Fourier, Charles

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Fourier, Charles (1772–1837), the utopian thinker often referred to as one of the earliest socialist theoreticians, is best known for the extraordinary level of detail in his elaborate—and often eccentric—vision of the future. Seventeen years old when the French Revolution erupted, his world turned upside down and his fortune lost, he retained a lasting hatred for what he disparagingly called “civilisation,” including its sharp commercial practices (particularly those designed to manipulate commodity prices), toleration of poverty, and republicanism—especially its “Spartan” attitudes toward diet.