Marx would see this advance as a catalyst of imbalance of power between owners of factories and workers. For a functionalist, any type of social disruption is a problem if it threatens the smooth and efficient running of society. Conflict threatens consensus and is seen as problematic for the functionalists. For Marx, social problems are defined as poverty and racism and the inequitable distribution of wealth and other scarce resources.The capitalist system refers to and affects more than just monetary concerns. It is intrinsically woven into the way families interact and keeps its members from forming quality interpersonal and societal relations. Capitalism, as opposed to Marxism, is designed to produce for individual profits, not for the whole society which includes friends, neighbors, and families. It’s not just that workers aren’t getting the surplus value they create. Marx said, “An immediate consequence of man’s estrangement from the product of his labor, his life activity, his species-being, is the estrangement of man from man. What is true of man’s relationship to his labor, to the product of his labor, and to himself, is also true of his relationship to other men, and to the labor and the object of the labor of other men. Each man is estranged from the others and that all are estranged from man’s essence” (Burleigh, 2005). Marx believed that the family unit is alienating and breaking apart from within as a direct result of the capitalist economic and social system.Marx argues that private property developed from and is based on the privatized family unit of a monogamous couple and that the purpose of the family is to produce rightful heirs for the diffusion of property. Changes in the family are determined, Marx argues, by the development of the social forces of production including both labor-power and the means of production and their resulting contradiction with the relations of production.
Relationship of Gender and Family to Politics and Class in the Communist Manifesto