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December 27, 2009

Knights and Gardeners view diplomacy with totalitarian states differently. Gardeners sometimes view diplomacy as efforts to keep the peace, encourage reform, and set a good example through principled behavior and deal-making. Knights sometimes believe diplomacy rewards evil or surrenders or buckles under to the demands of a bad actor. In extreme situations Gardeners view engaging in diplomacy as a virtue or necessary evil; Knights view it as a failure of character, appeasement, and a sorry substitute for confronting evil.

Knights and Gardeners also view trade relationships with states like China differently. Knights—liberal and conservative—view China’s military buildup and poor human rights record as a threat to good people. Gardeners—liberal and conservative—encourage robust trade with China partly in hopes that China will grow an economy strong enough that the nation’s leaders will not want to jeopardize its booming economy (its own Garden) by engaging in military aggression against others. Knights see this economic encouragement as buckling under to or rewarding evil.


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