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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Why does the existing system of power in Russia today, despite its obvious faults in terms of the essential criteria of democracy, nevertheless enjoy broad mass support? One should look for the answer, in particular, in the special characteristics of mass consciousness of Russians. Opinion polls show a high level of support for the idea of strong power and for the values of order and stability as a priority to the principles of liberal democracy, as well as the prevalence of paternalistic expectations. At the same time, the overall picture is mixed, leaving the possibility of different interpretations. The author presents his hypothesis, linking typical characteristics of mass consciousness of Russians with features of the history of the country, the specific conditions in which the Russian statehood, the type of culture and people’s mentality were formed over many centuries. The current regime is finding support in popular consciousness because it bears, like the political system itself, the seal of these conditions. The political systems not constructed in accordance with some ideal model cannot be stable in the long-term, and are a product of historical development of the nation, society and state under the given external conditions.
Society, mass consciousness, core values, political system, authoritarianism, democracy