The following is part of document that I produced for my debating group.
I'm copying it here for feedback and suggestions for enhancement / correction.
Parts of it are "tongue in cheek" but the intent is to make a serious point about argumentation and good and bad approaches to it.
All quotes are from the link provided at the top. Yes, I used Wiki :-)
What do folks think?
What is demagogy?
"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.""
A more detailed description of Demagogy and Demagogues would be:
"Demagogy (also demagoguery) (Ancient Greek δu951 μu945 γu969 γu943 α from δu8134 μu959 ςdēos "people" and ἄu947 εu953 νagein "to lead") is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public—ypically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes."
Destructive strategies intended to derail the debate, silence an opponent or team on an issue, discredit an opponent or team, discredit the site for the purposes of using that to recruit members to another site, or simply taking "pleasure" in disrupting the group.
Accusations of lying without supporting those accusations or supporting them with material that doesn't actually support them in the hopes that no-one will bother to check.
Starting threads on the topic which contain personal attacks against an individual in the subject line in order to "poison the well" before the accused can respond.
Accusing the opposing side of engaging in the dishonest strategies that you are actively engaging in, in order to deflect people from noticing what you are doing.
Posting inflammatory content intended to provoke an inflammatory response from either an individual opponent, a group of individual opponents, or the opposing team.
The Hitlerian Big Lie strategy can and does include the use of all of the above methods.
It is, by definition, a strategy of demogogues and demagogy.
Note: That there is difference between those who use the following as an actual strategy and those who occasionally fall into the trap of fighting like with like in response to destructive behavior.
Falling into the trap of fighting like with like can, at best, end in a draw, making both parties look bad. So it's advised to avoid this trap if you are not, in fact, a demagogue.
The reason for this is that the back up strategy of demagogues is to turn around and accuse their target(s) of being demagogues.
When you fight like with like, in the case of demagoguery, this accusation then has credibility whether you initiated the exchange or not.
These strategies are often used by trolls, cyberstalkers and other Internet Wildlife.
They vary in subtlety and specifics depending on "what works".
Note: Those who complain loudest about others using these strategies
Make the most accusations that others are using them
Are, generally speaking, the ones who are actively engaged in using these strategies.
It's simply a cheap and shoddy attempt to deflect attention from what they are doing and redirect it dishonestly on to their target.
As per Timothy's request, I've incorporated a section on "Magma-Dialectics" (a Parody of Pragma-Dialectics) used by Demagogues.
The dialectical conception of unreasonableness is given by ten rules for critical disruption, all being instrumental for achieving a maximally disrupted and hostile environment for debate and/or discussion.
No Freedom rule: parties must prevent each other from advancing standpoints or from casting doubt on standpoints.
No Burden of proof rule: a party that advances a standpoint is not obliged to defend it if asked by the other party to do so.
No Standpoint rule: a party’ attack on a standpoint must not relate to the standpoint that has indeed been advanced by the other party.
No Relevance rule: a party may not defend a standpoint by advancing argumentation relating to that standpoint.
No Unexpressed premise rule: a party may disown a premise that has been left implicit by that party, or falsely present something as a premise that has been left unexpressed by the other party.
No Starting point rule: a party may falsely present a premise as an accepted starting point or deny a premise representing an accepted starting point.
No Argument scheme rule: a party may regard a standpoint as conclusively defended if the defense does not take place by means of an appropriate argumentation scheme that is correctly applied.
No Validity rule: a party may not use arguments in its argumentation that are logically valid or capable of being validated by making explicit one or more unexpressed premises
No Closure rule: a failed defense of a standpoint must not result in the party that put forward the standpoint retracting it and a conclusive defense of the standpoint must not result in the other party retracting its doubt about the standpoint.
No Usage rule: a party must use formulations that are insufficiently clear or confusingly ambiguous and a party must not interpret the other party’ formulations as carefully and accurately as possible.
When in doubt or all else fails...
...Lie. Whether the lie is subtle or blatant doesn't matter.
When caught in your lie.
1. Get morally outraged and lie more.
2. Never, never, ever acknowledge even the possibility that you may be wrong.
3. Accuse the opposition of doing everything that you are doing.
Logical Fallacies in Demagogy.
Use them all and generously.
The only logical fallacy in demagogy is to not use logical fallacies.
Slightly revised from the original post.