Independence: The current struggle for political and economic autonomy by Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
For half a century the Baltic republics have had the highest standard of living in the Soviet Union yet they are among the republics most intent on regaining the political and economic autonomy they enjoyed between the world wars. Using Thorstein Veblen's axiom for human institutions ("What is is wrong") I have shown that independence, while difficult to attain, is a goal that the Balts have been drawn to not just for historical and cultural reasons, but also for economic reasons. Governments are tools among the purposes of which is to ensure prosperity and security. Because the Soviet central government has failed to produce the benefits that governments must, the Balts have come to feel that they have no other choice but to manage their own affairs. I conclude that despite the problems associated with independence, the Baltic republics will continue with their struggle till they achieve their goal.