Newton’s discovery of the laws of gravitation or material attraction, with the Divine mission of Jesus Christ, any further than in such degrees as one class of truths stand related to another in the universal principle of justice and harmony.) Jesus Christ foretold the discovery and the practical application of the principles of peace and social harmony, and he forcibly enjoined his followers to seek the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, but they have hitherto failed in practising his precepts. They have, indeed, refused the task of discovering the practical mechanism of Christian principles; and in their mental darkness they have said, that truth and justice were impracticable in this world.
Sixteen hundred years, however, after the birth of Christ, Newton discovered the principles of attraction which regulate the material harmony of the world, but he neglected the mechanism of moral harmony, the principles of which it has fallen to my lot to discover in obedience to the will of Christ, whose positive injunctions, were—“Seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you; ask and it shall be given; for there is nothing covered that shall not be known, neither hid that shall not be revealed.” The principles of passional attraction and repulsionare exactly analogous to those of material attraction and repulsiondiscovered by Newton, and both are perfectlyin accordance with the precepts of the Gospel, notwithstanding the contracted views and the blind apprehensions of pseudo-Christians.
How is it possible, then, that I could be in contradiction with my two guides in science and religon? I defy the world to prove that in my writings there is a single phrase alluding to Christ which does not venerate his wisdom and his goodness. And the unscrupulous Gazette has the audacity to publish throughout the land that my doctrines are an insult to Jesus Christ! But I will confound the authors of this foul calumny, both mediate and immediate. I say mediate and immediate, because I know that the writer in the Gazette is only the tool of the Philosophical Pandemonium, who play their game in secret, and constitute a central power of obscurism to swamp whatever happens to expose their ignorance.
After trying to traduce my principles in the sphere of science, the philosophical clique is now trying to prove that I am an enemy to Christianity. It is really an amusing novelty to see philosophers become the advocates of Jesus Christ. They were not so anxious about either him or his doctrine when both were really attacked by Saint-Simonism, which was just on the point of raising in the church a greater schism than that of either Arius or Luther.
I am not, otherwise. displeased that the scribes of the Gazette should have entered this field of discussion, in which it will be easy to unmask them. Jesus Christ himself shall be my advocate; I desire no other aid than that of his Gospel.
It will be easy to show that the scribes of the Gazettehave but an imperfect idea of the meaning of Holy Writ, and that it is impossible to have a full knowledge of scriptural revelation without understanding the eternal laws of passional attraction as they are revealed to us in human nature and universal analogy. In the time of the apostles, the Doctors of Divinity were in a similar state of darkness to that which obscures the mental vision of the present age. When they accused Jesus of contradicting the scriptures, he exposed their ignorance, saying—“Do ye not, therefore, err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.” (St Mark, xii. 24.) In this manner Christ proved the incapacity of the self-righteous scribes and philosophers of that period ; and the eternal truths which he then uttered will amply suffice to confound the intolerant hypocrites of the present day. But let us look into the Gospel for the light which is to guide us. Are we not therein told, that :—
- “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
- “Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
- “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns (as you have the power of doing;) yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
- “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature ?
- “And why take ye thought for raiment? consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
- “And yet, I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.
- “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you? O, ye of little faith?
- “Therefore, take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or, what shall wedrink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed!
- “For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.
- “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (St. Matth. vi.)
Here is the two-fold destiny of humanity announced by Christ himself: a better state of society which he calls the “kingdom of God and of justice:” a state of things in which we may enjoy all the necessary comforts of life without care and anxiety. And be it remembered that these injunctions relate to this world as well as to another; for we are expressly told that, if we neglect the kingdom of God in this world, we shall lose it in the next. It is evident, however, that the comforts of life and the quietude of mind, promised by Christ when we shall have established the kingdom of justice and harmony upon earth, are refused to us in those iniquitous states of society, called barbarism and competitive civilization, in which physical privation, moral depravity, mental delusion, and sectarian discord are gradually descending into the deepest regions of iniquity, instead of vanishing progressively before the light of truth and justice and religious unity.
It may be said that we are more advanced than the Jews were in the time of Christ ; but I think we have but little to boast of in the present day, when it is an acknowledged fact, that two thirds of the French nation, or 22 millions out of 33, are limited to the miserable pittance of three-pence farthing a day for their entire sustenance, food, clothing, fire, lodging, and recreation. No wonder that they still exclaim, “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?” when those who ought to guide them and strengthen their faith, refuse to seek the kingdom of God and his justice, and prefer the reign of fraud, depravity, misery, and unbelief.
