L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 890, September 18, 2016
Mom & Dad, I Want To Be a Misanthrope!
by Nic Leobold
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
When I looked up the word a few years ago I discovered ‘misanthrope’ is a person who hates everyone, or in other words, a person who hates all other people.
How interesting! Why would Anyone hate all people?? Why would such a person ever exist?
Upon further reflection, however, the answer become a little more clear.
All of us rely on other human beings for our basic survival. Without delivery men to deliver our food, technicians and engineers to design and install our utility lines, scientists to do basic research leading to expansions in basic productivity and prosperity, architects and construction workers to build our structures, farmers to grow our sustenance, and on and on, without other people to participate in the economy and life and society, every single human being would starve and die.
Even if all our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter were provided by robotics in a theoretical future world, we would still starve for love and companionship and culture without other people.
So why are there misanthropes, and why would someone ever consider aspiring to become one?
I have to admit, I’m tempted sometimes, even me, an eternal Optimist and Lover, to consider the Misanthrope Option.
Seriously, even as a Free Market Anarchist, Voluntaryist, and Austrian School disciple, I’m supposed to believe in the importance and primacy of the Individual and integral Human Being.
So imagine how frustrating life is sometimes for me! Lol.
A lot of people don’t have this problem. Because they gave up on people from the Start. Wow, I wish I had been THAT prescient! Lol.
A lot of sensible people give up on having faith in anyone else because they’re jaded from such an early age on the utter unreliability and undependability of virtually everyone else in the world, even starting with their parents.
Most people don’t have the luxury of totally well-adjusted, wise and sensible parents and family. When the incompetence of people continues at age 5 or 6 with most schooling, even with private schools, the cynicism and futility of depending on other humans is set in stone.
Most people, to be sure, are utterly horrible, each of them in at least a few varying but important ways. I probably should go further than that and state unequivocally that EVERYONE is basically horrible, period, when you get right down to it.
People, Every one of us, have so many faults, shortcomings, knowledge and wisdom gaps, and personality shortcomings. Yes, most people are taught not to always expect Perfection from people. Certainly, perfection in people is rare even for individual traits; as a whole, Perfect people, even swamis, priests, nuns, clerics, and rabbis, popes, simply do not exist, at all.
So why the temptation to hate everyone?
People cause all the problems in the world, and continue to cause all the problems in the world, even after Life itself is a problem and Challenge, even though most of the solutions to all our problems have already been discovered and disseminated. The base reason for this Human Failure is the Nature of Human Beings themselves. Humans, even the best ones, suffer from all the common ailments that plague us all: Anger, Hatred, Frustration, Resentment, Greed, Laziness, Fear, Egocentrism, Ignorance, Foolishness, Bitterness, Impatience.
And most people, a vast majority, allow these faults in themself to runaway and completely get out of control, resulting in anger, fear, impatience, greed and envy inflicting massive, escalating, compounding damage to so many others in an immense surging tidal wave rushing over everything and everyone Everywhere.
As a libertarian, Free Market Anarchist and Voluntaryist, this hits home at me very, very hard. One of my responsibilities as an Activist, Writer, Thinker, and Concerned Member of Society is that myself and other people can reach out to others, encourage learning, sharing and cooperation in overcoming the challenges of our day, and simultaneously build Consensus and bridge the gaps that separate the different factions in society.
At the same time as building and sharing, we also have to contend and fight against so many truly Evil people and forces and “principalities” who are actively plotting against the Good, not to mention all the seriously deluded and ignorant people in positions of great power who are utterly incompetent.
And, to top it all off, most people, as I said, are not lucky enough to have really solid, “Together”, developed people as their family, friends, classmates or even colleagues. So many of us are stuck with situations and people that are basically untenable.
I haven’t even mentioned that we also have to live with ourselves, to boot! Yes, I’m stipulating right now that I’m also so Far from Perfect in vital ways. I have major faults that I’m dealing with like Everyone else on a daily basis.
So where does the Hatred of all people come in?
I’d like to be able to forgive everyone for their faults and shortcomings, and how those shortcomings ruin a lot of my life almost every day to a large extent. No, I’m not generally an unhappy person, generally I’m pretty Happy-go-Lucky. But I’m speaking in relative terms about how much better my life could be, and how much less damage would be done on my life, if all people, including myself, were simply much, much Better.
It’s unreal, unbelievable, how much damage we all do to each other, all the time. Maybe most people don’t see it, but as a libertarian and Voluntaryist, every day I’m acutely aware and reflective on the fact that my life utterly sucks in so many ways COMPARED to what it could be, simply as a result of the utterly pathetic nature of the human race and all Individuals.
Small-l libertarians, Voluntaryists and Free Market Anarchists, generally should be more immune to this phenomenon. We should by far be the Most Awesome, hip, together people on the planet. Well, I WISH! In fact, it’s very likely that libertarians and Market Anarchists and Voluntaryists are MORE prone to being dicks and bitches than the general population. But why is that?
