The links between science, clinical practice and politics are not always evident to us. Recent changes in Eastern Europe have affected all areas of life, and serve as a reminder that such links between apparently separate areas can and do exist. Maria Kopp, who wrote the following article, is a Hungarian researcher and clinician who, despite considerable restrictions and lack of resources, has conducted a range of important studies into the nature and treatment of anxiety and psychophysiological problems and published important articles both in Hungarian and English (e.g. Kopp & Gruzelier, 1989; Kopp et al., 1986). In the following article, a version of which was publishec in the newspaper Magyar Nemzet (“Hungarian Nation”) on the 2nd October, 1989, she brings her knowledge of the processes involved in the origins and maintenance of anxiety to bear on present-day difficulties in the emergent eastern European democracies. In particular, she highlights the responsibility of those who are entrusted with control over others not to abuse their ability to provoke anxiety and engender helplessness. Dr Kopp also highlights the responsibility of those who place others in power to be aware of the potential danger of abuse, regardless of the declared good intentions of those who wield such power. Such considerations are not completely alien to our own situation.