When I was learning about Gandhi it was a critique of his method to say that he knew the British. If he had been seeking freedom from the Nazi mentality thousands would have died in like fashion to the massacre at Amritsar. Gandhi it was said, knew his enemy and in this knowledge lay the foundation of his political activism and his entire success. There is some truth to this give his special and unique philosophy of non-violence.
There is an art to ‘knowing’, that comes from a mixture of analysis and perception. Napoleon knew his enemies and almost establish a European Union single handedly a hundred and fifty years before it was and would have ensured Bismark and Hitler never existed if he had succeeded. Ironic in a way that the Prussians were his downfall and even more ironic that the British empire reached its height after his defeat and was lost fighting the descendants of those very same Prussians. That is the difference between opportunist politics and Gandhi’s well structured ethical approach.
They say to be successful you have to believe in something. But actually that’s the gloss, what you have to have is the conviction of your purpose and the ethical foundation to that purpose that makes people believe in you as a person.