25 May 2007
This article is part of the series Interviews Stan van Houcke.
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'Implosion of society as we know it'
Critical radio personality Stan van Houcke interviewed by Daan de Wit. Part 2.
Listen to the interview in Dutch. MP3: part 1, 2, 3.
The transcript has been provided by Michiel Bezemer, Maarten van Dijk en Michel Steyger.
This article has been translated into English by Ben Kearney.
By Daan de Wit
On the neoconservatives, Stan van Houcke says that one of their goals is to get ahold of the oil: 'Right now the price of oil is determined by OPEC. In the future, 77 percent of the oil will come from 11 OPEC countries, all of which - with the exception of Venezuela - are predominantly Muslim. 67 percent of all oil reserves on the planet can be found in 5 countries in the Middle East. In the meantime the demand for oil has grown dramatically, especially from China and India, with their overwhelming economic growth and populations numbering over a billion.
If the U.S. wants to hang on to its hegemony and maintain its extremely wasteful ways, then it's going to have to control the sources of oil, the world's most important natural resource - the neoconservatives let this be known over a decade ago in official papers. 'We're going to have to get our hands on the Middle East', is what the neocons thought. Up until 1970 America was self-sufficient in oil, and today they must import more than fifty percent of what they consume. And the majority of that comes from OPEC countries, including Venezuela, which is an OPEC country. This also explains why they'd like to get rid of Chavez. It's not so much that they want to grab the oil for themselves, they just want to control it. They want to be able to say: 'We're going to turn off the flow of oil'. China, which is what this is really all about, is the new power in the world, and they need Middle Eastern oil urgently. That's why the U.S. has encircled China with several bases, just like it did before with the Soviet Union - containment policy is what that's called. That way they can say to China: 'Look, you are going to have to play by the rules that we make, otherwise we're going to turn off the oil spigot'.' Van Houcke: It's also a way that the U.S. can determine the price of oil. The first and only thing that American soldiers guarded once they reached the center of Bagdad was the Ministery of Oil. The neocons had said that the oil was going to pay for the occupation. At the same moment less than a kilometer away, some of humanity's oldest art treasures were being looted without the American authorities giving the slightest thought to protecting the archeological museum.
Alongside this struggle for a Pax Americana, Van Houcke also sees a battle for power from within. He calls the neocons 'a very small group of people in America who are seen as a bunch of lunatics by the American elite. These are extreme right-wingers who are heavily influenced by a pro-Israel lobby. And what we're now seeing is that the American elite is trying to get a handle on these radicals. For instance, Brzezinski and Baker belong to the American elite. They're really trying to rein these guys in now. They'd like to stay on good terms with Iran - they've literally put that in writing - because they know that: 'Iran's going to be next. We're going to get a global conflagration like you've never seen, there's no stopping it'. There's a number of really big strategic thinkers out there who are writing publicly about this, so you can go and read what they're saying yourself, I'm not making this up.'
Daan de Wit: 'So it looks like you see a distinction between the neoconservatives who are currently in power in America, and the rest of America's elite. In your mind, it's not the case that the neoconservatives represent the American elite...
Stan van Houcke: Absolutely not, the neoconservatives are bunch of radicals. They've hijacked America. And not just the America of the poor, because the America of the poor is always getting hijacked by the elite. It's now the American elite that's also been hijacked and is getting dragged along.
Daan de Wit: Do you still have hope for the future? Because you're saying that these neoconservatives don't represent the elite as a whole in America and might end up being held in check...
Stan van Houcke: No, I sure don't. It's going to be a violent mess, it's going to be total chaos. Your children are going to be brought into a world that you wouldn't want your children brought into.
Daan de Wit: But wouldn't you say that this is a time in which people are realizing - with the help of websites like the one you have - how everything fits together, and are now deciding that they don't want a world like that? That small gang of extremists has the power, but that's because the people have given it away. So the real power lies with the people. If the people reclaim power by choosing not to give away their vote during elections anymore, and just let that small gang burn out, then they'll be standing there in their gated community...'. As I ask this question I'm aware that a large portion of the American population hasn't voted for some time, and that in 2000 and 2004 the elections were unfairly awarded to George W. Bush. This is clear from the scientific research cited in the sixteen-part series by DeepJournal on voter fraud; the results were manipulated in favor of Bush with the help of, among other things, electronic voting machines. A good synopsis of how the Republicans were unjustly proclaimed the victor in the 2000 and 2004 elections can be found in an article by Robert Kennedy Jr. for Rolling Stone Magazine.
