Political Interest wrote:When is someone's opinion valid and when does their ideological position become a valid one?
An opinion is just that. An opinion. So unless the opinion can be proven wrong, it has as much validation as anothers opposite opinion. So everyone's ideological position has to be valid, but not necessarily moral or beneficial.
For example, why were Lenin and Mao Zedong considered legitimate communists but a middle class Westerner living in the US or UK is not taken seriously?
Are you taking about middle class communists here? Many on here would disagree with the middle class having no voice. It appears it's the working class who don't (but I would disagree with this). But back to your point, Lenin and Mao were the right voice, in the right area at the right time. During hardship or a need for transition, a voice of hope will always be listened to regardless if it is beneficial to you. During hardship people want change because they believe things cannot get worse. And history has proven this to not always be the case. Trump is an example of recent false hope. And when his lies turn to dust, a new voice, with a new direction will come out of America.
Do people need to have a specific context to justify their political beliefs? Or are politcal beliefs something you do not need to justify?
I know at least one poster who will disagree with me here, but political belief tends to formed by the environment you live in. During hardship, it appears people are more extreme and less tolerant of others. The more cultured you are, the more cultured your friends. And that opens more doors for you in terms of career progression. There are many many other factors to consider like your family and friends which can influence your political belief too, but to say there isn't a class divide in political belief and ideology would 'appear' to be unfounded.