Ruthlessness: n. pitiless and/or merciless and/or unsympathetic and/or frequently cruel and sometimes murderous in the achievement of a goal(s)
A totally immoral or totally ruthless human will lie, steal, and murder to achieve power or to maintain it once in a leadership position. Organized crime and gangs are examples of ruthless behavior in an otherwise peaceful society.
Tyrants are ruthless but ruthless politicians and business humans will sometimes lie, deceive, and bankrupt humans to gain or maintain their power. Whistle blowers are bankrupted or labelled mentally insane and their lives are destroyed for all practical purposes. Political opponents are labelled racist, homophobes, radicals, or fanatics by character assassinators. Vicious untrue rumors are spread by some in the workplace to try and get you fired or deposed from a prestigious position in an organization.
Ruthlessness is not only a characteristic of tyrannies but is alive and well in democracies too although short of murder in most cases. The powerful monied interests can make your life a living hell if they decide that you are a serious threat to their power. Almost no one has gone to jail for wall street corruption and none for bank corruption. There is a great likelihood that this deplorable trend will continue until whistleblowers are protected physically and financially from disclosing evidence of corruption.
The more immoral a society becomes the less the leadership can be trusted to rule justly without the use of force or the threat of force. This is why it is of utmost importance to teach young impressionable minds a secular morality which preaches against lying, stealing, and murder without any ifs ands or buts.
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