Do "free markets" precede, or follow, "democracy"? There are prominent advocates on each side of the argument regarding which of these is a necessary precondition for the other. In contrast, the contention that free markets and democracy emerge simultaneously is distinguished most by its lack of advocates.
Nevertheless, in 1989, in the face of this absence, as if defying all odds, the United States Congress enacted, and President Bush signed, the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act, providing funds and instruments to "contribute to the development of democratic institutions and political pluralism" and simultaneously to "promote the development of a free-market system." And, as if that challenge were not enough, the countries identified as beneficiaries of this legislation had virtually no experience with, nor any of the ingredients of, market economies or democratic policies. in any other year, so presumptuous a commitment would have been deemed more foolhardy than daring.
The year in which the Berlin Wall came down, however, was no ordinary year. So rapid and fundamental were the changes throughout