Excerpts from various works by Charles Fourier (1772-1837) which set out his main ideas: the combined order of the passionate series, the 12 passions, gluttony, attractive labor, education, criticism of free will and civilization. Despite several mistakes, such as the maintenance of the wage system (and hence class society, commodity and state), and the illusion about the possibility of an alternative economy parallel to capitalism, and also a certain teleological naturalist fantasy, the fundamental ideas of Charles Fourier remain extremely insightful and impressive.
THE ATTRACTIVE MACHINERY. THE THEORY OF PASSIONATE ATTRACTION (EXCERPTS)
Note by humanaesfera: Excerpts from various works
Q.M. - Théorie des quatre mouvements et des destinées générales (1808).
U.U. - Théorie de l'unité universelle (1822-1823).
N.M. - Le Nouveau monde industriel et sociétaire ou invention du procédé d'industrie attrayante et naturelle, distribuée en séries passionnées (1829).
F.I. - La fausse industrie morcelée répugnante et mensongère et l'antidote, l'industrie naturelle, combinée, attrayante, véridique donnant quadruple produit (1835).
Man. - Manuscrits de Fourier (1845-1858)
All these works can be found online at http://gallica.bnf.fr , of the National Library of France. Some excerpts have been translated by humanaesfera from French, but most have been taken, with some improvements, from Charles Fourier Archive at marxists.org.
THE VICIOUS CIRCLE OF CIVILIZATION
“[In civilization] every person engaged in an industry is at war with the mass, and malevolent toward it from personal interest. A physician wishes his fellow-citizens good, genuine cases of fevers, and an attorney good lawsuits in every family. An architect has need of a good conflagration which should reduce a quarter of the city to ashes, and a glazier desires a good hail-storm which should break all the panes of glass. A tailor, a shoemaker, wishes the public to use only poorly dyed stuffs and shoes, made of bad leather, so that a triple amount may be consumed, for the benefit of their trade; that is the refrain... It is thus that in civilized industry every individual is in intentional war against the mass; a necessary result of an anti-associative industry, or an inverted world. […]
This vicious circle of industry has been so clearly recognized, that people on all sides are beginning to suspect it, and feel astonished that, in civilization, poverty should be the offspring of abundance. […]
Civilised industry, therefore, I repeat, can only create the elements of happiness, but not happiness itself. It will, on the contrary, be demonstrated that excess of industry leads civilisation to very great misfortunes, if the methods of real progress in the social scale are left undiscovered.” (Q.M.)
THE SERVITUDE OF FREE WILL
“The servitude of the Civilized [...] is so easily ascertained that it would be superfluous to demonstrate it; but he remains proud in a trench in which he still resists, and because of the lack of political and material freedoms he clings to some spiritual freedoms, especially Free Will [...].
If there is a question to which Bacon's precept, "to remake human understanding and forget all that has been learned",should apply is that of Free Will. It takes all the insolence of our sophists to claim that man is free to choose between good and evil when they persuade him that if he opts for what they call evil, he will be tortured in this world by executioners or philosophical killers; and in the other world by demons or theological murderers. Even an animal, though devoid of reason, would not dare opt for the supposed evil in such a situation.
Put a starving dog near the food and his first thought will be to commit evil, steal and devour the coveted object; but make him see the scourge hanging over his head and the poor animal will cringe and seem to tell you: if I were free, I would eat the food, but as you will beat me, I rather die of hunger.
