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December 27, 2009

Small bands of Knights—insurgents, guerillas, or terrorists—can effectively oppose or even rout large armies of Knights when they hide among the populace and lure the army-Knights into targeting or cracking down on the populace. As army-Knights raid homes, install curfews, and look suspiciously at every local they meet, insurgent-Knights gain credibility as heroes who defend the populace. Further, insurgent-Knights appear to be winning when army-Knights withdraw to hide in fortresses or travel only in armed convoys rather than mix freely with locals in the cities and marketplaces.

As army-Knights become frustrated in their efforts to defeat the ‘insurgent evil,’ they may become willing to sacrifice their principles—and the locals’ rights—in order to secure victory. Unfortunately, this also sacrifices any credibility army-Knights have of representing values of freedom, free expression—or even the claim that they side with the populace. Army-Knights, however, may believe that these sacrifices are necessary to vanquish the enemy. This army-Knight strategy was used by the British military in Northern Ireland, and the United States in Vietnam and Iraq early on—except by its commanders and soldiers who used counterinsurgency tactics.

Insurgent-Knights are more often defeated by Gardeners than army-Knights. Gardeners work to win the hearts and minds of the populace—the source of insurgents’ credibility, strength, and hiding places. Like any Gardener courting another, the more contributions Gardeners make to the local populace—in roads, water, schools, infrastructure and economy—the more likely they are to win the locals’ hearts and minds because they can outcompete what insurgents have to offer. And when Gardeners paint the insurgent-Knights as obstacles to the establishment and growth of a new local Garden—such as the construction of new businesses, bridges, or utilities—the less tolerant locals may become of the insurgents hiding among them. Then the people may root out the insurgents on their own.

As counterinsurgency expert T. X. Hammes once wrote, “You don’t outfight the insurgent. You outgovern him.” Put another way, you “out-friend”—make more friends than—the insurgent to defeat him. Insurgencies can be thwarted from forming in the first place by employing this Gardener strategy early on.



December 27, 2009

Knights often interpret problems as requiring Knight solutions; Gardeners often interpret problems as requiring Gardener solutions. Flexibility, however, is often required.

Gardeners often realize that Knight approaches are necessary to guard a Garden, like the structures and rules provided by 12-step programs to treat alcohol or drug addictions, or classroom discipline techniques needed to facilitate education. Knights often realize that Gardener approaches are necessary to win a military campaign, like the medical, counseling, and family services soldiers need.

Gardeners will also act as a Knight for short periods in order to grow or protect a larger Garden. In 1898, construction of a bridge over the Tsavo River as part of the Kenya-Uganda Railway was halted while the construction crew was being hunted by two man-eating lions the crew nicknamed “The Ghost” and “The Darkness.” The two lions, each over nine feet long, killed a total of about 135 workers. After months of attempts, bridge architect Lt. Col. John Henry Paterson killed the two lions, narrowly escaping death during the second hunt. Paterson, a professional architect, remained a Gardener through the ordeal because his main motive was not to kill the lions, but to build the railroad.



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.



December 27, 2009

When Gardeners oppose Gardeners, what results is an argument over which of two “good” options is better rather than between “good” and “bad” options. The “good” that wins out is often dependent upon the quality of the idea, the ability of the organization to enact it, and the levels of earned trust of the party that promotes it.


December 27, 2009

During times of panic—even manufactured panic—Knights steamroll Gardeners in public arguments and policymaking. When the panic ends, Gardeners defeat Knights in public arguments and policymaking. Who controls the level of fear in a populace can control that populace. Knights ramp up fear by implying an enemy is at the gates. Gardeners ramp down fear to keep the creative process on track. This was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s goal during the Depression when he said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”


December 27, 2009

When Knights oppose Gardeners, Knights often win in the short term because they are more aggressive, find great meaning in conflict, and resist compromise because—like Galahad—they believe compromise pollutes one’s integrity or prevents a decisive defeat of evil. Gardeners often do not help their case when they seek mediation or compromise with Knights in an effort to minimize the devastation.

