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Europe Farmer Protests Harken Global Political Realignment

Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2024
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by Ben Solis
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

Farmers protest

As farmer protests against radical “green” policies continue to sweep across Europe, liberal governments risk upsetting a delicate social balance that has led to relative peace and prosperity on the continent for decades.

On February 19, hundreds of tractors rolled down the streets in Prague protesting the E.U. climate policies and high energy costs. Two days later, hundreds more tractors blocked roads in Spain. On March 6, farmers in Poland also took to the streets to oppose the E.U.’s climate agenda. Belgium, France, Italy, and Greece have all seen similar demonstrations – which are themselves an outgrowth of Dutch protests that have continued off and on for a year over proposed new nitrogen emissions policies.

While the corporate media has largely ignored the widespread demonstrations against globalist trade policies and new emissions standards being implemented by several European governments and the European Union, the unrest is nonetheless one of the most significant storylines that has developed in Europe over the last several months.

In addition to opposing trade practices that allow foreign competitors like China to dump cheap agricultural goods into Europe, European farmers are also irate over the European Union’s so-called “Green Deal.” The platform, which aims to make Europe the world’s first “climate neutral” bloc by 2050, calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and halving pesticide use – policies which would decimate small and family-owned farms throughout Europe and make the continent completely reliant on foreign food suppliers.

The Green Deal is also expected to be followed by a “Blue Deal” which would overhaul water rights policy in Europe. Again, farmers say the plan would severely undermine their ability to remain economically viable and dramatically cut into yields.

But as the protests have developed, they have also evolved into a general backlash against the liberal establishment in Europe and a re-assertion of traditional religious and cultural traditions and customs. For many of these farmers and the citizens supporting them, the effort to defeat these attempts to “revolutionize” European society is a crusade to defend Western civilization itself.

Professor Aurelien de Lancey, who advised Republican Party candidates on agricultural policy in the 1980s and 1990s, told me that the farmer protests are an “existential” battle for the future of Europe and the European Union. “From its foundation, agriculture has been the E.U.’s second-most important economic pillar next to the energy-intensive industries like power generation and mining,” he said.

The importance of farming to modern European society began with the end of the Allied effort to rebuild Germany and Western Europe at the end of World War II. As the United States handed control of the German economy back to Germany and withdrew from the continent, farming became essential to creating stable incomes and livelihoods so as to avoid further economic turbulence and a resumption of hostilities, as was the case with the rise of Hitler after World War I.

The late conservative French Prime Minister Raymond Barre, who also served as a vice president of the European Commission, once told me in an interview that when the war ended in 1945, developing a productive and stable agricultural sector was viewed as the most effective way to make future war between France and Germany “unthinkable.”

“The idea that directed the leaders who founded the European Union,” he explained, “was to uphold citizens’ liberties while restoring the moral, spiritual, and intellectual powers that built Europe… They knew stable farming growth would fortify traditional European families, the bulwark of the continent’s defense system.”

Retired Political Science Professor Jannick Schlüsselfelder, who advised the German Christian Democratic Union in the late 1980s, told me that the heart of European society was always in the farming villages, where traditional values like family and Christianity were the most important forces in society. “Nowadays,” he said, “we see socialist attempts to sabotage farmers who still oppose progressive concepts which are now at their zenith.” He added that the E.U. Green Deal is based on the concept that nature matters more than human beings – something which is antithetical to Christian teaching.

Philippe Fabry, a historian of law and politics, told me that “Europe as a whole today is at the same stage as France was a few years before the French Revolution… It is now a struggle between proponents of the socialist mega-state and its critics.”

Indeed, seeming to confirm that analysis, a group of protestors in Spain held up a sign which read, “We are ready to defend our freedom.” Other demonstrators have also clashed with authorities as farmers become increasingly desperate to defend their livelihoods.

Alfred Bujara, the head of the National Section of Trade Employees of the Solidarnosc Polish national trade union, told the Polish Catholic daily that the E.U. policies are “the last call to fight for farming and the local food industry because the E.U.’s effort to destroy it has advanced.”

“Brussels designed the socialist control of production, stock, and retail sales – the same bureaucratic monster Solidarnosc once defeated,” Bujara said, referring to the union’s role in overthrowing Soviet rule. “Solidarnosc is convinced that Europe must restore its own spiritual identity and return to the richness of the Christian heritage, where the source of her renewal and continued well-being lies, as opposed to the socialist policies advanced today.”

