By the time I returned to Czechoslovakia, I had an understanding of the principles of the market.
I also helped write the five-page statement of principles that Civic Forum issued in late November. That was the first public expression of what the new government wanted to do.
Issued New Expression
I was paid to read Western economic texts. In a way, the regime paid for their own undermining.
It is what makes the reform process an art, not just a science. You have to develop a strategy that tells you what reform measures you should follow and in what sequence.
Develop Makes Reform
People like me who were engaging in brinkmanship with the party economic bosses and the open dissidents who were being arrested were pursuing a common goal in different ways.
Like Party Arrested
Then in 1969, I spent the spring term at Cornell University in New York. The invasion of August 1968 had already happened, but the hardline regime took several months to crack down on dissidents.
August Regime Months
To talk about planning an economic system is to talk in old terms, and I find myself sometimes having to teach Westers about what the market really means.
Myself Economic Find
What we want is to establish the rules of a market economy - not to plan its outcome.
Want Outcome Rules
The events in the square, of course, made a deep impression on me and many other parents.
I never intended to be a politician or office-seeker.
Politician I Intended