Charles Krauthammer {"Bourgeois? You Bet!" op-ed, Dec. 14} quotes the new Hungarian constitution as stating that Hungary would henceforward be a "state in which the values of bourgeois democracy and democratic socialism prevail in equal measures." He then says that as evidenced by Hungary's and similar developments in Eastern Europe, "history has vindicated capitalism" by embracing "the bourgeois."

I fail to see the connection. My understanding of the quotation and related Eastern European developments leads me to say that democracy, not capitalism, is what is being vindicated. Mr. Krauthammer's argument stresses the "bourgeois" side of the equation, but as the Hungarian constitution states, socialism will be an equal contributor to the new formula.

Naked capitalism is being embraced neither in Eastern Europe nor in the West. Rather Europe is rejecting totalitarianism in favor of self-determination and basic democratic freedoms such as those of expression and association.

Europe's new economies will contain generous portions of capitalism, to be sure, but in all likelihood they will also retain elements of socialism, bringing the economies closer to current Western economics, which also contains elements of both. One hopes that they will thus become adaptable to changing needs and trends, rather than ossified in either a rigid socialist or capitalist ideology, which could lead to an oppressive stagnation or a depression.

The strongest and most humane economies do not blindly worship either the god of unfettered capitalism or that of communism. Rather they contain capitalist elements where appropriate (e.g., incentives and the development of new products) and socialist elements where appropriate (i.e., public schools, libraries, roads). To equate the West with pure capitalism and developments in the East with the triumph thereof is inaccurate at best.

CHRISTINE HANSON MERCER Washington