However, European voters have a chance to change course at the ballot box rather than in the streets during European Parliament elections this June. Anti-Green Deal candidates are currently expected to make big gains, while parties such as the Farmer-Citizen Movement in the Netherlands have also seen major victories in recent national elections.

It may thus be the case that the socialist forces which have dominated Europe for years are due for a “greenlash” led by farmers that could help restore the traditional values which first built Western civilization.

 

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
2 months ago

The thought about traditional values being restored ,the values that helped to build western civilization – as you mentioned in the last sentence , is good to think about. Well done with this article Mr. Solis – it provides hope for better days ahead. It could be said that the idea of defending Western Civilization is the message at the foundation of the Farmer -Citizen Movement , that is how I see it. This is a thoughtful article Ben, much appreciated.

Scott F. Law
Scott F. Law
2 months ago

This article discusses the essence of these protests. This author understands it. The farmers are protesting not against high or low taxes nor their welfare but to defend their freedoms. They want to preserve the profession that has given their families freedom. They are protesting against the invasion of the armies of bureaucrats who are destroying their lives and whom they have to finance. Finally, they are protesting against horrific ideas, summarized by their names as Green Deal and Blue Deal. Unlike most publicists, this author understood that the farmers are not materialists demanding more money, but they indeed run a battle on behalf of European citizens. Amac, I enjoyed the comprehensive choice of opinions of such prominent figures.
America is blessed to be free from such threats, but they are looming over this country, too.

Joe
Joe
2 months ago

Farmers have often defended values and liberties throughout world history. Villages are natural environments where conservative values blossom. Man and woman were created to practice their freedom in relatively small (bearable) communities and contact with nature. America needs reinforcement of our middle class, which includes farmers. We need to disagree with any attempts to spread socialism.

Jack Wilson
Jack Wilson
2 months ago

I agree with this article that these protesters resist “a re-assertion of traditional religious and cultural traditions and customs.” European socialists wanted to create a socialist man and woman who would be dependent and, hence, obedient to ruling governments. These Deals are an assault on citizens’ freedom. I also like this type of intelligent conservatism that rejects conspiracy theories that poisoned too many minds, especially many in our talk radio, which once was a lantern of our Conservative debate. This article goes in-depth and does a great job explaining the protests. I share Rob citizenship’s opinion.

Joan Morris
Joan Morris
2 months ago

I appreciate this article’s intelligent and eloquent tone, free from conspiracies. What a great read it is. Yes, these protests would not last long if they were focused on the material dimension. They are much more than protests against a purely material situation—farmers and now Polish Solidarnosc stand for values. It is also something to consider for many Americans who forgot what was at the core of our convictions and beliefs.
Yes, I remember Mr. Barre. He visited Governor Reagan and later attended his conference on monetarism in Sacramento, which the Conservative California Farmers organized. If I remember well, that group’s name helped shape the Ronald Reagan campaign team and renamed themselves “Farmers For Reagan.” Mr Barre always stressed fiscal responsibility, especially when he was part of the European Commission in the 1970s. Like Reagan, he was not a typical politician. That French man was a man of ideas. I am not surprised that he stressed their importance in that interview. Thanks, Mr Solis. I have just printed out this article and share it tomorrow in church. Mr. Solis, you are a great, thoughtful American Patriot. Amac, thanks.

PaulE
PaulE
2 months ago

Let me be very blunt. Everything that has happened in the EU over the past 30 to 35 years, related to the further expansion the social welfare state, excessive regulation, higher taxation and the forcing on the public of a series of ever more ludicrous so-called “green policies” on the nations of Europe have simply produced the very results that the left have always wanted to achieve. Meaningful economic growth is all but extinct in most of the EU countries today. As the price of energy has been pushed upward, through the forced phasing out of both natural gas and nuclear power towards the less reliable and more expensive wind and solar solutions preferred by the left, the cost of everything else has also exploded in price.

The left in Europe started going after the farming, ranching and livestock industry in earnest about two years ago with mandates to curtail the use of fertilizers for farming and feed grain for livestock. The goal being to less food production and of course higher costs to everyone from the farmer / ranchers to the customers in the grocery stores and smaller crop yields and less beef, chicken and pork has become the norm. Remember, the likes of Bill Gates and a number of the WEF think the masses should subsist on bugs and twigs to “save the planet”. So, nothing in this article is particularly new. There have been a number of farmer protests all across Europe for the last few years, as farmers are being put out of business and food costs continue to skyrocket. All while those in the EU headquarters in Belgium continue to dine on only the best of everything. That is of course how the professional political class has always existed, as they aren’t encumbered by the negative aspects of the policies they force on the masses they supposedly serve.

