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Cao Cao vs. Liu Bei

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 12:27 pm
by Rommel
I have always thought that Cao Cao & Liu Bei were two of three warlords who survived from many battles during the chaotic 3k period. Basically they had done not much different stuff but the military accomplishment. Cao Cao started from scratch and laid down the foundation of Wei; Liu Bei survived from running and became the first emperor of Shu. I would call them both as capable leaders of the time. Some people, however, always try to make Cao Cao a vicious tyrant and Liu Bei a godlike noble king. I wonder why and please list what your reasons are (to think that way) (a simple outline is good enough because I believe that we all know about the details).

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:53 pm
by Li Zhen
IMO, Cao Cao was the more capable of the two. A lot of Wei's power resulted from his excellent leadership, and he was skilled in both internal and external politics. On the other hand, Liu Bei was a relatively incapable man who largely relied on others.

I cannot say much about the two men's morality, but Cao Cao was really the one who deserved the right to rule, and a lot of his historical acts of tyranny were but necessary steps in asserting his authority.

The author of ROTK could have placed a successful bias either way, but I think it is easier to exaggerate Liu Bei's virtue. Luo Guanzhong chose his novel to focus on Liu Bei, mainly because feelings at the time were pro-South, pro-Han, pro-Shu, and he would be telling them what they wanted to hear.

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:18 pm
by Rommel
I agree that Cao Cao should be considered as more capable. Since Liu Bei was also winner from "purge" in late Han I give Liu Bei credits to what he had done to survive. I am curious why some people keep calling Cao Cao tyrant and Liu Bei the god. What did they do to make those people having those kind of impression?

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:25 pm
by Li Zhen
As I mentioned, it is mainly the book ROTK which gives people their impression of the era. Luo Guanzhong's preference of Liu Bei over Cao Cao is reflected in the book and etched into the minds of all those who read it.

Also, during the time of the book's writing, Mongols ruled China from the north, and all historical northern states were looked down upon. To a person who lived under Mongol rule, the southern states of Shu and Wu seemed to be much more respectable and interesting. As a result, the poeple empathized much more with Liu Bei as well as other southern leaders throughout China's history. Cao Cao seemed to them like an evil northern person who must surely share similarities with the cruel invading mongols.

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:51 pm
by Rommel
If that is the reason it would be stupid considering Cao Cao, a Han people, had won many battles against norther non-Han tribes during his time. To my knowledge, Cao Cao ruled well like the other famous rulers throughout Chinese history. He was also a brillant military leader and a proliferate poet and writer. He did make mistakes, listen to wrong advices, lose battles, but it makes him more like a real person to me.

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:12 pm
by Exar Kun
Liu Bei can't compare to Cao Cao.No one from the era can compare.

Cao Cao was talented at everything.He was a field commander,strategist,politician and he had crafty plans for everything.He created his kingdom in the harshest environment possible starting with nothing save his family property.
The man is just plain outstanding.

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:14 pm
by Sima Hui
Exar Kun, even though I'm a Shuist, I have to agree with you. No leader of that time (and maybe even to this day) was able to match Cao Cao. He was a genius, charismatic, strong, caring and he was respectful towards his subordinates and modest as well.

Liu Bei was a nice guy and a hero, but it's fairly certain that Cao Cao was the better man.

Re: Cao Cao vs. Liu Bei

Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:34 pm
by Waking Dragon
Rommel wrote:I have always thought that Cao Cao & Liu Bei were two of three warlords who survived from many battles during the chaotic 3k period. Basically they had done not much different stuff but the military accomplishment. Cao Cao started from scratch and laid down the foundation of Wei; Liu Bei survived from running and became the first emperor of Shu. I would call them both as capable leaders of the time. Some people, however, always try to make Cao Cao a vicious tyrant and Liu Bei a godlike noble king. I wonder why and please list what your reasons are (to think that way) (a simple outline is good enough because I believe that we all know about the details).


Cao Cao was a master of War...Liu Bei was a master of the People...Both ruled and fought bravely to conquer China...PeAcE

Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:02 am
by PrimeMinister Bu Zhi
Liu Bei is undeserving to be compared to Cao. Cao Cao was a much better general, a better military leader, he was a whole lot smarter. He actually did administrative duties unlike Liu Bei who gets a 0 in that feild.

Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:53 am
by Master Fu Xi
I also believe Cao Cao was better than Liu Bei, even though I like him better :wink: but Liu Bei's escape was also pretty impressive since he ended up being the first emperor of Shu. But Cao Cao was much more capable of almost everything but Charm though he had a lot. He did some bad things :wink: but of course no one is perfect.