Zhuge Liang's Administration of Shu

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Unread postby Taishi Guang » Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:10 pm

Pang Shiyuan wrote:
Han Xin wrote:You are using Qi Huan Gong foolishness at old age to justify a midle-age man foolishness?


Heh, you're right there...

Han Xin wrote:And guess who came and safe the day in that campaign?


Wei Yan, of course. My point was, although Zhuge Liang's Northern Campaign was a total disaster, it clearly demonstrated he had some talent in conducting millitary affairs (compared to Li Yan, we'll never really know)...He enforced strict discipline, made use of Sun Zi Bing Fa correctly, and executed Ma Su (should have executed himself, since it's his fault after all...heh) for stuffing up at Jieting, in order to appease his army.


Ummm....how does completely getting blown out of the water in several successive campaigns show he had any talent? The greatest gift Shu-Han had during the Northern Campaigns was when several governors and prefects surrendered their territory, thus giving Shu-Han a pricelsess opportunity to strike at Chang An and be victorious. But, due to KongMing's blundering, Shu was defeated and lost all the land they had acquired.

And with Ma Su, he wasn't killed to appease the soldiers and officers. He was killed because he signed a "death pact" and since he lost such and important battle, he fullfilled his pact with Kong Ming and was killed. (Jieting wasn't completely Ma Su's fault, he was too inexperienced to be on the frontlines).

*Zhuge Liang was a traitor (as was stated by someone earlier), for several related reasons: He went against Liu Bei's wishes to have Li Yan control the military, he created the position of Prime Minister in Shu to gain total power, he then stole Li Yan's position to control the military and kept Li Yan from gaining anymore power by keeping him from the frontlines, and he also had Wei Yan (another political opponent) murdered with the help of Yang Yi and Ma Dai.
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Unread postby Stefanos » Sat Aug 10, 2002 11:06 pm

Taishi Guang wrote:*Zhuge Liang was a traitor (as was stated by someone earlier), for several related reasons: He went against Liu Bei's wishes to have Li Yan control the military, he created the position of Prime Minister in Shu to gain total power, he then stole Li Yan's position to control the military and kept Li Yan from gaining anymore power by keeping him from the frontlines, and he also had Wei Yan (another political opponent) murdered with the help of Yang Yi and Ma Dai.


How was Wei Yan a political opponent? He was only concerned for himself and probably could've cared less about politics. From the book point of view, Wei Yan was power hungry and disliked Zhuge Liang because he warned Liu Bei against recruiting him.
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Unread postby Pang Shiyuan » Sun Aug 11, 2002 10:57 pm

Taishi Guang wrote:Ummm....how does completely getting blown out of the water in several successive campaigns show he had any talent? The greatest gift Shu-Han had during the Northern Campaigns was when several governors and prefects surrendered their territory, thus giving Shu-Han a pricelsess opportunity to strike at Chang An and be victorious. But, due to KongMing's blundering, Shu was defeated and lost all the land they had acquired.


Zhuge Liang created the transport carts that were recorded in both SGYY and SGZ. That showed his talent with mechanics.

Zhuge Liang came close to decisively defeating Sima Yi with the help of Wei Yan, but somehow or another, he didn't capitalise on the opportunity and squandered it like many such previous incidents.

I never did say Zhuge Liang was an exceptional millitary genius. No. He was a political genius, but nevertheless, was an efficient millitary leader (the proof is his enforcement of discipline, winning over the hearts of the people and soldiers of Shu-Han).

Taishi Guang wrote:And with Ma Su, he wasn't killed to appease the soldiers and officers. He was killed because he signed a "death pact" and since he lost such and important battle, he fullfilled his pact with Kong Ming and was killed. (Jieting wasn't completely Ma Su's fault, he was too inexperienced to be on the frontlines).


Both the fact Ma Su signed the death pact, and Zhuge Liang's need to enforce strict millitary discipline were taken into account.

Han Xin wrote:*Zhuge Liang was a traitor (as was stated by someone earlier), for several related reasons: He went against Liu Bei's wishes to have Li Yan control the military, he created the position of Prime Minister in Shu to gain total power, he then stole Li Yan's position to control the military and kept Li Yan from gaining anymore power by keeping him from the frontlines, and he also had Wei Yan (another political opponent) murdered with the help of Yang Yi and Ma Dai.


Yang Jian stole power from his king and founded the Sui Dynasty. Liu Bang stole power from Xiang Yu and Xiang Liang and founded the Han Dynasty. Zhao Guangyin, Sima Yan and others did exactly the same thing. Yet, you would accuse Zhuge Liang of being a traitor for taking away the power of Liu Shan (who was inept as a ruler) in order to benefit the state of Shu.
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Unread postby Anshi » Mon Aug 12, 2002 8:22 am

Pang Shiyuan wrote:Yang Jian stole power from his king and founded the Sui Dynasty. Liu Bang stole power from Xiang Yu and Xiang Liang and founded the Han Dynasty. Zhao Guangyin, Sima Yan and others did exactly the same thing. Yet, you would accuse Zhuge Liang of being a traitor for taking away the power of Liu Shan (who was inept as a ruler) in order to benefit the state of Shu.


