Early Soviet Marxism paid attention to the history of philosophy for both theoretical and pedagogical reasons, since the general theory of Marxism claimed to be the highest result of the entire philosophical tradition, and considered studying materialist conceptions of the past an effective way of training the new Communist officials. On such a background, this article especially dwells on the debate between Mechanists and Deborinists, which took place in the Twenties, and in particular on the discussions around Varjas’s methodological reflections in 1926-1927. Some of the most relevant figures of the forthcoming Soviet history of philosophy, such as Valentin Asmus, took part very openly in this debate. The chances for real discussion closed up in 1931. Yet the history of philosophy remained a sort of "safe" field of study all through the Soviet time.
Keywords: Marxism, historiography, method, theory, historical materialism