Something important is happening on these shows, which are in a sense a meeting of worlds. I have a similar feeling on those rare occasions when I appear in something more mainstream, or in the traditional Left. In the case of Michael Ruppert, the meeting of worlds is between the optimistic, upbeat new economy movement on the one hand, and the gloomy collapsist world on the other, whose discourse includes Peak Oil, cataclysmic geopolitical events, and the collapse of industrial civilization. In this conversation, I was deeply moved when Michael spoke of his newly awakening hope, borne of his experiences at Occupy Santa Rosa, that maybe we are turning the corner, that maybe we will awaken in time to prevent catastrophe. I wouldn’t call it “optimism” yet, but it is surely an awakening sense of possibility.
One of the callers to the show asked us how soon we think the collapse of industrial civilization will be. I said that it is impossible to know, and that I don’t foresee industrial civilization’s collapse, but rather its profound transformation. Such a view is anathema to many in the “collapse” world, who foresee billions of casualties and a regression to pre-industrial levels of technology. But Michael did not demur, nor have I received any hate mail of the type I sometimes receive from those wedded to the end-of-civilization view.
This conversation is worth listening to. Ruppert is an interesting man, an ex-cop who was radicalized when he discovered that our own government was involved in providing the very narcotics he was charged with fighting. He brings to the conversation a rare mix of humility, intellect, street smarts, and a big heart.