The US continues its descent into neo-feudal barbarism, now resuscitating old-style tax farming with the open “constitutional” imprimatur of the SCOTUS. We see yet another parallel between today’s regime and the decrepit Ancien Regimes. The government can now, as a pseudo-constitutional matter, enforce any corporate mandate with its own thug “taxation” backup. Needless to say, this merely reveals the mandate itself as a tax which has been farmed out to corporations, and provides further evidence for the fact that corporations are extensions of government. It also provides a stark example of how taxation is not really a fiscal policy, but a policy of social and economic control and domination.
Meanwhile the courts of Brazil are trying to turn the corner, ruling that Monsanto’s extortion of a 2% tax on soy production (through its coerced GM soy contracts) is illegal. A provincial court has already ruled against Monsanto. While this ruling is on appeal to the highest provincial court, the supreme court has ruled (in rejecting a Monsanto petition) that any provincial ruling will apply to the entire country.
If the current ruling – that this is an illegal tax, that any seed patent is valid only for the first sale, and that the patent on Roundup Ready soy already expired in 2004 anyway – stands, Monsanto will have to pay at least $2 billion and possibly as much as $7.5 billion in restitution to Brazilian farmers, and its whole feudal/gangster regime in that country will lie in ruins.
This, coupled with the SCOTUS ruling here, highlights what I’ve warned many times – if the Obama Stamp tax/poll tax can be enforced, then there’s no theoretical limit to the corporate mandates/taxes which can be imposed. Monsanto will certainly start directly extorting taxes, and the US government will mandate GMOs, as soon as these seem politically doable. (I.e., as soon as the return-on-investment of such an assault looks good.)
While we can’t look to courts anywhere for our salvation, it’s nice to see a rare example of courts actually applying the legendary “rule of law” and trying to act in the public interest and against criminals. In the US, meanwhile, it’s clear that the courts, starting with the supremely corrupt corporate court, are nothing but flunkeys of corporate power, and have no legitimacy whatsoever.