by Mr. Mean-Spirited
Every dictionary will tell you that misanthropy is simply a basic distrust of human nature, but it is much more than that. The experts will define misanthropy as just a hated of mankind, but the word truly signifies a great deal more than that. In fact, misanthropy is a philosophical position that gives the individual a guiding principle for understanding the actual reality of this world. Yet, despite all that, the encyclopedias always give the impression that there is something reprehensible about misanthropy.
Ultimately, misanthropy becomes a strategy of social interaction. The misanthrope is always uneasy around his neighbors – merely because he recognizes the menace of his fellow beings. The misanthrope always treats his fellow man as his greatest threat – not merely because of the inevitability of a physical beating at the fists of your neighbors, but also because of the certainty of personality destruction as the result of herd conformity. Only a misanthrope knows what to expect from the human species, and hatred of all humanity prevents you from being taken-in.
Think of misanthropy as way of understanding the nature of the world. Only an absolute loathing for your fellow beings is sufficient to put events into their proper perspective. A complete and utter repugnance for humanity helps you to decode behavior; the misanthrope understands the true meaning behind human activity because he knows that, deep down, there are always evil intentions at play. Misanthropy is an instinctive recognition that there is something ominous behind the other person’s smile. A misanthrope realizes that a stranger’s friendly wave means that there will be something concealed in the fingers of the left hand. Misanthropy allows you to see what the establishment is concealing from you. Misanthropy gives you the ability to recognize what the community is hiding from you.
Think of misanthropy as a way of truly knowing another human being. Do-gooders would have you believe that that hatred is the result of ignorance – but nothing could be further from the truth: loathing comes from knowing something all too well. You do not detest another person because he is a stranger – no, you despise another person because you have glimpsed the depths of his soul. You scorn you neighbor because you have seen his dirty laundry; you sneer because you have caught sight of the skid marks. You are disgusted by the altruists because you fully understand their real intentions. An individual who truly hates his fellow man has somehow managed to make sense of another human being.
Think of misanthropy as keeping you wary and watchful. The misanthrope is always on the alert. The fellow who loathes his fellow man is always looking over his shoulder. Hatred is a way of giving yourself a psychological edge when dealing with other human predators. Misanthropy is a way of keeping other people from sneaking up on you. When a panhandler tells you that he is hungry, you keep your hand on your wallet just in case he tries to pick your pocket. A disgusted man is always wide-awake. A misanthrope may be many things, but he is never conned by a humanitarian’s fine words.
Think of misanthropy as a force-field that will keep your unique character from being from being contaminated by other human beings. Like a shield, loathing is defensive. Misanthropy repudiates everything that the establishment wants you to be. At a time in history when the mass media wants everyone to be part of a community, an embittered character is a way of safeguarding your individual identity. Sheer hared is the surest means of resisting conformity; after all, you would hardly want to become a part of something that you so heartily despise. Altruism will always result in uniformity, while a misanthrope invariably remains an individualist. Hatred is protective. Misanthropy is a means of guarding yourself from mind control.
Think of misanthropy as an instinctive reaction to being around other human beings. Misanthropy is an honest response to what other human beings have done to you in the past. You loathe other people because of what they have already carried out against you. Hatred prevents any further harm. The misanthrope has no illusions about the virtue of mankind – the misanthrope has the courage to see humanity for what it is. Better to detest everyone than to be betrayed by anyone else.
Once you come to accept misanthropy, you know what you are up against. You loathe the human species because you know what they have in store for you. Human behavior is not a mystery to the misanthrope.
Any coward can love a particular human being – but it takes guts to hate the entire human race. Misanthropy is what other human beings deserve.
Hatred liberates you from social convention. Like Molière puts in the drama Misanthrope of 1666: “My hate is general, I detest all men.” Only a man who hates and detests all humanity is truly free. Only the complete misanthrope dares to be an independent thinker.
A man who does not die a complete misanthrope has failed to learn anything from life.