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The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,777 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
An eternal being created human society as it is today, and submission to superiors and authority is imposed on the lower classes by divine will. This suggestion, coming from the pulpit, platform and press, has hypnotized the minds of men and proves to be one of the strongest pillars of exploitation.

The history of the family dates from 1861, the year of the publication of

Paperback, 220 pages
Published July 19th 2001 by University Press of the Pacific (first published 1884)
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The Communist Manifesto by Karl MarxDas Kapital by Karl MarxThe State and Revolution by Vladimir LeninThe Jungle by Upton SinclairReform or Revolution by Rosa Luxemburg
Socialist Classics
9th out of 283 books — 163 voters
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Best Books Of The Decade: 1880s
53rd out of 189 books — 161 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
I read Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State in the interest of sorting out the Marx-Engels position on the family and for background to the frequently mis-read passage in The Communist Manifesto about the “community of women.”

Engels composed Origin, published in 1884, from notes he and Marx had made from their reading of the anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan’s Ancient Society, or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery Through Barbarism to Civilizatio
Varad Deshmukh
Nov 11, 2014 Varad Deshmukh rated it really liked it
Friedrich Engels takes you on a tour around the evolution of the human society into the current establishment we take for granted as the ever-existing standard. No doubt there are many holes left in this study of anthropology, it provides a systematic study into the transformation of an egalitarian society of humans in their primitive stages (savagery/barbarism) to a state-controlled monogamist society (civilization).

I. What’s good about the book?

Its a great introduction to anthropology for eve
May 15, 2012 Salah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كما يدل العنوان يتناول الكتاب مباحث ثلاثة:

1-الحياة الاجتماعية في المجتمعات البدائية التي تكونت من العشيرة ذات الحق الأمي كوحدة بناء للمجتمع (القبيلة) وكيفية التزاوج وتطورها من الزواج الجماعي إلى الزواج الثنائي ثم بعدها الزواج الفردي، وكيف تحول هذا الوضع الاجتماعي تدريجياً إلى ما نحن عليه الآن من نظام اجتماعي يتكون من الأسرة والعائلة كأصغر وحدة لبناء المجتمع ينتسب فيها الإنسان لأبيه وليس لأمه والزواج فردي يسيطر فيه الرجل على المرآة وعلى العائلة بما يملك من قوة اقتصادية ظهرت بعد اكتشاف الزراعة

Most of the work outlined in this book has been disproved. It is rudimentary, a great summation of mid-19th century anthropology. I like his analysis of Iroquois tribes as compared with Far Eastern configurations of the family. Basically his argument is that pre-capitalist societies and non-western societies, notably Native American tribes have already understood basic principles of communism, and that in many ways it is more natural to have common property rights, and community based child rais ...more
Hosna Jahan
May 27, 2012 Hosna Jahan rated it it was amazing
This is a very interesting work, specially considering the time when it was written. Engels, being very modern for his time, portrays how the first class antagonism in history coincides with the development of a patriarchal society, as man started to settle down and gain private properties. He also shows a parallel between the domination of the male in the household with the antagonism between social classes.

Omar Alshuaibi
Jul 15, 2014 Omar Alshuaibi rated it really liked it
شرح انجلز التحوّلات الاجتماعية والثقافية بماديّة جدلية ديالكتيكية تاريخية, من الأسرة الأموميّة إلى الأبوية البطريركية التي بدأت مع الملكيّة الخاصة إبان الحكم الإقطاعي حتّى الرأسمالي, قنبلة فكريّة هذا الكتاب
Jan 04, 2009 Jeffwest15 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this after some 30 years after having recommended it to someone. Engels provides a materialist view of the origin and development of human social structures by linking the then-recent findings of Lewis Morgan on primitive families to the underlying means of procurring food, shelter, and tools.