Liberty proponents are more Right about the world and the way it should be than anyone else, for the most part. I guess I should compare them to the Jews and the Japanese, at least in terms of my background and experiences.
But then, as soon as I say that, I’m struck that I’m repeating the basic flawed mindset of all humans, when I remember all the problems and issues that even the Japanese and Jews have to such large extents. There are huge gaps in my fundamental perceptions, outlooks, attitudes, and mindset ingrained into me by the very reality/biases of everyone’s flawed upbringing.
I’ve just committed the Sins of Cultural Colonialism, Cultural Racism, Ethnocentrism, and probably several other anthropological and sociological and prejudicial whoppers.
Yes, there are comparative advantages, benefits, and superlatives when comparing Groups, and Individuals.
On the other hand, there are Universal faults, shortcomings, Sins, and, yes, literally War Crimes and Human Treason common to every single Human Being on Earth.
Does that mean I’m excusing all the horrible, unforgiveable politicians, police, parasitical media, and corrupt bureaucrats, professionals and technicians responsible for most of the mass damage? Not at all. Comparatively speaking, those power-brokers are FAR more culpable and Guilty than average people.
But every day, every week, every month, I’m confronted by horrible facts and situations caused by even average people which boggle my very being and leave me simply devastated.
The Human Race is horrible, and I’m sometimes, more than I want, tempted to hate all of us.
And, Unbelievably, MOST of the people I’ve met and interacted with in the “Peace and Freedom” movement are utterly flawed, obnoxious people. I could count the number of Dependable, Kind, Decent number of libertarians and Voluntaryists I can count on probably one hand.
Of course, when I criticize most Liberty activists, I’m not talking about Myself! I’m just about the most Perfect, Flawless, Ideal human I could ever show you! Lol. C’mon. That should be Obvious. And, no, I’m not going to apologize for loving how great I am--Healthy Self-Esteem is a stupendous Character Strength. And, like any “Rational Selfish Human Predator” Hunter- Gatherer, I’m in this purely for Myself and Those I Love. lol.
OMG. (Oh my God.) Here we go again. We’re all hopeless egocentrics.
So where does that leave me, and leave us?
I am forced to return to basic Spiritual Principles on how to respond to the Challenges of People and Life.
Judeo-Christianity teaches us to have Faith, Hope and Love, and ultimately to only have unquestioning Faith in Supreme God and be Good Neighbors to All People.
The Asian philosophies such as Zen Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism, etc., teach us priceless attitudes and practices on how to relate to a world that doesn’t make sense, that has unlimited Illusion and duality and complexity, and that demands heartful but light Outlook, Wisdom, Balance, Tranquility, Meditation, Perspective, Moderation, Patience, Discipline, and Lightness of Being.
Yes, Ancient Wisdom and Supreme Law are usually the ultimate answers and ultimate roadmap to life’s most pressing questions.
Despite All That, However, I’m often tempted to just hate it all, everyone and everything. Because what a Lousy predicament we’re all in so much of the time! And it’s all because of people.
Yes, sometimes I’m very tempted to be a misanthrope and hate everyone. Because God knows, they all deserve it, and so do I.
What God-awful fools and jerks we all are!
No, don’t worry, people, I’m not a misanthrope, and will continue to Choose not to be. I love people and I love life.
(Oh my God, I’m such a fool, I’m so Hopeless to even say that out loud!)
Yeah, Life is Great, but Life is Hard, but, I don’t know, “Whatever”, and People Are Really Fucking Up all the time, but I guess I have to Keep On Going, and there will still be some more Great Moments we can enjoy.
But, as for people, I’m not getting my hopes up, I’m just “SMH”, shaking my head, and sighing. I throw up my hands.
It’s not that we “have a long way to go” as a human race. It’s that, as long as there are people, and also we’re all one of them, we’re literally “Never Going To Get There”. People really are Hopeless.
It’s tempting to give up and hate everyone for all the problems they’re causing everyone. If we concentrate on all the horribleness, tragedy, stupidity and ugliness that is caused by everyone and their imperfections, it’s tempting to want to be a misanthrope.
But in the highest spiritual sense, Life is not about that. Victory in Life is about the struggle against the Wrong and against imperfection, aiming for excellence, achieving as much moments of Perfection as possible, and learning every day and every month how to better enjoy the ride.
So strap yourself in, and prepare for the ride. This is going to be a roller coaster. And be ready to try REALLY hard to just let yourself enjoy all of it. To paraphrase the words of Harold Ramis’ Groundhog Day’s Stephen Tobolowsky, “Watch Yourself, This is Gonna Be a Doosy!”
Wow… That’s kind of putting it mildly!
I wish you All the Best.
Good Luck and God Bless.
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