Misanthropes are not born, they are made.
The recipe for a genuine misanthrope always starts with a person overflowing with love for his fellow man; to this, one adds a pinch of disenchantment, mixed with a healthy dose of cynicism and bitter resentment; then, allowed to rest in order for the ingredients to settle in together until fully immersed, and finished by serving it over a world occupied with other people.
Behind every misanthropic personality one finds the decaying remains of a former philanthropist.
This much is evident if only one considers the intensity of the misanthrope’s passionate vitriol. The degree of his contempt and disdain for humanity is always preceded by an abundance of passionate love; for it is impossible for one to passionately hate if one does not know how to passionately love.
That many misanthropes were at one time, in the naivety of their youth, idealists or romantics should come as absolutely no surprise.
What distinguishes misanthropic hate is its breadth and universality. Misanthropic hate is general, for the misanthrope detests all men; his hatred is all encompassing – for he despises with every fiber of his being the crowd and its imbecilic customs and mannerisms; he heaps scorn on that which is popular and common to the unthinking and amorphous masses; he has far too much experience in the ways of men to take anything at face-value, and his skepticism towards the purported intentions of others knows no bounds.
Genuine and true misanthropy should not be confused with detached indifference, as is the case for the egoist. Egoists subordinate the interests of the other to his own; and thus, he is relatively apathetic to the masses. As such, he is generally oblivious.
On the contrary, the misanthrope is far too reflective and far too aware to be a mere egoist. For misanthropy is never passive indifference, but always manifests itself in active abhorrence and detestation.