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Globalism On Borrowed Time: German Far-Right Involvement in Farmers' Protests Say Yes

It's been reported recently that German far-right activists have been involving themselves with the farmers' protests in response to the German government cutting farming subsidies. The government cuts, particularly concerning plans to phase out fuel subsidies, have raised farmers' anxiety about their ability to do their jobs. The tension has resulted in more than 500 tractors and trucks blockading roads and parking by Brandenburg Gate

The response from the German media and government to the protests, and the far-right involvement, has been one of fear. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that his government is trying their best to establish a good compromise so the discontent can dissipate. 

German far-right movements have been gathering momentum in recent times. The Guardian reported at the back end of last year that the Reichsbürger movement planned a systematic rural land grab to establish parallel institutions, creating communities independent of the state. Parties such as Alternative for Germany (AfD) are gaining more and more supporters. 

The AfD is currently placed second in the voting polls, and (as you'd suspect) blue-collar workers (including farmers) are among their core proponents. Despite this, the coverage of the far-right's part in the protests (from organisations like the BBC) has framed it as an "infiltration" or "hijacking" of a more sincere and sensible sentiment that the farmers are trying to voice. 

Yet, given that many farmers support far-right political groups and that the far-right sphere has been involving itself in agricultural pursuits – both sharing the notion that the government is spending too much money abroad – the far-right's attendance at the protests doesn't strike me as an infiltration. On the contrary, it sounds like collaboration. 

Now, that's not to say that the German farmers are all neo-Nazis or that the German far-right particularly cares about Germany's agricultural roots. The AfD has advocated for fewer agricultural subsidies in the past. However, we're seeing the consequences of a government taking its people for granted. Furthermore, we are seeing the limits of globalism as a political project. 

The farmers have every right to express their concerns about the government's plan to cut their subsidies. Germany's agricultural sector is one of the biggest in the EU, producing 50 billion euros worth of goods. Even on the official Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture website, it's stated that the German farmers "shape and maintain the face of [their] country". With this in mind, I reckon there would be few people who would feel betrayed, insulted or even exploited if their representatives decided to decrease their support for the agricultural sectors. Their work allows politicians to walk into parliament, examine policies, and talk to the media without worrying about whether or not they'll have food to eat tomorrow.

With high inflation rates, the farmers understandably feel the squeeze; they have to eat too. Thus, it doesn't take a genius to see the bridge forming between the cost of living crisis, subsidy cuts and protests to the "Germany First" outlook that the far-right champions. This is not to discredit the support the German government sends abroad. For instance, Germany sends enormous amounts of support to Ukraine. In fact, the government is supporting the Ukrainians for as long as it takes and investing up to 30 billion euros to ensure they are militarily secure. 

The hidden costs to such extensive foreign intervention are making themselves at home. 

This whole affair is symptomatic of the truth unravelling before us: the limits of globalism. What many people (including myself) didn't understand circa 2016 when it came to the outcomes of Brexit or the US Presidential election is that the over-involvement and obsession in foreign affairs in the West has ultimately come at the expense of the home nation. This includes foreign aid, involvement in wars, and, more controversially, allowance for immigration. As the son of immigrants, this is a particularly difficult conclusion for me to come to and one I don't take lightly.

The farmers' protests in Germany demonstrate that even the people who essentially keep our nations running are fed up with being neglected. This neglect is an inevitable consequence of a government that is far too invested in foreign affairs. A government that, for far too long, has generally ignored the needs of its citizens. When fundamental social issues are caused by a government's over-zealous concern for its global position, expect retaliation at home.

Image: Getty Images/via The BBC

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This is a very good article. Farming is the foundation of large scale civilization and allowing the industry to collapse risks civilization collapsing. Also, farm subsidiaries help keep food prices low, in much of the world food prices have not risen with inflation.

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