Avanti! Vorwärts! Forward!

I heard that Obama was campaigning with Bruce Springsteen singing songs having to do with “Forward”. “Forward!”

Did you know that the newspaper of the Italian Communists after the war was called “Avanti!… Forward!”? I think a major German Communist paper was called… what was it again… “Vorwärts!” What could that mean?


I got something wrong, above. The great Roman Fabrizio sent me a note with better information:

“Avanti!” was the name of the official organ of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) not the Communist party which was founded later by Gramsci and Togliatti in 1919 after their split from the PSI. The paper’s most successful editor was B. Mussolini between 1912 and 1914 when circulation of the paper went from 30k to 60k copies which was huge for the times

Vorwärts also was Socialist, not Communist.

I wonder, however, what influence Alinksy took from Gramsci.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    I hope you cast your vote for before you left the States, Fr. Z!

  2. Denis Crnkovic says:

    The Russian communists were always talking about “vperyod” (“forward”) although they never really seemed to go much of anywhere…

  3. Paulus Magnus says:

    It means that he’s using a fairly common bit of obvious political imagery which happens to also be the state motto of Wisconsin, Nixon’s 1969 inauguration slogan “Forward together” (although Nixon would probably be considered to the left of Obama nowadays), FDR, and others. It also means that you’re about six months behind the times when it comes to election news.

    Honestly, Father, indulging in pointless political cheap shots like this and the others which have become unfortunately common on your blog cheapens yourself and disgraces the priesthood that you represent.

    [If you don’t like this blog, by all means feel free not to visit!]

  4. Andrew says:

    Paulus Magnus:

    Seriously? Disgracing? Pointless? Wow! Why did I miss that?

  5. Legisperitus says:

    Come now, Father. Surely it doesn’t require a great leap.


  6. StJude says:

    Marxists sure do like their slogans.

  7. AnAmericanMother says:

    Well, the anthem of the HJ was “Vorwärts! Vorwärts! schmettern die hellen Fanfaren”.
    And, on the other hand, the Yiddish paper that has been published in NYC for over a hundred years is the ??????????? (“Forverts”). They started out as hard-core Communist (there’s a bust of Karl Marx on the building) but have moderated over the years to something that’s just kind of left.
    The motto is overwhelmingly associated with the far left.
    Paulus Magnus: get a grip.

  8. AnAmericanMother says:

    Rats! Yiddish typeface won’t go either.

  9. AnnAsher says:

    What will our manner of hailing him be should he win ? Shall we all make a big “zero” with our hands in the air? I kind of liked that one – too bad they didn’t stick with it – made me laugh.

  10. NBW says:

    “It means that he’s using a fairly common bit of obvious political imagery which happens to also be the state motto of Wisconsin, Nixon’s 1969 inauguration slogan “Forward together” “….

    Hmmm… Nixon…Watergate… Resignation/Impeachment… One can only HOPE !

  11. benedetta says:

    Forward! Except for the tens of millions we slaughtered in the womb….Wait…oops…

  12. Edprocoat says:

    As pointed out here its a fairly common socialist/communist term. The left has a knack for reducing agendas into neat terms that seem benign in nature. Back when Progressive what found objectionable they turned to Liberal, and now they are turning back to Progressive, who would not want to be progressive, or forward in their views. I remember when my granny called me her ” gay boy ” as I always had a smile on my face or when she would relate ” we had a gay time at mass today “, now gay has a different meaning. Pro-choice is a nifty term to soften the definition of infant murder. I could go on but we all get it. Perhaps they take their lead from a lower power, afterall is not the evil one also known as the deceiver?


  13. StWinefride says:

    Dear Paulus Magnus,
    I was very taken aback to read the negative comments you made about Fr Z and his blog.

    I’m sure he can handle it – he seems to be made of stern stuff, but that’s not the point of me writing to you.

    First of all, Fr Z is a priest – an alter christus – and as such, deserves respect.

    Second, publicly broadcasting grievances about a priest and his blog is helpful to no one. If you have a genuine concern contact him by email or just don’t read his blog.

    Third, PRAY FOR HIM!

    In Domino :)

  14. Imrahil says:

    Very well… “forward ever, backward never” as Erich Honecker used to say.

  15. mike cliffson says:

    Yeah, the paths of glory lead but to the grave , do they not?
    I learnt to sing

    Avanti o popolo, avanti populo
    Bandiera rossa, bandiera rossa
    Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa
    Bandiera rossa trionferà.

    Bandiera rossa la trionferà
    Bandiera rossa la trionferà
    Bandiera rossa la trionferà
    Evviva il socialismo e la libertà!

    whilst on a Catholic pilgrimage, late sixties.Cheerful song, too.

    Mind you , it’ wasn’t QUITE as a bove: some lines were changed, eg, to fit those lady pilgrims happily and visibly blessed by soon-due progeny.

    E name, name, (twice) e pregnata” approx.

    Which after salvation first and foremost ,and more Holy priests, would still be a good concomitant: Plenty of catholic pilgrims including plenty young( why delay? ) married (not shacked up, living in sin or contracepting)couples including those open to life, ( of, hence whom, many, those who God so blesses, wi’ a “bump” to the fore) the best sort of avanti, forwards, or whatever.
    God send we live to see such ,even nationally minority, catholic cultures in Christendom again : cheerful, sojouners in this vale of tears rather than backbones of the establishment on the whole, ramshackle, a touch unkempt, but way above occupy anywhere level filth, all ages, not that well to do , numerous, babies and kids everywhere families, quarrelsome superficially, sharing- Im not that old, yet so many of you will have never seen it!
    I want their words, not their dreary longfaced turf.: Avanti it is then

  16. AvantiBev says:

    For me my nomen di cyber has to do with MY state of mind and MY spirit as I headed into my second half century. In any case Avanti Bev went forward to the polls this morning and ol’ Saul Alinsky would not have liked my vote nor would ol’ man Daley (Richard the First). Thinking about that makes me “FELICEBEV” all day.

  17. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Don’t forget O’s “mentor?” Frank Marshall Davis, communist, founder and editor-in-chief of the communist party U.S..A. newspaper. Front page of May Day, 1948, issue: “Bravely forward!……”

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    On a related bit of imagery, from the “Preface” of R.H. Benson’s The Dawn of All (1911), referring to its predecessor, Lord of the World:

    “In the present book I am attempting–also in parable form–not in the least to withdraw anything that I said in the former, but to follow up the other lines instead, and to sketch–again in parable–the kind of developments, about sixty years hence which, I think, may reasonably be expected should the opposite process begin, and ancient thought (which has stood the test of
    centuries, and is, in a very remarkable manner, being “rediscovered” by persons even more modern than modernists) be prolonged instead. We are told occasionally by moralists that we
    live in very critical times, by which they mean that they are not sure whether their own side will win or not. In that sense no times can ever be critical to Catholics, since Catholics are never in any kind of doubt as to whether or no their side will win. But from another point of view every period is a critical period, since every period has within itself the conflict of two irreconcilable forces. It has been for the sake of tracing out the kind of effects that, it seemed to me, each side would
    experience in turn, should the other, at any rate for a while, become dominant, that I have written these two books.”

    Still have not read it! Is it as good as his LotW? Is it ever less likely? Or…?

    In any case, the illegitimate immanentizers of the imagery of ‘forward’, etc., must be resisted in their attempts to hijack and abuse, by all who recall “extendens meipsum, ad destinatum persequor, ad bravium supernae vocationis Dei in Christo Jesu.”

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