“Enemies of the people!”

The British Daily Mail declared the judges that ruled that parliament has to be consulted before Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty can be invoked to start the exit from the EU as ‘enemies of the people’, there were also other labels applied, which I will not repeat, because this is a decent blog.

Better yet, the people declaring other people to be enemies of the people, were deemed Nazi’s, or, in the same category, Zimbaweans, see the Independent.

It is an interesting statement, because it has elements from number 32, placing your opponent in some odious category, and an appeal to authority, number 30. The people are summoned, and references to the people, the public opinion, common knowledge etc. are some imagined authority. You can’t argue with that, can you? Well, you can:

Answer: “Even if those people really are the majority, the majority can be wrong. People used to think the earth was flat. What are you, the inquisition?”

By creating a category of ‘enemies of the people’, some odious category has been established. The will of the people is taken as absolute and must be followed under all circumstances. Are we moving towards a democratic dictatorship? The tyranny of the majority?

Answering by placing the allies of the people on the same level as Zimbabweans, or National Socialists, is just lame, and is getting old. A more creative answer is to generalize the statement to include parliament and then argue against it by asking a rhetorical question:

Answer: “Parliament is chosen by the people. How can they be enemies of the people?”, number 19.






One thought on ““Enemies of the people!”

  1. Pingback: “Prosecuted for what millions think” | Rhetoric

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