"you have to listen to us because there
are a lot of us"
certainly, although they also function sometimes rather well when only a few march if that few have the strength to endure the abuse; but also "You have to listen to us because we are the electorate and we are the people who pay your wages and we are the people your bombs are killing on the other side"
- to go out on the street is to bear witness, as opposed to smug teasing of people who give up time to argue for support -
but " and we're taking up a lot of space and making a lot of
noise" doesn't really come into it.
A lot will take up a lot of space, of course. The noise is not an argument. One makes a noise to draw attention. It is a legitimate thing to do. One only marches because there is almost nothing else to do. Until the latest invasion of Iraq, there was no party against UK increasing military violence. It was only the odd handling of Iraq that brought any substantial politicians out against it. They were fairly solid about what UK did in Jugoslavia and most could have been persuaded to vote for murder again
Yet these events are never in the manifesto and never put to a meaningful vote
You almost had me going with "performative contradiction". It pushed on the right lever and I found myself thinking how interesting this sounded.
On reflection it's silly. There is no contradiction.
If you were able to go on that march and you didn't and if these are your reasons, then Militarism is condoned by default.
As for the fine article which illuminates the causes of your frustration and ennui, that'll be muddle then
From: Dominic Fox <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2005 4:44 PM
Subject: Re: "Expressive anti-politics"
The problem is the performative contradiction. Among the things a
person opposed to militarism might be expected to believe is that
Might does not make Right (I do understand now, and did then, that
there is rather more to it than that). But marches and protests and
demonstrations do seem to me to involve an at least (and not always
only) implicit assertion that you have to listen to us because there
are a lot of us and we're taking up a lot of space and making a lot of
noise. They are rather ineluctably a demonstration of physical oomph,
even if they are impeccably nonviolent in their conduct and consist of
nothing more agitated than a bunch of people sitting down in the
middle of a public square and singing.