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Family Abolition

On Sophie Lewis's Case for Transcending the Form

March 28, 2023

Abolish the Family
by Sophie Lewis

Reactionaries everywhere support the family. Across the US, in the name of the family, right-wingers attack abortion rights, and the rights of queer and trans people. The Russian government has proposed criminalizing “the rejection of family values.” In Poland and Hungary, pro-family rhetoric is backed by hard cash: Polish government spending on childcare tripled between 2015 and 2018, while the Hungarian government provides an interest-free loan of €30,000 to every married couple if the woman is aged 18 to 40 and pregnant. Attacks on the supposed enemies of the family go alongside these policies. Discussion of queer and trans topics is restricted in Florida schools. All legal recognition of trans people has been brought to an end in Hungary. “Trans and/or  gender ideology” is the focus of right-wing attacks from Britain to Brazil.1Russia to ban sharing LGBT ‘propaganda’ with adults as well as children,” October 27, 2022, BBC News; Colin Wilson, “Review: Anti-Gender Politics in the Populist Moment,” October 26, 2021, rs21.

In this context, we see terrifying homophobic violence, such as the attack in November on queer and trans people at Club Q in Colorado Springs, and the murders each year of many trans people in the US – 57 in 2021, most of them trans women of color. In Britain, hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation increased by 41 percent between 2021 and 2022, and crimes on the basis of trans identity increased by 56%. In February, a young British trans woman, Brianna Ghey, was stabbed to death – two fifteen year olds have been charged with her murder. The old lie that queer people abuse children has been resurrected with the use of the term “grooming” in both Britain and the US. Teachers who discuss LGBTQ issues – especially if they are queer or trans themselves – face these accusations from the right. Fascists have organised against drag queen story hours, claiming that such events corrupt kids.

However, we also see rapid changes in attitudes to gender and sexuality, and in how people – especially young people – live their lives. A US survey in May 2022 found that 2 percent of people aged 18-24 are trans and a further 3 percent are non-binary – the total of 5 percent contrasts strongly with a total 0.3 percent among those aged over fifty. A British survey in 2020 found that while 89 percent of “baby boomers” identify as heterosexual, only 76 percent of “generation Z” do so.2Home Office, “Hate Crime, England and Wales, 2021 to 2022,” October 6, 2022,; Hannah Shrimpton, “Sexual orientation and attitudes to LGBTQ+ in Britain,” June 26, 2020, Ipsos. Following Brianna Ghey’s murder, vigils – some silent and dignified, some loud and angry – took place in dozens of places around Britain, in both big cities and small towns of a few thousand people.

Sophie Lewis’s Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation appears in the context of these struggles, where the need for political clarity could not be more urgent. At a time when the left and queer people are  forced onto the defensive, it’s refreshing to read a book which stakes a claim for radical social change. Far too often , queer politics has become identified with corporates adding rainbow colours to their Twitter logos for Pride Month in June, with US NGOs careful to avoid politics from within the dead end of the Democratic Party. When it comes to the attacks on queer and trans people – as with the climate emergency – we need to make arguments that another world is not only possible but urgently necessary.

Lewis’  case against the family is  indisputable. More than 1 in 5 murders in the US are committed by family members. In Britain, more than two-thirds of child sexual abuse is committed by family members or other people close to the child. Researchers comment that child sexual abuse in the family “may be particularly traumatic because it involves high levels of betrayal, stigma and secrecy” and that it is “linked to a range of negative outcomes over the whole of the life course, including poorer physical and mental health, lower income, relationship difficulties and further violence and abuse,” though not all survivors experience these long-term impacts. Very large numbers of people, perhaps as many as 1 in 3 women, experience some form of domestic abuse within the family.

Sophie Lewis’s Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation appears in the context of these struggles, where the need for political clarity could not be more urgent. At a time when the left and queer people are forced onto the defensive, it’s refreshing to read a book which stakes a claim for radical social change.