And yet Christ has promised us an abundance of worldly comforts and peace of mind; but on condition that we first seek the kingdom of Heaven and its justice.—What, then, is the kingdom of Heaven for which we are told to pray, that the will of God may be done in earth as it is in Heaven? It is the reign of social harmony, by means of moral regeneration, and the establishment of attractive industry with united economy, in which state of society the practice of truth and justice would lead to wealth and honor, while falsehood and injustice would lead to shame and trouble. In such a state of things, the religious and the worldly motives would unite in harmony: the terrestrial would be consonant with the celestial destiny; and the will of God be done in earth as it is in Heaven.
But let us not be misunderstood to mean that physical comfort would stand in lieu of moral and religious duty: we mean no such thing: but we do mean to say, that physical privation leads to crime, and stands in the way of religious progress. So far, then, industrial harmony would aid the work of moral regeneration.
As far as our worldly condition is concerned, the new order of things would realize the kingdom of God and his justice upon earth ; and the most superficial calculation of its advantages proves that Christ was truly inspired in promising us worldly comforts in abundance with perfect peace of mind, whenever we think proper to organize society according to the principles of justice. The discovery of these principles was not difficult for any person truly desirous of finding them, for, in my writings, I have shown that there were at least sixteen different modes of making the same discovery.
(See my Treatise on Domestic and Agricultural Association, vol. i. pages 108 and 342.) Our Saviour was constantly exhorting the Jews to make this discovery assigned to human reason. He not only told them to “Seek and they would find,” but he also assured them that, “There was nothing covered that should not be revealed, neither hid that should not be known.”
Some of our pseudo-Christians will perhaps affirm, that if it were possible to organize a better state of society, he would have revealed to us its laws; and our sceptical philosophic will perhaps” inquire, also, why he did not, if his mission were divine, reveal the scientific principles of social unity? I will tell them:—It was not his mission to reveal the principles of worldly . science. The discovery of Nature’s laws is a task assigned to human reason. Jesus came to prepare us for another world, and to ‘warn us of the errors of human judgment. He admonished us of our want of faith and hope in God, and of the danger of confiding too exclusively in mere philosophers, who live by sophistry, and who, enriching themselves by misleading the minds of the people, will not submit, as I have done, to the patient and laborious study of a new science, during thirty-eight years, without a chance of worldly profit, and with the certainty of being paid by insult and by calumny.
Christ did all he could, in consistency with his special mission, to guard us against the aberrations of philosophy; and he told us to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all worldly things should be added unto us. He knew that philosophers were misleading us, and he told us so, but the Jews scoffed at his warnings and crucified his body; and, by allowing his Gospel to become a dead letter, we have crucified his spirit.
It was possible to discover the science of social unity when Christ appeared, or he would not have enjoined us to search for its laws; but the arrogance of blind philosophy has continued to mislead us ever since.~ We have not sought the kingdom of justice with a true spirit, and thence it is we have not found it. In India, excessive superstition ; in China, the spirit of familial and patriarchal immobility, have obstructed scientific progress and discovery.
In the Western world, before the time of Christ, the light of science was sufficient to have led to the discovery of social unity, had philosophy been based upon a true religious faith. The priests of ancient Egypt are said to have been deeply versed in learning, and, at a later date, the sciences were much advanced in Greece. In Rome, still later, the scientific means of progress were abundant; but all have failed, from want of a sufficient faith in Providence, and too much confidence in human sophistry.
When all these means had failed, Christ himself appeared to stimulate our intellectual energies, and bring salvation to our sinking souls. His missions, as well as that of his immediate apostles, was positiveand ACTIVE, with respect to our celestial destiny and the salvation of our souls; but it was PASSIVE or negative, with respect to our terrestrial destiny and the welfare of our bodies. It is the task of human reason to seek the kingdom of Heaven, and establish its justice upon earth; and as Christ could not reveal to us the ordinary principles of science, without subverting the decrees of destiny and opposing the will of his Heavenly Father, he confined himself to stimulating our intellectual faculties, by telling us to “seek for the laws of social harmony, that all worldly comforts might be added unto us abundantly;” giving us at the same time positive assurance that “ there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known.”
As it was not his special mission to reveal those positive principles of worldly science assigned to human reason as its mission of discovery, he was the more particular in exhorting us not to be misled by false philosophy; and foreseeing the consequences of erroneous doctrines, he deemed it necessary to warn us of the danger; saying,
- “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps’ clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves ”
- “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (St. Matt. vii.)