He traces the origin of the modern male dominated monogamous family through early group marriage, development of the incest taboos, and gens clan structure arriving at the monogamous family with
Mohamed Khaled
Nov 13, 2015 Mohamed Khaled rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
وعندما كانت أثينا فى قمة ازدهارها كان العدد الكلى للمواطنين الاحرار تسعين ألفاً، وكان عدد العبيد من الجنسين ثلاثمائة وخمسة وستين ألفاً، وكان عدد المهاجرين والمعتقين حوالى خمسة وأربعين ألفاً، وعلى ذلك فقد كان هنالك ثمانية عشر عبداً فى المتوسط لكل ذكر بالغ واثنين من المهاجرين وكان هذا العدد الكبير من العبيد يعمل فى المصانع تحت رقابة المديرين، ومع نمو التجارة والصناعة ازداد تركيز الثروة فى أيدى قليلة وافتقرت كتلة المواطنين الأحرار وكان عليها أن تختار بين الحرف اليدوية ومنافسة عمل العبيد -الذى كان ي ...more
Dec 03, 2015 Tilad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب غاية في الأهمية لما يحويه من دراسة شاملة لتطور الحياة البشرية مقسما اياها إلى ثلاثة مراحل تبدأ بالمرحلة الوحشية و البربرية و انتهاء بالمدنية و التي قسمت كل منها الى عدة مراحل تبعا لتطور أدوات الانتاج والتحول من الملكية العامة الى الملكية الخاصة و الانتقال من الزواج الجماعي الى الزواج الثنائي فالزواج الحديث الذي شكل العائلة على ما نعرفها اليوم و التي هي أصغر نواة في المجتمع الحديث اللذي أدت ظروف تطوره الى تشكل الدولة الحديثة مقتضيا بأهم ثلاثة أمثلة عن العصور القديمة و هي الامبراطورية الروم ...more
Christoph White
Feb 19, 2012 Christoph White rated it liked it
Giving a synopsis of this is turning out to be a struggle. As I read Friedrich Engels' book about the anthropology of family I found myself taking copious amount of notes. And not notes that I care to share in a review of the text it was more as if I was reading this text for a class. I have become increasingly more interested in Socialism over the past few years. I can remember being a Socialist punk teenager, reading the works of Marx and saying F the system. But the truth is I never really re ...more
Oct 28, 2011 Jesse rated it it was amazing
That society has not always been based on money, which is to say, on private property, should be uncontroversial, but it is more often, for many people, perhaps, unthinkable. In what is surely Engels' most profound description of how civilization got 'this way', the reader is guided, with the aid of the anthropologist Morgan's schematic outline for the study of historical stages found in his book, Ancient Society, through the historical permutations and evolutions of such seemingly immovable cat ...more
Honestly it took me forever to read this (i think i started sometime last year) because outside of the fact that Engels simply *is not a good writer* (he isn't) and some of the examples in here are made up colonial anthropology (which they are) and don't really hold water as examples (you would get in trouble for citing the research although you can cite Engels conclusions frequently) for all of his proclaiming the historical materialist method as answering questions about family & private p ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Rodrigo rated it liked it
Realizar uma análise dos caminhos escolhidos pela sociedade é realmente uma tarefa complicada. Pois uma coisa é dizer o que aconteceu - o que já é complicadíssimo - outra coisa é dizer porque aconteceu. Este porquê só pode ser alcançado por meio de uma visão de mundo específica e necessariamente certeira. Senão, não há porque. Entretanto, costumamos ser bastante inventivos na busca de porquês. Simplesmente somos assim. E, a princípio, isso não é um defeito.

Li que esse livro de Engels chegou a s
May 11, 2015 Danae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Increíble revisión. A pesar de la perspectiva desde el materialismo histórico, la vocación anarquista no la puede esconder el Engels <3
Me parece un libro clave para entender las luchas de las mujeres que en estos tiempos de feminismo blanco requieren urgente un componente de clase.
Ojalá todo el mundo se lo leyera, pocos textos encienden la llama interior del alma que te hace buscar sin descanso el fin del estado y del patriarcado :)
Feb 04, 2014 HeavyReader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Since I don't have a Marxist Theory shelf, I just put this one on nonfiction.

My friend (a member of the Worker's World Party 40 years ago) strongly suggested I read this book. She even handed me her extra copy so I'd have no excuse for not reading it. (And she was super impressed that I already knew who Freidrich Engels was.)

I would have never read this book without my friend's encouragement, but I'm glad I did. A lot of the information here I already knew, and some parts are dreary boring, but
J. Moufawad-Paul
Obviously this is an important book, and there are significant portions in this book are the necessary for a historical materialist understanding of, well, "the family, private property and the state". Unfortunately, and as much as I recognize Engels' importance as one of the "founders" of historical materialism, this book is harmed by its reliance on colonial historiography when it comes to the Americas, allowing Engels to accept claims about all indigenous nations pre-conquest being at the mer ...more
Catherine Armentrout
I gave this a low rating because I highly disagree with the author's assertions and point of view. I read it merely to gain understanding of another view point.
Muhamed Battiekh
Apr 15, 2013 Muhamed Battiekh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ماركسي
أصل العائلة, والدولة, والملكية الخاصة,,, التوصيف الأنثروبولجي لحركة التاريخ.
Dr. A
Read this and reviews of other classics in Western Philosophy on the History page of (a thinkPhilosophy Production).

A persistently undervalued work, Friedrich Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State remains a most salient account of the relationship between private property and the marriage compact through which women are subjugated. (The argument is further developed by structural anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss and Gayle Rubin; for
Hani Naim
Jul 27, 2015 Hani Naim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أنصح بقراءة هذا الكتاب إن كنت مهتماً في تاريخ نشوء العائلة والدولة.

يسرد انجلز إنتقال المجموعات البشرية من الحالة البدائية القديمة إلى الحضارة وأثر ذلك على السياق الإنساني ونشوء العائلة بشكلها الحالي، إضافة إلى نشوء السلطة "الدولة" التي جاءت لتنظم تراكم الثروات لدى الأغنياء وتحمي مصالحهم وتؤمن استمراريتها.