Some LGBTQ young people are supported by their families, but many are not and experience emotional abuse, and some are physically abused or made homeless. In many other cases, parents or other caregivers don’t regard it as their role to support their children to develop into independent people, but see children as something like property over which they have control. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” legislation is officially entitled the Parents’ Rights in Education bill. Transphobic campaigners in Britain have repeatedly expressed concern that teenagers may socially transition at school without the involvement or consent of their parents, as if they were entitled to refuse permission.3US Bureau of Justice Statistics, Family Violence Statistics, 2005, p. 17; Di McNeish and Sara Scott, Key messages from research on intra-familial child sexual abuse, Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (June 2018).

Experiences like these underline Lewis’s case for family abolition. But there are other experiences of the family we should also consider. From April to June 2018, for example, the Trump administration’ immigration policy separated over 5,000 children from their parents. There were no tracking systems which would allow them to be reunited, and some families remain separated to this day. Neris González, a Salvadoran consular worker based in the Ursula Processing Center in South Texas, saw hundreds of these separations take place. A PBS interviewer describes her experiences: “literally children were being pulled on one arm by a border patrol agent and on the other arm by their parent, you know, screaming and crying… children were being held and, they would, you know, grab onto her legs, grab onto her belt, you know, anything that they could to try to just beg her for information, and then really asked her not to leave them alone at the end of the day, because they were so confused about what was going on.”4Caitlin Dickerson and Geoff Bennett, “How a Trump-era policy that separated thousands of migrant families came to pass,” August 13, 2022, PBS.

This separation of racialized families in the south of the United States echoes the experiences of Black people in slavery. Enslaved people struggled to hold their families together in the face of the threat that they might be “sold away” to another slave owner. When enslaved people  married – several kinds of family relationships were recognised, of which marriage was the most committed – they would organise a ceremony, and a celebration with singing and dancing to which they would invite slaves from adjoining plantations. In this way they aimed to demonstrate that the wider community endorsed their marriage, and so made it harder for masters to separate them. Enslaved people would also seek their owners’ permission to marry – reasoning that a master who had personally consented to a marriage was less likely to separate the couple later by selling one of them. The pain they experienced when their families were separated, and their commitment to their families in spite of separation, is a hideously common theme in slave accounts:

A woman wrote to her son from whom she had been separated for twenty years: ‘I long to see you in my old age… Now my dear son I pray you to come and see your dear old Mother… I love you Cato…’ … a man wrote to his wife, sold away from him with their children: ‘Send me some of the children’s hair in a separate paper with their names on the paper… I had rather anything to had happened to me most than ever to have been parted from you and the children… Laura I do love you the same…’5Anthony E. Kaye, Joining Places: Slave Neighbourhoods in the Old South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), pp. 64–73; Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States, 1492–Present (New York: Harper Perennial, 1995), pp. 173–4.

Family abolition, then, cannot mean simply the destruction of the family. As Lewis comments, the Covid lockdown forced people into family homes – enforced segregation with family was bad, but the isolation of not having a family was worse. Family can harm children, but removing them from family into the care system often harms them more. We need to ask how we might replace the family, and how we might meet the needs for love and care which it claims to meet but does not. As Lewis puts it, “What would it mean to not need the family?” Marx and Engels, likewise, endorse in the Communist Manifesto the abolition of the family, or at least the bourgeois family based on property ownership – but “abolition” here is a translation of the German “Aufhebung”, which involves connotations of positive transformation rather than destruction.

How is family abolition, understood in this way, to take place? What social forces exist that might bring about such momentous change? Lewis provides “a potted history of family abolitionism”, and I want to focus on two examples from this: the utopian socialist Charles Fourier, and the Bolsheviks in early twentieth-century Russia, in particular Alexandra Kollontai.

Family abolition, then, cannot mean simply the destruction of the family... As Lewis puts it, “What would it mean to not need the family?”

