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Will Mir Rise Again?

When Mir entered the lower stratosphere, it broke into five fiercely burning stars, thundered over the ocean like the trumpets of the Judgment Day, and fell into the sea.   Mir had climbed highest of all and now it was the last to fall, after everything else that could fall had already fallen.

Mir's fall was as sublime as the death of a hero and as awesome as the Katiusha salvo at the Reichstag.   The people who were running around in the Flight Center, those cosmonauts and space engineers who, like poor relatives, were shipped to Fiji - they had nothing to do with Mir, with what it stood for.  Those who did - they had fallen long ago: "scientists, engineers, technicians, and workers," as the Politburo used to put it, the USSR and its peoples, socialism itself.  Mir was only the last, the distillation of the dream and the will of the first workers' state.  And now Mir was firing the last salute over its burial pit.

The death of capitalism will look very different.  There will be nothing sublime, nothing heroic about it.  The important thing is to make sure that capitalism's death will not become our common grave.  This will, indeed, take much heroism, as well as thought tested by practice.

The shining end of Mir should not blind us to what it stood for.  Who shut it down?  Why did socialism fall?  Why did the masses remain apathetic to its death?  For Mir, as the space program of the USSR, reflected the greatness and the poverty of Soviet socialism, its substitution of social progress by technological, its victory over the Earth's gravity at the expense of material poverty and spiritual bondage.  Can, and will, Mir rise anew so that never to fall again?

The Editor

Translator’s note: Russian “MIR” has the double meaning of “world” and “peace.”
“Katiusha” is the endearing name for the Red Army’s WWII rocket launchers.

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