communist culture, despite the fact thatrnmany of them identify themselves asrnardent anticommunists. Life in the newrnnoncommunist Eastern Europe, whichrnrequires risk and imposes competition, isrnhard for many natives to swallow. Widernsegments of the population continue torndisplay the same old servility towardrntheir democratically elected or chosenrnsuperiors. The old communist practicernof double deals and paranoid fear thatrneverybody is plotting against everybody,rnand that one mav become the target ofrnthe government’s wrath, is widespread.rnConspiracy theories abound; there arernunofficial rumors about dark and hiddenrnforces—perhaps involving some inexplicablernforeign fifth column or a proverbialrn”Jew”—which arc responsible for therneconomic hardships. It should not comernas a surprise that such a conspiracvpronernenvironment is suitable for obscurernWestern organizations, such as thernSchiller Institute or the UnificationrnChurch, which seem to be quite active inrnthis part of the disabused and disenchantedrnEurope.rnThe lack of self-confidence and initiativernseem to be another aspect of thernEastern European drairra. In new institutionsrnand political life similar to the oldrncommunist ones, everything must be approvedrnby superiors, every minor detailrnneeds to have a stamp by a high governmentrnofficial. Also, the newly establishedrnparty pluralism frequently bordersrnon the grotesque, because the multitudernof newly emerged political parties, inrntheir passionate drive to imitate thernWest, often strive to prove that thevrnknow more about democracy and freernmarkets than Westerners themselves.rnGrowing economic hardship, coupledrnwith the uncertain geopolitical situationrnwhich is being rocked by ethnic turmoil,rnactually provides many Eastern Europeansrnwith an excuse for their own incompetencernand psychological paralysis.rnUndoubtedly, citizens in Eastern Europernenjoy today a great deal of media freedom,rnprobably more so than the “politicallyrncorrect” and self-censored liberalrnWest, but their mindset and patternsrnof communication remain the same asrnunder communism. Small wonder thatrnthe loss of security and economic predictabilityrnthat accompanied the demisernof communism and the rise of privatizationrnand the free market is creating arndangerous psychological void, which willrnmost likely, in the very near future, resultrnin yet another totalitarian temptation.rnMetaphorically speaking, citizens inrnEastern Europe wish to retain the inheritedrncommunist laziness and graft onto itrnthe liberal glitter of the Western shoppingrnmalls. The communist spirit, asrna perfect incarnation of democraticrntotalitarianism, has not lost much of itsrnpsychological attractiveness. Homo sovieticusrnclearly lives on.rnTomislav Sunic’s new book is Dissidencernand Titoism (Peter Lang). He currentlyrnserves in the Croatian Ministry of ForeignrnAffairs.rnWhen EastrnMeets Westrnby Thomas MolnarrnWith every passing day thernEastern European countries arernabsorbed and integrated into Westernsponsoredrninternational institutions—rnthe U.N., NATO, the EuropeanrnUnion, the World Bank, etc. For Warsaw,rnPrague, Bratislava, Budapest, andrnKiev, the West represents the light at thernend of the tunnel, the gate to salvation.rnIt is funny (tragic) to see: while the West,rnfrom the perspective of its consumercitizens,rnis increasingly a degeneraternpiece of geography, for the recent escapeesrnfrom communism it is the Landrnof Plenty, Eldorado combined with arnPays de Cocagne, the end of history, thernplenitude of Culture. Eukuyama oughtrnto travel there in order to replenish hisrnwaning optimism.rnThis desire to join “Europe” and thernAtlantic community grows obsessive asrnthe national and regional problems—rnmisery, ethnic conflicts, the migrationrnissue, the collapse of infrastructure—rnswell to unmanageable proportions. Nornamount of foreign aid, investment,rnpeace talks, and membership cards canrnstem the flood of difficulties; not, mindrnyou, because of Soviet occupation andrndevastation alone, but also because ofrnthe weight of history and the heritage ofrnTurks, Habsburgs, Russians, and otherrncolonizers. Upon the colonizers, onernought not to underestimate the subtlernmainmise of the modern West, both economicrnand cultural, which has led to arnlazy and cynical mentality, a justificationrnof the “it is useless anyway” attitude.rnThe number of times these countriesrnhave been betrayed by the West maskedrnas Santa Clans is astronomical, and if thisrnis not quite so in fact, it remains so in therncitizen’s mind.rnThe nth Balkan war, the present one,rnis only the most recent betrayal, withrnits pseudo-arbitrations and embargoes.rnOther betrayals were Budapest in 1956,rnthen Prague, then Danzig—and beforernthem Yalta, Versailles, Wilson andrnClemenceau, and so on, way back intornthe past. And quite recently, too: it isrnknown that the collapse of the BerlinrnWall was a trauma for Paris and London,rnan embarrassment for the entire West.rnWho wants legions of beggars to knockrnat the gates and offer narcotics, nuclearrndevices, and unwanted products?rnIn short, the lifting of the Iron Curtainrnhas been the source of serial dramas,rnwith actors immobilized before 1989,rnwho now assume their roles. True, therncry to “Join the West!” (from Bill Clintonrnas much as Michael Jackson) seemsrnto satisfy the eagerness to escape thernpast; yet this “integration” will solernnothing, while creating immense disappointments;rneither integration will notrndeliver according to expectations, or itrnwill add new woes typical of Western societiesrnto the already unsolvablc localrnproblems. Integration comes to resemblernthe lemmings’ suicide march.rnYet—the eternal paradox—there arernalso many signs of health in Eastern Europe,rnwithout Western do-goodism andrninterference. Some things work, and,rnamazingly, worked under the previousrnregime too, by the sheer power of tradition,rnsubtle resistance, solidarity, and atrntimes a sense of the human on the partrnof Marxist bureaucrats themselves.rnSchools and curricula, church institutions,rnnational loyaltv, the consciousnessrnof being part of Europe, the livelvrnsources of folk art, and, above all else, literaturernand its tradition—these were andrnremained the positive elements. If thesernnations have a future, it is because thernliberal and progressive concepts have notrneaten themselves into their fabric, butrnhave been cordoned off to big cities andrna small percentage of their population.rnTo say this, of course, provokes controversy,rnif not acerbic accusations. It is thernforemost taboo subject. Nevertheless, itrnis important to assert that the generallyrnWestern ideology of liberal democracy,rnglobalism, and rootless culture is whatrntoday poisons the work of reconstruction.rnAfter a century of Marxist andrnvarious Utopian dreams, and evil philoso-rn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn