monopolistic, or oligopolistic type of bargaining characteristic of corporatist systems that would effectively prevent the development of a middle class, which is the main stabilizer of any state. One can hardly expect any level of stability, anchored in sustained economic development, in countries that have succumbed to the trends discussed here. At best, Eastern Europe will become like Latin America, not Western Europe or North America. At the least, the Lithuanian precedent casts doubt on the ability and willingness of the post-Communist governments to resist special interests and other such temptations and to continue the radical transformation toward competitive markets that will benefit the society at large. Still, there is a hope that governments and voters all over the former Communist world will draw appropriate conclusions from Lithuania's post-Communist detour on the road from a planned to a market economy. Since Lithuania was the first country to take such a detour, it is hoped that it will be the first to return from it.
Research on this study was supported, in part, by a grant from the Center for Social and Economic Research, Warsaw.
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