Why Do Socialists Hate Families?

One of Ludwig von Mises’s most important contributions was to point out that economic calculation is impossible under socialism. Meeting consumer demands requires that factors of production are allocated to the right lines of production in the right quantities at the right time and that they are combined in the right ways to produce what consumers want and need. Entrepreneurs make these decisions in a market economy, but they are dependent on the prices of factors of production to make their decisions. They must compare these prices to the anticipated prices of the consumer goods to be able to say yes or no to any production plan.

Socialism, however, means that private ownership of the factors of production is abolished, which means there can be no exchange of factors of production. No exchange means no prices, which are vital bits of information for entrepreneurs in a market economy. Whoever is in charge of making production decisions in a socialist regime will be “groping about in the dark” without the use of market prices for the factors of production.

This is why socialist experiments always end in disaster. The death toll for socialist experiments since the USSR is easily beyond 100 million. Resources are wasted instead of used to make food, medicine, shelter, energy, clothing, and other necessities.

Interestingly, another key tenet of socialism, besides abolishing the ownership of the factors of production, is abolishing the family. This is strange because the traditional nuclear family seems like it could be used in producing convincing socialist rhetoric: it is a good example of social bonds and care for one another without private property, prices, and “capitalist exploitation.”

Yet, Marx, Engels, and their modern followers are anti-family. Marx and Engels write in “The Communist Manifesto”:

Abolition of the family! [...] 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 finds 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.

Marx and Engels make a distinction between bourgeois and proletariat families, but “both will vanish” once communism is realized, apparently because — according ot Marx — bourgeois families are predicated on exploitation — men exploit their wives and parents exploit their children, all for “private gain.”

Engels in “Principles of Communism”:


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a well structured family passes on traditions, principles and belief systems to the following generations which often aren't compatible to the government preferred indoctrination taught in the schools. Especially but not exclusively the authority issue, families often get in the way of the belief that government is the authority to answer to on all matters.


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