The original idea for this paper dates back to 1996. At that time, I was teaching in Cracow, Poland, in a summer institute on democracy and diversity. Since 1992, I had been teaching a course at that institute on democratic culture, utilizing both the political theory of major western thinkers, particularly Hannah Arendt, and major thinkers and political actors from around the old bloc, particularly Adam Michnik and Vaclav Havel. Since the early seventies, I had studied and worked with the developing democratic movement in Central Europe, particularly Poland. The course was a continuation of these activities. But something new and different presented itself in ’96. In a region where outside official circles Ronald Reagan could do no wrong, students started presenting fairly standard, but from this part of the world, very exciting, critical judgments of America.