Choosing Your Battlefield

If Ireland had left the decision about government recognition for homosexual marriage to the courts, and if the USA had left this same decision to a national referendum, what might have been the results?

When the battlefield admits only a one-on-one match, you’d better be like David—with the sling, skill, and speed to deliver the killer shot. And you’d better make sure your opponent has an exposed forehead or an Achilles heal you can place a fatal blow on. The government and people of Iceland where able, willing, and quick to cut off the heads of bad banks to repair their banking system.

Iceland had chosen to let their bad banks die after their financial crisis about the end of the twentieth century. They shrunk their battlefield to picking up the pieces, and it made the fight very short. They look like they came out with better results than the bail-out college, even if one might argue that the lighter you are, the lighter you fall.

Where there are many ‘enemies’ of similar ability and capacity as one, be very efficient; where they shall beat you, leave them; and make as little noise as possible when you’re just starting off in a territory where big guns already exist. That’s advice by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn in ‘Competition Demystified.’ Fight where you’re stronger than your opponents; fight when you have what it takes to beat them.

So that key questions to ask are whether we can, or make ourselves can, and on which battlefield can we can. These questions aren’t mutually exclusive because what we do, the path we take, says much about the battle we envision and defines our battlefield.