Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.
On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things find its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.
The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.
Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their
parents? To this crime we plead guilty.
But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home
education by social.
And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by intervention of society, direct or indirect, by means of schools etc? The Communists have not intended the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class. [What is the ruling class but a group of powerful families, families who stay together?]
The bourgeois claptrap about the family and education, about the hallowed correlation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of modern industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.
But you Communists would introduce community of women [gender equality, I presume], screams the whole bourgeoisie in chorus.
The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion than that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to women.
He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.
For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to be introduce community of women; it has existed from time immemorial. [I take this to mean that women have always been the equal of men.]
Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of the proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives.
Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common [not sure what this means] 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 legalised community of women [gender equality]. For the rest, it is still self-evident, that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, ie of prostitution both public [when it is practised as a trade] and private [ie marriage].
I will confess that not all the terminology is clear to me, but the intention to break up the family is certainly there!