SOCIALISM AND THE FAMILY
Alleged antagonism of Socialism to the family: One of the most common ideas concerning Socialism, is that it would destroy the family organization. It is charged that the advocates of Socialism oppose the family based upon monogamous marriage, and that they hope to destroy it and make sexual relations independent of any interference on the part of the State. Sometimes it is added that Socialism necessarily involves these things, and the most promiscuous sexual relations, according to the fancy and desire of the individuals. This is the substance of the criticism which is summed up in the charge that Socialism involves what is euphemistically called "Free Love."
It is an old charge which has been levelled against nearly every great movement in history at some time or another. It was made against the early Christians. Centuries later it was made against Luther and his followers in the Protestant Revolt. In the political field we have one of the most conspicuous examples of its use against the founders of the present Republican party. In Frémont's campaign, in 1856, the cry of "Free soil, free speech, free labor and free men," was parodied by the enemies of the new party into the insulting cry, "Fremont, free soil, free niggers and free women."
Origin of the charge: Before we proceed to discuss the relation of Socialism to marriage and the family we may with advantage consider the origin of the charge that it is opposed to them and aims at the abolition of monogamous marriage. The criticism is a heritage of the modern Socialist movement from the Utopian movements of the past. Plato Republic, as we have seen, communalized women as well as goods. The two forms of communism went together. It might almost be said that he anticipated most of the