James F. Brown
Helping Eastern Europe:
Thoughts, Suggestions, and
Some Mild Obsessions
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." The Marxist creed still has a sort of relevance as Eastern Europe contemplates not the victory of communism but its disastrous legacy. Now it pertains not to millenarian fulfillment but to the West's role in picking up the pieces of failure. Communism's most famous slogan now becomes a rule of thumb for a capitalist salvage operation.
What the liberated nations of Eastern Europe want -- and what the West wants for them -- is the civil society, a comprehensive and secure democracy. This applies as much to southeastern Europe as to Eastern and central Europe, as much to Moscow's old "southern tier" as to its "northern tier." This is worth stressing, lest the West make the momentous mistake of writing off "the Balkans" as both irredeemable and irrelevant. True, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Yugoslavian republic of Slovenia look set for political