This chapter has as one of its questions the continuity or otherwise between the ideas of De Sade and Fourier. We have already quoted Barthes’s attempt at parallelism. And there can be no doubt that they dwelt on a similar subject matter, especially on the sexual perversions. But Simone Debout suggests a more dialectical relationship: ‘it is amazing that Fourier should have found and known how to recognize the only adversary of his time – and perhaps of all time – worthy of his competition.’ 1 Theirs is certainly a far more enlightening comparison to pursue than the more customary one between Fourier and Proudhon. Some comparisons will only be drawn, however, after an initial enquiry into the life and writings of Fourier.