Now, what are the fruits which society has reaped from philosophical theories?—-Have they not always been the same calamities of poverty, crime, bloodshed, and oppression, varied in form and in degrees of intensity? In all ages, and particularly within the last century, have not the different sects of philosophy been constantly undermining the principles of Religion, the rights of property, and the laws of order in Society? The most recently hatched sects of Philosophers in Europe, the Jacobins and Saint-Simonians in France, and the Socialists in England, have been more or less hostile to Religion, to Government, and the rights of private property. Instead of “rendering unto Cesar the things which belong to Cæsar, and to God the things which are of God,” they seem fiercely disposed to spoilate both one and the other in the name of liberty, while they sacrifice private property on the altars of equality and anarchy. And what is still more strange, apparently, they wish to strangulate the right of private judgment wherever it be found to question the, decrees of sceptical philosophy and fragmentary science. The very mention of a new science unknown to the doctors of philosophy, irritates their nerves, offends their pride, and calls forth their intolerant obscurism. Not one of them have ever deigned to look into the new science of passional attraction or attractive industry. If they speak of it at all, it is only to calumniate, but it will soon be proved that the real science of association is more liberal than all the sects of liberal philosophy; for it serves the sects of liberal philosophy; for it serves the interests of all classes without disturbing either property, government or religion,
The philosophers have neither discovered the true principles of social harmony them. selves, nor are they willing to allow the possibility of such a discovery being made by others. Jesus Christ reproached them for this same spirit of obscurism, which neither seeks the kingdom of justice, nor allows others to reveal its laws:-
“Woe unto you lawyers!” he exclaims, “For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye enter not in yourselves, and them that were entering ye hindered.” (St. Luke, xi. 52.)
I believe I am the only person who has strictly followed, in this respect, the injunctions of our Saviour. I have sought, and I have found, because I went in perfect faith and humility of spirit, to the original source of Nature, and there discovered those unknown principles of social unity and moral harmony to which philosophy has hitherto denied existence. Having steered my course in perfect independence in the unknown spheres of science, like Columbus sailing boldly in an unknown sea, I naturally met with an unknown world.
The pride of philosophy is humbled by my discovery, which proves the inutility of their speculations in Morals, Metaphysics, Politics, and Economism ; and thence it is that sceptical arrogance feigns to treat my theory with ridicule; but finding that mockery leads many to a serious inquiry, they have now thought proper to adopt another sort of tactics, traducing my principles in the name of Christianity; but here, again, they are easily refuted, as I shall amply prove in my next article.
[To be continued.]
SECOND PART OF FOURIER’S REFUTATION OF THE GAZETTE OF FRANCE.
For some time past the secret influence of the philosophic Pandemonium had enjoined the discipline of general science in the press, concerning the science of “attractive industry,” but the indiscreet Gazette has disobeyed the word. It is proverbially noted for its gossiping propensity, and notwithstand the tactics of obscurism, one of its scribes, inspired with a new idea, has aimed a fatal blow of calumny against my principle, by charging them with insult to our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The cause of this attack was a speech made by one of my partisans, at a scientific meeting on the subject of attractive industry; alter which, the orator, Mr. V. Considerant, took part in a religious controversy, a subject quite foreign from my science; and, therefore, whatever may have been said on such a question, does not, in the least, affect my responsibility. I never interfere with the religious opinions of those who adopt my principles of science, nor do I deem it necessary for me to do so.
Why should I be more intolerant than the Pope himself, who forms alliances and enters into contract with people who deny the Divinity of Christ? The agent of the Pope, in contracting for a loan with an Israelite banker, does not make s point of attacking his religion; and why should I, a simple individual of no authority, take upon myself to force conformity with my religious feelings and opinions? Some of my partisans are Jews; and what have I to do with that? My science, being purely industrial, is equally free to all religious sects; and though I am myself a Christian, I only teach the science of attractive industry; and neither my religion, nor my science, are affected by the peculiar opinions on religion held by those who advocate my theory.
If, then, it were true, (but it is not.) that the orator, Mr. V. Considerant, had professed opinions in opposition to the Gospel, my principles could not be held responsible for his errors, or for any opinions contrary to my own.
