For all the differences in goals and social support, the transformation of the social system being attempted in Eastern Europe has at least one feature in common with that initiated by the Communists. Communist society was to be the embodiment of all the fundamental ideals of humanity—equality, justice, freedom, abolishment of exploitation, respect for human dignity, and total fulfillment of social needs. Instead of norms and principles holding at all points of the social space, there started to appear local "ethics" valid at the moment for only a given group of people engaged in a concrete interaction. On the systemic level this led to the breakdown of a socially indispensable minimum of conformism and integration. On the individual level it took from people the minimum knowledge of the rules by which others were playing, thus preventing the rationalization of individual activities.