In mid-July, the Mallard was fortunate to have breakfast with Thierry Baudet, leader of the Dutch ‘Forum for Democracy’ (FVD) party in the Netherlands. We discussed his views on manufactured consent, immigration, CBDC, and climate change; and his new book ‘The Covid Conspiracy’. Part II can be read here.
TM: Why do you think that your party is allowed to exist?
TB: Well, they are currently trying to pass a law to make it possible to forbid it. The Dutch Secret Service published a report about undermining of public faith in established institutions. They call it ‘anti-institutional extremism’. They claim that it occurs when a narrative is created which undermines public trust in institutions. They claim that it is dangerous for democracy. They then claim that that means it should be able to ban any political party which might so undermine trust.
TM: And that just happens to be you?
TB: Yes, parties that disagree with the Covid narrative, parties which might have sympathy for Russia, parties who do not agree with mass immigration. It shows that we are slouching towards totalitarianism. There is one single allowed approach to all issues and there is no room for difference of opinion.
TM: Do you think a party like yours might spring up in the UK?
TB: I don’t know. Your political system is extremely difficult to penetrate for small or fringe parties. It is a general trend in Europe, and probably also in the US, that you are not allowed to doubt the underlying assumptions anymore. Go back to the 1960s and the Vietnam war: then, there were people arguing in America about fighting communism abroad. Nowadays, every politician just agrees that ‘something must be done’ about Russia/climate Change/refugees etc. There is no public discussion allowed. They want militant democracies.
TM: What do you feel are the other differences between FVD and other European right-wing parties?
TB: First, we are much more radical. The AfD, for instance, does not want to leave the EU.
Second, we are the only group to create a social and economic framework for our members. This is not something that we have seen with other movements in Europe, we are the most progressive from that point of view.
Third, we embrace aesthetics and culture. We think that what we offer instead of the other parties is the Western tradition. We talk a lot about beauty, music and traditional architecture. I do not see the others talking about that but it is absolutely crucial to the conservative message. We have aesthetics on our side. We have love on our side. We love the things that have been created for us and the tradition that we have inherited. We are not just liberals; we actually have a vision for a completely different way of living. This has not been crystalised yet but a lot of our members are actively searching a means to be religious again. A means to experience the transcendental dimension in life. You cannot go without those things, it is every aspect of your life which is not just the political.
TM: It seems to me that a lot of people do not care about those transcendental dimensions anymore. Do you think that’s true? If so, why?
TB: Yes, a lot of people don’t care about it. But I also think that there is an ideology behind ugliness. I believe it is linked to the teachings of the Frankfurt school. They believe that beauty, the family, national identity, etc were all elements of fascism. These thinkers have decided that they should target the beautiful. It is why the left wing reveres ugliness. They like the idea of harmony being disturbed, they have been taught that harmony is associated with fascism, and it is their job to destroy it. They are told that if they build things in a beautiful way, it is kitsch. They want ‘happy chaos’ – but that doesn’t exist. We are transitioning to a new era with no focal point, no traditional family. A world where everything is fluid and deconstruct-able. This is very much the dominant philosophy, and it is of course in the interest of large corporations because it turns people into consumers.
TM: Quite a bleak view, Thierry. Do you have any hope? Do you think it will change?
TB: I think that the human will for liberty is stronger but that this malaise may last for decades. I think it might become a lot worse before it gets better.
The only thing that I think I can do is continue fighting. I’m not going to go down with this, and become bitter… I will try as hard as possible to live a good life. Secondly, I think that we can connect with each other and help each other have a nice life. There is a lot that we can do if we are inventive and remain loyal to one another. It is very difficult for any state to control everybody.
We can’t foresee the future in every detail, but I meet a lot of fantastic people speaking out. There is a real will and energy among people to regroup and form alliances and set up platforms.
TM: So, it’s not over?
TB: It’s not over.