“Just as talent has little connection to character, it also has little connection to intelligence, beyond the basic cognitive abilities necessary for the talent to flourish.
The ability, willingness, and desire to hate are keys to success for untalented persons because they lend to their conduct a ruthlessness that it might otherwise lack. Moreover, it serves as a moral justification for that ruthlessness. Everyone thinks that she is a good person, give or take an occasional fall from grace.
It follows, therefore, that those whom she hates must be bad persons, as must be those who are or whom she imagines to be her enemies. (Such a person hates her enemies, but not only her enemies.)
It also follows that ruthlessness becomes a moral duty, for otherwise the bad would triumph over the good. Did not Burke say that all that was necessary for evil to triumph was for good men to do nothing? Actually, it is not certain that he said it, but a moral aphorism’s truth does not depend upon its provenance.
So in the minds of the untalented ambitious, their own ruthlessness becomes not a rather unpleasant human trait, occasionally but by no means often justified by the moral purpose that it serves, but rather a sign of their own purpose’s laudable seriousness. Only the ambition of others is bad, but that is because they are enemies or bad people. Hence, no quarter is due to them, and scruple becomes faintheartedness or cowardice.”