Civilized failures

The following anecdotes give examples of love affairs failing in Civilization, but which would succeed in Harmony.

Cross-Coupled Couples

From Reuters, December the 14th, 1995:

Bulgarian Adulterers In Unexpected Encounter

"A married man and his lover who stole away to a vacation cottage for a romantic evening without their spouses made an unwelcome discovery when they paid a social call on neighbors.

"Hearing lively music in a nearby house, the lovers decided to take some wine and join the party. Inside, they found their own wife and husband locked in an adulterous embrace, Bulgaria's 24 Hours daily reported.

"The two unfaithful wives hurled themselves at each other, screaming abuse. Their embarrassed husbands intervened when the women tried to attack each other with hoes. After much recrimination, each man accompanied his own wife home to a chorus of cheers from amused onlookers.

"The two couples, who live in Shoumen in northeast Bulgaria, had befriended each other last summer at a Black Sea resort, the newspaper said. None of the four had known of the partner's adulterous affair before last week's encounter."

The root of this failure is the universal rule of monogamy (with an underlying assumption of individual possession of the spouse), and the unlawfulness of adultery in Civilization. Under Harmony, several leagues of lovestyles will coexist, at least three of them: the faithful (having a unique lover), the damsels (having one love affair at a time), and the gallant (pursuing several love affairs simultaneously); changing lovestyle will be allowed, but it will require changing league affiliation. Here the two couples could have led their cross-affairs openly, and far from provoking acrimony between the two wives, this would have enhanced their friendship, thanks to a community of interests (and the same with the two husbands).

Ruling by the Court of Love
under Marie, Countess of Champagne, 1174

Quoted from Andreas Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love

"We declare and we hold as firmly established that love cannot exert its powers between two people who are married to each other. For lovers give each other everything freely, under no compulsion of necessity, but married people are in duty bound to give in to each other's desires and deny themselves to each other in nothing."

This is obviously a reaction against the custom of arranged marriages which prevailed in the medieval nobility. But it shows also the ignorance in Civilization of the varieties of lovestyles, some of which are appropriate to marriage, some others being incompatible with it. Finally it hints at the simplistic form of the Civilized marriage institution, ignoring all graduations. Harmony will have graded forms of marriage, depending on several criteria (in particular, whether the union led to offspring).

Back to Fourier

If you have any interesting anecdotes on love failures, you can send them to me by e-mail or snail mail.