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After the breakdown of the Soviet system, there was only Western model to "worship". Anything that came from there, credit fever and all, had to be accepted as normal and most progressive.

Emigrees did not really have much influence in Lithuania. Adamkus is the only success story. More deserving emigree leaders, such as Kazys Bobelis, were far less successful.

Now an interesting question is how much political success new emgrees could have. The atmosphere looks pretty skeptical against them. Besides, citizenship rules are tight (more so after an interpretation from the Constitutional Court).

by das monde on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 09:26:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there was only Western model to "worship".

However, there is no THE Western model. The worship of the West is the worship of a caricature of the West.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 09:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worship is not a necessity, but still, there was a genuine "demand" for models. People want to know how to live well, and the direct way is to follow others (and even more easily, to follow followers). What they picked up was usually a caricature worth.

As for political supply of models, it was "in principle" rather one-sided. All the value must come the West.

by das monde on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 10:04:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I meant was that our intellectuals could have looked at Swedish social democracy, the German Rhenian capitalism, French dirigism, they could also have looked at the reality of the US economy (there IS a public sector, say in power utilities, etc.) -- but for many, all they saw of the West on the economic front was Freedom of Enterprise.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 06:05:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it was not just accident... US thinktanks like AEI and Heritage put large amounts of money into lectures and other events for politicians in these newly available countries.

Likewise, US connected figures seem to have had a large effect on the political direction of many of the nations.

And in the end, lest we forget, the propaganda machines, of the press, the think tanks, the MBA schools etc. have been enough to ensure thriving Friedmanite dissident factions in Sweden, Germany and even France. So in countries with new political infrastructures, it should not surprise that there had been even greater neoliberal success.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Oct 27th, 2008 at 08:38:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US thinktanks like AEI and Heritage put large amounts of money into lectures and other events for politicians in these newly available countries.

Yes, various think-tanks and universities other organisations had a role, and contact with the IMF too -- I mean, not just neocon think-tanks active in recent years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 28th, 2008 at 04:09:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Um Bobelis the 'more deserving' emigre leader?

The guy who a few elections ago tried to smear a candidate for president because that candidate (Lozoraitis) was married to a non-Lithuanian woman?

Lozoraitis had been the Lithuanian Ambassador to the USA, suceeding his father in that post, maintaining an independent Lithuanian essence for the decades of Soviet occupation (the USA never recognised the annexation of Lithuania).  As I recall when Lithuania actually declared renewed independence in 1991  Bobelis tried to 'persuade' Lozoraitis to appoint his son into the Lithuanian diplomatic corps to give him a head start in the resurgent nation. Lozoraitis refused, so a vengeful Bobelis carried out a xenophobic hatchet job a few years later when Lozoraitis ran for the Lithuanian Presidency.

The question of what happened to several million dollars in Lithuanian emigre funds that were 'transferred' from US based Lithuanian emigre associations to non-transparent Lithuanian accounts is an interesting one that I believe has never been clarified. You may wonder why this is a relevant part of this posting but I couldnt possibly comment.

by saugatojas on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 02:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frankly speaking, I did not study Lithuanian emigree politics much.  Lozoraitis and Bobelis are the only other their personalities that I could name immediately.

Thank you for posting (and welcome back to ET).

by das monde on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 09:28:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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