Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence



appended 27.10 19:00

Re Toussenel: "Fourier . . . claims to 'join together and enframe, within a single plan, the societary mechanics of the passions with the other known harmonies of the universe,' and for that, he adds, 'we need only have recourse to the amusing lessons to be drawn from the most fascinating objects among the animals and plants.'" Armand and Maublanc, Fourier (Paris 1937), vol. 1, p. 227; citing Fourier, Traité de l'association domestique-agricole (Paris and London, 1822), vol. 1, pp.24-25, and Théorie du l'unité universelle (1834), p. 31. -- Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, [W13.1] (trans Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 1999 and 2002), pp. 641-642.

(NB, e.p.: Barthes extends [W11.2] from Sade and Fourier to Loyola.)

On second thought, I would be remiss in not including translator notes, and in not citing [W13a,6]:
"A series is a regular classification of a genus, species, or group of beings or of objects, arranged symmetrically with respect to one or several of their properties, and on both sides proceeding from a center or pivot, according to an ascending progression on one side, descending on the other, like two flanks of an army . . . There are 'open' series, in which the world (!) of subdivisions is not determined, and 'measured' series, which comprehend, at various levels, 3, 12, 32, 134, 404 subdivisions." Armand and Maublanc, Fourier (Paris 1937), vol. 1, p. 127.


"The nature which develops in human history—the genesis of human society—is man's real nature; hence, since it develops through industry, even though in an estranged form, is true anthropological nature." Karl Marx, Der historische Materialismus: Die Frühschriften, ed. Landshut and Mayer (Liepzig), vol. 1, p. 304 ("Nationalökonomic und Philosophie"). [X1a,3]

On the bungled reception of technology: "The illusions in this sphere are reflected quite clearly in the terminology that is used in it, and in which a mode of thinking, proud of its . . . freedom from myth, discloses the direct opposite of these features. To think that we conquer or control nature is a very childish supposition, since . . . all notions of . . . conquest and subjugation have a proper meaning only if an opposing will has been broken. . . . Natural events, as such, are not subject to the alternatives of freedom and coercion. . . . Although . . . this seems to be just a matter of terminology, it does lead astray those who think superficially in the direction of anthropomorphic misinterpretations, and it does show that the mythological mode of thought is also at home within the natural-scientific worldview." Georg Simmel, Philosophie des Geldes (Liepzig, 1900), pp. 520-521. It is the great distinction of Fourier that he wanted to open the way to a very different conception of technology. [X7a,1]


Blogger nnyhav said...

Another addendum, relegated to the comments as it doesn't fit upstairs, on appraisals of Fourier:

Plekhanov: "Among all the contemporaries of Hegel, Charles Fourier was the only one who saw through bourgeios relations as he himself did." [W2a,7]

Marx: ". . . Fourier was the first to mock the idealization of the petty bourgeiosie." [W4,2]

Engels: "Fourier is not only a critic; his imperturbably serene nature makes him a satirist, and assuredly one of the greatest satirists of all time." [W3a,3]

3/11/07 13:59  

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