Black Lives Matter’s financial controversies has the organization back in the news, and has renewed interest in Marxism in general, particularly its attacks on the family. And with good reason. Not only are the BLM Global Network Foundation—the mothership of BLM—and Marx at war with the most essential institution in society, so are most Marxists in between.
Karl Marx said as much In the Communist Manifesto of 1848, in which he called for the abolition of the family. The family was already absent among the proletariat, Marx and his co-author Friedrich Engels wrote, and among the bourgeoisie, the family was a mere “money relation.”
Most importantly, Marx said that communism would ensure that children would be educated by the state and not by their parents. Communists, he wrote in the Manifesto, would “rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.” The making of the “New Man” was the priority, and the family was an obstacle.
As soon as they won their first victory, in Russia in 1917, the communists now in power put into practice these policies. Alexandra Kollontai, the Soviet’s first People’s Commissar for Welfare, put it succinctly when she wrote, “The old family, narrow and petty, where the parents quarrel and are only interested in their own offspring, is not capable of educating the ‘new person’.” Soviet schools even encouraged students to snitch on their parents.
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Engels, particularly, was at war with what he called the patriarchal family, because he believed—wrongly—that it had introduced the concept of individual private property, which Marxists hate.
We can see in these statements and beliefs the first few battles in a war we have in full flower today over whether parents have a right to have a say over their children’s education.
But it didn’t stop with Marx and Engels. Hungarian communists managed to establish a Hungarian soviet for a short time in 1919. They quickly realized that the way to completely change society was to destroy the most important civil society institution, the family. Its culture and education commissar, George Lukacs, therefore instituted a system to instruct young children into sexual perversions.
Lukacs’s biographer described it this way: “Special lectures were organized in schools and literature printed and distributed to ‘instruct’ children about free love, about the nature of sexual intercourse, about the archaic nature of bourgeois family codes, about the outdatedness of monogamy, and the irrelevance of religion, which deprives man of all pleasure. Children urged thus to reject and deride paternal authority and the authority of the church, and to ignore precepts of morality.”
None of this went down well with the typical Hungarian, needless to say, and the Hungarian soviet lasted only 133 days.
The fight against the family—sometimes using sex, sometimes in other ways—continued for Marxists. Luckas escaped with this life and influenced a group of neo-communists academics in Germany that we know as “the Frankfurt School.”
Three of their most famous scholars were Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse. One of their key intellectual contributions was the idea that it was the family that created the authoritarian character. The patriarchal father created in his children the desire to obey and submit to authority.
Marcuse didn’t stop there. He emigrated to the United States in the 1930 to escape Hitler, and while here wrote an influential best seller in 1959, Eros and Civilization, which is seen as a founding document of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s. Marcuse was very clear why the revolution was important—to destroy the family. He wrote:
The body in its entirety would become . . . a thing to be enjoyed—an instrument of pleasure. This change in the value and scope in libidinal relationships would lead to a disintegration of the institutions in which the private interpersonal relations have been organized, particularly the monogamic and patriarchal family.
Communists indeed tell us again and again that they are at war with the family because they know it is a handy way to destroy society. Eric Mann, an influential communist in Los Angeles, was candid in an interview in 2015 that whether the issue was race, sex, or climate, the goal is to overthrow the government of the United States.
Which brings us to BLM GNF. Eric Mann is influential partly because he recruited Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of BLM, into his Labor-Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles at the young age of 17. He then trained her there for 10 years on how to be a Marxist organizer. So, when Cullors says of herself and Alicia Garza that they “trained Marxists,” that is what she means.
So it should hardly surprise us that among the 13 Guiding Principles of BLM we see a call for the “disruption” of the nuclear family. These ideas are now being taught to our children throughout the United States through the BLM curriculum that goes out to school districts.
BLM GNF has run into difficulties lately. Reports say it has not yet appointed an executive director since co-founder Patrisse Cullors resigned from the post, that $60 million remains unaccounted for, and that BLM GNF sent its Canada affiliate (on whose board sits Cullors’s wife) millions of dollars for the purchase of the Toronto mansion that served as the headquarters for the Communist Party of Canada.
But BLM GNF remains as ideologically committed as it has always been. It understands too, as did Marx, Lukacs, the Frankfurt School scholars and Eric Mann, that communists must destroy the family if they are to take over society.
This piece originally appeared in the Dissent Foundation