by Scott Creighton
Pope, pope, pope, pope, pope, pope, pope, pope, pope. It’s all about the Pope today as he kicks off his historic visit to the land of the perpetual PX.
It’s not historic because he’s visiting.
It’s historic because he’s going to pander to Hispanic Americans by canonizing a brutal and “sadistic Spanish colonial overlord in California” (they chose the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for this offensive stunt)
It’s historic because he was invited to speak before a joint session of congress by a far-right wing neoliberal republican and the pontiff accepted (tomorrow morning)
It’s historic because the carefully controlled audience that was in the backdrop of the photo op when his plane landed yesterday were being led in such “all American” cheers as “Ho Ho, Hey, Hey Hey, Welcome to the U.S.A.” and the classic “We love Francis, yes we do! We love Francis, how about YOU!?” (they staged that little propaganda, not the for Pope who doesn’t speak English very well, but instead, for the mildly educated American audiences who will be seeing it on Fox News and CNN. Hearkens back to high school football. Rachel Maddow said she “loved it”)
And it’s historic because, as the Blessed Holy Father of Anti-Capitalism left the airport, he didn’t hop in a traditional limo with bulletproof windows and a cow catcher welded on the front to bash aside the wretched masses… no… he jumped in a little Fiat 500L which was certainly picked to make him look like a down to earth Pope of the People.
Of course, it wont hurt the sales of that Fiat 500, now will it? Why is that significant? It’s a clue. A peek into the dark matter that binds everything fascist in the world today. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, that unfortunately appears to include the business that is the Catholic Church today.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, also known as FCA (BIT: FCA,NYSE: FCAU), is an Italian–American multinational automobile manufacturer. It is the world’s seventh-largest auto maker. The group was established in 2014 by merging Fiat S.p.A. into a new Netherlands-based holding company with its global headquarters in London, UK and primary listing on the New York Stock Exchange and secondary on Borsa Italiana. Exor S.p.A, an Italian investment group owned by the Agnelli family, holds a 44.31% voting interest in FCA, and 29.19% ownership position.
It operates through two main subsidiaries: FCA Italy (previously Fiat Group Automobiles) and FCA US (previously Chrysler LLC) with many well known automotive marques including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram Trucks, Abarth, Mopar and SRT. FCA also owns Ferrari, Maserati, Comau, Magneti Marelli, Teksid. Today FCA operates in four regions (NAFTA, LATAM, APAC, EMEA).
On May 6, 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced a plan for the next 5 years in order to outline the future for the company. The company expects that: sales volumes will increase to 7 million units, the revenues will reach 132 billion €, the net income will reach 5 billion € and that the industrial debt will peak at 11 billion € in 2015, and then reduce to 0.5-1 billion € by end of 2018.
In order to better understand the “anti-capitalist” pope’s efforts, you have to understand something about the Agnelli family of Italy.
Exor , a holding company controlled by the Agnelli family that owns interests in Fiat Chrysler Automotive, CNH Industrial , and Italian Serie A soccer champions Juventus is beginning to look like Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B +%. On Monday morning, Exor won a $6.9 billion bid for Bermuda-based insurer PartnerRe , a deal that could give it the financial firepower in coming years to make major new acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe…
Do you think it’s odd that the Pope decides to cruise around in an Italian-made vehicle, helping build a more positive “brand” for the company?
You see, the last really global celebrity to be associated with the Fiat “brand” was a guy by the name of Benito Mussolini. In fact, he was killed in a Fiat trying to escape his little fascist consolation prize of a fiefdom in 1945.
Fiat. Going from the Father of Modern Fascism to the anti-capitalist Pope. Now that’s what I call re-branding.
I wonder if Francis himself has any stock in Exor, FCA or PartnerRe. I wonder if the Vatican Bank has any interests in the company as well. It would be hard to find out since the Institute for Works of Religion (Vatican Bank) is the most “secretive bank in the world” but i guess someone could figure that out since they are being carefully watched after all the money-laundering scandals that broke a couple years ago.
Not to worry you Catholics out there… the Vatican, under the direction of the ‘anti-capitalist” Pope, made a total of 69 million euros in profit last year alone. Apparently it’s good business bringing in a socialist front-man to the be face of your defrocked and embarrassed religious institution.
I wonder if some actuary bean-counter has figured out the exact ratio of donations to populist message output?
Many of you might think I’m just being a contrarian when I write about the Holy Father of Socialist Ideology this way. After all, he seems genuine enough, doesn’t he?
Look, it’s not a coincidence that the former pope, a fascist, had to step down while still living because of the damage his presence was doing to the image of the church. It’s also not a coincidence that they made the decision to have him step down at a time when the Vatican Bank was being exposed as a money laundering and tax evasion scheme and the glorious profits for the ‘works of religion” were taking a tumble.
