During the XX century the Mongolian mind experienced two steps shifting great changes, from the Buddhist-lamaist religious philosophical or ideological belief and trust to Marxist Bolshevik-communist ideological or philosophical views. This process started from mid-1920’s of the last century. Specially by the end of 1920’s Mongolian Bolshevik revolutionaries with close assistance of Russian Bolshevik-communists send young Mongolian people to the Working Class Faculty and the Communist University of the Toilers of the East (KUTV) in Russia, where they studied the communist political ideology, including Marxist philosophy.

After graduating these schools and coming back to Mongolia these educated young fellows served at the Government administrative offices or the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party’s organizations. These educated in the Soviet Russia young people except their revolutionary activities were propagandizing Marxist ideological views among Mongolian people. At that time, Marxist ideology was already evaluated to Marxist-Leninist ideology in the Soviet Union or Soviet Russia. Marxism-Leninism means Russian Bolshevik Marxism, and this ideology influenced to Mongolian mind similar to Tibetan Buddhist lamaism. Newly educated Mongolian Bolshevik revolutionaries introduced Marxist-Leninist ideology to common Mongolian people and herdsmen almost as the only true doctrine. As a result, common Mongolian people received the Bolshevik Marxism like they received before Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism and supposed Lenin and Stalin as their Dalai Lama and Bogdo Gegeen,

The Soviet Russian Marxist-Leninist dogmatic doctrine consisted from the next three sections:

  • Marxist-Leninist philosophy;
  • Marxist-Leninist economic theories;
  • Marxist-Leninist political theories and theory of scientific socialism.


These principles were shortly formulated by Stalin in his lectures on Dialectical and Historical Materialism, which was included in the volume of text book “History of the Communist Bolshevik Party of the Soviet Union». This book was translated into Mongolian and printed in 1939. Accordingly, every member of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and activists, also each member of the Mongolian Revolutionary Youth’s Organization was obliged study this book.

As a practical result of this organized propaganda of the Russian Bolshevik Marxism, a great number of ideologists severed for the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party as political agitators. Parallel to this were founded and developed institutional organizations of the Russian Marxist ideology[1], including Russian Marxist dogmatic philosophy. Thus, from 1940’s the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party and the Government started to prepare Marxist philosophers in the Soviet Russian universities, and the first one of them was D.Tumur-Ochir[2].

Daram Tumur-Ochir was born in Tuv-aimag (Central Mongolia) in 1921. He went to primary school of Lun sum in 1929, when he was 8 years old. After graduating that primary school, from 1933 to 1936 he studied at the secondary school number one of Ulaanbaatar city. Then he studied in Moscow at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East (KUTV) from 1938 to 1941.

After graduating the Communist University D.Tumur-Ochir worked as an assistant secretary of the Chairman of the Central Committee of the MPRP, comrade Zedenbal from 1941 to 1944 and then he became a teacher of philosophy at the Party Higher School (the school for party and political staff) from 1944 to 1945, where was lecturing on history of Western philosophy and dialectical materialism. After that he studied at the Philosophy Faculty of the Moscow State University from 1945 to 1950, then his study in philosophy continued at the Academy of Social Sciences (AON) in Moscow. This academy was an important institutional organization attached to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR. There D.Tumur-Ochir studied up to 1953 and he finalized his dissertation for the candidate in Philosophical Science (equal to Ph.D.). His dissertation’s thesis: "Marx and Lenin's teachings concerning non-capitalist way of socialist development of undeveloped countries" (on example of the Peoples Republic of Mongolia - the MPR). In his scholar work D.Tumur-Ochir analyzed character of Mongolian revolution of 1921, essence of the Mongolian People’s Government, it’s rolling activities and evolution, Marxist-Leninist understanding of non-capitalist development of undeveloped countries, including Mongolia and how to build socialism in Mongolian People’s Republic and so on.

