Michael Ruppert is a jaded, frightened, lonely man. He didn’t choose to be this way; the path he believes was chosen for him has forced him into a life of exile. You see Michael Ruppert is, for lack of a better term, a conspiracy theorist, an alarmist who connects dots of greed, power and outright disdain to the governments of the world. In Collapse, a film in which he says will be his final attempt to slap sense into the people of the world, he points to one dot specifically at the heart of the problem:
Oil. It’s that black stuff in the ground that powers everything we use and that everything we use is made of. We’re running out of it and on our present course, civilization as we know it will cease to be. That is, of course, if you believe Ruppert’s apocalyptic visions of the future.
Emphasizing the grimness of the message, director Chris Smith, conducts his interview with Ruppert in, what I suspect is, an interrogation room. This gives the impression that Ruppert is either being sequestered for his own safety or is being questioned for a crime yet unnamed. It is effective. So is the news footage and other archival stock used as an added punch to give validity to the words Ruppert mostly carefully chooses to use.
Those words, citing years of data, makes for one hell of a compelling case.
We’ve reached the point of peak oil. That is the maximum point on the bell curve that divides growth and depression. Actually, Ruppert believes we’ve already begun our descent; a descent we can’t recover from. No human ingenuity can solve it. No alternative fuels can step in to produce enough power to make up for the dwindling supply. The United States, Ruppert contends, is fully aware of the problem; hence the reason war was waged in Iraq. No, it had nothing to do with disrupting al Qaeda; it had everything to do with ensuring the vast oil reserves located beneath Iraq were in the hands of pro-American forces. Vice-president Cheney, he states, should be indicted for, among other things, premeditated murder.
But Collapse isn’t just about the upcoming energy shortage or about how the Bush presidency manipulated the world with bogus claims. Ruppert has macabre opinions on the monetary system — imaginary “fiat” money, commodities, derivatives, housing, etc. The environment has been raped of all its worth too — strip mining, deforestation, over farming, wasteful water usage — the list goes on and on. The new currency when the hammer falls, he says, will be organic seeds and precious metals. Start saving now . . .
Of course you could just shrug Ruppert off as one of the many zealots who rail against the power brokers of the world. Smith, in his presentation of Ruppert, establishes his credentials (decorated LA cop, university degrees, and publications) and then lets the pieces of the puzzle fall where they may; it is left up to the viewer to decide what to make of the man and his facts as they are laid out before them. The only detraction to Collapse, if there is one, is Smith didn’t ask any probing questions to Ruppert; I believe Ruppert’s case could have been further solidified if he was able to respond to counterarguments from Smith.
Yet, no matter how you perceive him, you can’t discount there is some sense in what Michael Ruppert is saying — much of it only requires you to look out your window to see it happening. The world is fucked up boys and girls, no doubt about it. The monumental question is, is there enough time to do something about it. Me, I’ll be saving cucumber seeds just in case . . .