Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER II: Pierre Leroux and the Circulus - Socialistic Fallacies
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CHAPTER II: Pierre Leroux and the “Circulus“ - Yves Guyot, Socialistic Fallacies 
Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910).
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Pierre Leroux and the “Circulus“
Pierre Leroux—The religion of humanity—Mutual solidarity—The word “socialism”—Dissensions—The Triad—Theory of the “Circulus”—How Leroux practised it.
Pierre Leroux is also a disciple of Saint Simon. He claims to supplement Christianity by the religion of humanity.1 According to him man is based upon the family; nationality and property are in complete communion with all their equals throughout the universe, and by confining his communion to a more or less limited portion by means of the family, the city, or by property, their results are imperfection and an evil. It was he who introduced the word solidarity into the sociological vocabulary, to replace the word charity. “Temporal” society was based on the principle of egoism. With the principle of charity as we understand it, that is to say, with the principle of mutual solidarity, the temporal society is entrusted with the care of organising charity.
I congratulate Pierre Leroux on having supplemented the word “solidarity” with the epithet of “mutual,” for the system which is actually presented to us under the name of solidarity is a solidarity which is unilateral and obligatory on a certain number of persons, but no explanation is vouchsafed of how a reciprocal solidarity might be exercised.
Pierre Leroux disputes with Owen the honour of having invented the word “Socialism.” He had a hatred of eclectic philosophers and of economists, to whom he applied the supreme insult of “Malthusians.” He claimed that, the annual produce of labour in France being nine thousand millions of francs, two hundred thousand families of landowners, capitalists, and financiers appropriated five milliards by the rent of land, interest on capital and taxes.
He worshipped one thing—the Triad or Number Three. Man is at the same time triple and single, exhibiting sensation, feeling and knowledge. Hence the division of the human race into three great classes, philosophers or men of knowledge; artists or warriors, or men of feeling, and industrial chiefs, or men of sensation. Hence also the castes of India and Egypt and of the Republic of Plato, except that these castes were not equal as they ought to be. Every human being has a right to a dwelling, sustenance, and clothing. The formula for the remuneration of all officials (and all citizens are such) is triple and single, to each according to his capacity, to each according to his labour, and to each according to his necessities. “Capacity remunerates itself by duties, and imposes duties. Labour completed remunerates itself by leisure. Necessity is satisfied by production, natural or artificial, artistic or scientific.”
Pierre Leroux discovered the principle by virtue of which nature has established a constant relation between population and the means of subsistence. This is the Circulus. The digestion of each individual yields more than the equivalent of the amount of his nourishment. “A man who were to refuse to labour, would still have the right to live by placing himself under cover of the Circulus.” Pierre Leroux put this agricultural theory into practice in Jersey, where he had taken refuge. Paul Meurice once told me that one day Mme. Victor Hugo and he paid Leroux a visit, when he entertained them with his hobby and, in order to add an experimental demonstration to what he was saying, he opened a cupboard in which were some bacon and other provisions. From this he took an enormous dish, in which a monumental element of the Circulus was taking its ease. Mme. Hugo put her handkerchief to her nostrils, and Paul Meurice, who was short-sighted, after having sufficiently ascertained the nature of the object presented to them, said quietly, “I thought you were waiting for its transformation to put it into the cupboard.” Pierre Leroux replied with a fine gesture which was meant to embrace a whole Triad, but Mme. Victor Hugo and Paul Meurice made their escape without waiting for an explanation.
See “L'Humanité” and “L'Encyclopédie nouvelle.”