Force Tax Havens

FORCE IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY’S SURVIVAL IS NO SIN.
The brand new Swiss president had the impudence of moaning that “big states do not treat small states as equal”.

At first, this sounds good: the eternal lament of the weak and small being oppressed by the big and strong, something to make the righteous weep. And yet bacteria are small, but nothing to cry about.

The proximal object of the Swiss’ hypocritical whining was the unilateral French decree on January 1, 2013 to tax 5,430 tax payers who earn their living in France, but were (lightly) taxed in Switzerland (through special contracts with Swiss cantons, although they are French citizens). Under what theory is one supposed to negotiate about that?

I have a question for Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden (and other European tax havens).

What were they doing in October 1939? Hitler had just invaded Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Hitler had started a holocaust in Poland, bombing cities, focusing on flour mills, for all to see. France and Britain had started a war against Hitler. 40 French divisions were trying to break through the Nazi Westwall in a very narrow, difficult mountainous sector (they would succeed 54 months later). The French could only attack there, because Belgium and Luxembourg were “neutral”.

It’s not that they are just small: roaches may be small, but they accumulate as great masses. The total population of Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden is now 51 millions (2012). That is, larger than the population of England (although less than the UK).

What were those “small”, “neutral” countries doing in 1939? Well certainly not cooperating with France and Britain. In other words, the “neutral” were not on the side of civilization.

Switzerland was racking in the cash and valuables of millions of Europeans from Middle Europe, who were fleeing the Nazis. That included all the valuables of hundreds of thousands of Jews (conveniently the banks would later lose the records of these transactions, once their clients had been exterminated by their accomplices the Nazis). While filling up its coffers with what would turn out to be an enormous stolen capital, Switzerland was not cooperating militarily with France. This had drastic consequences, because the Maginot line, which extended along the border with Italy, did not extend along the Swiss border.

So France had forces at the ready, in case the Nazis tried to pass by the central plain of Switzerland; the dispersion of French forces on May 10, 1940, was the major factor in the defeat of May-June 1940.

(The major sea-land-air invasion of Norway and Sweden ongoing in May 1940 by elite French and British forces did not help; for example the Legion could not be deployed to help the Fourth Heavy Armored French division led by de Gaulle cut behind the Nazi Panzer army; as it is giant French heavy tanks came within a kilometer of the top Nazi generals, at night, without knowing how close they came to decapitating the German command, including general in chief Guderian, who related the situation; a few legionnaires may have made the difference; but the Legion was getting ready to invade Hitler’s collaborator, Sweden.)

The usual Francophobic rabble will laugh, at the idea of 5 million French prisoners, 200,000 French killed. However France had on her territory hundreds of thousands of political refugees fleeing Nazism. A direct consequence of the French defeat was to enable further the extermination programs directed at Poles, Jews, Slavs, Gypsies. (And soon 28 million Soviets killed.)

Those extermination programs extended the extermination program against mental retards and degenerates, which was completely official, so Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden knew very well what the Nazis were up to.

Sweden was outright intensely collaborating with Hitler by selling him enormous quantities of high grade iron ore that the bloodthirsty dictator needed for making his weapons. The ore was going through Norway along the “Iron Road” to Narvik, a special railway carrying the world’s heaviest trains.
The situation was so strategic that France and Britain decided to cut off that non-sense by force, while Hitler, anticipating this, decided to invade Norway, to secure the “Iron Road”.
Sweden could have sent the ore by a longer route to the Baltic, so France and Britain decided to invade Sweden with an army spearheaded by the French Foreign Legion. Unfortunately the Legion had to be recalled in May 1940, when the Nazis attacked through the Ardennes mountains.

Hitler, smart in the way predators are, and desperate, because his chances against the French army seemed tenuous, had concentrated all his forces on one road through the Ardennes. A Spitfire pilot saw the German armor traffic jam, reported it, and was not believed.

Meanwhile the worldwide dispersed French Air Force was not even at 50% strength over France, and could not check where exactly the main Nazi forces where. Hitler focused on a savage attack against the Netherlands, in the hope that the French would stupidly show a big heart.
The French High Command fell in the trap and, with consummate stupidity sent the Reserve Mobile army of seven armored divisions led by general Giraud to the Netherlands. While the ten Nazi Panzer divisions broke through the Meuse river, way south.
The reason Hitler broke there is that the French Maginot Line finished a few kilometers to the south. The Maginot Line could not be penetrated. It was even stronger than the Nazi Westwall, which held the five million man Western Allies for 6 months in 1944-45.