But the fiery Gazette has brought my name in question, and declaimed against what its scribes are pleased to call Fourierism, indicating my theory of attractive industry. Amongst a number of perfidious misrepresentations, the scribes have manufactured and inserted a dozen lines or more, in which Jesus Christ is really insulted, but, by the scribe of the Gazette, who has falsely attributed them to Mr. Considerant, whose written and spoken opinions are diametrically opposed to those attributed to him by the impious journalist.
Mr. Considerant immediately threatened the Gazette with an action for libel and defamation, if his own reply were not immediately inserted; but the perfidious journal, not daring to refuse insertion, evaded the effect of justice, by an unfair manœuvre in the printing, and a delay of three weeks time in its edition for the provinces.
These scribes say that “I wish to be the God of the material World,” and sometimes they dub me with the title of “Messiah.” What a pity it is they do not add a handsome pension to these Godlike honors!
Is it, then, pretending to deity one‘s-self, when one simply follows the divine precept,—“Seek, and ye shall find?” and having discovered any of the laws of God and Nature, is it infringing on the power of God merely to explain those laws to man? Did Kepler and Newton pretend to be gods when they discovered and made known the laws of God concerning our solar system and the mechanical equilibrium of celestial bodies?
On the contrary, I am, perhaps, the only person who has fully ruined those who really usurp the right of God. I have proclaimed the principle of a Universal Providence, and, in virtue of that principle, the necessity of seeking for the pre-ordained laws of harmony and unity relating to society, instead of trusting to the arbitrary laws of man. Jesus Christ himself repeatedly enjoined us to seek for God’s social code of laws, and predicted its discovery when truly sought; and if those who take credit to themselves for ultra-piety, had sufficient hope and faith in Providence, they would adhere to the letter of the Gospel dispensation, and believe our Saviour, who assures us that his Heavenly Father’s Providence extends even to the numbering of the hairs of our heads. It is, indeed, injurious to our Maker to doubt his Providence in pre-ordaining laws of social harmony for man, when he see that, from the greatest to the smallest works of his creation, he has provided laws of unity and harmony for their correlative conditions. Having provided laws of social unity for the enormous globes revolving in infinity, and also for the smallest insects inhabiting those globes, how is it possible to think he would neglect to make a similar provision for the social regulation of mankind? “ Has he not provided for the fowls of the air, and how much more worthy are we than they?”
It is impious, then, to doubt the Providence of God; and Jesus Christ has told us that our duty is to ” seek that we may find” the code of social harmony and justice which our Heavenly Father has prepared for us Irma all eternity. It is, in fact, impossible to think that God has not provided for the most imperious of our wants, a code of harmony for human society, to regulate industrial economy, producing an abundance of worldly comforts, for the happiness of all in perfect justice, and applicable to all the nations of the earth without exception.
The discovery of this code of social laws, is the task assigned to us by Christ himself, concerning this probationary state in which we should prepare for an hereafter; but philosophy has left us neither faith nor‘ hope in the universality of God’s providence, nor a spirit of charity extending to the whole of human-kind.
Philosophy only talks of gaining riches for one or two nations of the earth, leaving the rest to languish in ignorance and misery. Forgetting that God is the Creator of the I whole universe, and that his laws are made for all his creatures,—from the greatest to the smallest, the planet to the insect,—our modem legislators and philosophers have usurped the power of God; neglected the study of his laws of harmony, and made society the tool of men like Bartholus, Cujas, Mirabeau, and Target, of whom it may be said with truth, that they usurp the power of God in governing society by arbitrary rule, instead of following the precepts of the Gospel, and studying the will of Heaven: for, not only do they themselves refuse to study the will of God revealed to us in his eternal laws of mental, moral, and mechanical attraction, but they even vilify and persecute whoever questions their sophistical infallibility.
Christ has plainly told us what we are to think of such scribes and philosophers. “Ye hypocrites,” says he, “well did Essias prophecy of you, saying,—This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me -with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”—(St. Matth. xv. 7, 8, 9.)
It is utterly false, then, to say that I pretend to be a God, either of the Material or the spiritual world. I render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar; and to God, that which belongs to God, the right of legislating for humanity. But why should the scribes of the Gazette accuse me of wishing to be the “God of the material world” more particularly? This is a point requiring explanation.
