Misanthropic Philanthropists
October 7, 2011, 12:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Have you ever noticed how the most grandiose sort of idealism often goes hand in hand with a deep-seated misanthropy?

Think of a person who simultaneously (a) goes around saying he doesn’t want to waste his life, has big ideas, wants to ‘change the world’ in one way or another, and all his statements are premised on the idea that people should be more generous and philanthropic, and (b) expresses disgust for much of mankind, to the point of saying it wouldn’t be such a terrible thing if there were a sizable die-off, a plague, etc. They ruin the planet, they start wars, they make all the wrong decisions, they prefer the wrong things.

On the face of it, (a) and (b) shouldn’t coexist. Quite often, they do. What is really going on?

Perhaps what makes this person hate mankind so much is that they don’t seem to instinctively appreciate his greatness. And so, with his Big Ideas, by hook or by crook, he’s going to make them, whether they like it or not, dammit.

Any resemblance to political figures of current prominence is purely coincidental, or course.

4 Comments so far
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I forget who said it (Burke?), but truer words were never spoken: the left loves The People, but despises individuals.

Comment by Severian

If you’re predisposed to believe that mankind is perfectible, you’ll pretty much always come to hate him. It is awfully hard to love man without reasonable expectations from him—or extreme distance.

Comment by Jehu

That’s why I’ve always objected to Socialized Medicine. I don’t want some Malthusian in charge of my healthcare.
I can’t think of a worse conflict of interest.

Comment by Mycroft

Any resemblance between political figures of current prominence and figures of past prominence is purely coincidental also, of course.

Ready for some football?

Comment by Chris

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