Here is the Free Will of civilized man and the barbarian: he is free to opt for more or less privations and tortures, but he is not free for well-being considering the factors [éléments] around him. If he is not willing to be hanged, he may opt for the little discomfort of dying of hunger, according to the principles of social perfection that condemns the poor to the scaffold if he dares to demand work, bread and a social minimum.”(U.U., I)
“We must demonstrate that Free Will, in the civilized state, is misleading, passive, and subordinate to the impulses of intrigue and prejudice, in short, as dangerous to the masses as to individuals, because in general it is nothing more than a suggestion more or less misleading, with exceptions so rare as to confirm the rule and reduce the so-called Free Will of the Civilized to actual deprivation.” (U.U., I)
“[In civilization, free will] is nothing but the exercise of irrationality, of the arbitrary as opposed to arbitration. We need to think about the extirpation of arbitrariness and (in the establishment) of arbitration or free determination, based theoretically on the evidence of justice, and practically on the utility of the application. This is the faculty that civilized man is deprived by a double cause, by ignorance of the rules of justice or laws of nature and by the influence of two fraudulent sciences, philosophy and theology, with its arbitrary insinuations instead of justice and nature .” (U.U., I)
“Let us move on to the active role or direct exercise of Free Will, which assumes independence from prejudices, and exact knowledge of fortune [destinée]. What rule should the man with these new lights follow? The rule of following the laws of nature by developing the five sensitive passions and the four affective passions in the order indicated by the three distributive passions. It is impossible to have collective or individual happiness without this method, no being can be positively happy without the expansion of its nature or development of its attractions. We can only satisfy ourselves in the knowledge of passionate nature when we have discovered a way to develop our twelve passions in this order, and we can not discover this except forgetting the tenets of our 600,000 philosophical and theological volumes, more or less contrary to the expansion of the passions.” (U.U., I)
DUTY AND ATTRACTION
“All those philosophical whims called duties have no relation whatever to Nature; duty proceeds from men, Attraction proceeds from God ; now, if we desire to know the designs of God, we must study Attraction, Nature only, without any regard to duty, which varies with every age, while the nature of the passions has been and will remain invariable among all nations of men.” (Q.M.)
“The learned world is wholly imbued with a doctrine termed MORALITY, which is a mortal enemy of passional attraction.
Morality teaches man to be at war with himself, to resist his passions, to repress them, to believe that God was incapable of organising our souls, our passions wisely; that he needed the teachings of Plato and Seneca in order to know how to distribute characteristics and instincts. Imbued with these prejudices regarding the impotence of God, the learned world was not qualified to estimate the natural impulses or passional attractions, which morality proscribes and relegates to the rank of vices.
It is true that these impulses entice us only to evil, if we yield to them individually ; but we must calculate their effect upon a body of about two thousand persons socially combined, and not upon families or isolated individuals : this is what the learned world has not thought of; in studying it, it would have recognised that as soon as the number of associates [sociétaires] has reached 1600, the natural impulses, termed attractions, tend to form series of contrasting groups, in which everything incites to industry, become attractive, and to virtue, become lucrative.” (N.M.)
“The passions, believed to be the enemies of concord, in reality conduce to that unity from which we deem them so far removed. But outside of the mechanism termed “excited”, emulative, inter-locked (engrenées) Series, they are but unchained tigers, incomprehensible enigmas. It is this which has caused philosophers to say that we ought to repress them ; an opinion doubly absurd inasmuch as we can only repress our passions by violence or by absorbing replacement, which replacement is no repression. On the other hand, should they be efficiently repressed, the civilised order would rapidly decline and relapse into the nomad state, where the passions would still be malevolent as with us. The virtue of shepherds is as doubtful as that of their apologists, and our Utopia-makers, by thus attributing virtues to imaginary peoples, only succeed in proving the impossibility of introducing virtue into civilisation.” (U.U., III)
“An objection [to the idea of a societal mechanism] seemingly more reasonable, and which needs to be refuted more than once, is that of social discords. How conciliate the passions, the conflicting interests, the incompatible characters, — in short, the innumerable disparities which engender so much discord ?
It may easily have been surmised that I shall make use of a lever entirely unknown, and whose properties cannot be judged until I shall have explained them. The passional contrasted Series draws its nourishment solely from those disparities which bewilder civilised policy ; it acts like the ploughman who from a mass of filth draws the germs of abundance ; the refuse, the dirt, and impure matter which would serve only to defile and infect our dwellings, are for him the sources of wealth.” (U.U., II)
“We are quite familiar with the five sensitive passions tending to Luxury, the four affective ones tending to Groups; it only remains for us to learn about the three distributive ones whose combined impulse produces Series, a social method of which the secret has been lost since the age of primitive mankind, who were unable to maintain the Series more than about 300 years.” (Q.M.)