It is said that my principles are subversive of Christianity, because they tend to harmonize in regular development, those passions or sources of activity in the human soul, which Christ enjoined us to subdue and mortify. Now, in the first place, nothing could tend more to subdue the passions in perfect harmony, than my science of passional mechanism and attractive industry, which prevents excess by infinite variety of action ; and as for the doctrine of mortification, it is not true that Christ intended it to last for ever. It was only meant to last during the periods of social incoherency which mark the progress from the fall of man to the full regeneration; and in these periods of ignorance, privation and injustice, it is absolutely necessary; but when, ” by seeking, we have found the kingdom of Heaven and its justice,” which means the laws of moral equilibrium in the physical and mental activity or human society, there will be no longer any need of an oppressive discipline to make us pure in heart and mind. We shall then be governed by a law of love in expansive equilibrium, infinitely more efficient than the law of fear, and compressive self-denial.
We must, of course, admit that the law of self-denial and positive restraint is absolutely necessary in the present state of things; but Christ, in telling us to “seek the kingdom of heaven and its justice, that all worldly comforts may be added unto us,” has also given a foretaste of physical enjoyment to those who manifested faith in his prediction. At the feast of Cana, did he not change the water into excellent wine? and did he not multiply the loaves and fishes to feed the multitude whose faith had led them to the desert with him? This miracle, he worked to recompense their faith in trusting to his power without anxiety for their own comfort. He himself took pleasure in speaking of his own dependency: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to repose his head.”
He also rebuked those who accused him of faring sumptuously; saying,—“John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine ; and ye say, He hath a Devil. The Son of Man is come eating nd drinking and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of all her children.” It is evident, therefore, that he deemed wisdom quite compatible with worldly comfort, and in order to join precept with example, he took his seat at a table served with delicacies, in the house of a publican who invited him; and when the courtezan anointed his hair with perfume, he rebuked the publican who blamed her for her services. To the woman herself he said, “Thy sins are forgiven: thy faith hath saved thee.” Compassionating with the sex that is most oppressed, he pardoned Magdalene and the adulteress, rebuking those who had accused .them. Nor did he forget to say, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—(St. Matth. xi. 30.)
It is clear, then, that our Redeemer was no enemy to riches and refinement; all he commanded was, that to worldly pleasures we should add a genuine faith in universal providence, and a proper use of heaven’s bounty, in seeking for the kingdom of justice and the science of social harmony.
Nor be it said that Christ, in speaking of the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, alluded to a future life alone, where worldly comforts are spoken of in allegory, for he knew well that neither food nor raiment would be wanting there. lt is not, then, of a future state he speaks, in promising us worldly blessings: and, the better to prevent mistake, he adds, ” Let those hear who have ears to hear,” meaning that his parables were true both ways, and that there are two kingdoms of heaven; one already in existence, and another to be finally established upon earth.
Philosophers deny all this, and ridicule the notion of a better state of things, because it has been hidden from their mental vision; and the unreﬂecting public fondle the delusion. This state of things is spoken of in Scripture, where it says—” They are as the blind leading the blind.”
St. Mark has truly said of these, ” Ye neither understand the Scriptures, nor the power of God.”
A single instance of the power of God is quite enough to prove that the pretensions of philosophy to regulate society are incomparably deficient. The sole power of distributing our faculties, gives our Maker the facility of rendering any social law attractive and complete; while philosophers, who have no such power, can never make us like their schemes in opposition to our nature.
On the other hand, we are sure to err in misery by submitting to the arbitrary laws of human reason, which are not attractive to our innate feelings: for philosophy has not the power of altering our faculties, so as to adapt them to a liking for oppression, poverty, prisons, hulks, taxation, and anxiety, with all the other “graces” of human legislation and “liberal perfection.”
These considerations are alone sufficient to inform us that God must have originally made a plan for social happiness, and that it is our duty to obey the Gospel, in “seeking for the kingdom of Heaven and its justice,” revealed to us in all the laws of natural phenomena in matter and in mind.
Such will be the mechanism of passional attractionand industrial economy. And Jesus no doubt alluded to the scientific mission of an interpreter of these laws, when he Said, “ I speak to you in parables; but he who will come after me, will speak to you in spirit and in truth.” He who wished “that the things of Cæsar should be given unto Cæsar, and that the things of God be rendered unto God,” also wished that human reason should be left to do the work imposed on it by God; and thus reveal to 111811 the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, in the scientific mechanism of attractive industry based upon the principles of moral and religious unity.
As John the Baptist came before Christ with the mission of precursor, to announce the coming of the word, so another was to come after Christ with the mission of coadjutor, to study and reveal the laws of social mechanism by which peace and plenty will reward the general practico of truth and justice, and the human race commence the work of absolute regeneration.