Family abolition is, in the ordinary sense of the word, a utopian idea, one part of the claim that carefully considered and gradual reforms are insufficient, and that we can and must make a leap through revolution to a fundamentally different society. Fourier’s utopian proposals influenced the Russian author Chernyshevsky, whose novel What is to be Done? inspired the more hard-headed Lenin, to the point that he gave a work of his own the same title. But, while utopian socialists can provide inspiring visions of future societies, they lack an explanation of how we get to those societies from where we are now. Fourier himself explained in 1808 that once the new social arrangements were established in one area, “they will be imitated spontaneously in every country, simply by virtue of the vast profits and numberless pleasures this order will guarantee all individuals…” A comrade of the utopian socialist Robert Owen noted in his diary that “Mr Owen has this day assured me… that within six months the whole state and condition of society in Great Britain will be changed, and all his views carried into effect.” This was in 1835. Both Fourier and Owen believed that their plans would be seen to be simply better than the existing society and adopted as such, without recognising that capitalists had a crucial stake in the status quo. Indeed, Owen hoped that capitalists would invest in his schemes, and as such he became, as historian Barbara Taylor notes, “deeply fearful of independent working-class action.”

This highlights one of the most striking problems with utopian communities – that, though the term “utopian” suggests liberated social relations, they were often deeply undemocratic. For one thing, when the illustrious founder had described the new society in detail – and Fourier specified everything down to the appropriate numbers of dining tables, and included in his Theory of the Four Movements a chart detailing the next 75,000 years of human history – what exactly was left to discuss?6Tariq Ali, “How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution,” Guardian, March 25, 2017; Charles Fourier, The Theory of the Four Movements (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 15; Barbara Taylor, Eve and the New Jerusalem: Socialism and Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (London: Virago, 1983), pp. 117, 120.

Family abolition, as one element in a revolutionary project, thus has to be carried out democratically, as part of a social experiment in which the vast majority of people get to suggest and try out alternative ways of living. The most significant experiment of this kind took place in Russia in the years following the revolution of October 1917. Lewis comments on this society through her account of Alexandra Kollontai, one of the most important women Bolsheviks and of particular relevance to these issues as the People’s Commissar for Social Welfare. It’s worth, however, locating Kollontai in the context of Russian society a hundred years ago, and the development and eventual failure of the revolution, if we’re to make an accurate assessment of her life and ideas.

Early twentieth century Russia was a society in transformation. Islands of urban and industrial society were developing in a country where most people lived by subsistence farming in rural areas. Until 1861, half of the rural population were serfs, literally owned by their feudal masters. Around half of the children in rural areas would die before reaching adulthood, and people traditionally lived in extended family households, which were more resilient than single family ones. These households were dominated by older family members and men.  Young women had low status, their essential role being to bear and raise children, and they suffered high levels of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Most of the industrial workers in the huge new factories of cities like Moscow and St Petersburg would have grown up in rural areas – some of the men in these workplaces would have migrated to the cities, leaving wives in the villages, and  returning to visit once a year. Industrialization could also mean change to families remaining in the countryside, since some factories were established in rural areas and employed local women. Even when a married couple both lived in the city, they might  not live together. In St Petersburg, 43 percent of adult male workers were married, but only 8 percent lived with their family as head of the household. Where no public transport existed until after 1917, this could mean a married couple lived separately – and even where they lived together, they might not occupy all of a house or even all of a room, but rather a “corner,” part of a room marked off by a curtain.7Barbara Alpern Engel, Between the Fields and the City: Women, Work and Family in Russia, 1861–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 35, 41, 101, 150.

The family lives of the middle and upper classes in Russia were also rapidly changing in this period. Many middle-class women sought equality with their male counterparts, as in the US and Britain, so that by 1910 one in ten Russian doctors were women. Russian family lives were thus very different from those of most people in the global North today. And those of Bolshevik party members also differed from those of other Russians – to become a Bolshevik, which very likely would mean a prison sentence sooner or later, was to live outside the norms of Russian society. Some Bolshevik relationships were formed between Jews and Christians, couples who could not marry in Tsarist Russia. Some Bolshevik marriages were a matter of comradeship between members of an illegal organization, rather than love – a couple might marry so the wife could gain independence from her parents, or so that they could continue their political work together when one was sent into exile. Trotsky’s first marriage took place in this way, as he describes in his autobiography:

Alexandra Lvovna had one of the most important positions in the South Russian Workers’ Union… The work that we were doing bound us closely together, and so, to avoid being separated, we had been married in the transfer prison in Moscow.

