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Ideological Interests

 

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 ideology. 

 
Union of Journalists of Russia

The 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.

Other 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.

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