The portion of the Maginot Line that was supposed to be built in Belgium, going north, had never been built, although it was supposed to be built, by treaty with France. This non construction of crucial fortifications was a particularly fatal treachery of “neutral” Belgium.

The initial Nazi plan called for a double pronged attack through Belgium. It had been fully anticipated by the French High Command. Had the Nazis done this they would have encountered head-on the French and British army, and be defeated. French and British armor was superior to the Nazi one, with much bigger tanks. The rare pitched tank battles with the French and the British brought systematic Nazi defeats (it’s only by going AROUND French and British armor that the Nazis won in May 1940!)
However a plane carrying the Nazi plan crash landed in Belgium, and the Nazis had to change to the crazy plan that worked.

There is a contemporary lesson therein: plans do not resist contact with the enemy, that’s well known. Less known is the fact that a vastly inferior enemy, as the Nazis in May 1940, can win by trying something crazy, as the Nazis did in May 1940. The admonishment is that the Western Allies should not underestimate, again, what potential enemies are capable of. Ballistic missiles, satellite and cyber attacks should be prepared against.

To come back to the initial subject, had the Netherlands, Belgium. Norway and Sweden declared war to Hitler during Fall 1939, Hitler would have certainly lost.

So we can conclude two things:
1) countries that still claim to be neutral, such as Sweden and Switzerland, should be sanctioned against, on that ground alone. They are, in truth vile, always anxious to serve the worst, most profitable master they can find. (See the WikiLeaks story with Sweden or Switzerland’s anxious pandering to Qaddafi, as ongoing symptoms of baseness.)
2) countries that are “neutral” when civilization, basic human rights, or the right to life are at stake (as was the case in 1939), are actually followers of the Dark Side.

Some will say:”Grow up, we are not in 1939 anymore, this is not relevant today.” But nothing could be further from the truth. The order established worldwide, is primarily military. It is symbolized by the United Nations, and was established by the democracies during World War Two (as the SDN’s idea got started in France in 1916; the SDN was the ill fated predecessor of the UN).

Taxation precedes militarization, which precedes democratization (this point of view was argued in these terms in Athens 2,500 years ago, leading to the construction and manning of a 200 triremes fleet, and, at enormous human, financial and ecological cost, the victories of Marathon, Salamis, and Platea… Against a particularly parodic version of the Dark Side. Thus civilization won over fascization.

For decades, Switzerland and the Benelux have played tax havens (it varies from canton to canton; Luxembourg or Zug are particularly abject, the Netherlands milder, but bigger by two orders of magnitude!).

Tax havens are not just draining the bigger states from tax revenues. As I always mention, the withdrawal of the legions from Britain, Germany and Gaul in 400 CE was directly caused by lack of revenues (the Roman plutocrats refused to pay tax, they felt reasonably confident that, protected by their own private armies, they could resist the small invading German bands). The crisis had been long in coming (Marcus Aurelius confronted it already in 160 CE). The “Occidental” Roman empire collapsed within six years.

By draining tax revenues from the bigger, leading DEMOCRACIES (there are about ten of those, led by the nuclear armed USA, France and Britain), the smaller states, the tax havens, are actually conducting CHRONIC hostile operations against democracy, republic, civilization, basic human rights, or the right to life.

Thus, whenever Occidental democracy confronts an enemy, Switzerland, whether conscious of it or not, is an objective ally of said enemy.

So Mr. Swiss president, by choosing the Dark Side, your country is not just small, vile and ugly, but should also be treated as a hostile alien. Such is the lesson from 1940. As France, Germany, Italy, the USA, maybe even Great Britain are presently requesting Switzerland to surrender tax evading plutocrats, they should hesitate to use force (as they have been doing increasingly).

The other lesson is that France and Britain should have invaded Narvik and perfidious Sweden in 1939, instead of waiting passively, and stupidly, for Hitler to attack Norway. (If the Norwegians wanted to fight the Foreign Legion, well, tough luck for them.) Cutting the “Iron Road” in 1939 would have fatally weakened the Nazis.