Sometimes Gardeners tell each other not to worry about Knights, that the Knights will burn themselves out in time—not realizing that Knights left unchecked may burn down the world in the meantime.


December 27, 2009

Gardeners win against Knights when they (1) have already long established their credibility with the majority of people as constructive forces, (2) build things that are helpful and that people want, and (3) can paint Knights as small bands of extremists who endanger that progress. Gardeners succeed against Knights when they can argue We—you and I together—build; they thwart. Let us not allow them to thwart our great endeavors.


December 27, 2009

Sometimes Gardeners win by default when the next generation sees the damage caused by a culture war between Knights and decides it will brook no further nonsense that risks further devastation or could reignite conflict. In the spirit of Winston Churchill, these new Gardeners understand that to continue a quarrel between the present and the past endangers the future. This is how culture wars often end.


December 27, 2009

Knights may be willing to sacrifice an entire world, endeavor, or relationship—completely razing it—in order to secure victory, or at least prevent an enemy from winning.


December 27, 2009

Knights can switch to a Gardener’s approach to resolve a conflict, but other Knights will accuse them of being weak, pursuing surrender, betraying core Knight values, or failing a spiritual test—unless the Knight already possesses unimpeachable credibility as a Knight. After all, only Nixon could go to China, and only Reagan could call on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

President Harry S Truman, whose Knight credentials were cemented in the wake of dropping atomic bombs on Japan at the close of World War II, acted as a Gardener after the war was over, aiding the establishment of the Marshall Plan, United Nations, and state of Israel. He also transferred nuclear technology from military to civilian hands for peaceful purposes, and racially integrated the U.S. Army. These actions—seen as betrayals of Knight principles—nearly cost him the 1948 presidential election.

President Ronald Reagan began arms control talks with the Soviet Union in 1984 in the wake of a near nuclear exchange with the Soviets in 1983 when the Soviets mistook the “Able Archer” military exercises for a NATO first strike and almost launched their nuclear arsenal. Reagan’s Gardener intentions to limit or roll back the U.S.’ nuclear arsenal were seen as so out of character for Reagan—by then the Knight’s Knight—that they were doubted by even his closest confidantes, and seen as madness by his political allies.



December 27, 2009

Similarly, Gardeners can switch to a Knight’s approach to resolve a conflict, but other Gardeners will accuse them of being vicious, cruel, betraying core Gardener values, or failing a spiritual test—unless the Gardener already possesses unimpeachable credibility as a Gardener.

Inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla—both Gardener heroes—pursued conflict with each other in the “War of the Currents.” By the late 1880s, Edison had developed a viable means to power homes and cities using his proprietary “direct current” electrical system—and the system had become the standard in parts of New York City. Direct current, however, had drawbacks—namely, the energy would occasionally build up and discharge bolts of electricity within homes or apartment or commercial buildings, burning them to the ground. The system was also used to power electric streetcars in Brooklyn. With alarming frequency, streetcar riders would hear the power buildup occurring (via an increasingly loud hum and crackle) and would flee the streetcar to avoid of the lightning bolt that would soon fly off the streetcar and ground itself into whatever was nearby. (This is how the local baseball team got the name “the Brooklyn Dodgers.”)

Nikola Tesla’s alternating current electrical system did not suffer these buildups. Tesla convinced industrialist George Westinghouse that his system was much safer. Westinghouse promoted Tesla’s system to businesses and governments, but Edison—unwilling to sacrifice the profits from his range of patents based on direct current—struck back via a publicity campaign. Edison created a road show that spread false information claiming alternating current was deadlier than direct current—a show that featured the electrocution of cats, and in one case, a circus elephant. (Of course, both forms of electrical power were equally fatal—Tesla’s was just safer to use as a power source.) Edison also tried to replace the term “electrocuted” with “Westinghoused” in public discourse. And though he opposed the death penalty, he helped invent the electric chair for the state of New York to demonstrate the lethality of alternating current electricity.

The “War of the Currents” was resolved when Westinghouse convinced the state of New York that the proposed Niagara Falls power production facility should be based on alternating current—and when the power the facility generated was successfully transmitted over a long distance to power the city of Buffalo, something that was beyond direct current’s capacities.

