Even more basic than the presence of an abundance of experts and specialists, however, is the need for an amorphous intangible, the will to achieve and succeed. The will of a nation, an admittedly nebulous and vague idea, ideally is discerned, expressed, and exercised by its leaders in the government and in the legislature. It is up to these leaders to want and then to initiate, adopt, and implement the rule of law, a term which itself embodies many concepts but contains no therapeutic formulas. In this regard, the darling of the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”), the small nation of Estonia, with a population comparable to that of the island of Manhattan, had the political and intellectual leadership with the will and the drive to create a market economy embedded in the rule of law. How such a will arises or is created is the subject for a separate sociological study and not a topic for this Essay. But the positive consequences of the leadership of Estonia in exercising and implementing this national will stands not so much as a challenge to other nations still struggling with the transformation process, such as many of the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (“CIS”), but as an example and a confirmation that a successful transition from a centrally planned economy to a free market economy can be achieved quickly. To simply attribute and dismiss Estonia's emergence as an anomaly due to the difference of its culture from that of the other peoples in the former Soviet Union, however, as is commonly done by many academicians, legislators, and other leaders in the nations of the CIS, is simply a self-fulfilling excuse for inaction, inevitable failure, and cultural arrogance, even if masked as a compliment. In fact, the prospective, still unheralded, success of the Republic of Georgia in its law reform efforts belies any such assertions. It is of note that the remarkable emergence of Estonia, and the expected achievements of Georgia, did not develop in a vacuum, but utilized the support of the international community to buttress national will.
Permitted Unless Prohibited: The Changed Soviet Mentality,
20 Fordham Int'l L.J. 365
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