I hope no one sees this entry as being the entry of a whiner. I am making this entry because I just happened to pick up one of the books I brought with me to China called With Charity Towards None: A Fond Look at Misanthropy by Florence King. It is a book I have read from cover to cover at least fifteen times. It is a quick read full of dead-on hilarious observations about the human race (particularly Americans, but King is not to be confused a self-loathing American Leftist — her complaints about Americans are more often about the types who staunchly vote Democrat.)
King’s defining and classifying of Misanthropes is pretty precise and elitist. For example, Hitler, Stalin, aren’t Misanthropes because they did have to try and court popularity with some people to keep their power. These two even tried to portray themselves as father figures to their nations. Misanthropes prefer to be loners without a smidgen of regret that they are not loved and are unpopular. As King says, Misanthropes think solitary confinement is not a bad thing. When not alone, misanthropes do enjoy watching others make fools of themselves — they have a highly civilized idea of how humans behave. And yet Misanthropes like saying what they think starkly and directly without a hint of sugarcoating.
AKIC likes to think of himself as being misanthropic, but he realizes that he likes the misanthropic intellectual pose because it is a way of blinding himself to his weaknesses, his selfishness, and his foolishness — better to hate the human race than to examine oneself should be his motto.
AKIC wonders what China would do to a true misanthrope. With so much of the human race living in China, AKIC wonders if a misanthrope would want to flee the country, or enjoy the Chinese all the more because more humanity does mean more foolishness. Of course, it would depend on the attitude of the misanthrope in question because, far from being in a narrow human perspective, misanthropes do come in all ranges, tastes, and sizes. I suppose some misanthropes would think the Chinese rulers are geniuses for having maintained themselves in power by making their subjects wallow like pigs in the so-called human paradise of consumerism. I suppose some misanthropes would laugh at the passivity of the Chinese population. Other misanthropes would marvel at how so many foreigners, for the sake of getting along, are dealing with the Chinese rulers by being so obsequious and willfully blind, not daring to speak frankly about sensitive topics.
So, it would seem that Misanthropes, if they can stand it, would have a field day in China.
AKIC does have a field day in China everyday. There is always something he observes that provides material for his blog. If this blog wasn’t so public, he would have a lot more to say about the foibles of the people he has seen. As it is, he lives smugly in the boonies of Wuxi only leaving the house to get to work. He doesn’t have to communicate much with others and has the luxury of being able to sit in his office much of his time at work. He no longer concerns himself with the petty concerns of the Wuxi Expat "Community". The Chinese stare at him but are generally polite. He has matured from having been deluded to having no illusions.