Despite both inventors’ Knight-like behavior during the “War of the Currents” both retained their reputations primarily as Gardeners.



December 27, 2009

After a conflict, Knights celebrate the victory, then look for their next enemy and the next war to fight. They do not reintegrate the defeated enemy in order to prevent that enemy from threatening what is good ever again. They may, however, try to convert the enemy to their point of view to eliminate threatening ideas.

After a conflict, Gardeners move to heal rifts, reintegrate the defeated enemy, and establish platforms for new growth. These were the intentions behind the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe after World War II, and President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address when the end of the Civil War was within sight. “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,’ Lincoln said, “[L]et us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds… to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”


December 27, 2009

Religious Knights believe God created enemies—or allows them to exist—to provide opportunities for Knights to demonstrate their virtue and glorify God. Religious Gardeners believe Satan created the concept of “the enemy” in the first place.

In the early Sixties, Bobby Kennedy opposed the Civil Rights Movement. During a strategy meeting presided over by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., other Civil Rights leaders disparaged Bobby Kennedy until King slammed his hand down on the table and ended the meeting until someone could say something good about Bobby Kennedy. The next day, when the meeting reconvened, someone told the group that Bobby Kennedy listened to the counsel of his bishop. King and other Civil Rights leaders then swayed the bishop to their cause, and the bishop swayed Bobby Kennedy, who swayed President John F. Kennedy, which began the brothers’ careers as Civil Rights’ advocates.

Martin Luther King waged a Gardener rather than a Knight campaign of persuasion—he never treated segregationists as enemies.



December 27, 2009

During conflicts, particularly culture wars, Knights sometimes do not understand why they scare people. “We are pure and virtuous,” Knights sometimes think to themselves. “God is on our side. Why can’t other people see this? How can people doubt us? How can people not like us?” And then later, as they become more frustrated, “Those who oppose us, in their heart of hearts, must know we are right—they must be deliberately choosing to do evil. Woe be unto them as they stand in the way of our efforts to do God’s Will. God will show them the error of their ways later.”

Knights do not understand how they can be perceived from the outside—as people with a hymn on their lips and blood on their hands.


December 27, 2009

Gardeners sometimes do not understand why they are sometimes accused of being relativists, or living without principle when they change tactics or faith expressions to better grow the Garden in front of them. “After all,” Gardeners conclude, “I retain my integrity to do as God commanded—to love God and my neighbor—the how should change to meet the needs of the time and place.”

Gardeners do not understand how they can be perceived from the outside—as spineless.


December 27, 2009

Judging Knights and Gardeners by their negative extremists would be unfair. Most Knights are not like Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden. Most Gardeners do not appease malevolent parties, as British prime minister Neville Chamberlain did with the Nazis.


December 27, 2009

Knights are ill-equipped to handle situations that require Gardener strategies, like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where there were no enemies to fight.

The war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina provided a one-two punch to the Bush Administration in 2005. The Bush Administration lost its credibility with Knights when it could not definitively win the war in Iraq—and with Gardeners when it could not construct a functioning democracy in the invasion’s wake.

And the Bush Administration’s failures to anticipate or respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans demonstrated its inability to respond to challenges that are inherently Gardener in nature. These failures alienated Gardeners among Democrats and Republicans alike.

Gardeners are ill-equipped to handle situations that require Knight strategies, like when a gang of drug dealers move to take over a neighborhood and tough “weed prevention” measures are needed. Similarly, Gardener businesses or churches sometimes fail to stand up to bullies within their organizations who harass the leaders or derail the organization’s efforts to fulfill their missions.

Knights and Gardeners need each other.


December 27, 2009

Politics is a Knight’s game.

Policymaking is a Gardener’s game.


December 27, 2009

Knights sometimes fall prey to paranoia and conspiracy theory. Knights, in an effort to find greater meaning in their efforts by conflating the size of their enemy, may come to believe that all parties who oppose them—or even show apathy toward their position—must be in league against them. Some religious Knights may even conclude that the Devil has perceived the Knights’ threat to his agenda, and has enacted a master strategy to defeat them.