The only thing most people in this country should take away from reading the article above is that everything being experienced by Europe will be coming here to the United States in a big way should the Democrats “win” in November. That’s 100% guaranteed. It’s already too late for much of Europe as their leaders have already done too much damage to their economies for any sort of quick turnaround under more reasonable and sane leadership. We here are not too far behind, but if we can hold a small majority in the House, that’s a BIG IF, and get the WH back, not the cake walk many inside the D.C. beltway keep hyping in many of these articles, then we stand a small but decent chance of being able to reverse some of the more egregious aspects of the damage Biden and Democrats have done to this country over the last four years. If we can’t achieve that, then we will be exactly like much of Europe by the end of next presidential term.

Samuel A. Fortner
Samuel A. Fortner
2 months ago

I remember eminent Professor de Lancey, who would accompany JF Revel (the author quoted him in his previous articles) to the conferences organized by Heritage and Committee For Present Danger led by Midge Decter. Professor de Lancey spoke at that time about the domination of Europe by the socialists. But I remember he said that those with a political philosophy similar to ours, Conservatives, especially Christian Democrats, opposed it. Financial scandals in Italy and Germany weakened and maybe even demoralized Christian Democrats. They did not manage to return to their former condition for at least a decade. The socialists exploited it and imposed this global warming myth as a leading idea that influenced most policies. It, of course, spread out also here and at the United Nations. European farming families and other workers oppose it, trying to defend, as this author said, “traditional values that built Western civilization.”Mr. Solis, it is definitely a lesson to America. I enjoyed it, and I like reading your articles.

Barbara
Barbara
2 months ago

Europeans need to vote for enough people of integrity to correct Brussels’s course. They must run away from socialism that is destroying them with immorality, ignorance, and economic recklessness. It is true that they have the opportunity to make such decisions, but the protests are also crucial in transmitting their message. As long as they are on the streets, even the most disoriented people ask questions: What is happening? It is an opportunity to inform and educate their voters. 

PatriotUSA
PatriotUSA
2 months ago

God bless these farmers. We need change in the right direction too.

Matthew
Matthew
2 months ago

This election is so important because we all fight for principles and values in the public realm. We want America First policies to strengthen our country for this century, which will be filled with challenges.

Mark
Mark
2 months ago

When I visited the Netherlands last year, I briefly participated in the farmers’ party protest. I can confirm that the protesters demanded freedom and did not focus only on money and did not mention welfare. That group protested against the bureaucracy’s overreach and the attempt to destroy their old family farms. These farmers were concerned about Europe’s soul opting for the family of nations rather than a centrally commended system.

Mary
Mary
2 months ago

This article is like a trip into the future, I am afraid unless Americans will realize it and vote for Americans who love our country and vote Biden out. Our farmers are in trouble, too, with all of these climate laws. It is time to wake up and do everything we can to vote to have majorities in Congress and our President.

Martin
Martin
2 months ago

Excellent article. Farmers need to win over the unelected ruling groups. Traditional values must be defended and restored in Europe and other places if we want to see positive change. But it is also a strong warning to America.

Vic
Vic
2 months ago

Some say they made so much change in our country that it may not be reversible. However, I like what European farmers do; they protest to defend liberties and principles. As someone said, it is something to learn from them.

Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
2 months ago

This fascinating review of the opinions reveals that some people suggested a universal protest to defend fundamental liberties. Finally, Europeans began to see that the current model of Brussels threatened their families’ well-being. Whether it is a green or blue mess, socialists need to be made financially accountable for the wasted resources. This scale of damage inflicted on hundreds of millions due to their whim to believe in manufactured beliefs that serve their financial interests should not be tolerated anymore. Indeed, the elections should be a judgment day. In this sense, it is also something we should do in America. Stop this current madness at the White House.

James
James
2 months ago

The one who serves Radical Left interests must go and never be elected to any public office. It is a reality in this country, which was damaged by high taxes, rampant inflation, billions of subsidies for green fantasies, and much more.

