Superphysics Superphysics
Chapter 2b

Abolition of the Family and Nations

by Karl Marx Icon
6 minutes  • 1127 words
Table of contents

Even the most radical flare up at our call to abolish the family.

The capitalist family:

  • is based on capital and private gain.
  • will vanish with the vanishing of capital.

We want to stop the exploitation of children by their parents.

You say that we destroy the most sacred of relations by replacing home education by social education.

But we did not invent education outside of the home. We merely want to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

Modern Industry destroys all the family ties among the proletarians.

  • Their children become child-laborers

Do you want to continue such a disgusting relation?

We Communists will not introduce a community of women, because it already has been existing.

The capitalist sees his wife and women as mere instruments of production.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our capitalist at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.

The capitalist take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives. They are not content with:

  • having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, and
  • common prostitutes.

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,

We want to introduce an openly legalised community of women. The abolition of the capitalist system will lead to the abolition of prostitution.

Abolition of Nationality

We want to abolish countries and nationality.

This is because:

  • working men have no country.
  • the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy
  • the proletariat is the majority of every nation

The development created by the capitalists leads to:

  • freedom of commerce,
  • the world market,
  • uniformity in the mode of production
  • the conditions of life.

Thanks to these, national differences and antagonism between peoples are vanishing daily more and more.

  • The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster.

United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.

The exploitation of one nation by another end in the same way that the exploitation of one person by another will also end.

  • This will lead to the ending of the hostility of one nation to another

Abolition of Religion

The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.

Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.

When people speak of the ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express that fact that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

The ancient religions were replaced by Christianity Christian ideas were replaced by rationalist ideas from the then revolutionary capitalists

The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.

“Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.”

“There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.

But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms.

The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.

The first step in the revolution by the working class is to make the proletariat the ruling class.

  • The proletariat will use its political supremacy to gradually:
    • wrest all capital from the capitalists
    • centralise all production in the hands of the State in order to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.

This cannot be done by despotically abolishing property rights, and on the conditions of capitalist production.

  • We have to entirely revolutionize the mode of production

These measures will be different in different countries.

Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State
  • The cultivation of waste-lands
  • The improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  1. Equal liability of all to work.
  • Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  1. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries
  • Gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
  1. Free education for all children in public schools.
  • Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form.
  • Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

In time:

  • class distinctions will disappear
  • all production will be concentrated in the State
  • the public power will lose its political character
  • the proletariat, as the ruling class, will eventually abolish its own supremacy as a class, and all classes generally

Classes will be replaced by association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

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