https://fee.org/articles/socialisms-sexist-origins/ "However, the origins of socialism are not as progressive as many of its adherents believe, certainly not on the point of women’s equality. In The Lost Literature of Socialism, Cambridge University historian George Watson points out that socialism was originally a conservative idea, and that many prominent socialists—seldom read even by their admirers—actually “hated progress and demanded a return to ancient values.” That included a return to traditional gender roles. Socialism Was a Reactionary Philosophy Socialism was arguably a reactionary response to how the Industrial Revolution transformed society. Industrialization created a class of nouveau riche who gained wealth through market transactions rather than by birthright, threatening the old order: “enfeebling traditional authority… and weakening hereditary influences.” Factories also brought women into the labor force en masse, granting them economic independence and bargaining power that altered family dynamics and disturbed old-fashioned sensibilities. In short, commoners and women were earning money, and traditionalists were aghast. The prominent Victorian social thinker John Ruskin wrote in his 1860 critique of capitalism, Unto the Last, that his aim was “to show the superiority of some men to others” and the wisdom of a hierarchical society that keeps “inferiors” in their place. Socialism presented an alternative to the unprecedented social mobility and rapid changes of the industrial age. Watson notes that many people felt the classical liberals advocating “free trade and the free market were rapidly destroying traditional patterns of life, loosening family ties and threatening morality itself”. As the socialist Bertolt Brecht once said: “Communism is not radical. It is capitalism that is radical.” “It is easy to forget that conservative interests were once fiercely critical of competitive wealth-creation and the commercial spirit,” as Watson puts it. (Today, too, entrenched interests often stand to gain most from regressive regulation of the economy). Socialism historically has resulted in the installation of hereditary systems of entrenched privilege, “since only privilege educates for the due exercise of centralized power in a planned economy.” Children of the bourgeoisie were relegated to a subordinate caste in the Soviet Union. Stalin’s eldest son, had he not died, would have been destined for high office. President Ceausescu of Romania gave his wife and son cabinet posts."