The top tier
of the civil society structures is comprised of associations formed
on the basis of spiritual and ideological affinity. Many of them are
the survivals of the Soviet propaganda machine that manage to rise
from its ashes.
For example, the so-called creative unions of writers, journalists,
filmmakers, composers, etc. have their origins in the old system, though
the content and form of their current activities have undergone
substantial change. Some are entirely new organizations that appeared in
the course of struggle against the old system as its ideological
alternatives and as an attempt to break the shackles of the official
ideological tier includes different types of analytical centers and
discussion clubs that are closely affiliated with political parties.
For example, the ideological groups of intellectuals and academics
of communist and socialist orientation cluster round the Communist
Party of the Russian Federation and other left political groupings.
Center-left groupings gravitate toward the Gorbachev Fund and his
Social Democratic Party of Russia. The centrist United Russia party
attracts moderate nationalist and center-right groupings. There are
other clubs that are close to the liberal parties. Ultra-nationalist
factions associate with the parties on the far right.
important elements of the top tier of civil society include
religious association, the mass media, and political parties.
Political parties occupy a special place in civil society.
On the one hand, they are part of the emerging multiparty political
system. On the other, they act as non-state public organizations
that express the interests of different groups of population. In
this role they are part of civil society.