Right now the galaxy of small and despicable tax havens, worldwide, greatly weakens the big democracies, and is at the root of the ongoing Greater Depression. Tax havens enable gangsterism, banksterism, and tax avoidance by the largest international corporations, while leeching off the military power and order established by the leading democracies.

Tax havens should be viewed as terrorist organizations, as they enfeeble those who fight the enemies of the Open Society, and treated as such. That means, they should be treated with democratically imposed military force, precisely what the plutocrats do not want to pay for anymore than they did in 400 CE.
***
Patrice Ayme

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14 Responses to “Force Tax Havens”

  1. pshakkottai Says:

    Hi Patrice:
    Your summary is to the point. “Tax havens should be viewed as terrorist organizations, as they enfeeble those who fight the enemies of the Open Society, and treated as such. That means, with democratically imposed military force, precisely what the
    plutocrats do not want to pay for anymore than they did in 400 CE.”
    Here we are in USA with the war on terror in failing states mostly to rob them of mineral wealth!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Partha: Thanks and right!
      Verily, if, as the USA’s main economic doctrine has it, profit should be the central motivation of society, it should also drive foreign, and thus military, policy!
      I believe differently: it’s high time to intervene in Mali (Republique du). Even if France did not get the USA to pay its share for it yet! OK, there is no money in it, whatsoever, short term… Although blossoming war in the Sahara will, to start with, prevent Africa to develop solar energy on a truly massive scale… The tech is ready and a German led company was ready to move in. Also the hostages taken were mostly from non CO2 energy companies (some nuclear, some wind, some solar)
      PA

  2. Dominique Deux Says:

    I applaud with two hands, but my third one (the one pickpockets find most useful) is wondering about those big countries which not only tolerate, but in fact aid and abet tax havens almost within their borders.

    Case in point are the prostitute Anglo-Norman Islands, which even the Bullingdon alumnus Cameron is claiming to be getting wise to, or Monaco, which could and should be annexed by France at the earliest opportunity. (I guess French luminaries of tax evasion were discreetly asked by His Sunbathing Highness not to apply for Monegasque citizenship right now, as this would provide such an opportunity).

    The signal that force is indeed called for against tax havens and other rogue states (such as those which hawk convenience flags to modern slave vessels) would be a tidal moment. Since Israel does not need them, there should be no problem at the UNSC.

    Bring it on, Switzerland!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: You are completely right about the big countries. Big countries have long been telerobotized by plutocrats, so they set-up the tax havens galaxy, to take care of their own plutocrats. Right now a related activity is international corporations, including international banks (all initially Western, and especially USA based) going tax free.
      France with Monaco is a bit player. Great britain does much better with the Channel Islands, indeed, and the Isle of Man, and the British Virgin Islands (so dear to Apple Inc.). But all big European powers that really be play the likes of Luxembourg as a mighty violin.

      And it goes without saying that, in sheer volume, the number one tax haven is the USA itself. A plutocrat can invest in Wyoming, and shelter all income (just an example: Delaware, conveniently next to Washington DC, is #1, of course). The anti-Swiss war has had the interest of removing Switzerland, formerly number one, from the top ten international wealth management business, while replacing it by the USA and its agents.

      Who is the Sun Bathing Highness? There are lots of those! To my knowledge, French citizens CANNOT flee to Monaco: they get taxed, just as if they stayed on top of the hill. French civil servants, by law, constitute the Monaco fiscal administration.

      In truth, all and any really small state (with maybe the exception of Singapore, but, of course, with 5 million, singapore is the size of Denmark, or Norway) does not really exist. In particular, in the Caribbean, aside from Cuba, the local super power, all are very squeezable…
      PA

  3. Dominique Deux Says:

    On a terminology issue: “Tax haven” translates in French to “Paradis fiscal”, which really means “Tax heaven”.

    I suspect a lost-in-translation typo event sometimes in the past.

    But a serendipitous one, as the discrepancy illustrates well the difference in approach: a “paradise” conveys the sinful idea of a privileged enclave where fat cats can indulge and splurge, whereas a “haven” elicits the virtuous idea of a refuge of last resort for the hounded millionaires of the world and their hard-earned booty.

