Charles Fourier (François Marie Charles Fourier; François Fourier; April 7, 1772 - October 10, 1837) was a French philosopher, economist and utopian socialist. Fourier inspired the founding of the communist community called La Reunion near present-day Dallas, Texas as well as several other intentional communities within the USA such as the Wisconsin Phalanx.
Fourier was the son of a linen draper, and was born at Besançon, France. After working as a haberdasher's clerk, and a merchant, he was drafted into the army in 1796, but after two years was discharged as an invalid. In 1808 he published a book about his plans for the reconstruction of society, but it sold less than a dozen copies. However, after six years, a copy of it fell into the hands of a wealthy man named Monsieur Just Muiron, who read it avidly and decided to become the author's patron.
Between the years 1816 - 21 Fourier lived in the country and produced the bulk of his writings. In 1822 he tried again to sell his books, but without success. In 1825 he went to Lyons and worked as a cashier at only 50 pounds a year. He later got another patron, Madame Clarissa Vigoureux.
His ideas were utopian, envisioning hierarchies of satisfied workers doing what they loved doing. He was a believer in the passionate good and 'attractive' labor, and he invented 'Gastrosophy', the philosophy of food. Hundreds of phalansteries sprouted in the mid-19th century, celebrating his principles and vision.