Chapter 4. Marital and Family Law

The abolition of private property ,and of the State with all its institutions will be followed naturally by the abolition of the modern family, which rests on the same foundations as contemporary society itself, i.e. on power and property, passed on from generation to generation by means of the inheritance law, for which there will be no room even in the Transition Period.

Modern marriage, dependent on compulsory sanction by government, society or parents, will be abolished and will be supplanted by free marriage, which will become the basis of the new family. The Anarchists, beginning with the fundamental concept of liberty and equality, are opposed to marriage by compulsion, and raise the banner of the free union of the sexes.

"In abolishing religious, civil and juridical marriage," said Bakunin, "we will return life, reality and morality to natural marriage, based solely on the mutual respect and the freedom of two people, man and woman, who love each other; in recognizing for each of them the right to separate from the other whenever he so desires, without requiring for this the permission of anyone, in denying also the need for permission in the joining of two people, and in rejecting all interference, of any institution whatsoever, in their union, we shall make their relations with each other even firmer, truer and more sincere."

In connection with the fundamental reorganization of marriage, the question of children will arise -- their upkeep, education and instruction. Society will not take children away from their parents, but it will take upon itself their care, education and instruction up to the age of eighteen. It will assume the obligation to give every child an equal, integrated education, which will prepare him simultaneously for physical and intellectual effort. The young are the society of the future, and for that reason society is interested most vitally in the proper education and instruction of all children without distinction. In short, it will become their guardian.

The parents will have the right to natural authority over their children, but this authority must not stand in opposition to morality, or to the intellectual development and freedom of the children; society will retain for itself the right to reasonable control and the protection of children from parental despotism.

The Anarchists will institute this fundamental reorganization of marriage and the family from the first days of the Revolution by means of a gradual and rational process and not, of course, by means of compulsion.