Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sound like anybody we know?


DEMOPATHS:Demopaths are people who use democratic language and invoke human rights only when it serves their interests, and not when it calls for self-criticism or self-restraint. Demopaths demand stringent levels of human “rights” but do not apply these basic standards for the “other” to their own behavior. The most lethal demopaths use democratic rights to destroy democracy.

Demopaths differ from civil-society free-riders; the latter enjoy more rights than they grant to others simply out of selfishness or laziness. Demopaths are fundamentally hostile to granting others’ rights, and secretly despise the values of civil society (which demands that they tolerate and respect others). Instead of coming along for the ride, they want to sink the boat.

Demopaths use the jargon of civil society and human rights to convince their targets. Through this progressive discourse, demopaths exploit on people eager to believe that civic values can resolve the problem. Sometimes demopaths are completely hostile to the cultures in which they live, and manipulate human rights as a Trojan horse to enter the city and sack it.

Demopathy is a zero-sum to negative-sum game. It pursues the destruction of the system (demopaths win and reestablish plunder-or-be-plundered aristocracy); in the process, it destroys the system’s very capacity to produce what made it attractive to plunder in the first place. Demopaths do not view opponents as members of a positive-sum collective, but as enemies to be destroyed. In its most virulent stages, demopathy is violently paranoid.


- Radical imbalance between their insistence on asserting their own rights, and their lack of interest in defending the rights of others. - Moral rhetoric expressing great indignation when appealing for personal rights.- Tendency to tell demonizing tales of the enemies (of “human rights”)- Tendency to think in conspiratorial terms (they are conspirators themselves), and to project ill will onto opponents/enemies.- Do minimal (required) work protecting the rights of others, especially opponents/enemies.

A demopathic organization would protest the media portraying its ethnic/religious affiliates as “terrorists” (inadmissible negative stereotyping), but would not protest the terrorist acts perpetrated by members of their ethnic/religious group (permissible wanton murder of civilians).

As long as civil society is healthy, demopaths stay hidden. Ever since the bombings in London, the number of demopaths revealed by the investigative energy of its own reporters or the brazenness of the demopaths themselves has risen substantially. Since most cases of demopathy must be approached carefully without pre-judging the evidence, we prefer to use these examples and leave the larger questions to each individual.

Bad Joke?

According to one version, the definition of chutzpah is when someone kills their parents and pleads to the court for mercy because he’s an orphan. The joking definition of a demopath, then might be the foreigner who applies for a loan from the agricultural department in a democratic country in order to buy a crop duster with outsized tanks. Although his intention is to spray poison on the local population, when his loan is refused because he is a foreigner with no obvious need for a crop duster, he accuses the agency of racist xenophobia. Is this an urban legend?


Demopaths believe that all interaction between people works according to the principle “rule or be ruled” – the dominating imperative. In order for me to prevent you from dominating me, I must dominate you first. This approach to others normally produces prime divider societies where the elite (aristocracy) use their power to dominate the masses. But civil society clips the wings of those who would use force to dominate others. In such conditions, people who refuse to give up the dominating imperative go underground and become demopaths, using all the freedom that civil societies offer to work for their destruction. Until recently, the attitude of civil societies has been to grandfather demopathic tendencies, assuming that the benefits of civic abundance will win over all but the most mean-spirited player.


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