Manipulation means to influence a person or a group of people in such a way that the manipulator tries to get what he or she wants or makes a person believe something in a calculating, indirect and somewhat dishonest way. It is a form of psychological abuse.
For example, a manipulator will
* use arguments that the manipulator does not believe in himself
* or withhold or distort relevant information,
* or launch false information (disinformation)
* or "play" on the emotions of the person.
* physically move the person, like a puppet
This might also involve propaganda when it is directed to more than one person.
There is a debate concerning the use of manipulation. For example, in general it is disturbing to have one's free will tampered with, while on the other hand, it may be desirable to manipulate or intimidate youths into taking a course of action that is alternative to their current course of actions, such as abusing firearms or narcotics.
Demagogy is the set of methods used by demagogues. It is a strategy of obtaining power by appealing to the popular prejudices, fears, and expectations of the public, usually through an impassioned use of rhetoric and propaganda; often centered upon nationalistic or populist themes.
H. L. Mencken, an American critic, defined a demagogue as
"one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."
The word is commonly used as a political insult: political opponents are described as demagogues, but politicians approved of are "men of the people," or great speechmakers.
Although, according to Mencken's definition, Demagogy involves lying, some would say it doesn't, since it doesn't use false facts directly, but rather brings the uncritical listener to draw the desired conclusion himself. Demagogy often involves logical fallacies, but has many aspects that have nothing to do with logic. While it may not rely heavily upon outright lies, the use of half-truths, omissions, and distortions define Demagogy; it is in essence arguing in bad-faith for the purpose of political gain.
The word is derived from the Greek words demos (people) and agogos (leading).
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