Charles Fourier (1772-1837)

“The Phalanx on Parade: Its Sixteen Tribes”

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: La Phalange 1845-49.
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

When a Phalanx gathers for ceremonial occasions such as receptions and important festivities, it forms a vast series consisting of thirty-two choirs (sixteen male and sixteen female) each of which parades with its own special costumes and ornaments. This series, which can be called the basic series, is one of those which has the same distinguishing features throughout the globe. In all countries it adopts the thirty-two colours specified for each of its thirty-two choirs; these colours are required only on its pennants, plumes and distinctive ornaments.

Each of the thirty-two choirs has three uniforms for the three seasons — hot, cold and moderate. Each has its banners, its officers and its own special form of corporate enthusiasm, all of which serve as powerful stimuli in work and other activities. Since I will often be referring to this series, it should be described in great detail. In the outline that follows I designate under the name of tribes the double choirs of men and women and boys and girls who belong to the same age group.