Selfish dictators may owe their behaviour partly to their genes,
according to a study that claims to have found a genetic link to
ruthlessness. The study might help to explain the money-grabbing
tendencies of those with a Machiavellian streak — from national
dictators down to ‘little Hitlers’ found in workplaces the world over.
If ruthlessness is genetic, and not a behavioral choice, should we consider its induction in our lives — in the form of cruel bosses and angry better halves — and its employment in throughout history in charismatic leaders like Hitler and Charles Manson — as something to be admired or is it a problem in need of punishing?
Are ruthless people broken — or merely living up to genetically coded predestiny?
If we think ruthlessness is a bad gene to propagate — should those with that dangerous disposition be protected under the law as disabled and incapable of behaving otherwise because ruthlessness is who they were built to become and one can never overcome their destiny?
Or is being ruthless a spigot one consciously turns on and off for self-preserving evolutionary advancement?