After the attacks of 9/11, Jerry Falwell insinuated that his opponents were in league with al-Qaeda, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped make this happen.’” (He later apologized for these remarks.)

Al-Qaeda senior leaders, including Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Yahya al-Libi, routinely claim that a “world war against Islam” is under way. They say this war is being waged by Crusaders (Christians), Zionists (Jews), Middle Eastern rulers who ally or dialogue with Western powers—and even other Sunni Muslims who fail to side with al-Qaeda. Deceased al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi frequently claimed that Shia Islam is a false religion created by Crusaders and Zionists to lure good Muslims away from the true (meaning the Salafi brand of Sunni) Islam.

Gardeners sometimes fall prey to “pronoia,” the belief that the universe—or God—conspires to aid them. This can make Gardeners vulnerable to being blindsided or sabotaged by the malevolent.



December 27, 2009

Can a Gardener serve in the military, police, or intelligence services? Yes, by working to end, limit, or head off conflict before it starts.

For example, defense strategist Thomas Barnett in his books The Pentagon’s New Map and Blueprint for Action recommends the U.S. should field two militaries—a ‘knock-down’ military like the one it currently has to destroy enemy militaries and facilities, and a ‘build-up’ military to aid in the recovery of postwar nations and disaster-stricken areas. This ‘build-up’ military—which he jokingly refers to as a “pistol-packing Peace Corps”—would combine the best of police and counterinsurgency tactics to keep the peace in war-torn areas, negotiate peace deals with insurgents, and arrest or eliminate insurgents who interfere with the rebuilding process.

A retired CIA officer once told me that on the day the Soviet Union collapsed, there was rejoicing in the halls at Langley—not because their main adversary had been defeated, but the CIA’s espionage and covert acts had successfully helped prevent the Cold War from becoming a hot, world-ending war.

Can Knights serve in a societal growth environments like cities? Yes, by ensuring the fair play necessary for the Garden to grow by working as police, judges, policy enforcers, or referees.


December 27, 2009

Business competition is a Knight’s game. Building an industry or regulating capitalism is a Gardener’s game. Regulations create boundaries to prevent Knights’ competition from running the nation’s economy off the rails.

Also, since Knights believe that removal of an enemy is all that is needed for the world to self-correct, Knights can believe that lowering of taxes—and deregulation of industries—is sufficient to allow an economy to thrive.


December 27, 2009

Olympic competitions are Knights’ games; the Olympics as an endeavor—a peaceable place for nations to meet, regardless of animosity—is one of the great Gardener accomplishments of history.


December 27, 2009

Knights run societies, organizations, or churches well while a conflict is under way, but not as well afterwards. Gardeners run societies, organizations, or churches well during times not defined by conflict.

Put another way, both Knights and Gardeners understand that every city needs a police force—Knights who can protect the city’s growth and well-being—but that the police shouldn’t govern the city. When Knights run a Garden such as a city, they often focus so completely on thwarting or combating crime that they stunt the freedom of the citizens, crash the local economy, thwart its free market, and create police states.

To use another image, stoplights serve road systems; road systems don’t serve stoplights.

Similarly, Knights within the law enforcement arms of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Transportation Security Administration in recent years have given visitors, immigrants, or refugees to the United States the impression that our nation—the mightiest in the world—is militant, afraid, and suspicious of them. The actions of these security-minded agencies appear to violate the Gardener sentiment carved into the base of the Statue of Liberty, which asks the world to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Afghanistan under the Taliban—another police state—is another example. The Taliban spent so much time and energy trying to determine which was the most theologically correct way to execute homosexuals—by throwing them off of a high wall or pulling the wall down on top of them—that they didn’t build an economy, or any medical schools.



December 27, 2009

What you perceive as heroic or virtuous behavior influences how you form and maintain your loving relationships, which in turn affects how you behave in conflict situations. All of these influence how you approach matters of the soul.


December 27, 2009

In recent decades the United States has been caught in a culture war between three parties of Knights—fundamentalist Knights, atheist Knights, and liberal Knights—about the role of religion in society, and the nature of religion itself.