الجزء الأخير من الكتاب لا يضيف على جوهر الفكرة، ويمكنك عدم قراءته إلا إذا اردت معرفة معلومات ذات صلة بالموضوع.

إن كنت من أصحاب التوجهات الماركسية، الشيوعية، واللاسلطوية، فهذا الكتاب يُقدم لك مقا

May, 2009

Marxism and Religion, Yesterday and Today

Militant Atheism has recently gone on the offensive (again) in the recent works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. And all our soi-disant radicals are rallying to the cause. But contemporary Marxists have seemed to hold back; indeed, some seem to even admire bits and pieces of l'Infâme. I looked to this volume as a corrective to the current fashionable atheism and also for a deeper understanding of the original Marxi
Nov 03, 2012 Public_enemy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historicists
Shelves: philosophy
Although I was reading this book in opposition to it, I learned a lot. Problem is: Communists always diminish the importance of idealistic factors in history. Even the Russian communist revolution can be described primarily ideologically because in Russia, back then in 1917., there was no much of materialistic and historic (empiric) conditions for revolution. There was only an abstract idea (which was generated elsewhere, namely in Western Europe 50 years before). So, divergence between theory a ...more
Akila Ally
Oct 18, 2015 Akila Ally rated it really liked it
1) It is a really interesting book and I agree with a lot of his logic on how capitalism and wealth accumulation further led to subjugation of women as her control and ownership of reproductino and production is divided and her agency is taken away.

2) BUT, I also don't agree with almost all of what engels says about patriarchy or the lack thereof before capitalism.

more on this later.
Kw Estes
Sep 24, 2009 Kw Estes rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-best-of-them
One of the more impressive works I have set myself to reading. Engels maps out, in a compelling and convincing manner, the process which has brought the human race from a state of nature in which exploitation was not a thought to our current system, in which exploitation is 'good business'. He ties in how the family has changed in this process and, in turn, how the changes in the family have led to the advent of private property. Also makes a great argument against the position in which capitali ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Chris rated it it was ok
A lot of this analysis, especially its periodization, is frankly racist—no more or less than you'd expect from Engels in his time, but that doesn't excuse it. That doesn't erase the provocation of his class analysis of marriage, but the book as a whole absolutely suffers.
Gregory W. Allen
Apr 07, 2014 Gregory W. Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting survey

Arm chair anthropology at its finest. I'm sure the field has marched on but this was still a very interesting read, and pretty accessible, though some of the cultural references are so old you need Wikipedia to get the meaning.
Sep 19, 2015 Nataly rated it it was amazing
Un buen análisis de la formación de la familia y con ella el Estado. Me parece interesante principalmente por la época en que fue escrito y que a pesar de eso, analiza la relación económica con la subyugación de la mujer.
Ashley Horgan
May 24, 2015 Ashley Horgan rated it it was amazing
REALLY GOOD READ!!! I have not read anything by Engels or Marx but this is a great overall introduction and in this book he really outlines the various stages of human development.
May 08, 2015 helmymuhammad rated it really liked it
Bergelut juga memahami asal usul keluarga, dan kemudiannya 'berubah' kepada sesuatu yang mengarah kepada material. Terima kaseh Lewis Henry Morgan sebab menyediakan data data untuk Engels
Apr 20, 2014 Gabriela rated it it was amazing
Marx y Engels nos explican por que la monogamia no es natural, como oprime a las mujeres, apoya el capitalismo, promueve la prostitucion y el adulterio.
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In 1820, Friedrich Engels was born in Germany into a wealthy family. Managing a branch of his father's business in Manchester, England, from 1842-1845, Engels became appalled at the poverty of the workers. He wrote his first socialist work, Conditions of the Working Class in England. After their meeting in 1844, Engels and Karl Marx became lifelong colleagues. While co-writing an article with Enge ...more
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“The emancipation of woman will only be possible when woman can take part in production on a large, social scale, and domestic work no longer claims anything but an insignificant amount of her time.” 22 likes
“No soldiers, no gendarmes or police, no nobles, kings, regents, prefects, or judges, no prisons, no lawsuits - and everything takes its orderly course. All quarrels and disputes are settled by the whole of the community affected, by the gens or the tribe, or by the gentes among themselves; only as an extreme and exceptional measure is blood revenge threatened-and our capital punishment is nothing but blood revenge in a civilized form, with all the advantages and drawbacks of civilization. Although there were many more matters to be settled in common than today - the household is maintained by a number of families in common, and is communistic, the land belongs to the tribe, only the small gardens are allotted provisionally to the households - yet there is no need for even a trace of our complicated administrative apparatus with all its ramifications. The decisions are taken by those concerned, and in most cases everything has been already settled by the custom of centuries. There cannot be any poor or needy - the communal household and the gens know their responsibilities towards the old, the sick, and those disabled in war. All are equal and free - the women included. There is no place yet for slaves, nor, as a rule, for the subjugation of other tribes.” 12 likes
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