This is the task of the Messiah, of whom M. de Lamartine, in his conversations with Indy Esther Stanhope on Mount Lebanon, spoke as being ” yet to come,” affirming “that those who are now living will see him with their own eyes, and for whose mission all things seem to be preparing in the world.”
But here, again, we may apply the words of Christ, ” Do not ye after their works, for they say and do not.”—St. Matthew, xxiii. 3.)
If it be true ” that a man is soon to appear with an extraordinary mission in science, and that, as all things are prepared in this world for his coming, we shall certainly see him in person;” how comes it, that when he has actually made his appearance and proved his mission by revealing a new science that will solve all the problems of social and political harmony,—how comes it, say, that all the learned world refuse to hear him, and absolutely form a coalition of obscurism to prevent the public from acquiring a knowledge of his science, or even of his existence, though he can prove that he has nrictly followed the injunctions of our Saviour, and that he speaks in the simple, clear, and natural spirit of mathematical truth which children may understand ; and the science which he thus reveals will teach us how to banish from the earth those hideous social ulcers, poverty, crime, slavery, mercantile fraud, and all the moral evils so much loathed in the sight of God?
We have many philosophers who speak and write piously, because piety is now-a-days a political instrument; but it is not so easy to find people who are really pious in fulfilling the commands of Christ. If our philosophers were truly pious, they would say, “This theory of attractive industry should be carefully examined and tested by experience, for, if it be really true and practicable, its results would be prodigious.Besides creating wealth in great abundance, it would totally eradicate the germs of revolution; and of moral and religious discipline, it certainly affords the most secure foundation. In our present moral theories, we do indeed inculcate a love of honest industry, but then we must admit that little has been done to render it attractive. This author says he has discovered the science of attractive industry in conformity with the natural impulsions of mankind, and that, besides being proved by all the principles of science, his theory may easily be tested by a limited experiment on a single parish containing three or four hundred families. This is a great advantage compared to the dangers of political reforms affecting a whole nation by every new experiment. Should the experiment fail altogether, it will only affect a single parish, and if it be found defective in some of its parts only, we can probably correct its defects, and improve it as a whole.”
This would be the language of impartiality, but it is not to be expected from the learned corporations of this bouted centre of civilization, Paris.
The title of “Messiah” is, however, as applied by M. de Lamartine, in speaking of the man whose mission was announced by Christ, improperly applied to a mission of mere science. John the Baptist was the prophet whose mission was that of a pre-cursor to Jesus Christ, and my mission is that of the prophet post-cursorand coadjutor, announced by Christ to solve the Christian problem, and complete the scientific part of human regeneration with respect to industry alone and social equity; but I am not a Messiah, though the Gazette de France, in its furious attacks, accuses me of being in pretension both a “God” and a “Messiah.”
There is nothing mystical in a purely scientific mission; and though the function of a prophet and coadjutor in human regeneration has fallen to my lot, it is not the Irission of one specially elected, like John the Baptist, but a mission open to all the human race, any one of whom was free to study and interpret the social code of laws devised by God to introduce on earth “the kingdom of Heaven and its justice,” whenever human reasonshould perform the task imposed by Christ, of “seeking till we find; asking that it may be given; and knocking that it may be opened unto us;” to see and understand the laws of social harmony and passional attraction.
I have performed this mission in accordance with the bidding of our Saviour, by leaving the beaten track of arbitrary speculation and the cunning of philosophers, of whom the world’s Redeemer said,—“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”—(SL Mal. xii. 34.) ” Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity-.”—(St. Matth. xxiii. 27, 28.)
These words are truly applicable to those philosophers of our day, who laud the present state of civilization as the beau-ideal of society, though it is based on the most odious principles, such as the following, which are openly professed:
“It is absolutely necessary to keep the multitude in poverty in order to enrich the few, and, not being able to prevent the horrors of this state of things, we must learn to look upon them as necessary evils.”These maxims are indeed worthy of a sect which holds the principles of sceptical philosophy, and publicly asserts ” that the mass of the people can never be happy until the last of the kings shall have been strangled with the gut-strings of the last of priests,” and whose watch-word in the work of human massacre, is “Down with the impostor,” (écrasez l’infâme,) meaning Jesus Christ. ls it a wonder, then, that these philosophers oppose my doctrine, which was announced by Christ himself as the industrial mechanism of truth and the spirit of social harmony, to he revealed by the interpreter of God’s social code, who was to come after Christ?
