Undoubtedly this is true, but it's also undoubtedly impractical. Check this out, it's even worse than you think: I'm not someone who really hungers for authority. I don't seek it out. Some people do, and I'd guess from my interactions with them that they have even more of this unfortunate trait than I do.
Even without that, I doubt there are enough qualified people in the world who are completely lacking in vindictiveness to fill the positions of authority that have formed as a result of the grand accumulation of human interaction. So, bearing that in mind, it's typically best to be polite to people who can hurt you.