History of Political Economy 33:3 (2001) presented a surprisingly modern basic income scheme as early as 1848 and then advocated it in other works over some ï¬fty years. Despite being reticent about his intellectual ancestry, Charlier acknowledged an initial but not uncritical sympathy with Fourierism. The general afï¬nity between the idea of a basic income and the Fourierist notion of the minimumâthat is, a minimum presumably paid in kindâ has been indicated in some of the limited discussions of the intellectual origins of the idea, but apparently not subjected to any sustained analysis.2 This article analyzes Charlierâs scheme and its intellectual pedigree in detail. In the ï¬rst section, we consider Fourierâs view of the minimum and demonstrate that it differed considerably from a modern basic income. The next section reviews the association between the idea of the minimum and the doctrine of the right to work in the thought of Fourierâs leading disciple, Victor Considerant. We then examine Charlierâs proposals and show that they constitute a genuine basic income scheme that is distinctive and signiï¬cantly different from its Fourierist precursors. Charles Fourier The suggestion that Charles Fourier was an early proponent of a basic income scheme has been
History of Political Economy – Duke University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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