U.S.S.R. Or B.U.S.T.

The name Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has about it the deep sonority of history. Unfortunately, it is history -- or virtually so. Last week members of the Soviet parliament batted around suggested titles for the disintegrating union. Among the candidate monikers are the Union of Sovereign Soviet States (a Gorbachev favorite), the Euroasian Economic Community and the Commonwealth of Sovereign States of Europe and Asia. One cynic even suggested the Club of Crippled Nations.

The problem with the Soviet Union is that each of its many incompatible parts may be slighted by a name that failed to take specific national...

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