Let me not be misunderstood in saying this; for I ask nothing for myself, neither mediately nor immediately. My mission is to speak the truth, and minister to the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ has said, ” He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you, hut the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever l have said unto you.” —(St. John, xiv. 24, 25, 26.) Now the literal meaning of the words Holy Ghost being the spirit of truth, it is clear that every principle of truth and harmony is an emanation of the Holy Ghost, or the universal spirit of truth, and, in this sense, the science of social harmony is the social “comforter,” explaining all things relating to the practice of truth and justice upon earth.
We may again repeat with Christ, that “the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”—(St. John, iii. 19.) This is true of the present state of philosophy, containing at least one hundred thousand different and contradictory systems, none of which will bear the light of a comparison with that science of social mechanism and attractive industry it has been my lot to discover; and which consists in harmonizing all our instincts and desires by means of an industrial and domestic combination, the leading springs of which are,—@
- Regularly graduated scales of discord and natural inequalities.
- The proper combination of series and groups in the functions of industry.
- Variety of occupation, and ii free choice of function, subject only to real skill and due qualification.
Whether this be or be not the true principle of industrial mechanism and social harmony, there can be no doubt that the present age, so frequently convulsed by the disastrous innovations of unsound philosophy, has need of some new science to secure stability and peaceful progress. After trusting to political and moral theories in vain for centuries and centuries past in misery, it is natural to try another mode of innovation, which, if even inefficient, is at least secure from danger and convulsion. Those who have property at stake might certainly to tire of a philosophy which only serves to generate iniquity, and oppose the inﬂuence of pernicious doctrines by s principle which is, in all respects, the very opposite. The arbitrary doctrines of philosophy would vanish into darkness and oblivion as soon as the real principles of social policy were practically tested; for this is the principle of which Christ has said, “Et portæ inferi non prævolebunt.”
What are these “Gates of Hell” of which he speaks? there are, at least, two which are easily recognized: intolerant philosophy, and j the spirit of self-righteousness which is not less intolerant. Both of these are worshippers at the same shrine of superstition: that of a PASSIVE and INERT resignation to the principle of evil and the honors of competitive society. The one tells us that “crime and misery are the necessary results of civilization, and that we must submit to them patiently without hoping to avoid them;” the other tells us ” that we must resign ourselves to suffering in this world, in order to obtain our reward in the next:” but those who preach these doctrines, take very good care not to follow them themselves. They invariably secure for themselves as much as they can of the comforts of life, and then deliberately tell their starving brethren to suffer patiently the wrongs which they endure.
It is no doubt proper to resign ourselves with patience and forbearing, as long as society remains in ignorance and poverty; but Christ himself has told us that this state of things was not to be perpetual, and that it was our duty to escape from it as soon as possible, by seeking the kingdom of Heaven and its justice, that all worldly comforts might be added unto us abundantly.—He expressly told us also to be active in our faith, and not to indulge our idleness in a passive and inert resignation to the principle of evil; but to seek that mechanism of the science of attractive industry and combined economy.
What can be the cause of this passive and inert resignation to the principle of evil, in the church? During eighteen centuries the ministers of Christ have warned us against the baneful doctrine. of philosophy; was it not their duty, therefore, to follow the injunctions of our Saviour, and seek, till they discovered, the science of social harmony, and its principles of truth and practical equity? But, supposing their efforts to have been constant, thong inadequate, is it not, at least, their duty to protect the man who has devoted thirty-eight years of a laborious life to the seeking and discovering of the principles of justice and social regeneration?
The Church has evidently lost her equilibrium: she has been betrayed into the hands of vain philosophy; for those who call themselves the “pillars of the Church,” are neither more nor less than skeptical philosophers.
What are these scribes of the Gazette, but sceptics in disguise, forming a pandemonium of obscurism? proscribing every attempt at social progress, and supporting the monopoly of privilege and sophistry.—Its proceedings in 1829 were more scandalous than those of any other journal published in Paris. It is a well known fact, that the most abominable system of intimidation was used to terrify those amongst the public functionaries who did not generally purchase the Gazette.
These pretended champions of religion, are betraying both the monarch and the Church, for no party is more deeply interested in the welfare of the people, than the clergy of the Church of Rome, and the King of the French nation, who is more or less suspected by all the kings of Europe.
