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John Stuart Mill and Fourierism: ‘association’, ‘friendly rivalry’ and distributive justice

McCabe, Helen



John Stuart Mill’s self-description as ‘under the general designation of Socialist’ has been under-explored. It is an important feature of something else often overlooked: the importance of the French context of Mill’s thought. This article focuses on the role of Fourierism in the development of Mill’s ideas, exploring the links to Fourierism in Mill’s writing on profit-sharing; his use of the words ‘association’ and ‘friendly rivalry’; and his views concerning distributive justice. It then reconsiders his assessment of Fourierism as a desirable, workable and immediately implementable form of social reform, ultimately arguing it was Mill’s most-preferred form of ‘utopian’ socialism.


McCabe, H. (2018). John Stuart Mill and Fourierism: ‘association’, ‘friendly rivalry’ and distributive justice. Global Intellectual History, 4(1), 35-61.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 6, 2018
Publication Date Feb 6, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 7, 2019
Journal Global Intellectual History
Electronic ISSN 2380-1891
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 35-61
Keywords John Stuart Mill; Charles Fourier; Victor Considerant; utopian socialism; friendly rivalry; association; profit-sharing.
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Global Intellectual History on 06.02.2018, available online:


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