The transformations in East-Central Europe after 1989 proceed at two distinct levels: institutional and cultural. The complete transition to democratic polity and market economy can be effected only if appropriate cultural “habits of the heart” emerge and become fully established. The period of real-socialism has left a vicious legacy of “civilizational incompetence”, due to the impact of “bloc culture”. But the traditions of indigenous, national cultures as well as globalized Western culture may serve as an antidote, slowly eradicating the vestiges of communism. The major role in this process is performed by the young generation, who was able to escape the indoctrination and habituation by the communist system.

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