Frequently today we hear so-and-so accused of being a demagogue. This is an important error for us to correct, which we will now do. In the words of Theodor Geiger:
“The typical leader by no means influences the masses in one direction, he finds the undercurrent and is himself a possessed among the possessed. The typical mass-leader is not a ‘demagogue,’ he does not consciously and with a cool brain direct the masses in one way, he most of all is gripped by the ecstasy of mass-experience, he is himself among the most unconscious of all.”
The modern political leader is really only the first dupe. He is truly the first among equals amidst a mass of equally ignorant and deluded individuals, whether we are speaking here of a president or a Fuhrer. Remember that we are speaking here not of theory or any articulated law as to the “powers” invested here or there, but rather of the actual effective role of such leaders in the flow of political events. Here, with few exceptions, the individual melts into passivity.