Franz is again struck with how laughable they are.
But just because the Grand March is coming to an end, does that give him the right to ridicule it? To betray it?
After all, they had no choice but to continue putting on the show.
The narrator agrees with this reasoning.
He thinks back to the editor with the big chin who organized the petition for the release of the political prisoners.
The editor with the big chin knew it would not help the prisoners, but he did it anyway to show that people without fear still existed. His choice was between playacting, or not acting at all, and he chose playacting.