Episode 29 – Death and Ideas: An interview about the Red Scare, Communism and Star Trek

Greetings, Comrades!

While we work on our final, all-encompassing episode on GULAG (and KGB) which has consumed all free time and energy in the known universe, at least the parts of it, that are available in Latvia, we present to you our interview with the Dead Ideas podcast on the Red Scare, Duck & Cover, communism, answers to questions about communism, bits of Star Trek and why USA actually doesn’t have 50 states. Enjoy!


The Eastern Border
The Eastern Border
Episode 29 - Death and Ideas: An interview about the Red Scare, Communism and Star Trek
About Curonian 6 Articles
The humble creator of this podcast - living in Riga, Latvia, and trying to give you the best that I can.

2 Comments on Episode 29 – Death and Ideas: An interview about the Red Scare, Communism and Star Trek

  1. Oh my what an entertaining episode and so much to unpack.

    I was born in 1958, so did not learn to “Duck and Cover” though I knew of it. Public buildings still had Civil Defense Shelter signs.
    Our Boy Scouts was much less interesting than yours.
    The Communists were actually quite good at infiltrating our open borders, and like the stories, they managed to both turn citizens into agents and to place actual trained agents within our military and government.

    However spy hunting had to go undercover after the McCarthy era and it’s excesses. That did not mean there were not spies, but the FBI tracked them quietly after that.
    Reflecting Soviet values, Soviet handlers did not trust people willing to spy for money, or philosophical converts but better was someone with something to hide you could hold in fear of discovery. It was a period of very depressing spying, read Graham Greene or John LeCarre’.

    In 1981 I joined the Navy and ended up as crewman on P-3 patrol planes. While I heard the news and stories from fellow sailors, I never knew I would look your pilots in the eye, but first…
    We took Soviet conventional and nuclear forces quite seriously. The Fulda gap was the Army’s to worry about, the Navy had the seas to protect. We sailed into the Black Sea and the Baltic to ensure we could, coming home with dented hulls and missing paint as Russians were quite determined to exclude us.
    The P-3 patrol plane had multiple roles, we chased Soviet submarines quite well, but also patrol along the air borders just to keep them awake. Off Petro the fighters used to fly up and monitor us.
    To the comments late in the episode, as Americans we viewed the Soviet states as captives, and extended that to the Russian people. Nothing personal involved, but the State had to be opposed and they stirred up trouble world-wide.
    Insurrections here, technicians there, constantly fostering disharmony.

    As an aside, by the late ’80s the older subs were getting quite rusty, spending more time going from place to place on the surface. We carried large plastic tubes that were packing material, after following one of these rusty buckets all day, we would take pity before going home. We would take a packing tube, load it with Playboy, Marlboro cigarettes, other reading or eating materials and throw it in the seas in front of the sub to be picked up by the crew.

    More stories, but short on time, enjoy the weekend.

  2. When you mentioned the persecution of Christians, I was reminded of a book I tried to read, but never was able to finish. Are you familiar with Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand? Did these kind of things happen to Christians in Latvia and the Baltics or were things different there?

    I’m currently binge listening through your episodes, so forgive me if I just haven’t gotten to an episode that already addressed this subject.

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