Charles Fourier (1772-1837)

“On ‘Free Exchange'”

Source: The Utopian Vision of Charles Fourier. Selected Texts on Work, Love, and Passionate Attraction. Translated, Edited and with an Introduction by Jonathan Beecher and Richard Bienvenu. Published by Jonathan Cape, 1972;
First Published: Manuscrits de Charles Fourier. Années 1857-58.
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

Commerce, which is vaguely defined as free exchange, is merely one method of free exchange, and not the best. To define it more precisely, commerce is a mode of exchange in which the seller has the right to defraud with impunity and to determine by himself without arbitration the profit which he ought to receive. The result is that the seller is the judge of his own case while the buyer is deprived of protection against the rapacity and cheating of the seller. It makes no sense to say: “Good faith ought to reign in commerce.” One should say: “Good faith ought to reign in order to destroy commerce.”