If this seems cold, the revolutionary Inessa Armand, sent into exile in 1908, wrote to her husband, “I don’t know how I’ll live through two years without the children. It almost seems impossible to me.”8Richard Stites, The Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism and Bolshevism 1860–1930 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), p. 175, 277; Leon Trotsky, My Life: An Attempt at an Autobiography (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975), p. 128; Barbara Evans Clements, Bolshevik Women (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 91.

In February 1917, after three years of world war, the Tsarist regime collapsed. Two centres of power emerged – the Provisional Government, which attempted to establish bourgeois democracy, and the soviets, councils of workers or soldiers, of which some 1,400 came into existence. In October, the Provisional Government in turn collapsed and the Bolsheviks took power at the head of a regime based on the soviets. The Soviet regime decreed dramatic changes in Russian laws – women were equal to men; divorce was available at request of either partner; legitimate and illegitimate children had the same rights; same-sex acts were no longer illegal; and women had the right to equal pay. These laws were meant as only a first step towards the abolition of the family. In the words of Inessa Armand, “as long as the old forms of the family, home life, childrearing are not abolished… it will be impossible to build socialism.”9Barbara Evans Clements, Bolshevik Feminist: The Life of Aleksandra Kollontai (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979), p. 155.

Revolutionary legislation did not include arrangements for adoption, for example, reflecting a desire for childcare to be provided collectively rather than by individual families or mothers, and initial steps were made in this direction – the number of factory creches increased from 14 in 1917 to 565 in 1920, and the number of children’s homes rose from 7 to 370. As the revolutionary regime fought wars for its survival, large numbers of people began to eat food cooked in communal dining halls, rather than by women at home – in 1919 80 percent of people in Petrograd province ate in dining halls, and 93 percent of people in Moscow did so, while many children also received free food. In the words of historian Wendy Goldman, “the disappearance of money, the organisation of large-scale, communal dining, the fluidity of personal relationships and high revolutionary morale all conspired to convince many that the withering away of the family and its supporting law was imminent.”10Wendy Z. Goldman, Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917–1936 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 186.

These were advances without parallel in history. But, while we should draw inspiration from these events, words of warning are in order. We should remember that Russia in 1917 is not our world in 2022. This was a society without contraception, and with no antibiotics to treat sexually transmitted diseases, so that sex outside marriage had serious potential consequences, especially for women.

Lewis’s identification of Kollontai as a “libertine” doesn’t take account of these realities, and it’s simply inaccurate to identify Kollontai with the theory that in communism sex would be as insignificant as drinking a glass of water – indeed, far from embracing sexual pleasure for its own sake, Kollontai consistently linked sex to reproduction and argued that “childbirth is a social obligation” for women. That attitude is reflected, also, in the 1920 decree legalising abortion on demand – in which, as Lewis mentions, the Zhenotdel, the Bolshevik women’s section, played a key role. The decree states that, “the question of abortion should be decided not from the point of view of the rights of the individual, but from the point of view of the interests of the whole collective…” The Soviet regime wanted to prevent the deaths of women from illegal abortions, but the decree also committed the government to an anti-abortion propaganda campaign and to improving maternal care so that women did not feel the need to end their pregnancies. And, so as to discourage women from seeking abortions, the procedure was provided without anaesthetic, so that, while safe, it was excruciatingly painful.11Selected Writings of Alexandra Kollontai, trans. Alix Holt (London: Allison and Busby, 1977), pp. 119, 202; Evans Clements, Bolshevik Feminist, p. 168; Goldman, Women, the State and Revolution, pp. 256, 263; “Decree on the Legalisation of Abortions of 18 November 1920,” in The Family in the USSR: Documents and Readings, ed. Rudolf Schlesinger (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949), p. 44.

The constraints on the Soviet regime only increased over time. The country was invaded by sixteen foreign armies seeking to destroy the revolution, a goal shared by military forces supporting the former regime. From the start, revolutionary rule had been improvised and its hold on power shaky. In striking contrast to later Stalinist mythologising of October, for example, when Kollontai was appointed People’s Commissar for Social Welfare she made her way to the former Tsarist ministry only to be turned away by the security guard and told to come back tomorrow. By 1921 it had become necessary to reintroduce elements of capitalism under Soviet control – the New Economic Policy (NEP).