This man didn’t vote himself into the position, he was chosen by a bunch of old, mainly corrupt men who more than likely have a key financial interest in seeing to it that the “brand” of Catholicism was retooled.
So they tested the direction the wind was blowing and brought in a socialist.
Let’s see… who else figured that out and did the same thing?
- The US did with the president of “CHANGE”. How did that work out?
- France did with Hollande. He’s pure fascist now.
- Greece did with Syriza and Tsipras. Glorious austerity has been codified by all those “pro-fascism” elections and votes.
- And now we have Corbyn in the UK and Sanders in the US. Change? Either? Doubtful. Have you not been paying attention?
Why is it so hard to figure out what Pope Francis is when it should be so obvious?
Bernie Sanders didn’t invite him to speak before congress… the neocon speaker of the House did. That’s a clue.
What’s he supposed to say when he delivers his historic speech?
Well, they are playing that one tight to the vest, but the pundits and talking heads are saying he’s going to be voicing his support for;
- global warming
- taking in refugees (i.e. open border policies via neoliberal economics)
- and something a CNN reporter talked about, his support for better “multinational agreements” in order to curb the migration “crisis”
Does anyone here really think he is going to slam vulture capitalism, neoliberal colonization, crippling austerity measures inflicted on the world by the IMF/World Bank or soulless militarism targeting innocent populations with drones, terrorists and crushing economic sanctions?
He should. That would be expected speech, at least the one his last year and a half of build-up has us all “HOPE”ing for. But is that what we will get?
Did we get “CHANGE” in 2008?
Did the Greeks get the anti-austery warrior they voted for back in January?
Yes, he is going to have lunch with some hand-picked homeless folks today at some well-scripted event at some shelter. Yes, he’s riding around in a Fiat 500.
Can you see how these stunts are designed to give him a certain credibility? More over, can you see how they are going to be used when he comes out in favor of certain fascist agendas?
I don’t know what he’s going to say tomorrow in congress. I don’t really think it matters.
Today he’s honoring a fascist, slave-owning crusader from Latin America who helped the church brutalize and enslave tens of thousands of indigenous people in California and he’s doing it for the sole purpose of placating Hispanic Americans for the good of the church and yes, for the good of the current political status quo here in the states.
Another typical argument in favor of Serra’s canonization is that we shouldn’t judge the misdeeds of the past according to the standards of the present. But this too is rubbish: Anyone who makes that argument regarding the renaming of schools and other public sites to rescind tributes to slaveholders and white supremacists is properly labeled a racist and an apologist for the worst that humans have ever done to other humans. Should Pope Francis get a free pass to canonize a man directly responsible for the brutalization and ultimately the near-extinction of an entire people simply because it is, in some warped public-relations sense, a tribute to Hispanic Americans, a growing constituency in the Catholic Church? Alternet
While people like Rachel Maddow drool over the Pope due to his closeness with her idol, Barack Obama, others of us out here, real leftists, are left wondering about all of this and of course, the timing of it all.
Killary Clinton, another Maddow favorite, called it “soft power”. The ability to regime change countries based on humanitarian lies and deceit through terrorism and careful marketing propaganda. It was, and is, a kinder, gentler fascism.
No need for “shock and awe” bombing, just “no fly zones” and scores of “moderate freedom fighters”
They re-branded the Global War OF Terror into something more palatable to the tastes of their phony liberal base.
I can’t help but wonder if the brain-trust running the Catholic church didn’t make something of a similar shift when they dumped the tainted front-man they had before and presented the world with a true, 180 degree turn-around by the name of Francis. After all, it was the same group of elderly, privileged white guys who picked this guy who also just happened to pick his fascist predecessor as well.
You think they all had some kind of revelation? A change of heart? Touched by God, perhaps?
I suppose it is possible that the Holy Father knows not what he does. For that he could be forgiven.
It is possible, but not likely.
He is, after all, Pope Francis (The Dirty War Pope), Bergoglio. A man who collaborated with the military-fascist junta that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983. A man who has enjoyed more than a bit of re-branding himself.
When the College of Cardinals met in the papal conclave, you have to think about it in terms of a board of directors meeting to elect a new CEO after the previous one was disgraced and left the company on the verge of bankruptcy.
Sure they will bring in someone who, on the surface, will represent the opposite of everything wrong about his predecessor. But in reality, they want that difference in appearance only because the way the company had been run made them wealthy and it was only the fact that the corruption was exposed that they had a problem with it.
In short, the directors don’t opt for a “true believer” to save the corporation… they bring in someone who just looks like one.
This is what happened here in 2008 and in France and Greece not that long ago.
When it comes to maintaining the flailing fascist status quo, “populist CHANGE” is the new black.
If you look close enough you can see the God Particle in everything.
Unfortunately, the closer you look, the less that dark matter looks like the dude painted on the ceiling of some chapel and more like this:
Time will tell I suppose. Perhaps I’m jaded. Or perhaps…
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