On the issue of the destruction of the governmental and religious structures:
These were not destroyed "just to teach people a lesson" or as some empty "symbolic" act.
I would propose that Knights had a PRAGMATIC reason for doing this and not merely to make an absurd point or just to be needlessly vindictive. Remember that this was right after the transhumanists had successfully defended themselves in a war declared on them by an alliance between religious people and many governments.
Just as after WWII, the victors didn't let Germans continue to use all their fancy Nazi buildings to hold their Nazi meetings, and they didn't let the Japanese Emperor, who some (most?) Japanese people believed to be a god, just carry on with business as usual, retaining all his power and status, Knights wanted to erase the infrastructure of the two forces that had banded together to TRY to commit, yes, GENOCIDE, against the transhumanists.
Knights didn't want government and religion to have their same old places to congregate at and start-up their beloved shenanigans all over again. They had already proven themselves to be a TOXIC MIXTURE of fearful bronze-age mythologies and military power. They miscalculated and lost the war and were no longer in charge…and Knights intended to keep it that way.
From Knights' point of view, enough of the world governments had REPEATEDLY demonstrated their willingness to attack the transhumanists and he didn't want to take a chance of leaving SOME governments intact that might try to cause trouble or even get taken-over by some group who would be able to use their weapons to cause trouble.
Knights told the world at the end of the war that he was going to install his own people in the leading governmental positions in every country, not because he wanted to be the DICTATOR of the world, but because that was the only way he could be sure there wouldn't be any governments that would try to attack and kill them again.
He only DICTATED things as long as it took to create a stable world that was not going to attack the transhumanists again and would enable the transhumanists to work on the necessary scientific and medical advancements that were going to further the transhumanist's goals and consequently create many benefits to the rest of the world. Once this was all humming along nicely, Knights gave up all his "dictatorial" power.
So I would say, in comparison to historical dictators of the world, Knights wasn't much of a dictator at all. He used his power only to ensure the survival of the transhumanists and only for as long as necessary and not to rule over people for the sake of ruling. In this way, he was not even in the same CATEGORY with other historical dictators. He exerted temporary power in a post-war, martial-law scenario in order to put the world back together in a way such that it was no longer a LETHAL KILLING MACHINE directed toward himself and his fellow transhumanists nor ANYONE ELSE.
As to the charge of Jethro having "wanton disregard" of anything from the past and with complete "malice aforethought," destroyed irreplaceable artifacts and structures that were highly valued by nearly all NORMAL HUMAN MAMMALS for their nearly priceless historical/artistic/religious value…
Jethro pleads: GUILTY AS CHARGED.
As he said, he is a "futurist" not an "archeologist." He had the opportunity to make a clean break with the two great backward-thinking and transhumanism-impeading institutions and he took it. He had a finite and dwindling supply of weapons at that point and could not count on his luck in battle holding out indefinitely, so he decided to do all he could to "de-fang" the double-headed snake that had pursued him and the other transhumanists so enthusiastically.