Are Farmers Revolting Against a Globalist Conspiracy?

Democracy Examined

The Netherlands is about to fall to a cabal of globalists hellbent on seizing property, pumping the country full of refugees, and turning the Dutch people into subservient drones.

Or at least that’s what the far-right media would have you believe.

For over a month, the Netherlands has been embroiled in large-scale protests against new environmental regulations, bringing out tens of thousands of farmers and capturing the attention of the global Far Right. 

The particulars are decidedly local, but the Dutch farmer protest is the latest salvo in the war against globalism. While largely unmentioned in outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN, the farmer protests have been picked up as top news on Breitbart, Fox, and Newsmax. Lately, these American outlets have argued that the farmers revolt is going global, and democracies around the world will be swept up soon.

Why Are Dutch Farmers Protesting?

In 2019, a Dutch court ruled that in order to uphold EU environmental regulations, the Netherlands would have to go much further in reducing nitrogen pollution. Of the 162 nature preserves in the Netherlands, 118 of them have nitrogen levels 50 percent higher than is permitted.

The government had to determine how to turn the court ruling into political action. Many sectors were affected, but none like agriculture, which has to reduce its nitrogen pollution by 70 percent. New policies from the government will reduce livestock populations in the Netherlands by approximately 30 percent by 2030 and slash crop yields. Many farms will become unviable.

A government statement on the new regulations reads that “The honest message … is that not all farmers can continue their business.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the new policies would have “enormous consequences. I understand that and it is simply terrible.” The government set aside €25 billion to aid or acquire the most seriously affected farms, but few farmers seem interested in the buyout. 

The current protests are a continuation of years of instability. In 2019, after the initial court ruling, farmers protested the impending effects. Pandemic-era restrictions limited protests in 2020 and 2021, but this year they’ve reared back larger than ever. So far, they show no signs of stopping.

The Dutch government and the farmers have reached an impasse. European Union regulations mandate that the country reduce its nitrogen pollution, and that’s impossible without transforming the agricultural sector. The national government can’t change the regulations, and both European and Dutch courts have ordered the government to follow through. Meanwhile farmers, many of whom are working on farms their families have owned for generations, are having their livelihoods and lifestyles regulated away. It is a tragic situation, and it’s no wonder that farmers aren’t accepting the government’s policies quietly. 

The “Great Reset” Conspiracy

To the Dutch Far Right, the new government policies are more than bureaucratic overreach and environmentalism gone awry. They are supposedly a key aspect of the Great Reset, a relatively young conspiracy that ties together decades-old anxieties with current affairs.

The term “Great Reset” was popularized by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). In the summer of 2020, Schwab wrote a book titled Covid-19: The Great Reset in which he argues that climate change, recessions, the pandemic, and social crises have made the status quo unsustainable. Covid-19 “has created a great disruptive reset of our global social, economic, and political systems” and provided an opportunity to rethink how things operate to create a better future, he argued.

But to the Far Right, Schwab’s Great Reset is more like establishing a new world order where the cosmopolitan elites run the show. In this conspiracy, the movement is spearheaded by EU bureaucrats and the uber-rich liberal donor class of Bill Gates and George Soros. They coordinate through NGOs and bureaucratic organizations, stripping power from everyday people. Conservative firebrand Glenn Beck wrote a book outlining the conspiracy that came out in January: The Great Reset: Joe Biden and the Rise of Twenty-First-Century Fascism

The Dutch Far Right understands the Netherlands’ new restrictions on farming as proof that the Great Reset is already underway. This past week, Dutch protesters painted a drawbridge with the names Rockefellers, Rothschild, Gates, and Schwab alongside bodies hanging from gallows.

In the Western far-right media, the Dutch farmer revolts are the newest cause célèbre, and it’s no surprise. The farmer revolt checks all the boxes of populist concern: a seemingly-undemocratic, international organization is ordering a national government how to act; the organization is more concerned with environmentalism than blue-collar jobs; and rural farmers will be forced off their land by a government interested in taking it. 

Throughout this coverage is the persistent idea that the exact same thing will play out in the US, led by the same globalists. On Fox News, Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek alleged that these new regulations are “part of a global agenda, so everyone around the world, especially Western countries, should be aware that this is something that is not just about the Dutch government.”

Nationalism Goes Global

It seems contradictory that nationalists would be so concerned with what’s playing out in other countries, but they are only fighting a particular type of internationalism. “Globalism” isn’t synonymous with “international collaboration,” but international collaboration as it exists today. Foreign development campaigns, free trade agreements, permissive refugee policies, and strong international organizations are all caught in the crosshairs as they seem to threaten a country’s ability to determine its own future.

International collaboration of a different sort, however, is encouraged. Steve Bannon, after being forced out of the White House, went on a global tour to make allies and build The Movement, an international organization of anti-globalists collaborating across borders. While Trump questioned America’s commitment to international organizations like NATO and the UN, he also deepened ties with certain types of leaders: the likes of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, and Kim Jong-un in North Korea. In Hungary, the proudly anti-refugee leader Viktor Orbán has welcomed more migration to Hungary; he was just imagining that the immigrants would pour in from the West—good Christians pushed out of countries like Germany and France by liberal policies. And just yesterday, CPAC Israel concluded, weeks after its tour in Hungary where Orbán had announced in an opening speech, “we need to coordinate the movement” of global allies.

Like the Canadian Freedom Convoy before it, the Dutch farmer protests are a symbol of the international effort to fundamentally remake internationalism. A new video with half a million views on Twitter offers inspiring footage of the Dutch protesters overlaid with scenes from the Civil Rights movement and MLK soundbites. It calls for global protests across the free world this Saturday, July 23rd, to challenge the world order and support the Dutch farmers. In an appeal to anti-globalists everywhere, it calls on the people of the world to say, “Enough is enough. We’re going Dutch.”