TO "Peter was never in Rome"


Extracts from O. Hobart Mowrer's book "The New Group Therapy" pp. 40-43 (Van Nostrand 1964 paperback)


A few weeks ago I came across an unusually clear, succinct, and (so far as I can judge) objective account of the efforts which the Old Bolsheviks made, following the Russian revolution of 1917, to put into practice the teachings of that other great would-be emancipator, Karl Marx, and his collaborator, Frederick Engels. In his "Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" published in 1902 Engels declared that money was just another vestige of the iniquitous capitalist system and would disappear with the "transformation of the means of production into collective property".

In traditional marriage, women, he held, are in effect property, and their emancipation would follow as a matter of course with the abolition of private ownership. "We are now approaching," he wrote, "a social revolution in which the old economic foundation of monogamy will disappear just as surely as those of its complement, prostitution." And his culminating argument for the dissolution of marriage and the conventional type of family was "If marriage founded on love is alone moral, then it follows that marriage is moral only as long as love lasts."

Since Engel's book was law with the Bolsheviks, as far as the institution of marriage was concerned, it is not surprising that, with the success of the revolution of 1917 assured, efforts were quickly and systematically made to put his teachings into effect. For detailed documentation of the way in which this was carried out, I refer the reader to Nicholas S. Timasheff's 1946 book, "The Great Retreat" but the salient facts of the case are these. Divorce, which had previously been difficult to obtain in Russia, became extremely easy; a postal card notifying the other partner that the relationship was ended would suffice. "Incest, bigamy, and adultery were dropped from the list of official crimes [and] abortion was explicitly permitted by the decree of November 20 1920." No distinction was made between the status of children born legitimately and illegitimately, nonregistered co-habitation was given the same legal status as registered co-habitation, parental authority over children was systematically weakened, and additional measures were taken "to uproot the traditional structure of the family".

Here, surely, was an effort to eliminate "the unnecessary restrictions on instinctual gratification" which was about as radical and thorough-going as anything that the psychoanalyst cited earlier in this paper, or anyone else, could ask for. Short of sanctioning homosexuality and the other perversions, the government had gone as far as it could, it would seem, in guaranteeing complete sexual liberty. But American advocates of this expedient are careful not to tell us - or perhaps do not even know - what the outcome of the Russian experiment was.[MB-emphasis mine - neither has any other authority dared to mention the disasterous results of such a policy.] By 1935, roughly 18 years after the introduction of Engel's ideas on sex and the family, Soviet policy makers were in full retreat from their original aims and aspirations in this area.

Says Timasheff:

"Dissolution of family ties, especially of the parent-child relations, threatened to produce a wholesale dissolution of community ties, with rapidly increasing juvenile delinquency as the main symptom. In 1935, the Soviet papers were full of information and indignation about the rise of hooliganism, i.e., of crimes in which the sadistic joy of inflicting pain on somebody or destroying something of value was paramount. Everywhere, wrote the papers, gangs invaded workingmen's dwellings, ransacked them, and destroyed or spoiled what they did not take away; if somebody dared to resist, he was mercilessly killed. In trains, the hooligans sang obscene songs; to prolong the fun, they did not permit travelers to alight at their destinations if they had not finished singing. Sometimes the schools were beseiged by neglected children; other times gangs beat the teachers and attacked women, or regularly fought against one another.

Finally, the magnificent slogans of the liberation of sex and the emancipation of women proved to have worked in favor of the strong and reckless, and against the weak and shy. Millions of girls saw their lives ruined by Don Juans in Communist garb, and millions of children had never known parental homes.

The disintegration of the family did not disturb the Communists, since this was precisely what they wanted to achieve, [MB - Emphasis mine - why should they have WANTED the destruction of the family unit?? We are dealing with dark forces here.] but they were disturbed by quite a few collateral effects of the disorganization" (p. 58).

By way of describing the reforms which Soviet leaders eventually instigated, Timasheff reports that freedom of divorce was first curtailed and then almost abolished. Abortion was made illegal, and marriage was once again idealized. Also;

"The peculiar parent-child relationship which had obtained under the Communist experiment, and which granted superiority to the children, was reversed to one which is considered normal in the world; once more, children have to recognize the authority of their parents" (p. 62).

And in 1939, the official journal of the Union Prosecutor declared:

"Sound moral ideas must be inculcated into the minds of young persons. 'They must know that lack of care for their parents is found only among savages and that in every civilized society such conduct is considered dishonest and base" (quoted by Timasheff, p. 62 ).

......In any case, the fact stands that they were compelled to beat an undignified retreat from the brave new sexual ethic which they inaugurated during the first decade of the Communist regime. In the front of his monumental "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", William L. Shirer quotes Santayana to the effect that those who do not know history "are condemned to relive it". The moral of this observation applies, surely, not only to our need to know and never forget the ghastly ideological and human errors of National Socialism, but also to the experiences of the Russians in their ill-fated repudiation of "bourgeois" sexual morality, with consequences so destructive that it will take decades, if not generations, to undo them completely.


Here we see the very deliberate destruction of the family unit and the disastrous results that flowed directly from it. Yet, today, in the UK we have exactly the same pressures in operation - and we are already seeing the same terrible results. How is it that the Communists attempted to install them in Russia when they had control, and yet we see the same in operation in the UK. What international forces are there that imposes these measures under such different regimes - and to what pupose? They are certainly not sought for by the ordinary people of the nations.]

TO "Peter was never in Rome"