Collapse is one man sitting in the basement of an abandoned meatpacking plant in downtown Los Angeles, smoking a cigarette and explaining why human civilization in its present form is doomed. The ambience, the music (a Philip Glass-styled score) and the way he is portrayed – like a prisoner in a cell, or like a monk in confession – makes me think of The X-Files. However, this is not fiction.
Michael Ruppert, a former Los Angeles police officer and investigative journalist, is probably most known for dealing with conspiracy theories. However, I’d rather say he’s in tune with reality and facts, because he has learned how to connect the dots. He was one of the first to talk openly about CIA dealing drugs in America, as well as starting the very influental newsletter From The Wilderness, which exposes governmental corruption.
Before you dismiss Ruppert’s “conspiracy theory” as the brainchild of an old tin foil hat, we need to understand what a conspiracy theory really is. I wrote about what Noam Chomsky had to say on the subject of conspiracy theories here. Please read that article as well.
In Collapse, Ruppert talks about peak oil (”People have felt what a 145 dollar a barrell of oil feels like”, ”In the case of oil or any other substance like that, no matter how much money you throw at it, you’re never gonna be able to increase oil production above where it was at peak”) and the war against time that the United States are waging in their desperate pursuit to find and exploit more oil. This war has been going on since the mid 1970’s, as shown by declassified CIA documents from that era. They were perfectly aware of peak oil even back then.
From here on, he goes on for 80 minutes speaking about electricity, energy, food, the CIA’s drug dealing business, economics, money, population growth, the law of the crash, local food production, moving out of the city, communities and tribes… It’s pretty much Oswald Spengler and Overshoot rolled into one. I love it.
However, I do not agree with everything Ruppert says. ”There is no such thing as clean coal, and there never ever will be” – he makes a lot of these statements. We don’t know what will be invented in the future. Things might change to the better. Even though I personally believe that it’s way too late for science to save us from doom, one cannot be certain that it’s not gonna happen. We might just be saved by the bell in the very last nanosecond.
Here are my humble predictions for the near future in one crazy incoherent rant without word wrapping:
In a near future (five to ten years) one thing should be perfectly clear: The gap has become too wide to fix. I’m talking about the gap between rich and poor, men and women, left and right, within extremist groups, races, countries, cultures, political parties, extra-parliamentary opposition, between the digitally informed and the digitally unaware, between Zionists and Jihadists, young and old, freaky Christians and freaky Muslims, between the average Joe and plain Jane… The gap will be the keyword of the future. America will be at more wars than ever (but will at the same time lose much of its power), Jihadists too (but they will gain power) and the world won’t be able to do shit about it. And China, let’s not even talk about China… All we can do is watch the world collapse on our computer screens. Good friends will disagree vehemently on political issues, because politics have gone too far, become too extreme, and it will ultimately tear friendships and relationships apart. Most people won’t even talk politics or care at all to get involved, because of fear of losing friends, or fear of saying the wrong things. People who are rather well off in society will part with friends who are or have been subjects to (for example) racism, violence, discrimination, poverty, depression etc – the extreme political situation will not allow them to interact with each other anymore since politics is in everyone’s face and cannot be avoided. Lots of people won’t make the effort of even trying to understand – let alone accepting – what another person has gone through. People won’t understand that one can condemn the Zionist brutality, but still be in favor of certain Israeli policies. Feminism will rise, and so will its enemies. Hate crimes will be more brutal than ever. Even the mainstream will start to clash with the police. A lot of people who’ve been politically active and always spoken out will turn silent, while some will become even more agitated and more extreme. These “extreme” people will sooner or later be forced to go underground and act anonymously to be able to carry their message. The left will split into myriads of small fractions, as will the right, and the extreme fractions are those that will be heard about in the media. In these extreme times ordinary people won’t be able to tell left from right, since left- and right-wing politics will pretty much be the same, only fighting for slightly different causes, but still using the same tools. In 2015–2020 the world will know for sure that the environment is beyond repair, because the environment don’t care if we close our eyes and turn away. It will just simply destroy us. There will be worldwide chaos, massive unemployment issues, economical collapse, famine even amongst previously wealthy people (the Western world), pandemics like the HIV/AIDS and Ebola, lots of people will die, the future will have to be revalued… What once was considered conspiracy nut theories will be mainstream knowledge, but people still won’t give a fuck. In short, the gaps will be shockingly wide in a near future, and we won’t ever understand that it’s been too late to fix for far too long. What we’ve created for so long will be destroyed in seconds.
Here lies the greatest problem of mankind – we will never learn. We do not understand or care about the most basic equations of life and death. When we cannot even solve the most fundamental problems in our daily lives, how are we supposed to save the world? We are living with the dying. Our children will look down and whisper “No.”
But what experience and history teach is this, – that peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.
I see no change in our way of thinking, and that’s why we deserve this collapse. It’s already happening all around us. Nothing strange about that, really. In the mind frame of Oswald Spengler:
Every civilisation in history has collapsed. Why should ours be any different?
3 thoughts on “Collapse”
>Good post, just got myself a copy.
Btw, looking forward to your best of 2009 lists!
I'm looking forward to those lists too, but I cannot publish anything until the next issue of Sweden Rock Magazine is out.
Sad to say, I haven't kept up at all with music and movies this year, so the lists will probably be pretty boring.