Van Houcke doesn't completely see the portrait that I'm sketching out. So I take a somewhat different tack and say: 'Still you'd agree with me that the fact that everyone can be so informed is unique to these times. We read more in the Sunday paper than the average person living during the Middle Ages read in his entire life. Don't you think that people at large are getting wiser and ultimately will just let the elite fade away?
Stan van Houcke: But what are they reading? That's the question. It's for the most part propaganda! It's a specific view of the world that's created by people who have a stake in it.
Daan de Wit: But just take September 11th. You can't deny that a whole lot of people have come in contact with the alternative view of September 11th through the mass media.
Stan van Houcke: That's a drop in the bucket! To go from saying: 'We're screwed', to saying: 'The entire system is rotten to the core' - that's a step that very few people take, because that's not a very easy step to take. I don't get the impression that this is ultimately going to lead to a change in society. I think that we're going to be overtaken by events.'
With this Van Houcke means that he foresees an implosion of society as we know it (he said this in a later discussion that didn't get recorded). According to Van Houcke, even though the availability of important information continues to grow, it is failing to prevent this implosion. He compares the current situation with a runaway train: 'It's totally impossible to put the brakes on this kind of system'. He believes that a leading role in this process has been reserved for climate change and all of its effects. Another leading role will be filled by the collapse of the empire that is the United States. He compares the U.S. with other empires, such as ancient Rome.
This comparison is instructive because in the case of the U.S., all indications point to the empire sinking under the weight of its own 'imperial overstretch'. The endless wars, the practice of living beyond one's means, and the further enrichment of those at the upper echelons are being compensated for by a scramble for the exits, from which there is no return and which will lead us inexorably into the void. What we're now seeing are the final convulsions which in all probability will express themselves once again in a war (with Iran - and all of its attendant ramifications), the further transformation of the U.S. into a police state and a crash of the American financial system, in which the main question will be who and what will be dragged down with it. Ultimately the people at large will open up their eyes; as I wrote earlier, the first signs of this are already becoming visible. The crucial question remains of course whether the early adaptors will be able to win over the masses before or after the system collapses. For the time being they're doing this by complaining about it, and simply uttering exclamations about how 'the system' is no good. Even though they and the rest of the population didn't set this up themselves, and even though it's quite clearly working against them, it's they themselves who form the foundation of the system. So it's only when the people come to see the failures in the system and then begin to deal with them that real change can take place. One key element of this is forcing the current (mis)leaders off the side of the road. By doing this, it might be possible to prevent such a collapse in favor of a soft landing. This is an improbable scenario, but it's much preferred over the more probable scenario in which the current (mis)leaders get every chance they need to play out their hand, after which the reconstruction can and must begin.
Van Houcke goes on to say of the U.S.: 'There is an elite there that keeps itself in power', whereby he cited the statistical improbability of a son succeeding his father as president in a country of 300 million inhabitants. And one can add to that the improbability that Bush's lone rival in the most recent presidential election was John Kerry, an alumnus of the same secret society as George W. Bush (and his father): Skull & Bones. It's striking that this society revolves around death and destruction and bears the pirate insignia (the skull and bones), while Bush's policy is heavily characterized by death and destruction and a pirate mentality - this in stark contrast to his image as a born-again Christian. Van Houcke on the logic behind Skull & Bones: 'One percent of the population controls 40 percent of the wealth in America and has to defend itself against 99% of the population.' And that's also the reason that the flood of initiatives designed with the protection of and control by the authorities in mind, and rolled out as far as The Netherlands, have targeted the ordinary citizen. Of course this takes place initially under the guise of waging the war against terror, or increasing the well-being of citizens. But ultimately all the elements fall into place to form a blueprint for a police state. It's a set pattern that seems acceptable at the outset, but in the end is coercive. Just an example of this from the newspaper is this advertisement from the Dutch Internal Revenue Service, which reads: "You must file your electronic tax return with a Digi-log-in", and goes on to note that "We can't make it any nicer for you, but we can make it easier."
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