VITAL SIGNSrnPOLITICSrnEastern Europe’srnSuicide Pactrnby Tomislav SunicrnEastern Europeans are plagued byrnprovincialism: they believe that everythingrncoming from the West must intrinsicallyrnbe good. Yesterday, the intellectualrnfashion, spreading from Berkeleyrnto the University of Vincennes in France,rnconsisted of regurgitating the dogmarnof Yugoslav “self-management” andrnlearning the catechism of “socialismrnwith a human face.” Today, times havernchanged in the opposite direction; fashionablernliberal ideas like the “free market,”rn”globalism,” and “videopolitics”rnhave blanketed Eastern Europe, and venturingrncritical thoughts to the contraryrnmeans being tagged a politically incorrectrnidiot.rnThis carnival of mimicry should notrnbe surprising. For hundreds of yearsrnEastern Europeans were obliged torndance to a foreign tune, whether pipedrnin from Vienna, Venice, or the Vatican.rnFor decades they had to prove that theyrnwere more papal than the Pope. Smallrnwonder, that their century-long rites ofrnwannabe Western passage resulted in arnservile mindset, which rejected everythingrnhomegrown and embraced anythingrncoming from the West.rnNaturally, many good things comernfrom the West: civic responsibility, courtesy,rnand the work ethic. Western Europeans,rnunlike their E^astern counterparts,rndid not suffer under communist barbarismrnor from a chronic identity crisis.rnYet the very same West, particularly overrnthe last 20 years, has been beset byrncrime, lurid sects, and drug abuse.rnThis fascination with Western liberalismrnis destroying the Eastern Europeans’rnnew sense of nationhood more effectivelyrnthan the bygone communist terror everrndid. It disarms their logic and rendersrnthem incapable of reading between liberalrnlines. For example, few of them realizernthat liberalism can only function byrnturning people into commodities, or thatrnbefore it destroys itself, liberalism willrnlikely destroy dozens of newly emergedrnnations in Eastern Europe.rnLiberalism preaches equality; permanentrneconomic growth; unrestrained individualism;rnthe end of history—althoughrnthese golden cliches barely holdrnwater. The Rousseauistic myth that allrnpeople are born equal is absurd. Onernperson has an attractive face, another hasrnan ugly pizza-face; someone is bornrnsmart, someone else is born a smart-ass.rnThis myth has had a devastating effectrnon postcommunist Eastern Europe,rnwhose citizens naively assume that everybodyrnis cut out to be a president, a moviernstar, a tennis pro—in short, anythingrnimaginable. In other words, liberalismrnhas, paradoxically, been better thanrncommunism in achieving the Utopianrngoal of equality. It has created dreamsrnmore resilient to critical thought thanrnthe Eastern European communist nightmare.rnLiberal global illusions of “equalrnrights” trigger today great neurosisrnamong the youth of Eastern Europe,rnleading many to believe that they can bernas handsome as Mel Gibson, as rich asrnBilly Gates, and as intelligent as a Nobelrnprize winner. Small wonder that manyrnyoungsters in Eastern Europe freak outrnand get hooked on drugs—as large segmentsrnof Western youth have done. As arnresult, it is now Eastern Europe’s turn tornbattle liberalism’s permissiveness.rnWhat does it mean that people mustrnhave equal rights? Does it mean theyrnmust use the same condoms or drive thernsame Porsches? Curiously, those whornconstantly bemoan the intrusion of thernstate in private life are usually the first tornstretch out their hand to the welfare staternwhen they are in serious financial trouble.rnThe welfare state in America, thernEtat-providence in France, has overrnthe last 20 years become a dangerousrnillusion, which while dishing out greatrnmoney has also destroyed any genuinernsense of individualism and self-initiativernamong the intelligent youth. True individualsrnwere the American heroes fromrnJack London’s novels, early Boors fromrnSouth Africa, early Crocodile Dundeesrnfrom Down Lender, and early gauchosrnfrom Argentina. Those individuals werernalways willing to make their own destinyrnwith their own hands. Never did they askrnfor help—always were they willing tornhelp those in distress.rnThe much-vaunted liberal sermonrnabout human rights is also a trap of sorts.rnLiberal clerics in the East and West lovernto talk about human rights, but neverrnabout human duties. The dynamics ofrn”human rights” naturally leads manyrnEastern Europeans to believe that everybodyrnmust be entitled to a Mercedes, arnmansion on Santa Monica beach, and anrnawesome blonde bimbo from Monaco.rnRight-wing intellectuals such as HansrnEysenck, Konrad Lorenz, Claude Polin,rnand many others have persuasively arguedrnthat it is far easier to establishrnequality in communist poverty thanrnequality in liberal affluence. It is far easierrnto establish equality in stupidity thanrnequality of IQ. Hence the rise of therncommunist specter in this century;rnhence the communist degenerates whorncame to power in 1917 and 1945 in EasternrnEurope and who have by no meansrndisappeared today. It is a deadly illusionrnamong many modern conservatives,rnboth in America and in Europe, thatrncommunism is dead and gone, or that itrncan be shrugged off with free marketrnrhetoric. As a result of a widening gaprnbetween rich and poor, one must notrnrule out that communism may reappearrnagain—albeit in a different garb andrnby resorting to a different vernacular—rnaided and abetted by a new class ofrnpolitically correct hagiographers.rnLiberals are born liars who do not lierndeliberately, but by default. They talkrnabout equality, yet they cherish theirrnown monetary aristocracy in a new wasternsociety, where the masses are becomingrnpoorer and where only a chosen few livernhigh on the hog. Small wonder that thernexcessive legalism of liberalism eventuallyrnsigns its own death warrant, paving thernway for the communist ghost. Antiliberalrnguerillas—the so-called wretched ofrnthe earth, such as Tupamaros, Monteneros,rnZapatistas, Peronistas, Sandinistas,rnTupac-Amarus, Prima linea, RAF, etc.—rnare always around to respond with violencernto the vulgar and self-destructivernrhetoric of the liberal class.rnThe advantage of communism lay inrnits own transparency. Who could notrn48/CHRONICLESrnrnrn