The Globe Bookstore and Coffeehouse in
The transformation in
It’s tempting to infer from these street scenes that developed nations have fulfilled their obligation to the region by witnessing the birth of democratic institutions. But the cityscapes are somewhat misleading: Behind the scenes, many people are hurting, and for its part, the West hasn’t done enough to help. Polls show that most who live in former Soviet bloc nations feel democracy and capitalism have created chaos and uncertainty (see cover story). Searching for a mythical stability, Poles and Hungarians, among others, have brought back the old crowd of Communists. To be sure, local reformers did not manage the people’s expectations well. But neither has
No one should expect the
Economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term “creative destruction,” underscoring capitalism’s power to supplant an entrenched economic order-even one of its own making. Although democratic institutions have taken hold, it would be well for the West to support them. At least it would give the lie to a frequently heard message from the old politicians: that democracy isn’t for everyone; the old ways are justified.