Sue
Sue
2 months ago

Frankly, I don’t know if we will have our President, not to mention a majority in the House. Americans are still asleep, thinking it does not matter who will be in the White House. Many people said they don’t believe that such old people (Trump is slightly younger but will be 82 at the end of his term) can face challenges. Why are we not thinking of the limits that are inevitable with aging? Is it just a mirage created by current media? Did we have a debate on our side about old age’s influence on our politics? Incidentally, most leaders of these protests in Europe are in their 30s and 40s, and only a few are in their 50s and 60s. It is also a lesson for us.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 months ago

Leftists say who needs farms when there’s plenty of bugs, grubs, and larva to eat.. while they buttered lobster and grilled steak, that us.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 months ago

Global food riots ahead & for India Water crisis

John TeGrotenhuis
John TeGrotenhuis
2 months ago

Aye, ’tis the Grim New Deal.

Gofer
Gofer
2 months ago

U.N. Agenda 30 on steroids. Read it yourself. Great article, btw.

albert
albert
2 months ago

These better than WE the people ! want to control our water and food resources !
so they can distribute it as they wish to Ration out what they thank you need !!
They no what better fore us !!

anna hubert
anna hubert
2 months ago

Europe is being strangled by constrictor boa not liberal establishment

Tom
Tom
2 months ago

The companies have been dumping in the US for years with just enough products to break the price they pay farmers.

Jerry
Jerry
2 months ago

The left ruins everything it touches.

Betsey
Betsey
2 months ago

All I can say is that Europe as a whole has a very short memory. Apparently they have forgotten what it was like to be displaced, oppressed, and hungry.
This time it isn’t a raging fascist dictator. It’s their own “elected” officials…

Rosa Anderson
Rosa Anderson
2 months ago

I watch Amerigedon it’s a movie about today must watch it on YouTube.

Rosa Anderson
Rosa Anderson
2 months ago

We The People are the ones to be able to choose our lives not the government. The government is too much we don’t need the federal government plus others like cdc, who etc. We have had enough with their tyrannical ideas socialism/communism it didn’t work the last and we will fight goodnight luck United Nations.

James Jones
James Jones
2 months ago

What you are not told is that under the coming globalist movement you will just be a number in the elitist hierarchy. You will be told where to go and what to do.

Kim
Kim
2 months ago

What could be more basic to a civilized society than the ability to feed its own citizens? When paper-pushing bureaucrats ignorantly wave their magic wands and wish “evil” fertilizer and “evil” fossil fuels away, they’re ultimately dooming their friends and neighbors (but never themselves) to rationing, scarcity, and starvation. Buying in the produce from elsewhere doesn’t solve the problem; that just drives up the prices for everyone.

Resources used in the production of fruits, vegetables, grains, and livestock are very costly. I’ve been running a horticultural business for 51 years, and I’ve seen how wholesale prices have skyrocketed, especially since Covid. I know how hard it is to turn a profit, and we cut costs wherever possible. Most of us are conscientious of protecting the environment–our land–our legacy!

These idiotic government mandates will just turn farmers off to farming, and then what will we do? That’s why I always recommend that everyone grow at least a few fruits and vegetables, “just in case”.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago

I learned quite a lot from this very educative and informative article. More Americans should read it. It is a quite unique view. Thanks, Amac. A suggestion: publish a link on your Instagram; you will reach an audience.

Michael
Michael
2 months ago

I find the remark that farming policies deeply touch the European system interesting. So, it was the suicidal decision of this ruling class to impose punitive laws on farmers. As usual, after socialists inflict enormous damage, they leave the world in ruins. As the Soviet project that lasted more than 70 years proved disastrous, all socialist ideas are destined to fail. The economic system does not need any leader except the invisible hand of the markets, which can provide for everyone’s prosperity according to the input. But for this, economic freedom is needed.
People also must realize that fiscal irresponsibility is an excessive bill for their families in the future. I am personally worried that Trump seems to be okay with highly ineffective Medicare and Medicaid. An honest discussion on these programs and, most importantly, Social Security is needed. It is THE core of our financial troubles. We need these same Conservative values that farmers are defending in Europe to fix it.

fitspresso coffee scam
fitspresso coffee scam
2 months ago

Your blog post had me hooked from the very beginning!

Life’s work
Life’s work
2 months ago

Tell those farmers they will burn their tractors and their farms lol

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