Étienne Cabet

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Étienne Cabet
BirthplaceDijon, Côte-d'Or
Known for founder of the Icarian movement

Cabet, Étienne


Born Jan. 1, 1788, in Dijon; died Nov. 8, 1856, in St. Louis, USA. French publicist, writer, lawyer, utopian communist.

Cabet, the son of an artisan, was a participant in the Carbonari movement and the Revolution of 1830. As a historian of revolution, he wrote the Popular History of the French Revolution 1789-1830 (vols. 1-4, 1839-40). In 1833 he became the publisher of the journal Le Populaire. Because of repression he emigrated to Belgium. In 1834, Cabet went to live in Great Britain, where he became acquainted with R. Owen. In 1940 he wrote the book How I Became a Communist and the novel Voyage to Icaria (Russian translation, vols. 1-2, 1935). In the novel, Cabet depicted communism as an association founded on social equality, brotherhood, unity, and democracy in accordance with the principles of reason and the demands of nature.

Cabet’s Utopia had petit bourgeois features, such as the equalization of consumption, the preservation of privately owned agricultural enterprises, and the preservation under communism of a pantheistic kind of religion. He believed that communism could be achieved through persuasion and peaceful reforms. As a whole his Utopia has much in common with the views of 18th-century Utopian communists. In comparison with the teachings of the most important socialist thinkers of the first half of the 19th century, Cabet’s Utopia represented a step backward. However, because of the undeveloped class consciousness of the proletariat at that time, his Icarian Communism was widely accepted by French artisans and workers. K. Marx characterized him as being France’s “most popular, although the most superficial, representative of communism”(K. Marx and F. En-gels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2, p. 146). In 1843, Cabet began publishing The Icarian Almanac… With the assistance of R. Owen in 1848 he obtained a plot of land in Texas and organized a colony of Icarians there. Dissension among the members led to a crisis, which resulted in the exclusion of Cabet from the colony. In 1856, shortly before his death, he founded another community.


Lux, H. E. Kabe i ikariiskii kommunizm. St. Petersburg, 1906. (Translated from German.)
Hepner, A. Ikariitsy o Severnoi Amerike. St. Petersburg, 1906. (Translated from German.)
Volgin, V. P. Frantsuzskii utopicheskii kommunizm. Moscow, 1960. Pages 207-38.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956.
Bonnaud, F. Cabet et son oeuvre. Paris, 1900.
Prudhommeaux, J. Icarie et son fondateur, E. Cabet. Paris, 1907.
Angrand, P. E. Cabet et la République de 1848. Paris, 1948.
Cretinon, J. F., and F. M. Lacour. Voyage en Icarie. … Paris, 1952.


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The Icarians were a typical utopian socialist commune founded in 1848 by the French refugee Etienne Cabet.
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The utopia of Cabet (1788-1856) is expounded in a novel entitled A Journey to Icaria (1840).
The first of these settlers were adherents of the revolutionary activist, Etienne Cabet (1788-1856).
His prediction, then, of the development of radical socialism into totalitarian Communism--and its alter-ego, fascism--rested on his reading of the future from the relatively benign, sentimental socialism of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Cabet, Considerant and the like.
In addition to letters analyzed in this essay, I have also looked at workers' letters to the writers George Sand (in the 1840s-60s) and Eugene Sue (in the 1840s) and the communist publisher Etienne Cabet (in the 1840s).
This led to the radical reformation or revolution of socialism led by social reformers such as Saint Simon, Cabet, Fourier, Owen, and Proudhon.
Icarie," however, is also the name of the ideal city that Etienne Cabet, a French communist utopian and author of a Voyage en Icarie (1842), had planned to found in 1848, first in Texas, then in Illinois.
There is little new in her discussion of the visionary side of Fourier and Cabet but her treatment is judicious, and she includes useful accounts of the evolution of Saint-Simonism and Fourierism.
9% of BPH TFI (BPH's asset management unit) that Bank BPH does not already own from CABET Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (part of the UniCredit Group).
The grand utopian schemes of Saint-Simon and Fourier, Cabet and Comte, of Robert Owen and Edward Bellamy, that bestrode the ideological landscape of the nineteenth century evaporated, by and large, in the twentieth, subverted in great part by the real world totalitarianisms to which they bore too close a resemblance.
Adelson ME, Rao R-VS, Tilton RC, Cabets K, Eskow E, Fein L, et al.