Robert Owen, a Utopian Socialist, “Owen recommended that villages of “unity and cooperation” be established for the unemployed. Each village would consist of about 1,200 persons on 1,000 to 1,500 acres (400 to 600 hectares), all living in one large structure built in the form of a square, with a public kitchen and messrooms. Each family would have its own private apartment and the entire care of their children until the age of three, after which they would be raised by the community.” (Britannica online 01-17-2019)  Owen wanted to do away with the nuclear family and replace it with a village.  Owen lived in the nineteenth century and preceded Marx and Engels.  Did Marx and Engels see the family as problematic?

Let’s consider Engels.  “Primitive communism, according to both Morgan and Engels, was based in the matrilineal clan where women lived with their classificatory sisters – applying the principle that “my sister’s child is my child”. Because they lived and worked together, women in these communal households felt strong bonds of solidarity with one another, enabling them when necessary to take action against uncooperative males..”  Ok, so Engels sees “primitive” peoples as examples of the natural state of humanity.  Then, once these primitive peoples are civilized, then alienable property comes into play with the eventual creation of full-blown capitalism.  When this happens, according to Engels, then the nuclear family also develops.

Engels’ plan is to restore the community property of the natural system, which requires a community relationship of the sort Engels saw in “primitive” peoples, where children are community property ruled over by women and men are tolerated if they contribute to the community.

I see no way to avoid concluding that socialism of the sort envisaged by Marx and Engels is anti-family.