Capitalism and the family

Frederick Engels proposed a history of capitalism in his book The Condition of the Working Class in England. Gareth Jones discusses his views and quotes from Engels extensively:

By ‘dissolving nationalities’, the liberal economic system had intensified ‘to the utmost the enmity between individuals, the ignominious war of competition’. ‘Commerce absorbed industry into itself and thereby became omnipotent.’ Through industrialization and the factory system, the last step had been reached, ‘the dissolution of the family’. ‘What else can result from the separation of interests, such as forms the basis of the free-trade system?’ Money, ‘the alienated empty abstraction of property’, had become the master of the world. Man had ceased to be the slave of man and had become the salve of things.’ The disintegration of mankind into a mass of isolated mutually repelling atoms in itself means the destruction of all corporate, national and indeed of any particular interests and is the last necessary step towards the free and spontaneous association of men.’

4 thoughts on “Capitalism and the family”

      1. I noticed that a similar critique popped up in PH’s Sunday column:

        But the liberal-thinking classes have for decades loathed and sought to undermine marriage. They hate it as a conservative, religious tradition which accepts that men and women are different, which is intensely private and gets in the way of the enlightened, paternal state they love so much.

        “The Left’s new allies, globalist commerce, also hate marriage (especially the sort where the mother stays at home) because it stops them from employing women as cheap, pliant labour and turning them into incessant consumers. This is a long campaign.”

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