“The four affective passions tending to form the four groups of friendship, love, ambition, paternity or consanguinity are familiar enough ; but no analyses, or parallels, or scales have been made of them.
The three others, termed distributive, are totally misunderstood, and bear only the title of vices, although they are infinitely precious ; for these three possess the property of forming and directing the series of groups, the mainspring of social harmony. Since these series are not formed in the civilised order, the three distributive passions cause disorder only. Let us define them.” (U.U., I)
“10ª - The CABALIST is the passion that, like love, has the property of confounding ranks, drawing superiors and inferiors closer to each other. Everyone must recall occasions when he has been strongly drawn into some path followed with complete success.
For instance : electoral cabal to elect a certain candidate ; cabal on 'Change in the stock-jobbing game ; cabal of two pairs of lovers, planning a quartet without the father's knowledge ; a family cabal to secure a desirable match. If these intrigues are crowned with success, the participants become friends ; in spite of some anxiety, they have passed happy moments together while conducting the intrigue ; the emotions it arouses are necessities of the soul.
Far removed from the insipid calm whose charms are extolled by morality, the cabalistic spirit is the true destination of man. Plotting doubles his resources, enlarges his faculties. Compare the tone of a formal social gathering, its moral, stilted, languishing jargon, with the tone of these same people united in a cabal : they will appear transformed to you; you will admire their terseness, their animation, the quick play of ideas, the alertness of action, of decision ; in a word, the rapidity of the spiritual or material motion. This fine development of the human faculties is the fruit of the cabalist or tenth passion, which constantly prevails in the labours and the reunions of a passionate series.
As it always results in some measure of success, and as its groups are all precious to each other, the attraction of the cabals becomes a potent bond of friendship between all the sectaries (sectaires), even the most unequal.” (U.U. IV)
"The general perfection of industry will spring, then, from the passion which is most condemned by the philosophers; the cabalist or dissident, which has never been able to obtain among us the rank of a passion, notwithstanding that it is so strongly rooted even in the philosophers themselves, who are the greatest intriguers in the social world.
The cabalist is a favorite passion of women; they are excessively fond of intrigue, the rivalries and all the greater and lesser flights of a cabal. It is a proof of their eminent fitness (for the new social order, where cabals without number will be needed in every series, periodical schisms, in order to maintain a movement of coming and going among the sectaries of the different groups. [...]
12th. THE COMPOSITE. – This passion requires in every action a composite allurement or pleasure of the senses and of the soul, and consequently the blind enthusiasm which is born only of the mingling of the two kinds of pleasure. These conditions are but little compatible with civilized labor, which, far from offering any allurement either to the senses or the soul, is only a double torment even in the most vaunted of work-shops, such as the spinning factories of England where the people, even the children, work fifteen hours a day, under the lash, in premises devoid of air.
The composite is the most beautiful of the twelve passions, the one which enhances the value of all the others. A love is not beautiful unless it is a composite love, combining the charm of the senses and of the soul. It becomes trifling or deception if it limits itself to one of these springs. An ambition is not vehement unless it brings into play the two springs, glory and interest. It is then that it becomes capable of brilliant efforts.
The composite commands so great a respect, that all are agreed in despising people inclined to simple pleasure. Let a man provide himself with fine viands, fine wines, with the intention of enjoying them alone, of giving himself up to gormandizing by himself, and he exposes himself to well-merited gibes. But if this man gathers a select company in his house, where one may enjoy at the same time the pleasure of the senses by good cheer, and the pleasure of the soul by companionship, he will be lauded, because these banquets will be a composite and not a simple pleasure.
