A Neutral Hungary in Western Europe
The editorial ``Hungary's Future and the Pact,'' Nov. 3, concludes that Hungary should stay in the Warsaw Pact. Frankly, I don't understand your argument. Transformation of communism, rather than reform, is going on in Hungary. This won't make the communist rule more rational, legitimate, and bearable; it will get rid of such rule. The transforming process has gone so far that it is politically irreversible. The single and only resort of an internal and/or external conservative communist backlash is the Warsaw Pact. As long as Gorbachev stays in power, an orchestrated external intervention is very unlikely. An open-ended question, however, is: What if Mr. Gorbachev fails? Whose Warsaw Pact are we talking about?
Hungary's best strategy is to push things the fastest to the furthest, and consolidate immediately. Several significant steps have already been made: The Workers' Guard (the Communist Party's private army) has been disbanded; the military has been placed under the control of the Parliament; public control over the police has been increased; no party is allowed to maintain organizations within the governmental bureaucracies, including the police, the military, and the judiciary. Two of the most significant measures are yet to come: the complete pullout of Soviet troops from Hungary and the neutrality of the country. Hungary with restored full sovereignty will be less vulnerable to external interventions or domestic conservative backlash.
The ``floating summit'' will be highly concerned with Hungary. The United States can make a tremendous contribution to world democracy: Help Hungary keep floating toward Western Europe.
I have heard this sentence in the US-Mexican context, but I think it is appropriate for Hungary's case, too: ``Hungary is close to God, but closer to the Soviet Union.'' Why not take the chance offered by the Soviet Union? Tamas L. Fellegi, Storrs, Conn., University of Connecticut
Market individuals In his column ``Individuals Control the Market,'' Nov. 1, Jonathan Rowe voices a sad misunderstanding of the role that the individual initiative of market participants plays in society. The image of the immoral stock market traders taking ``revenge on the entire economy'' exhibits a widespread and dangerous belief that the market serves those who play it at the expense of the rest of society.
Looking at the profiteering behavior of market participants with disdain is easy. So is forgetting that such same behavior saves us from long hours in breadlines.
The market is emphatically not ``simply people who buy and sell.'' It is a vast communications network that transmits the needs and desires of consumers to those who can supply them, and finances those that do it best. When government policy is more capricious than consumer demand, who, after all, is really to blame? David Beers, Farifax, Va., George Mason University
A botanical hypothesis Regarding the article ``A Botanist Grows Into a Generalist,'' Nov. 6: From my college botany course, I remember the evening primrose family, Onagraceae, as the only family in which the ovary is situated below the attachment of the petals.
Peter Raven's discussion of secondary metabolites causes me to speculate that the evening primrose flower structure might work in favor of survival. If insects wanting to eat the forming seeds in the ovary are attracted by bright petals, they might miss the ovaries because the ovaries are below the colorful petals. Further,the ovaries are not only less colorful but seem to be part of the stem. Lois Smith, Newton Center, Mass.