WHEN THE COMMUNISTS gained control in Eastern Europe, the transition from capitalism to socialism was technically easy. The new parasitic system simply latched onto existing capital and began to feed.
Since the Berlin Wall came down, the ravages of socialism have become clear to even the most casual observer: antiquated factories, crumbling roads and bridges, fouled environments and impoverished workers. It is ironic that socialism, which was violently and ruthlessly imposed in the name of workers, has left the Eastern European proletariat ill-trained, unmotivated, incapable of making ends meet and disgruntled.
To assess the damage, the nations of Eastern Europe have imported Western accountants in large numbers, since competent members of that profession are nowhere to be found in the East. These shock troops of capitalism are busy examining the industrial corpses. For example, about one-quarter of all West Germany's accountants are presently attempting to make sense of the 8,000 largest enterprises in East Germany. Not surprisingly, ''insolvent-must liquidate'' has been stamped on most of these operations. The parasites haven't left much of value. In consequence, most of the factories will have to be scrapped -- literally.