Marxist Sociology – The Family in Marxist Society
Marxist sociologists view the modern family created by bourgeois society as a great failure because its foundation is in capital and private wealth. Proletarians, however, are not tainted by the flaws in the bourgeois family and will never enter into family relations as they exist in present society. The proletariat is destined to usher in a new utopian society with a higher form of family. According to Kollontai, “The family deprives the worker of revolutionary consciousness”1 and must, therefore, be shunned.
Engels predicts the kind of family that will evolve when the proletariat revolts and creates its perfect socialist society: “With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not. This removes all the anxiety about the consequences which today is the most essential social-moral as well as economic factor that prevents a girl from giving herself completely to the man she loves. Will not that suffice to bring about the gradual growth of unconstrained sexual intercourse and with it a more tolerant public opinion in regard to a maiden’s honor and a woman’s shame?”2
Marxist Sociology – The Context of Community
In the new social order premarital and extramarital sex and adultery cease to have the same meaning because within the context of community, there is no private property and everyone belongs to everyone.
In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels argue that the idea of a “community of women” is not new, but “has existed almost from time immemorial.”3 To answer critics arguing that communism would “introduce a community of women,” Marx and Engels respond, “Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with, is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalized community of women.”4
The care of children also becomes a public affair in Marxist society. Children play an insignificant role in the family of the ultimate society since they become the entire community’s responsibility. In effect, children are disengaged from the family in socialist society so the “school becomes literally a home.”5 Alienating children from their parents ensures that children formulate their worldview according to the education provided by the Marxist state rather than according to the outdated views regarding religion and the traditional family structure held by their parents.
Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.
1 Aleksandra M. Kollontai, Communism and the Family (New York, NY: Andrade’s Bookshop, 1920), 10. Cited in H. Kent Geiger, The Family in Soviet Russia (Cambridge, UK: Harvard University Press, 1970), 51.
2 Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, 67.
3 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, 40 vols. (New York, NY: International Publishers, 1976), 6:502.
5 V. Yazykova, Socialist Life Style and the Family (Moscow, USSR: Progress Publishers, 1984), 1.
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