Socialism 101

17 Aug

phalanstery – n. a self-sustaining community of people

Classical Usage:  We’re still here at Chapter V of Part Three in Razumikhin’s socialism rant. According to my endnotes the above term was coined by French utopian socialist thinker Charles Fourier to designated the physical arrangements of communes.  Dostoevsky’s interest in “Fourierism” led to his arrest in 1849, but this is how he incorporated some of the thoughts into our novel:  . . . it turns out in the end that they’ve reduced everything to mere brickwork and the layout of corridors and rooms in a phalanstery!  The phalanstery may be all ready, but your nature isn’t ready for the phalanstery, it wants life, it hasn’t completed the life process yet, it’s too soon for the cemetery!

Classically Mad Usage:  It always struck me that dorm life was terrifyingly close to life in a commune.  I would not be surprised to walk on campus and see Fourier Hall right next to the Phalanstery Building.


Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Crime and Punishment


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2 responses to “Socialism 101

  1. lutheranmama

    August 17, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Haha, this will always remind me of my parents. My mother says that my dad went through a “let’s go live in a Christian commune” phase right out of college. She flat-out refused because as she put it, “The men sit around reading and philosophizing while the women work daylight to dark washing everyone else’s dishes, clothes, floors, children….” 🙂 (That was her take on it in any case!)


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