If general opinion despises simple material pleasure, the same is true as well of simple spiritual pleasure, of gatherings where there is neither refreshment, nor dancing, nor love, nor anything for the senses, where one enjoys oneself only in imagination. Such a gathering, devoid of the composite or pleasure of the senses and the soul, becomes insipid to its participants, and it is not long before it “grows bored and dissolves.”
11th. THE PAPILLONNE [Butterfly] or Alternating. Although eleventh according to rank, it should be examined after the twelfth, because it serves as a link between the other two, the tenth and the twelfth. If the sessions of the series were meant to be prolonged twelve or fifteen hours like those of civilized workmen, who, from morning till night, stupefy themselves by being engaged in insipid duties without any diversion, God would have given us a taste for monotony, an abhorrence of variety. But as the sessions of the series are to be very short, and the enthusiasm inspired by the composite is incapable of being prolonged beyond an hour and a half, God, in conformity to this industrial order, had to endow us with the passion of papillonnage, the craving for periodic variety in the phases of life, and for frequent variety in our occupations. Instead of working twelve hours with a scant intermission for a poor, dull dinner, the associative state will never extend its sessions of labor beyond an hour and a half or at most two; besides, it will diffuse a host of pleasures, reunions of the two sexes terminating in a repast, from which one will proceed to new diversions, with different company and cabals.
Without this hypothesis of associative labor, arranged in the order I have described, it would be impossible to conceive for what purpose God should have given us three passions so antagonistic to the monotony experienced in civilization, and so unreasonable that, in the existing state, they have not even been accorded the rank of passions, but are termed only vices.
A series, on the contrary, could not be organized without the permanent cooperation of these three passions. They are bound to intervene constantly and simultaneously in the serial play of intrigue. Hence it comes that these three passions could not be discerned until the invention of the serial mechanism, and that up to that time they had to be regarded as vices. When the social order for which God has destined us shall be known in detail, it will be seen that these pretended vices, the Cabalist, the Papillonne, the Composite, become there three pledges of virtue and riches; that God did indeed know how to create passions such as are demanded by social unity; that He would have been wrong to change them in order to please Seneca and Plato; that on the contrary human reason ought to strive to discover a social condition which shall be in affinity with these passions. No moral theory will ever change them, and, in accordance with the rules of the duality of tendency, they will intervene for ever to lead us TO EVIL in the disjointed state or social limbo, and TO GOOD in the regime of association or serial labor." (U.U, III)
"The seven “affective” and “distributive” passions depend more upon the spirit than upon matter; they rank as PRIMITIVES. Their combined action engenders a collective passion or one formed by the union of the other seven, as white is formed by the union of the seven colors of a ray of light; I shall call this thirteenth passion Harmonism or Unityism; it is even less known than the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, of which I have not spoken.
Unityism is the inclination of the individual to reconcile his own happiness with that of all surrounding him, and of all human kind, to-day so odious. It is an unbounded philanthropy, a universal good-will which can only be developed when the entire human race shall be rich, free, and just." (Q.M.)
EXAMPLE: GLUTTONY (ON GASTROSOPHY)
"I shall, in order to dispose others to share my confidence, explain the object of one of these impulses, accounted as vicious.
I select a propensity which is the most general and the most thwarted by education: it is the gluttony of children, their fondness for dainties, in opposition to the advice of the pedagogues who counsel them to like bread, to eat more bread than their allowance.
Nature, then, is very clumsy to endow children with tastes so opposed to sound doctrines! every child regards a breakfast of dry bread as a punishment; he would wish for sugared cream, sweetened milk-food and pastry, marmalades and stewed fruit, raw and preserved fruit, lemonades and orangeades, mild white wines. Let us observe closely these tastes which prevail among all children; on this point a great case is to be adjudged: the question to be determined is who is wrong, God or morality? [...]
God has given children a liking for substances which will be the least costly in the associative state. When the entire globe shall be populated and cultivated, enjoying free-trade, exempt from all duties, the sweet viands mentioned above will be much less expensive than bread; the abundant edibles will be fruit, milk-foods, and sugar, but not bread, whose price will be greatly raised, because the labor incident to the growing of grain and the daily making of bread is wearisome and little attractive; these kinds of labor would have to be paid much higher than that in orchards or confectioneries." (N.M.)
