Monday, February 17, 2003[posted by jaed at 12:02 PM]
Remembrance of movements past:
Porphyrgenitus analyzes the recent demonstrations as theater, bouncing off an email from Nelson Asher:
Thus the banners, slogans, and speeches at demonstrations often seem very disconnected from reality to outsiders ([...] little but religious pilgrimages and which content and form does not vary regardless of the issue at hand. This could be an anti-globalization demonstration or a Earth Day demonstration just as easily as an anti-war demonstration). That is because, for the spokesman and many of the participants, it's more important to maintain a connection to "The Movement's" legacy from decades past than to make arguments fitted to the present issue-at-hand. That issue must be shoehorned into the dialectic of "The Movement", regardless of whether it fits (thus the emphasis on neo-Marxist materialist explanations such as "it's about oil", for example).
Interesting points, particularly about the seeming interchangeability of mass demonstrations. It's occurred to me as well that you'd only have to change a few details - swap the anti-Israel posters for anti-corporate ones - to change an "anti-war" demonstration into an "anti-globalization" one. Not only is the mood the same, much of the message is the same.