This forced retreat was a major step backwards for family policy and women in particular. A third of children’s homes closed between 1922 and 1923, and over half of the factory creches. A third of women in paid work lost their jobs as they were taken over by men returning from the Civil War, or because lack of childcare meant they couldn’t work: others moved to low-skilled, low-paid employment.  Lack of resources was a major problem: with the Bolsheviks unable to replace domestic labour by collective or state provision, the family became for many workers the only place where they could get food, housing or emotional support. Indeed, the gap between people’s needs and the available support only increased in these years as a result of the destabilization of years of war and revolution.

By 1922, for example, there were an estimated 7 million homeless children in Russia, many of them living on the streets and getting what income they could from theft and prostitution. The revolution had given women formal equality and introduced easy divorce. But as high levels of divorce continued into the 1920s and lack of childcare meant divorced women were literally left holding the baby, formal equality combined uneasily with the reality of women’s continuing oppression. Proposals to make divorce even easier were rejected in the 1920s, as it became clear that, with the state unable to support them, divorced women would be left in poverty.12Alan Ball, “Building a New State and Society: NEP, 1921–1928,” in The Cambridge History of Russia: Volume III: The Twentieth Century, ed. Ronald Grigor Suny (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 172; Goldman, Women, the State and Revolution, pp. 59–60.

It was in this context that Kollontai argued in 1920 in her book Communism and the Family that young couples should not be afraid of having children since the “child will be fed, it will be brought up, it will be educated by the care of the communist Fatherland”. The following year, as the NEP was implemented, she claimed that capitalism was in its death throes throughout the world. As one of Kollontai’s translators puts it,

Many of her writings… demonstrated a lack of awareness of the difficulties and obstacles facing socialist construction in the backward Soviet stronghold… because Kollontai was hostile to NEP, she continued to repeat the formulations of the period when short-cuts and forced marches to communism had seemed really possible.

This is the reason why Kollontai’s views were so strongly rejected – not because, as Lewis implies and other authors argue outright, because “the Bolshevik leaders were a philistine bunch and the party completely underestimated the importance of the sexual revolution and was, in fact, inherently hostile to it.”13Selected Writings of Alexandra Kollontai, pp. 201, 203.

The response of revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky to the same issue in 1923 makes this clear. Trotsky pointed out that the “old traditional family” had been shattered by years of war. But the development of the new family did not happen automatically. “The change of political regime, the change even of the economic order of the state – the passing of the factories and mills into the hands of the workers – all this has certainly had some influence on family conditions, but only indirectly and externally.”

Part of what was necessary was an increased level of resources in a country as undeveloped as Russia. “The workers’ state must become wealthier in order that it may be possible seriously to tackle the public education of children and the releasing of the family from the burden of the kitchen and the laundry. Socialization of family housekeeping and public education of children are unthinkable without a marked improvement of our economics as a whole.” In the short term, “this does not mean that the more enterprising and progressive families cannot group themselves even now into collective housekeeping units.” But, in general, Trotsky argued that the traditional family was being destroyed without any reliable structures to provide love and care taking its place. In the resulting chaotic sexual free-for-all, “[t]he victims in all cases are the mother and children.”14The Family in the USSR, p. 66; Cathy Porter, Alexandra Kollontai: A Biography (Pontypool: Merlin, 2013), p. 358; Leon Trotsky, “From the Old Family to the New,” in Problems of Everyday Life (New York: Pathfinder, 1973), pp. 42–51.

It can seem like the worst kind of socialist analysis to take sides in a debate between long-dead revolutionaries, when ten years later the gains of the Soviet state they were debating would be crushed by Stalinism. But the point is a crucial one. Lewis’s book reminds us that ideas about family abolition are part of those socialist tradition, and these ideas can help us understand the world and inspire us to change it. But these ideas must be put into practice in concrete situations, tested and debated by millions of people.

It can seem like the worst kind of socialist analysis to take sides in a debate between long-dead revolutionaries, when ten years later the gains of the Soviet state they were debating would be crushed by Stalinism. But the point is a crucial one.

