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Code de la Nature, ou le véritable Esprit de ses Loix, De tout tems négligé ou méconnu
chez le Vrai Sage, "Par-tout" [Paris?] 1755 - Octavo, title in black and red with a vignette; contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments. Pioneering socialist utopia. Rare and influential: the first edition of this major work, in which a severe concept of economic equality introduces an entirely new utopian model. Effectively the blueprint for a fully-fledged communist society, this early and extreme socialist utopia is an extension of some of the ideas first circulated in the same author's Naufrage des Isles Flottantes: Hartig called it the 'oeuvre mâitresse de la pensée utopique du XVIII siècle.'The identity of the author is a puzzle: recent research suggests that there is some doubt as to whether Morelly actually existed; if so, it is also unclear who exactly may have used the name as a pseudonym. No birth or death certificates for Morelly survive, and there is no record of anyone in the eighteenth century ever mentioning that they met him. It has been suggested that "Morelly" may actually have been either Toussaint, or even perhaps Diderot to whom the work has quite often been attributed. Whoever "Morelly" may have been, his work was better known in later centuries than in his own. The rediscovery of Morelly's "code" in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries led to his being represented as a significant forerunner of socialism. Its modern significance lies more in its effect on later political thinkers, many openly acknowledging their debt to the text: Babeuf referred to it with respect, and many nineteenth century writers admitted its influence, including Fourier, Cabet, Proudhon, Louis Blanc, Engels and Marx, who quoted Morelly on the dangers of private ownership.The Code de la Nature is an uncompromising text. Working from the position that Avarice is the root of all evil, Morelly argues for the absolute abolition of private property, complete state control of production and consumption, and an uncompromising and mathematical regimentation of society based on enumerations of the fundamental unit of ten.For Morelly and his identity, see: Jean de Viguerie, Histoire et Dictionnaire du Temps des Lumières, 1995; N. Wagner, "Etat actuel de nos connaissances sur Morelly", in Revue: Dix-Huitième Siècle, 1978, n°10, pp 259-268; Guy Antonetti, "Etienne Gabriel Morelly et sa famille"; " L'écrivain et ses protecteurs", in Revue d'Histoire de Littérature Française, 1983-3;1984-1. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2015-05-21           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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