Well firstly, I would not call Liu Shan inept as a ruler. Usually the only people that do so are Zhuge Liang supporters that attempt to justify his usurping of power, and this certainly is no exception here. Liu Shan really had no chance to prove his ability as a ruler. Right after his father died, Zhuge stole power and ruled Shu until 234. At this point, Jiang Wei took control of military affairs, and Huang Hao of civil affairs. Liu Shan really had no control of his own. To say he was an inept ruler would be like calling Guangxu of Qing inept--he never really got a chance to rule with his aunt the Empress Dowager Cixi in control, and neither did Liu Shan.
As far as your examples are concerned, some of them can be easily explained. Not EVERY dynastic founder can be so easily branded a traitor. Indeed, I would also go so far to say that most dynastic founders were not given a specific order from their Former Lord to do one thing, and yet they did something exactly opposite. If it was "the people" whom Zhuge had in mind, I doubt highly he would have pushed any who threatened him out of his way as he did.

P.S. You still haven't answered my post at SOC... :twisted:
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Unread postby James » Mon Aug 12, 2002 9:22 am

Anshi wrote:Well firstly, I would not call Liu Shan inept as a ruler. Usually the only people that do so are Zhuge Liang supporters that attempt to justify his usurping of power, and this certainly is no exception here. Liu Shan really had no chance to prove his ability as a ruler. Right after his father died, Zhuge stole power and ruled Shu until 234. At this point, Jiang Wei took control of military affairs, and Huang Hao of civil affairs.

The fact that he lost control to Huang Hao, Jiang Wei, Zhuge Liang, and co. and never really tried to get it back proves that he was inept (or at the very least not ambitious enough).
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Unread postby Stefanos » Mon Aug 12, 2002 12:07 pm

Actually, Liu Chan only consulted Huang Hao, whom never really brandished any plans. Unlike Liu Bei, Liu Shan never initiated his own campaigns, he had someone else do it for him. Liu Shan always had someone else deal with affairs of state and military, proving he had no initiative and was extremely lazy.
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Unread postby Han Xin » Mon Aug 12, 2002 12:18 pm

Pang Shiyuan wrote:
Han Xin wrote:*Zhuge Liang was a traitor (as was stated by someone earlier), for several related reasons: He went against Liu Bei's wishes to have Li Yan control the military, he created the position of Prime Minister in Shu to gain total power, he then stole Li Yan's position to control the military and kept Li Yan from gaining anymore power by keeping him from the frontlines, and he also had Wei Yan (another political opponent) murdered with the help of Yang Yi and Ma Dai.


Yang Jian stole power from his king and founded the Sui Dynasty. Liu Bang stole power from Xiang Yu and Xiang Liang and founded the Han Dynasty. Zhao Guangyin, Sima Yan and others did exactly the same thing. Yet, you would accuse Zhuge Liang of being a traitor for taking away the power of Liu Shan (who was inept as a ruler) in order to benefit the state of Shu.


When did I ever wrote such thing :?:
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Unread postby Pang Shiyuan » Mon Aug 12, 2002 9:58 pm

Anshi wrote:Well firstly, I would not call Liu Shan inept as a ruler. Usually the only people that do so are Zhuge Liang supporters that attempt to justify his usurping of power, and this certainly is no exception here. Liu Shan really had no chance to prove his ability as a ruler. Right after his father died, Zhuge stole power and ruled Shu until 234. At this point, Jiang Wei took control of military affairs, and Huang Hao of civil affairs. Liu Shan really had no control of his own. To say he was an inept ruler would be like calling Guangxu of Qing inept--he never really got a chance to rule with his aunt the Empress Dowager Cixi in control, and neither did Liu Shan.


Then you can say exactly the same thing out latter generations of the Cao clan. Sima Zhao didn't even give them a chance to prove their skills in administration.

Look at it this way, Liu Shan was 17 when he ascended the throne. Shu was already very weak due to Liu Bei's fruitless invasion of Wu, and the threat of the Wu force at Jing Zhou and Wei from the north, Shu could not possibly do without an acting leader.

Liu Bei, on his deathbed, beseeched Zhuge Liang to find a replacement for Liu Shan if he was found to be inadequate as a ruler. Zhuge Liang could have easily took all the power of Shu in one go (Like Sima Zhao), but he didn't.

To say Zhuge Liang took the power of Shu for his own gain would be an exaggeration. Zhuge Liang, even though he was the prime minister, hardly gained from his "power" (read my first post in the thread).

Anshi wrote:As far as your examples are concerned, some of them can be easily explained. Not EVERY dynastic founder can be so easily branded a traitor. Indeed, I would also go so far to say that most dynastic founders were not given a specific order from their Former Lord to do one thing, and yet they did something exactly opposite. If it was "the people" whom Zhuge had in mind, I doubt highly he would have pushed any who threatened him out of his way as he did.