Family abolition is only possible if it’s integrated into wider working-class movements. As many historical examples show, it’s only such movements that can start to bring about the enormous changes in people’s ideas that are necessary to move beyond the family. But this is absolutely not to say that such changes can only begin “after the revolution,” as we can see from two examples which are worth adding to the accounts of family abolition which Lewis cites.

The first is that of the year-long national strike by British coal miners in 1984-5, a historic struggle involving tens of thousands of workers. Women in the mining communities had organized from the start of the dispute, taking part in picketing and speaking at meetings. With union funds frozen six months into the strike, miners didn’t receive strike pay and had no income, so that communal kitchens became an essential part of the strike. As well as places to get food, they became central to strike organization:

Bentley Women’s Action Group ran one of the most successful kitchens. They were twinned with Camden council workers in London and the regular donations sent to Bentley allowed them to feed 500 miners and their families every day. With less than half the active pickets attending union meetings, the kitchen became an important place for the pickets to meet and discuss.

The women’s group in Pontefract took action to ensure that striking miners didn’t have their gas and electricity cut off, taking over what would have normally been a family responsibility. A member explained:

The women’s support group told the gas and electricity boards, and the unions, that they’d form a picket line round any house threatened with disconnection. The electricity board back off when they see the support group because we’re an organized body.

Care normally privatized within the family had become a collective matter to a great extent:

At Maerdy in South Wales… the women’s support group committee met every week to arrange the distribution of food parcels. At a single meeting in early October they also planned how to approach shop stewards in sweet and toy factories for Xmas, planned a bonfire party, a jumble sale, a sponsored marathon, and the next week’s fund raising.15Alex Callinicos and Mike Simons, The Great Strike: The Miners’ Strike of 1984–5 and Its Lessons (London: Socialist Worker/International Socialism, 1985), pp. 180–181.

Collective provision also began to take over from care within the family, also in the context of a great social struggle, in this case the struggle for racial justice in 1960s and 70s America, in a second example – the community programs organized by the Black Panther Party. In their history of the Panthers, Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr list these programs:

the Free Breakfast for Children Program, liberation schools, free health clinics, the Free Food Distribution Program, the Free Clothing Program, child development centers, the Free Shoe Program, the Free Busing to Prison program, the Sickle Cell Anaemia Research Foundation, free housing cooperatives, the Free Pest Control Program, the Free Plumbing and Maintenance Program, renter’s assistance, legal aid,  the Seniors Escort Program, and the Free Ambulance Program.

The Party “claimed to have fed twenty thousand children in the 1968-69 school year and said it hoped to feed one hundred thousand in 1969-70”, with breakfast programs alone operating in thirty-six cities. The Los Angeles chapter fed some 1,200 children each week. Party member Flores Forbes recalled:

All types of parents agreed to host and serve our efforts. We held our program in the homes of junkies, drug dealers, regular public assistance recipients, gamblers and gang bangers. Store owners donated bread, eggs, bacon, sausage, milk, and paper products. In addition to our organising activities, we cooked, served the food, knocked on doors to let the kids know which apartment the food was being served in, and on many an occasion made last-minute pick-ups of donations from stores.

Businesses which refused to donate to the program faced pickets, boycotts and sometimes harassment. Just as women from Britain’s mining communities found themselves picketing and speaking at meetings, the Panthers’ social programs also began to change ideas and practices around gender. The Black Panthers were identified with a “misleading stereotype of the Party as a bunch of gun-toting men,” but in fact most members were women. Programs like the Free Breakfast for Children program were, Bloom and Martin comment, “generally the province of Panther women.” But they also note that:

While women often ran many of the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, male participation in the programs was widespread, sensitising innumerable Panther men to importance of family, children and gender issues for the Party as well as for black communities and the larger society.16Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr., Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (Oakland: University of California Press, 2016), pp. 184–195.

These are not, then, examples of family abolition as described in a utopian plan, but the beginnings of family abolition as put into practice by British workers from mining communities and working-class African Americans. Mining community women picketing a home to stop the electricity being disconnected – children’s breakfast sausage in the apartment of a Los Angeles drug dealer – if we need inspiration from utopias, perhaps these are the ones to choose.



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