prestige of the left, which has producedrnsuch tliinkers as Georg 1 .iikacs, AntoniornGramsci, b’.mst Bloch, and Miloan Djilas,rnno matter what direction their evolutionrneentuall’ took, still bolsters Marxistrnintellectual respectability abroad andrnprestige at home, since they represent arnthin enccr of urban intelligentsia inrnKastern Europe’s largely agrarian societies.rnTheir successors, often their veryrnstudents, now of mature age and originatingrnfrom the same narrow intellectualrncaste, contribute to the liberal course as ifrnit were the logical and ideological sec]uelrnto a more experienced, wiser Marxism.rnIn short, the ex-Marxist intellectualsrnha e effected all over P^astern Kurope arnskillful transition to what the West likesrnto beliee is social democracy. It continuesrnrecruiting on the left and is reckonedrnas an indispensable partner in an’ conceirnable coalition. The bridges it hasrnbuilt (mam of them still under the dyingrn”old regime,” in fact with the party’srneomplieit, even encouragement) tornWestern liberal and social democraticrncircles now earn generous funds and freernpropaganda. Thus tlie left has emergedrnas a trusted partner of the West.rnThe right, on the other hand, is nowrnrelegated to the backwaters. For thernMarxist left, the right used to be the enem,rnbut it is now a mere remnant, atrnmost an impediment to “modernization.”rnWhat is the right, anywav? Likernits Western cousins, tlie right in EasternrnEurope is dubbed “extremist.” At best, itrnis rerardcd as a for its opposrrntion to the two great options of the centuryrnrepresented b Moscow in tlie past,rnb’ Washington now. Rightists are seenrnas agents of antieulture since the rejectrnmodernit. Encouraging public opinionrnto accept this crsion of things are thernelections prox’ing that the right has onlyrnminimal support. Only in Russia doesrnthe traditional right command respectrnand gather otes, since there is an army, arneritable state within the state: the ultimarnratio of the right in modern times.rnBut in the countries we speak about,rnsuch an institution hardh’ exists, or itrnegctates in a state of demoralized anarchwrnThe militar is told to wait for betterrndas and better pa—when it will bernintegrated into NATO’.rnThe spectacular showing of the left inrnrecent elections elicits secral remarks.rnFirst, the political atmosphere is overheatedrnbecause the right finds no expression,rnalthough, paradoxically, it is closerrnto these nations’ tradition and generalrncharacter. Lech Walesa, as the recentlyrnousted president of Poland, Bishop LaszlornTokes, who ignited the anti-Ceausescurnuprising in Transylvania, and Jozsef Antall,rnthe first Hungarian prime ministerrn(1990-1993), were nationalist and Christianrnand nearly cult figures in the eves ofrntheir respcctie nations. In this sense,rnthe leftist electoral success may seem, inrnthe long run, fragile and ephemeral. Thernvoters seem to be aware that a rightistrngovernment cannot count on Westernrnsupport, although they will quickly findrnout that a leftist regime is not much betterrnsituated in this respect. When thisrntruth sinks in—and “united Europe” displaysrnall its Western selfishness—the votersrnmay reposition themselves.rnSecondly, the suppressed national energiesrnmay find an outlet through a nationalistrnleft. In ex-Yugoslavia and elsewhere,rna hard-pressed left, communist orrnotherwise, reformulates its colleeti’ernconsciousness (the case of Stalin in thern”great patriotic war”) and rediscovers thernmeaning and discourse of past sacrifice.rnThe right, dccei’ed so many times by itsrnown weak or derelict Icadersliip, mav notrnremain insensitive to these themes. Betweenrnthe two world wars, nationalismrnwas a monopoh’ of the right; why shouldrnit not become a leftist cause?rnThis picture is not vcrv different fromrnthe 1930’s, except that the right/left lineuprntilted then toward fascism with arnstrong social content. ‘Ibday, it tilts towardrna not quite definable leftism, perhapsrnin the experimental stage. Butrnshould a conflict spread over EasternrnEurope, a situation impossible to isolate,rnsa a war between a newly prepotentrnRussia and the Ukraine, or between Rumaniarnand Flungary over Transylvania,rnwe doubtless would see a realignment ofrnleft and right.rnThomas Molnar’s PhilosophicalrnGrounds (1991) was just rercleased byrnTramaction Fuhhshers as Archetypes ofrnThought.rnAge and Criminalityrnby Ernest van den HaagrnAlthough crime has become a majorrnsocial problem, we could anquishrnit without curtailing the liberties of lawabidingrncitizens, without mistreatingrnsuspects or convicts, and without addedrncost. The only major obstacle is the inertiarnof legislators.rn0 e r half of the convicts now inrnprison are younger than 29 ears old.rnOnly six percent are older than 45.rnThese uncontested data lead, or shouldrnlead, to the following policy: anv’one convictedrnfor the third time of a nontrivialrnoffense, or convicted for the second timernof a violent crime, should be kept inrnprison until he is 45 years of age. Regardlessrnof age, he also should be imprisonedrnfor no fewer than five years (more ifrnthe gra’ity of his crime demands it).rnStatistics and common sense tell usrnthat a defendant, when eonweted a thirdrntime, usually has committed more thanrnthree crimes. After all, offenders arc unlikelyrnto be caught and comicted eachrntime they violate the law. Most commitrnmany crimes before landing in jail. Inrnany case, a third eoniction confirms thatrnthe defendant is bent on crime as a careerrnand is not discouraged b’ convictionsrnand penalizations. A second convictionrnfor an act of unlayvfii! iolcncernindicates at the least that the defendantrnremains dangerous despite previousrnpunishment. However, according to thernstatistics, at age 45 most eon’icts give uprncriminal activities. They are rehabilitatedrnby their years. It makes good sense,rntherefore, for those repeatedly comictedrnto be confined until, at 45, age deactivatesrnthem.rnWe already take age into accountrnwhen punishing young offenders. Butrnwe do so perversely. We minimize thernconfinement of youthful offenders. Ifrnunder age 18, thc’ quite often escapernpunishment altogether. When they becomernlegal adults, young criminalsrnusually are dealt with lenienth as firstrnoffenders, despite juvenile recordsrn(which arc officially scaled). I’Acn outh-rnM.AKCH 1996/47rnrnrn