The vessel of St. Peter has evidently lost its rudder, for, during the last half century, it has been so badly governed, that the clergy have lost almost all their former influence; and as for the throne of France, it is so far humbled, that it dares not venture to resist the influence of American chicanery, which has recently constrained us to admit a doubtful claim upon our treasury.
All parties, then, are equally interested in the progress of truth and general prosperity; and, as all the schemes of fanciful philosophy have failed, it is but rational to expect a contrary result from the practical application of those principles which are, in all their bearings, the very opposite of incoherency and individualism.
It is in vain for the blind members of the Church to think, that if it were possible to establish harmony and justice in society, Christ himself would have revealed to us the science of its organization; for, I have already proved that he commanded us to seek it in ourselves, and by the aid of human reason, in connexion with an ACTIVE faith in Providence and all his promises.
Ministers of the Church,—you whose mission it is to call sinners to repentance—are you not sinning, yourselves, against the doctrines of Christianity? By adopting the tactics of sceptical obscurism, and opposing my theory by your premeditated silence, are you not opposing the will of your master, who announced the scientific mission of human regeneration?
You are witnesses to the declining influence of Christian principles and the spreading influence of mystical and sceptical philosophy; and though you may deem these systems of philosophy too absurd to be generally introduced, still it is your duty to be active in your opposition; for the general aberrations of material and inductive philosophy may give rise to sects whose doctrines would be no less offensive than the Atheism of the Owenites, and the spoliating tendencies of St. Simonism in its doctrines of inheritance. If you remain blind to the duties of your mission, you will shortly have in Europe as many heterogeneous sects of religious doctrines as there are in America, and civil war is almost the inevitable product of this religious anarchy.
In this dilemma, your only safety lies in bringing into practical consistence my principles. which will rapidly supersede the influence of your natural enemies, the sceptical philosophers.
You need not be alarmed at the risk of fostering an error; for, one single experiment would prove it to be true or false without endangering the present constitution of society. Remember, also. that the most useful discoveries have been generally ill received at first: the simple grain of coffee, and that very useful root the potato, were prohibited as poisons, by the learning of a Parliament. The first inventors of steam-engine were most of them insulted, and some of them were even put to death. Columbus was banished for announcing even the probable existence of a New Continent, and the thunder of an excommunication was hurled upon his head from the Holy See of I Rome; then, surely, you should pause before you condemn.
And yet, we can hardly expect to find wisdom and discernment in the Church, when we see the Universal Bishop stigmatising equally both friends and foes. In the last index, published at Rome, we find names classed together without any rule of justice. The Church, in her distress, has lost her mental equilibrium and discernment. She has inconsiderately classed the name of the celebrated Christian poet, De Lamartine, with that of St. Simon, the avowed opponent of the Roman clergy; and to make the matter worse, my name has been connected with the enemies of property, although my principles would introduce at least twenty-four new source of security to private property, in addition to those which are already in existence.
It is a strange anomaly, that the Christian Pontiff should denounce the only man who has demonstrated, by mathematic revelation, the necessary existence of a God, and the universality of Providence. Before my discovery, the very existence of Deity was questioned in the name of science; but this delusion of Atheism, arising from the aberrations of reason, is now completely dissipated in the sphere of real science. These errors of the Church prove that vain philosophy has stolen its way into the Vatican, and the bewildered Pope of Rome is now the dupe of scepticism.
This language may be deemed severe, but no one has so good a right as I to call the Church to an account for her neglect of duty. lam, perhaps the only innovator, having every chance of founding a new religious sect, who has not thought of doing such a thing. My doctrine satisfies, at once, the natural desires of both soul and body, in this world and in the next: l have had, therefore, several chances of founding a religious sect, which no man ever had before.
But my mission is not to create a new sect; in fact, I look upon all religious schisms as brands of discord: and, as my task is to conciliate all parties in both Church and State, by the institution of attractive industry and social equity, I am opposed to all the arts of policy which would cause disturbance, and class me amongst mere turbulent agitators. I disavow also, beforehand, whoever might, when I am gone, make any such abuse of my conciliatory principles, which serve invariably the interests of all parties.
[To those who have “ears to hear,” and “eyes to see,” nothing can be more beautifully clear than Fourier’s elucidation of the Gospel; but many there are, within and without the pale of the Christian Church, whose mental visions is too much obscured to recognize the light. The Church itself has long been more or less eclipsed by negative philosophy; but soon, we feel convinced, the shadow of uncertainty will gradually vanish, and leave the type of unity to re-assert her mission by dispensing light and heat, in spirit and in truth, to all the human race.]