Monday, May 11, 2009



Demagogy (also demagoguery) (Ancient Greek δημαγωγία, from δῆμος dēmos "people" and ἄγειν agein "to lead") refers to a political strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the popular prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public —typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist or populist themes. The term was used for the first time by Aristophanes in his satire against the demagogue Cleon.

The early 20th century American social critic and humorist H. L. Mencken, known for his "definitions" of terms, defined a demagogue as "one who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."

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