Experiments in Co-Habitation
While some of these characteristics are certainly familiar enough from the example of Communism, others are lesser known. In the earliest days of the Soviet state, various experiments in cohabitation by men and women were permitted on the grounds that the family was a `bourgeois’ institution that should be superseded and allowed to die out. For a time at least, childbearing out of wedlock was encouraged on the grounds that children could be better brought-up in state-run institutions while mothers worked. These experiments so disordered a society already reeling under forcible collectivization, the imprisonment and mass-murder of ‘suspect’ classes, and economic collapse; that the Bolsheviks soon abandoned them.
Far from being innovative, the origins of these ideas go back at least as far as Plato, and recur frequently throughout the history of utopian Socialism, as Shafarevich abundantly and cogently illustrates with examples drawn from a number of cultures widely separated in time and space.
Shafarevich is especially astute in his observations of various medieval chiliastic  groups, of which he considerers Communism to be a sort of modern-day offshoot. In them the goal of commonality and equality were typically taken to grotesque extremes, including not only commonality of goods (no private property--not even personal possessions), but frequently commonality of wives as well, i.e., every man could have sexual relations with whichever woman he fancied. This stress on perfect equality ultimately works itself out in the infliction and, even the willing self-infliction of mass death (certainly the one state in which all human beings are completely alike)....