While a clear ideological positioning is not necessary, not even desirable, for the groupings within the elite, for the opposition in the true sense of the word it represents a central prerequisite for political survival and success. Under “Russian opposition”, political groups should be a more liberal orientation that advocates a regime change, i.e. a transition from the current authoritarian regime to a democracy.

Importance of ideology

Most important means of winning over potential political activists and keeping the existing ones

The specifics of political activity are that the effort involved is usually greater than the immediate, immediate return. It is a highly risky undertaking, and the effort is particularly high in authoritarian contexts. It follows that in the mobilization of political activists, immaterial, collective incentives connected with the identity and ideal self-positioning of the participants play the most important role. Obviously, such incentives can most succinctly be conveyed through ideology.

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It can mobilize support from large sections of the population

In this respect, unlike at the political activist level, ideology serves primarily as a means of recognition and explanation. It is not only used in democracy-specific conditions for example in the context of voting decisions. Ideology shapes attitudes in any political regime whose development is being watched by the population, and authoritarian regimes are no exception.

The basic prerequisite for democratization is that all those involved in this process accept the fact that that the ideas represented by the opposition are supported by larger sections of the population. As a result, this support is the opposition’s most important resource even when the political struggle is not accompanied by massive population activity. If these activities become politically expedient, this support is absolutely necessary.

The difference in strategies resulting from the above differences is this: in order to mobilize and preserve the political activists, the opposition must be extremely consistent in advocating ideas shared by the activists. These ideas must be articulated in a clear form that is acceptable to the activists.

On the contrary, when it comes to public relations work towards the population, the fact that their value orientation is blurred due to a lack of strong political interest and is influenced by government propaganda must be taken into account.