Marriage In Karl Marx And Pozdnyshev Decry Marriage

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Marx and Pozdnyshev Decry Marriage

The Catholic Church defines marriage as a covenant which by a man and a woman devote their entire lives to a mutual partnership. By its nature, marriage is ordered toward the good of the spouses, and has been elevated by Christ as a sacrament. (CCC 1601). In spite of the Church’s view on marriage, however, various writers such as Karl Marx and Leo Tolstoy have espoused a different position on the matter. This paper will explore the question: what does the Communist Manifesto and Leo Tolstoy’s character, Pozdnyshev, say about marriage? The thesis of this essay is that they are largely in agreement; they both believe marriage is an unnatural, hypocritical and an oppressive institution.
According to Karl Marx, marriage in bourgeois society is a farce. It is supposed to be hallowed and revered, but it is instead just another way for one class of people to exploit another. Marx claims that the bourgeois do not sincerely love their wives. Instead, “The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production.” (Marx, Chapter 1) They see their wives as mere tools, not as human beings to be valued for themselves. In addition, Marx accuses bourgeois men of treating their wives as sexual
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In the first chapter of the Communist Manifesto, Marx says that the oppression of the proletariat has been “veiled by religious and political illusions…” (Marx, Chapter 1). Marx views religion as only a tool of the wealthy class to control the proletariat. This would mean sacramental matrimony is a farce, a lie invented by the Church under the directive of the bourgeoisie. Likewise, Pozdnyshev believes “there is not and cannot be such an institution as Christian marriage”. He also argues that Christ never made it a sacrament, stating that “Christ did not marry, nor did he establish marriage; neither did his disciples marry.” (Tolstoy,
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