عنوان مقاله [English]
In various sources, we have been reading that socialism and Marxism began their influence in Iran after the adoption of the Constitution along with the emergence of social democratic organizations and groups. In this study, we intend to address the following questions about Iran and Marxism: 1. When did the influence of Marxism begin in Iran? 2. What were the characteristics of the initial discourse of the Left in Iran? 3. How, under what circumstances, and at what level Marxism influenced the Moslem Iranians? The familiarity of Iranians with socialist thought occurred shortly before the culmination of Iran’s Constitutional Revolution in 1911. The introduction of socialist and Marxist thought to Iran, as a result of Iranians' encounter with Western intellectual and cultural system, provided the ideological basis for the formation of one of the nascent trends in Iran's political arena. Iranians' attention to socialism and Marxism at the beginning and on a general level was influenced by the political and inspirational slogans of Marxist intellectuals and activists, particularly those in Transcaucasia, rather than the ideological or philosophical aspects of these new ideals. These slogans were attractive to Iranian politicians and activists in that region because they were interested in helping the lower strata of society, specifically the workers. Considering the poor living conditions of this class combined with their growing size of population at that time, Marxism and socialism seemed to provide a new theoretical basis for solving the problems of the working class. Therefore, at the beginning of the spread of Marxism and socialism in Iran, their tenets and slogans were used in some political parties and groups’ manifestos and programs. An example of these parties is Ferqeh-ye Ejtemāʿīyun-e ʿʿāmīyun (Social Democratic Party) which is considered to be the first Iranian socialist organization established by Iranian emigrants in Transcaucasia.
Using the documentary research method, we systematically analyzed historical official documents as our main data sources. We argue that initially Iranians were influenced by the ideological slogans of Marxism rather than its theoretical foundations. At the beginning, they were attracted to this ideology’s socialist foundations in the form of organizational goals for their political parties and groups before addressing its theoretical details. Of course, efforts were made to promote socialism and Marxism, but the level of their introduction to Iranians did not go beyond the basic principles and generalities. It is evident that Marxism and its call for a classless society did not have a great influence on the Iranian peoples' political view of society. However, Marx's social theories and Marxism’s commitment to political struggle to improve material conditions of the underprivileged social groups provided an intellectual basis of the research conducted by a number of contemporary Iranian scholars and influenced their political thought.