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sexta-feira, maio 14, 2004

Manuel Monteiro,entre outros

"Like democracy, the idea of a demagogue has its roots in the ambiguous Greek word 'demos'meaning 'the people', but in the sense of either 'the population'. Thus a demagogue was, even in classical times, the leader of the mob, but also the leader of a popular state in which sovereignty was vested in the whole adult male citinzenry. In the defunct, neutral sense all modern Western leaders are, to some degree, demagogues.
But the modern significance of the idea of a demagogue lies in its pejorative sense, as the leader of a mob, with the implication that those who rouse the rabble always do so for ignoble purposes. In this sense the word came into established use in England in the Civil War period and was used, particularly, by the poet John Milton to describe contemporary activists. A long line of liberal thinkers have expressed fears of demagoguery and the need for constitutions to limit its destructive potential. John Stuart Mill invoked the image of the orator inflaming the drunken mob on the subject of the Corn Laws in front of a corn merchant's house to introduce the principle that freedom of speech should be limited in certain contexts.Lord Acton portrayed nationalist and religiously intolerant demagogues as a constant danger of and to democracy. Joseph Schumpeter kept these images alive in twentieth-century political theory by drawing on Gustave Le Bon's mob or crowd psychology to suggest that the 'mob' is erratic, irrational, and oriented towards violent solutions to problems.
Schumpeter was primarily reacting to Hitler's success as a demagogue, but demagoguery did not die with Hitler."

[Concise Dictionary of Politics, Oxford]


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