||This article possibly contains original research. (December 2007)|
Fourier complex is an extreme form of egalitarianism in which the believer is prepared to accept, or actually wishes for, widespread poverty, possibly even starvation, as the consequence or means of making the material wellbeing of every member of society equal.
In aggravated or more candid instances, this ethic is admitted or even proclaimed by the adherent. In other cases, the belief is held unconsciously as a contingent value and/or it is denied by a person who in fact knows that he holds the view. The term was coined by Ludwig von Mises in his 1927 book Liberalism. He took it from the name of the famous French socialist Charles Fourier. In that the attitude does not accord with materialistic rationality or self-preservation, Mises regarded and described it as a neurosis, or psychological disorder. Triggered most commonly by envy, it embodies a misanthropic viewpoint that may be compared with the anti-human ethics of more-extreme instances of environmentalism, nationalism, and various other "isms" that can be emphasized beyond the point of providing benefit to the human race or even to the believer himself.
It may be regarded as a "dog in the manger" attitude extended to the scope of society, or even mankind.
von Mises, Ludwig. Liberalism: The Classical Tradition. Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y., p. 13.