"In the civilized state, love of eating does not ally itself to industry because the producer worker does not enjoy the goods which he has cultivated or manufactured. This passion therefore becomes an attribute of the idle; and through that alone it would be vicious, were it not so already by the outlay and the excesses which it occasions.
In the associative state love of eating plays an entirely opposite role; it is no longer a reward of idleness but of industry; because there the poorest tiller of the soil participates in the consumption of choice commodities. Moreover, its only influence will be to preserve us from excess, by dint of variety, and to stimulate us to work by allying the intrigues of consumption to those of production, preparation, and distribution. Production being the most important of the four, let us first state the principle which must guide it; it is the generalization of epicurism. In point of fact.
If the whole human race could be raised to a high degree of gastronomic refinement, even in regard to the most ordinary kinds of food, such as cabbages and radishes, and everyone be given a competence which would allow him to refuse all edibles which are mediocre in quality or treatment, the result would be that every cultivated country would, after a few years, be covered with delicious productions; for there would be no sale for mediocre ones, such as bitter melons, bitter peaches, which certain kinds of soil yield, upon which neither melons nor peaches would be cultivated; every district would confine itself to productions which its soil is capable of raising to perfection; it would fetch earth for spots where the soil is poor, or perhaps convert them into forests, artificial meadows, or whatever else might yield products of good quality. It is not that the passionate Series do not consume ordinary eatables and stuffs; but they desire, even in ordinary things such as beans and coarse cloth, the most perfect quality possible, in conformity to the proportions which Nature has established in industrial attraction.
The principle which must be our starting-point is, that a general perfection in industry will be attained by the universal demands and refinement of the consumers, regarding food and clothing, furniture and amusements." (N.M.)
"My theory confines itself to utilizing the passions now condemned, just as Nature has given them to us and without in any way changing them. That is the whole mystery, the whole secret of the calculus of passionate Attraction. There is no arguing there whether God was right or wrong in giving mankind these or those passions; the associative order avails itself of them without changing them, and as God has given them to us." (U.U., IV)
"Its mechanism produces coincidence in every respect between individual interest and collective interest, in civilization always divergent." (F.I)
"In the civilized mechanism we find everywhere composite unhappiness instead of composite charm. Let us judge of it by the case of labor. It is, says the Scripture very justly, a punishment of man: Adam and his issue are condemned to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. That, already, is an affliction; but this labor, this ungrateful labor upon which depends the earning of our miserable bread, we cannot even get it! a laborer lacks the labor upon which his maintenance depends – he asks in vain for a tribulation! He suffers a second, that of obtaining work at times whose fruit is his master’s and not his, or of being employed in duties to which he is entirely unaccustomed.. . . The civilized laborer suffers a third affliction through the maladies with which he is generally stricken by the excess of labor demanded by his master. He suffers a fifth affliction, that of being despised and treated as a beggar because he lacks those necessaries which he consents to purchase by the anguish of repugnant labor. He suffers, finally, a sixth affliction, in that he will obtain neither advancement nor sufficient wages, and that to the vexation of present suffering is added the perspective of future suffering, and of being sent to the gallows should he demand that labor which he may lack tomorrow." (Man.)