D.Tumur-Ochir was a strong Marxist-Leninist philosopher, and after his graduation of the Academy of Social Sciences was appointed as teacher of philosophy at the Higher School of Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (in 1953). Later he became a head of Marxism-Leninism department and in 1955 was appointed as a director of the Party’s History Institute. Afterwards, D.Tumur-Ochir became a member of Political Bureau of MPRP’s Central Committee and Secretary for ideology (in 1962). Thus, he was the one of political leaders of Mongolia until September of 1962, when he became a victim of political repression of Zedenbal, lost all his positions and died in 1985.

During 1930-1940’s, Marxist-Leninist doctrine (including its philosophical theories) was taught only in the Party Higher School and in a few professional schools of Mongolia, but not as special subject with concrete text books. Only by the ends of 1930’s and the beginning of 1940’s preparation of professional teachers of Marxism-Leninism, including Marxist-Leninist philosophy started. Newly graduated teachers mostly worked at the Party Higher School, some technical colleges (Technikum) and military schools. Mongolian State University[3] was opened in 1942 and students of this university started studying philosophy as an independent subject.

Soon, the Party and the Government stared to prepared teachers of philosophy in the Soviet Union. They sent five students to Philosophy Faculty of the Moscow State University in 1959, two students to Philosophy Faculty of the Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg) State University in 1960, also more than 50 post graduate (Ph.D.) students to other universities of the USSR from the end of 1960’s up to 1990. In the beginning of 1970’s was founded the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology within the structure of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences[4].

In 1965 the Mongolian State University opened a special class to prepare Mongolian professional philosophers, the first graduation of which was in 1970. The University since that time is continuing to prepare philosophy specialists.

These events demonstrate that Marxist philosophy in Mongolia has reached to its institutional formation around 1960-1970’s, as wrote professor A.Jambal.[5]Preparation of professionally qualified Mongolian philosophers, as doctors of Philosophical Science (Sc.D) in the USSR started from 1970’s and the first one was Zo.Namsrai.(05.12.1973)[6].

Namsrai was born in Thaishir sum of Gobi-Altai aimag in 1926. His father was Taiji Zogsom. His studies started from 1938 at age 12. The he studies at the Party Higher School of MNRP from 1946 to1949, later at the Party High School of the Communist Party Soviet Union from 1952 to 1955.

Zo.Namsrai from 1955 to 1958 worked as a head of the Ideology Department, then as a head of Culture Department of the Central Committee of the MPRP. From 1963 to 1966 he studied in Moscow at Academy of Social Sciences and became a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D).

After graduating the Academy of Social Sciences, from 1966 to 1972 he worked as an editor general of the journal “A Life of Party” - the main organ-journal of the Central Committee of the MPRP, then from 1972 to 1975 he was a representative of the MPRP to the international communist journal “Peace and Socialism” in Prague. He had his doctoral degree of Philosophical Sciences from the Academy of Social Sciences in 1973.

Zo.Namsrai worked as the Minister of Culture in 1975-1976, then after going down from this position he became a professor of philosophy at the Mongolian State University where he worked until his death in 1979.

The next doctors of Philosophical Science (Sc.D) were S.Norovsambuu (27.12.1973)[7], Ch.Jugder (20.02.1974)[8], D.Dagvadorj (1988)[9] and D.Dashpurev (14.02.1995)[10].

By 1990’s strong dogmatic Marxist-Leninist philosophy slowly began to lose its position and influence in Mongolian philosophical life and it is clear from close observation of some dissertations for the science doctorate degree of above mentioned Mongolian professional philosophers. For example, Zo.Namsrai, S.Norowsambuu and D.Dagvadorj kept strong position of Marxism-Leninism, but Ch.Jugder in this dissertation kept that position not too strong, contrary in dissertation of D.Dashpurev that Marxist-Leninist position almost changed and his philosophical views more free from Marxism-Leninism, because in his time the world socialism and the USSR already collapsed.

