Kagan and the other justices proved what relics they truly are. They actually think that innovation only emerges from the incentives of private property rights and market exchange. They do not comprehend that commons are vital for maintaining ecosystems and farmland, and for giving farmers a responsible, interactive role with respect to land. It is no surprise that American agriculture has degenerated into a kind of “factory,” treating soil and seed as inert things, and ignoring the nasty market “externalities” that such a mentality invariably produces.
The Court didn’t address these issues, of course. Not legally germane. Nor did the Court address the fact that Monsanto will dominate the seed market even more, now that its patents extend from one generation of seeds to the next and the next. This ruling will entrench a monoculture of crops and Monsanto’s oligopoly powers.
The folly of “human law” is that nature’s law always has the last say. And as crops become less robust after years and years of an artificially restricted genetic base, and as the soil and ecosystems lose their vitality after years and years of pesticide and herbicide spraying – all to support the concentrated market power of Monsanto – nature will rebel. Too bad the rest of us are being held hostage to this destructive economic and agricultural regime. - David Bollier