"Labor, nevertheless, forms the delight of various creatures, such as beavers, bees, wasps, ants, which are entirely at liberty to prefer inertia: but God has provided them with a social mechanism which attracts to industry, and causes happiness to be found in industry. Why should he not have accorded us the same favor as these animals? What a difference between their industrial condition and ours! A Russian, an Algerian, work from fear of the lash or the bastinado; an Englishman, a Frenchman, from fear of the famine which stalks close to his poor household; the Greeks and the Romans, whose freedom has been vaunted to us, worked as slaves, and from fear of punishment, like the Negroes in the colonies today." (U.U., II)
"In work, as in pleasure, variety is evidently the desire of nature. Any enjoyment prolonged, without interruption, beyond two hours, conduces to satiety, to abuse, blunts our faculties, and exhausts pleasure. A repast of four hours will not pass off without excess; an opera of four hours will end by cloying the spectator. Periodical variety is a necessity of the body and of the soul, a necessity in all nature; even the soil requires alteration of seeds, and seed alteration of soil. The stomach will soon reject the best dish if it be offered every day, and the soul will be blunted in the exercise of any virtue if it be not relieved by some other virtue." (U.U., I)
"The chief source of light-heartedness among Harmonians is the frequent change of sessions. Life is a perpetual torment to our workmen, who are obliged to spend twelve, and frequently fifteen, consecutive hours in some tedious labor. Even ministers are not exempt; we find some of them complain of having passed an entire day in the stupefying task of affixing signatures to thousands of official vouchers. Such wearisome duties are unknown in the associative order; the Harmonians, who devote an hour, an hour and a half, or at most two hours, to the different sessions, and who, in these short sessions, are sustained by cabalistic impulses and by friendly union with selected associates, cannot fail to bring and to find cheerfulness everywhere." (N.M.)
"There is no problem upon which people have gone more astray than upon public instruction and its methods. Nature has, in this branch of social politics, taken a malign pleasure in all ages in confounding our theories and their exponents, from the time of the disgrace incurred by Seneca, the instructor of Nero, to that of the failures of Condillac and Rousseau, of whom the first fashioned only a political idiot and the second did not dare to undertake the education of his own children." (U.U., IV)
"It will be observed that in Harmony the only paternal function of the father is to yield to his natural impulse, to spoil the child, to humor all his whims.
The finicky child will be sufficiently reproved and mocked by his peers. When an infant or little child has in the course of the day passed through half a dozen such groups and undergone their jokes, he is thoroughly imbued with a sense of his insufficiency, and quite disposed to listen to the advice of the patriarchs and venerables who are good enough to offer him instruction.
It will, after that, be of little consequence that the parents at the child’s bed-time indulge themselves in spoiling him, telling him that he has been treated too severely, that he is really very charming, very clever; these effusions will only skim the surface, they will not convince. The impression has been made. He is humbled by the railleries of seven or eight groups of little ones which he has visited during the day. In vain will it be for the father and mother to tell him that the children who have repulsed him are barbarians, enemies of social intercourse, of gentleness and kindliness; all these parental platitudes will have no effect, and the child on returning to the infantile seristeries the following day will remember only the affronts of the day before; it is he who in reality will cure the father of the habit of spoiling, by redoubling his efforts and proving that he is conscious of his inferiority." (U.U., IV)
"Nature endows every child with a great number of instincts in industry, about thirty, of which some are primary or guiding and lead to those that are secondary.
The point is to discover first of all the primary instincts: the child will seize this bait as soon as it is presented to him; accordingly, as soon as he is able to walk, to leave the infant seristery, the male and female nurses in whose charge he is placed hasten to conduct him to all the workshops and fill the industrial reunions which are close by; and as he finds every where diminutive tools, an industry in miniature, in which little tots of from two and a half to three years already engage, with whom he is anxious to associate, to rummage about, to handle things, at the end of a fortnight one may discern what are the workshops that attract him, what his industrial instincts.
The phalanx containing an exceedingly great variety of occupations, it is impossible that the child in passing from one to the other should not find opportunities of satisfying several of his dominant instincts; these will exhibit themselves at the sight of the little tools manipulated by other children a few months older than himself.
According to civilized parents and teachers, children are little idlers; nothing is more erroneous; children are already at two and three years of age very industrious, but we must know the springs which Nature wishes to put in action to attract them to industry in the passionate series and not in civilization. The dominant tastes in all children are:
1. Rummaging or inclination to handle everything, examine everything, look through everything, to constantly change occupations;
2. Industrial commotion, taste for noisy occupations;
3. Aping or imitative mania.
4. Industrial miniature, a taste for miniature workshops.
5. Progressive attraction of the weak toward the strong.
There are many others; I limit myself to naming these five first, which are very familiar to the civilized. Let us examine the method to be followed in order to apply them to industry at an early age.