Zhao Guangyin - his generals "forced" him to don the imperial robes, and subsequently usurped the throne.

Yang Jian - all along, a power-hungry officer. When his lord died, he immediately seized power from his new (and juvenile) master on the basis of his blood-relation to the royal family.

Sima Yan - most of the work was already done by his dad, he really didn't have to do much to usurp the Wei throne.

Anshi wrote:P.S. You still haven't answered my post at SOC... :twisted:


Heh, sorry, It's been ages since I last logged on to SOC.
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Unread postby Pang Shiyuan » Mon Aug 12, 2002 10:00 pm

Han Xin wrote:
Pang Shiyuan wrote:
Han Xin wrote:*Zhuge Liang was a traitor (as was stated by someone earlier), for several related reasons: He went against Liu Bei's wishes to have Li Yan control the military, he created the position of Prime Minister in Shu to gain total power, he then stole Li Yan's position to control the military and kept Li Yan from gaining anymore power by keeping him from the frontlines, and he also had Wei Yan (another political opponent) murdered with the help of Yang Yi and Ma Dai.


Yang Jian stole power from his king and founded the Sui Dynasty. Liu Bang stole power from Xiang Yu and Xiang Liang and founded the Han Dynasty. Zhao Guangyin, Sima Yan and others did exactly the same thing. Yet, you would accuse Zhuge Liang of being a traitor for taking away the power of Liu Shan (who was inept as a ruler) in order to benefit the state of Shu.


When did I ever wrote such thing :?:


You never did :D

That was aimed at someone else...sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Unread postby Anshi » Tue Aug 13, 2002 3:33 am

Zhuge Kongming wrote:The fact that he lost control to Huang Hao, Jiang Wei, Zhuge Liang, and co. and never really tried to get it back proves that he was inept (or at the very least not ambitious enough).


Not really. If all power has been taken away from you and you have no way to get it back, that doesn't prove you're inept as a ruler. That just proves all the people in your kingdom are jerks. :lol:
Again I point to the example of Guangxu in Qing. Can you say that he was inept as a ruler because he didn't try to take power back from his aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi? He surely would have been killed or at best dethroned had he attempted such a thing. (Actually, that's what happened to Guangxu...)

Pang Tong wrote:Then you can say exactly the same thing out latter generations of the Cao clan. Sima Zhao didn't even give them a chance to prove their skills in administration.


Yes, I believe that would be accurate to say that Cao Fang, Cao Mao and Cao Huan never got a chance to prove their skills in administrations with Cao Shuang and Sima Zhao bullying them around, and that it would be grossly wrong to call them "inept" (especially considering that during Cao Shuang's rule, Cao Fang was locked in a closet). Actually I was considering using that as an example in my previous post, too bad you beat me to it. :lol:

Pang Tong wrote:Look at it this way, Liu Shan was 17 when he ascended the throne. Shu was already very weak due to Liu Bei's fruitless invasion of Wu, and the threat of the Wu force at Jing Zhou and Wei from the north, Shu could not possibly do without an acting leader.


Does the emperor always have to be the military leader? No.
Liu Bei knew this, that's why he named Li Yan as the commander of Shu forces. And please don't retort with something like "Li Yan is unproven" or something of such caliber.

Pang Tong wrote:Liu Bei, on his deathbed, beseeched Zhuge Liang to find a replacement for Liu Shan if he was found to be inadequate as a ruler. Zhuge Liang could have easily took all the power of Shu in one go (Like Sima Zhao), but he didn't.


Actually, I doubt Zhuge Liang could have taken any more power in Shu than in already had. He was about as powerful in Shu as Sima Zhao in Wei.
In any event, had he actually taken the throne, there would most likely be a backlash against him and he would be killed. This, and not loyalty to Liu Bei, is the only thing that stopped him from doing so.

About the Dynastic Founders. I agree with you about Zhao Guangyin and Yang Jian. However I don't think Sima Shi and Sima Zhao can be called traitors to Wei in the long run, as without them the Wei kingdom would have crumbled from within. IMO, Wei died with Cao Rui in 239, at which point Cao Shuang began destroying the country from within. But the Sima family saved it.
On Cao Cao and Cao Pi. I don't think he can be called a tratior either, basically for the exact same reasons as Sima Zhao and Sima Shi. Han was crumbling, collapsing and destined to fall (just like Wei later) but Cao Cao saved it, and his son finished the job of usurption.
And what about Qing Taizong or Kublai Khan? Certianly you can't say Qing Taizong is a traitor to Ming, or Kublai Khan is a traitor to Song (as they were never Han citizens in the first place). Zhu Yuanzhang, despite his treachery after taking the throne, I don't think can be called a traitor to Yuan either becase Yuan was an outside force. Same with Liu Bang...though he was a jerk, he didn't really take power from anyone as Qin had already collapsed. He more or less self-declared as an emperor. In fact, I'm tempted to say Wang Mang was not a traitor to Former Han because, like Wei and Latter Han much later, it had collapsed and needed to be replaced, and can that be called anything but loyal? But, I'm rambling. :wink:
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