Ideas have consequences: sometimes what looks good in theory simply doesn’t work in the real world. Often we label these negative effects as unintended consequences. When it comes to how socialism impacts families however, Dr. Paul Kengor says the damage is by design.

 “This goes back to the early founders of socialism and communism, Marx and Engels. In 1848, in the Communist Manifesto, they wrote of the abolition of the family, they use those exact words. They actually use abolition of the family! Then it says, ‘even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.'”

Kengor says socialism is ineffective, unproductive, and impoverishing.

“That is one way in which it hurts the family. If, above all, you have impoverished families where mom and dad can’t provide for the kids, can’t put a roof over their heads or feed them properly, raise them properly…that would be one most obvious way that socialism, directly or indirectly via its’ economic failures, hurts the family.”

In his research, Kengor has discovered that socialism’s earliest thinkers overtly targeted the traditional family structure in order to advance their ideas.

“Twenty years before the Communist Manifesto was published, on July 4th, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Owen, an English utopian socialist stood atop his colony, one of the first socialist communes in America, and he delivered what he called his ‘declaration of mental independence.’ In it, he declared war on the ‘trinity of  the most monstrous evils.’ What he called the three-headed hydra: private property, irrational systems of religion, and marriage.”

“This push to redefine the family and marriage, and take down God’s plan for marriage and the family, has been going on, literally on American soil, for a couple of centuries. This is very important history that people just don’t know about.”

Meanwhile, Americans are increasingly interested in socialism. Last year, socialism was the most looked-up word at Merriam-Webster.com. Avowed socialist Bernie Sanders earned over 13 million votes in the 2016 Democratic primary. This comes after the Pew Research Center‘s 2011 study found 49% of young voters (ages 18-29) have a positive view of socialism, while just 43%  held a positive view of capitalism.


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of the college’s Center for Vision & Values. A New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, Kengor is also a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Kengor is an internationally recognized authority on several subjects, particularly Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, communism, conservatism, and progressivism.

How socialism hurts the family

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