The male and female nurses will first exploit the mania for rummaging so dominant in a child of two. He wants to peer into every place, to handle and examine everything he sees. He is consequently obliged to be kept apart, in a bare room, otherwise he would destroy everything.
This propensity to handle everything is a bait to industry; to draw him to it, he will be conducted to the little workshops; there he will see children only two and a half and three years old using little tools, little hammers. He will wish to exercise his imitative mania, termed APING; he will be given some tools, but he will want to be admitted among the children of twenty-six and twenty-seven months who know how to work, and who will repel him.
He will persist if the work coincides with any of his instincts: the nurse or the patriarch will teach him some portion of the work, and he will very soon succeed in making himself useful in some trifling things which will serve him as an introduction; let us examine this effect in regard to an inconsiderable kind of labor, within the reach of the smallest children, the shelling and sorting of green peas. This work which with us would occupy the hands of people of thirty, will be consigned to children of two, three, four years of age: the hall is provided with inclined tables containing a number of hollows; two little ones are seated at the raised side; they take the peas out of the shell, the inclination of the table causes the grains to roll towards the lower side where three tots are placed of twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five months, charged with the task of sorting, and furnished with special implements.
The thing to be done is to separate the smallest peas for the sweetened ragout, the medium ones for the bacon ragout, and the largest for the soup. The child of thirty-five months first selects the little ones which are the most difficult to pick out; she sends all the large and medium ones to the next hollow, where the child of thirty months shoves those that seem large to the third hollow, returns the little ones to the first, and drops the medium grains into the basket. The infant of twenty-five months, placed at the third hollow, has an easy task; he returns some medium grains to the second, and gathers the large ones into his basket.
It is in this third rank that the infant debutante will be placed; he will mingle proudly with the others in throwing the large grains into the basket; it is very trifling work, but he will feel as if he had accomplished as much as his companions; he will grow enthusiastic and be seized by a spirit of emulation, and at the third seance he will be able to replace the infant of twenty-five months, to send back the grains of the second size into the second compartment, and to gather up only the largest ones, which are easily distinguished." (N.M.)
"If civilized education developed in every child its natural inclinations, we should see nearly all rich children enamored of various very plebeian occupations, such as that of the mason, the carpenter, the smith, the saddler. I have instanced Louis the XVI, who loved the trade of locksmith; an Infanta of Spain preferred that of shoemaker; a certain king of Denmark gratified himself by manufacturing syringes; the former king of Naples loved to sell the fish he had caught in the market-place himself; the prince of Parma, whom Condillac had trained in metaphysical subtitles, in the understanding of intuition, of cognition, had no taste but for the occupation of church-warden and lay-brother.
The great majority of wealthy children would follow these plebeian tastes, if civilized education did not oppose the development of them; and if the filthiness of the workshops and the coarseness of the workmen did not arouse a repugnance stronger than the attraction. What child of a prince is there who has no taste for one of the four occupations I have just mentioned, that of mason, carpenter, smith, saddler, and who would not advance in them if he beheld from an early age the work carried on in blight workshops, by refined people, who would always arrange a miniature workshop for children, with little implements and light labor?" (U.U., III)
"No attempt will be made, as is the case in existing educational methods, to create precocious little savants, intellectual primary school beginners, initiated from their sixth year in scientific subtleties; the endeavor will by preference be to secure mechanical precocity; capability in bodily industry, which, far from retarding the growth of the mind, accelerates it.
If one wishes to observe the general inclination of children of from four and a half to nine years of age, he will see that they are strongly drawn to all material exercises, and very little to studies; it is right then, that, in accordance with the desire of nature or attraction, the cultivation of the material should predominate at that age.
Why this impulse of childhood toward material exercises? Because Nature wishes, above all, to make man ploughman and manufacturer, to lead him to wealth before leading him to science." (U.U., IV)