    Any haven in a storm, as the old Navy hands said when cute midshipmen walked by…

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dominique: Curiously in Old English, haven relates to the sea, and heaven (connected to German Himmel) to the home of the gods. Strictly speaking “Tax Haven” should translate into “Tax Refuge”. But of course everybody thinks of “Tax Heaven”, and I have used the latter myself. Any haven is heavens, for those who flee, relatively speaking (heaven and heavens are… distinct words…)
      Anyway tax havens are rather pirates’ dens… They have more to do with James Bond’s Dr. No, except they are all over that place called Earth (just amble along the yachts on the Riviera and read where they are from!).
      The tax thing is no detail: it’s at the core of what enables the plutocratic effect.
      PA

  4. Mom Says:

    J’ai beaucoup aime’!
    Maman

  5. Dominique Deux Says:

    Dear PA, my bad – it came back to me as I pressed on “return” that indeed French citizens, even when awarded the precious (ie expensive) passport, are barred by Monaco law of using its tax haven facilities. So my jibe at His Sunbathing Highness, Prince Albert, was uncalled for.

    More generally, as a Frenchman I like that you have no qualms giving France credit for its achievements, which the “outside world” (aka the usual culprits) likes to bury under ignorant sarcasm. However these very achievements give France a moral duty which it is failing to fulfill. Its current executive has been explicitly elected on a promise of taking on plutocracy head on, and it has been surrendering abjectly, even eagerly, at every opportunity. Tactical caution is one thing, downright high treason is another. Some of your scathing investigation and comment would be well directed there.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: Well, we have been through this with Obama. Obama also surrendered abjectedly, even eagerly. 4 years ago. Nowadays, however, he is finally throwing out the old Clinton-Rubin-Wall Street corruptocracy, and I approve of his cabinet choices.

      Hollande can’t fight the war alone. France has vastly deteriorated in position under Chirac and Sarko (not that I liked Mitterand, either [although Mitterand I forgive, for having implemented the euro!]; come to think of it, the last leader I really liked was that diamond spoon plutocratic kid, JFK; even Bush I looks to me better than Clinton…)

      France is also part of Europe, and European integration is clearly hindered at this point by the baby plutocrat, Cameron. Getting rid of British vetoes should be number one priority for European progressives (Martin Schultz understands this and intends to use EU article 20).

      Obama is, or may, finally operate with Machiavellian efficiency. We will see. Kerry and Hagel are NOT part of the old spirit, although they are total insiders. I expect the best from them. We just avoided the Rice, Susan, bullet. She would have been, and is, a disaster.

      Part of the problem, though, is that Obama (let alone Hollande) have to operate at the forefront of knowledge and wisdom, as the university types have totally failed (not the least because they work for plutocratic universities!) So the leaders just don’t have the conceptual tools, nor even an intellectual class they can depend upon. More advanced mental tools is part of what I am trying to forge, and offer.
      PA

  6. Dominique Deux Says:

    The devil is in the details: please do not write that “Hitler had invaded Spain”… Legion Condor cannot be called an invasion force!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: That was deliberate. I wrote this carefully, and in full cognizance of the situation.

      Hitler himself argued that he had invaded Spain, and laughed that it was thanks to Texaco (!). Hitler viewed Franco’s African Muslim army as his personal subsidiary (he discovered his mistake later, when he could do nothing about it).

      Other point: the fall of Spain in February 1939, definitively brought Britain to the French point of view, and Britain accepted to be mentioned in the appendix of the Franco-Polish defense treaty.

      Historians do not just relate as their predecessors, but re-interpret facts…
      PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Let me explain a bit more. Franco’s African army was the invasion force. As the Spanish Navy blocked the access to Europe by sea, Hitler flew in Franco’s entire army into Spain, thanks to Texaco’s oil. That was in 1936. Not to call that an invasion was a mistake politicians and historians did in the past.

      Hitler himself came to view his whole Iberian invasion, eight years later, as a strategic blunder of his (as it only served the forces of conservatism (!)).
      PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hitler did in Spain the same exact thing he did in Germany, or France: using other people, he broke a republic, and instituted a dictatorship.

      By the way the inheritance of Hitler is now history in France and Germany, but not yet in Spain, where the plutocracy is represented by a tyran (Juan Carlos) and his corrupt entourage (now blackmailing him, in a funny twist…) OK, Franco killed millions, and Juan Carlos did not: then plutocracy hard, now plutocracy light… But still plutocracy.
      PA

  7. MC Says:

    Showing off with essays is a good policy. I think the odds are very good that your brain will outlast my (our) body(s).
    Aloha!
    M

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