Infidelity and cocoonery

A film by Benoît Labourdette (4’08s, 2019).
12 November 2019. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
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In 1816, Charles Fourier, in his text “The new world of love”, provides scientific proof that the couple, the only form of love legitimized by Western society, necessarily leads to situations of selfishness, lies and betrayal, which are at the exact opposite of the values yet advocated by love! Excerpts from the text “Le nouveau monde amoureux” (published in 1967 by Jean-Jacques Pauvert).

Charles Fourier

Charles Fourier (1772 - 1837) was a French philosopher who worked to build a concrete project for the quest for universal harmony. Based on a rigorous scientific approach to analyzing the functioning of human passions, he develops principles of personal and collective life. His theories could be related to contemporary movements of liberated companies, relational ecology or polyamour. He went so far as to conceive the Phalanstery, “an organic grouping of the elements considered necessary for the harmonious life of a community”. It has inspired many thinkers in both socialism and feminism. Many “innovative life” experiments were built as a result of Fourier’s ideas; in France, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the United States... The most famous being the Familistère in Guise (France), built by Jean-Baptiste André Godin, which operated from 1888 to 1968.

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Excerpts used in the film

What has misled all civilized philosophers about the destiny of love is that they have always speculated about loves limited to the couple; from then on they could only achieve the same result, only selfishness, the inevitable effect of love limited to the couple.

It is a question of proving that in love, as in other passions, human nature is composed and not simple, that it has the property of forming with the same seed the good or the noble genre in direct expansion, the evil or the ignoble genre in reverse expansion.

However, this selfishness often turns into a spontaneous and despicable sharing in a custom called adultery or cuckolding, one of the most widespread customs and, by virtue of which this sharing, which everyone seems stubbornly repugnant, becomes for him a subject of triumph.

Therefore, the compound system is reduced among us to the 2 most abject genders, namely: selfish or exclusive love and stealthy polygamy, known as cuckolding or adultery.

Proof that these 2 modes of love are by no means sufficient to satisfy the heart and imagination: it is that everyone wants to cumulate them even though their assembly is known by all voices, criminal and heinous. Everyone is inclined towards infidelity and nothing is more rare than consistency among those who have the opportunity to miss it. They all become bigamous as soon as they believe they are assured of secrecy and yet demand the constancy of their spouse to whom they make secret of the offence committed.

We call love the name of divine passion, but how is it that the passion that best identifies us with God, that in some way makes us participants in his essence, pushes us to the superlative of selfishness and injustice?

... we were deeply mistaken in taking as divine passion the current mode or exclusive and illiberal love, a purely human affection, full of selfish tendencies that are the hallmark of vice and denote the absence of God’s spirit.

Let us finish noting the disgraces or rather the murder of pure love or the sentimental branch that opinion, politics and religion agree to proscribe.

It is therefore necessary to determine an order in which, without any constraint, love indulges in measures of general concord, philanthropy, generosity, etc.

The Polyamory series consists of very short films that challenge assumptions about love. These are graphic works linked to synthetic texts, with scientific or testimonial value. Love is a subject that is as much overused as it is little questioned in its foundations, even by philosophy. We often end up confusing love and passion, love and jealousy, love and possession… The question of love relationships is one of my subjects of research and documentation: reading numerous authors and direct exchanges with some (ethnologists, anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, neurologists, (...)