The Fruits of Civilization – Henri de Saint-Simon

Henri de Saint-Simon

Politics is the science of production. ~ Henri de Saint-Simon

French social theorist Henri de Saint-Simon (1760–1825) inspired socialists and anarchists (by way of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon), and influenced John Stuart Mill. While Saint-Simon’s socialism was utopian, his call for a “science of society” appealed to Karl Marx. Saint-Simon envisioned an industrial state directed by modern science.

Saint-Simon himself was inspired by The Bible, by the feudalism still extant in France, and by the destructive liberalism of the French Revolution. In his major work, New Christianity (1825), Saint-Simon proclaimed the world in crisis as predicted in the Old Testament, which was to end with establishing a universal religion, world peace, and the elimination of poverty. Saint-Simon chipped away at the dogma which encrusted Catholicism and Protestantism and tried to polish Christianity to its shiny ideals, following Jesus’ teachings. Saint-Simon’s vision was a society in which the state owned and administered the economy for the benefit of all.

Equality is the natural foundation of industrial society. ~ Henri de Saint-Simon