by Umberto Camillo Iacoviello

Daniele Scalea's article Red rainbow. Gender theory as part of neo-Marxism has received predictable criticism, even from people we can generally describe as right-wing, on the grounds that "true communism" would have nothing to do with the woke, feminist and gender drifts. In truth, just as the concept of "white privilege" has distinctly Marxist origins, the rainbow/feminist drifts also draw handily from early Marxism.

Friedrich Engels the Feminist

Engles in his text The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884) writes:

"The oppression of women originates with the monogamous family, which imposes on women alone the obligation of fidelity. In turn, the monogamous family originates in order to guarantee the certainty of paternity with a view to the transmission of wealth by inheritance, thus in parallel with the emergence of private property. [...] Only the victory of the class struggle by the proletariat and the establishment of communism can, therefore, result in the emancipation of women."

Marriage is pure convention and "often turns into the crassest prostitution, sometimes on both sides, much more commonly on the part of the woman, who differs from the common courtesan only because she does not rent her body like a salaried woman working piecework, but sells it into slavery once and for all."

One of the fathers of communism hits the monogamous family frontally in that it is:

"founded on the domination of man, with the explicit purpose of procreating children of uncontested paternity, and such paternity is required because these children, as natural heirs, must one day come into possession of the paternal estate [...] Monogamy [...] appears as the subjugation of one sex by the other, as the proclamation of a conflict between the sexes hitherto known throughout prehistory. [...] the first class contrast to appear in history coincides with the development of antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male."

It is hard to deny the connection between today's feminism-even in its most aggressive forms-with "true communism." Indeed, if we quoted Engles' words omitting her name, they could be pages attributed to a contemporary radical feminist.

Family, divorce and abortion in the USSR.

Remaining in the realm of "true communism," that is, in the practical application of Marxism, we note that-as Aldo Nardelli writes-"the leaders of the Russian revolution saw, from the very beginning, in the family, as it existed in the capitalist world, one of the main centers of resistance against the realization of their revolutionary programs: the family presented itself to them as standing between the collectivity and the individual, as founded on private property and the domination of man over woman. The building of the new socialist society therefore demanded the struggle against the old family, against the customs and laws that regulated it, and in this struggle the Russian leaders showed themselves as determined and dogged as ever."

In 1918, a year after the Russian Revolution, divorce was liberalized and equal rights were granted to children born out of wedlock (the only one recognized by the state was civil marriage; religious marriage had only private value). Before the law, women achieved full equality with men. Two years later - in 1920 - abortion was legalized. With the 1926 code, the dissolution of the family takes a further step forward. Marriage becomes a mere formality, polygamy is no longer a crime, obtaining a divorce is further facilitated, and out of wedlock women can at any time - before or after childbirth - declare to the court who is the father of the child, who will be obliged to support the child. The alleged father had one month to contest his paternity. Such measures were purely economic in nature; the state did not have enough resources to support so many illegitimate children.

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De facto Soviet marriage is no longer an institution, since, as the jurist Savatier writes, "it is not so much marriage as it is a sexual union, even if declared, to which neither duty of fidelity nor duty of cohabitation is attached; a union which either may break of his own free will and of which the children are in no way distinguished from those of any other union."

Stalin: countermand, comrades! Back to the family

So far so beautiful, revolutionary, libertarian, feminist, avant-garde. However, as Lenin himself stated, "Facts have hard heads." The new Soviet non-family, in less than twenty years, had already manifested its disastrous results. Data on juvenile crime testified that 90 percent of juvenile delinquents spent their free time outside the family. The situation was so worrisome that the law stipulated that any child over the age of 12 who committed theft, violence, or murder would be punished with ordinary penalties provided by the code for adults. The state-from 1935-began to penalize those who failed to care for their children, putting in place a series of measures against parents who refused to provide child support. In the same year, the first restrictions on divorces began, and at the same time, denying themselves 17 years after the revolution, they went on to lavish praise on the family.

On May 14, 1936, in the newspaper Izvestija the propaganda wrote:

"The family, we never forget it, we never forget our spouses and children. We fully realize our great responsibility in the upbringing of children. They will be proud, strong in body and spirit, they will not know fear, and they will be full of love for their Soviet homeland; they will grow up as true children of the spirit of Stalin. We remember the offspring of the great Stalin: we are the mothers and educators of the youth who are the future of the country."

The reversal responded to practical, structural problems. Reality had belied communist ideology. To cope with the declining birth rate, abortion was discouraged. Beginning in 1930-ten years after the legalization of the termination of pregnancy-a tax was introduced for the practice of abortion, the amount of which increased over the years until it was finally abolished in 1936. With the arrival of war, the USSR began taxing childless people, and then extended the taxation to those who had no more than two children. The state inaugurated an extensive assistance program for particularly fertile women. Measures-it has to be said-very "fascist."

The misunderstanding

The misunderstanding about "true communism" defending the traditional family is all here. The USSR had ideologically applied Marx and Engels, then retracted, certainly not to defend the "traditional family" but to support the Soviet state, which otherwise would have collapsed under the weight of atomization. In other words: ideology was not reconcilable with the survival of the community; it was circumstances that made the communists change course, not Marxist ideology.

The neo-Marxists, who parade among irreconcilable rainbow flags and Palestinian banners, represent a return to their true origins rather than a denial of the phantom "true communism."

Essential Bibliography

Eguaglianza, a cura di Nicola Riva, Editori Laterza, 2017, cap. XXIV Friedrich Engles 1820-1895.
Friedrich Engles, L’origine della famiglia, della proprietà privata e dello Stato, a cura di F. Codino, Editori Riuniti, Roma, 1963, pp. 98-103.
Evoluzione della politica familiare nell’URSS, Aggiornamenti sociali, Vol. 6, n.5 (maggio) 1955, pp. 199-214.
R. Saviter, Le communisme et le mariage, in Revue catholique des institutions et du droit, novembre-décembre 1936, p. 523.

Umberto Camillo Iacoviello

A maverick of nonconformist thought, he writes for several newspapers and blogs. He is interested in demographic dynamics, history, geopolitics and "fashionable ideologies."