The Mongolian mind started to change step by steps and slowly, and had tested freedom of thinking that opened for the Mongols a new era of their history. The Mongolian mind is shifting to pluralistic philosophizing manner. The new time is coming. Several years ago in my book “A Concise History of Mongolian Philosophy” I am very shortly analyzed new trends of the XXI century’s Mongolian philosophers philosophizing and it’s general character[11]. Then I noted the new century’s Mongolian philosophical thinking should have pluralistic creative characteristics in the future.                                 









[1] A.Jambal. “Institutional organization of Marxist philosophy in Mongolia”. For VI Symposium of Mongolian philosophers. Ulaanbaatar., 2014. Pp 32-54 (In Mongolia)

[2] See: D.Dashjamz. Academician, philosopher, public figure, D.Tumur-Ochir’s biography (1921-1985). Ulaanbaatar., 2001 (in Mongolian).

[3] А.Жамбал. “Монгол Улсын Их Сургуулийн философийн тэнхимийн түүхийн тэмдэглэл (1944-1968)”. Улаанбаатар., 2017

* “МУИС-ийн философийн салбарын 50 жилд, өчигдөр, өнөөдөр”. Улаанбаатар., 2015.

* “Философийн салбарын 45 жилд”. Улаабаатар., 2010.

[4] Г.Чулуунбаатар. Д.Дашжамц. “Философи, социологи, эрхийн хүрээлэнгийн түүхийн хураангуй (1972-2002)”. Улаанбаатар 2002.

[5] А.Жамбал. “Marxist philosophy’s official institutionalization in Mongolia”. “Mongolian philosophers VI symposium”. Ulaanbaatar., 2014. (In Mongolian). Pp.32-55

[6] His dissertation for doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.): “Categories of basic and non-basic contradictions or their uses for modern historical era”. Moscow, 24.06.1966. (In Russian). Academy of Social Science. His dissertation for doctor of philosophical science (Sc.D.): “Formation of basic and substructure of society in countries, developed though non-capitalist steps (on example of the Mongolian Peoples Republic» Moscow, 1973 (In Russian). Academy of Social Science.

[7] His dissertation for doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.): “Specifics and correlation of democratic and socialistic revolutions in earlier weak developed, entering to socialism, countries” (example of the MPR). (In Russian), (14.12.1962). University of Moscow.  His dissertation for doctor of philosophical science (Sc.D.): “Philosophical and sociological analyze of no capitalist path of the development”. Moscow., 1973 (in Russian). Institute of philosophy, Russian Academy of Science.

[8] His dissertation for doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.): “Development of Mongolian philosophical thought in the XIX century”. Moscow., 1964. (In Russian). Institute of philosophy. Russian Academy of Sciences. His dissertation for doctor of philosophical science (Sc.D.): “Socio-political and philosophical thought in formation period of Mongolian feudalism”. Moscow., 1974. (In Russian). Institute of philosophy. Russian Academy of Sciences. 

[9] His dissertation for doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.): “Lamaism and its reactionary essence”. Irkutsk., 1969. University of Irkutsk. (In Russian) His dissertation for doctor of philosophical science (Sc.D.): “Lamaist religious concept on human”. Moscow, 1988. (In Russian). University of Moscow.      

[10] His dissertation for doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.): “Dialectic of correlation between theory and practices in socialist society”. Moscow, 1977 (In Russian). Academy of Social Science. His dissertation for doctor of philosophical science (Sc.D.): “Steps of modernization of Mongolian society” (Socio-philosophical analyze). Moscow, 1995 (In Russian). Institute of philosophy. Russian Academy of Sciences.

[11] D.Dashpurev. “A Concise History of Mongolian Philosophy.” Ulaanbaatar., 2013 (in Mongolian), Tokyo 2016 (in Japanese), Khoh Khot, 2015 (in Inner Mongolian), USA.2018 (in Russian)