Why do you guys hate Liu Chan?

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Unread postby Zhilong » Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:42 pm

Luo Xian was moved from diplomat too Governor, more a sideways shift from what I can tell, Liu Shan still used him.


Luo Xian like many other officials had served as a diplomat but like others i don't think it was his main appointment. The appointment he was dismissed from was as Yan Yu's deputy which was a military appointment iirc.

Liu Shan, according to the SGZ, feared Dong Yun so why wouldn't Shan dislike him?


If you are using Lucy's translation i believe awe would be a better word. It seems Dong Yun had a kind of air of assertiveness about him and Dong Yun would tell him off when he did inappropriate things. This is probably coupled with the fact that Dong Yun was a long serving chamberlain to Liu Shan ever since Shan a new and young emperor. It is plainly stated in SGZ that it was the slandering that made Liu Shan change his opinion about Dong Yun. If he hated him in the first place the comments & slandering about it would be redundant.

The debate thing is new as is the book, the first bit I heard once before but never got a source or much info. Could you tell me whose bio it is in?


The essay was basically a culmination of the debate. I think parts are in Qiao Zhou's bio. The essay itself i don't think was included in his bio in any meaningful way. It was Sima Guang that included some excerpts of it in ZZTJ - not sure if the person posting ZZTJ on the site has reached that part yet. Otherwise the essay seems to have survived and there is an english thesis about it - Uncle Han from Frontier Palace has all the info.

I thought Zhang Yi's complaints where to Jiang Wei rather then the court itself?


It is noted in Zhang Yi's bio that he disputed with him at court.

Regarding withcraft, magic was belived in and quite frankly, I would put my faith in witchcraft over Jiang Wei, Liu Shan still made provisions for the defence.


I can find numerous faults with this line of reasoning:
1 Is there evidence to show Liu Shan was more superstitious and dedicated to rites etc than others? If not why does none of the other rulers rely on such methods? SGZ notes that Liu Shan was actually neglecting seasonal sacrifices and other rites.

2 Liu Shan himself stated he was instructed on how to rule. Give his education he would have had full access to historical records and been well aware that such a method was unconventional. Even in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period when ppl were generally more superstitious, rulers relied on the military and not the occult to make them a hegemon (aside from some sacrifice and prayers before a campaign etc).

3 If he was superstitious and had some sort of mental capacity, he could actually employ both methods simultaneously. Thus even if the witchcraft failed preparations could have been made for a proper resistance. Previously you have argued that Liu Shan was not that skilled in military affairs. By the same token i have not heard of Liu Shan being that skilled in witchcraft either. When one needs advice on something one should ask - that is what his officers are there for. It is my belief that when one makes a major reversal in state policy (ie. defence of the state by arms to defence by witchcraft), especially at the nth hour and at such a critical juncture, one should consult widely and act cautiously. He did neither of these.

4 If he is going to use Jiang Wei he should listen to his warnings of an invasion. If he is not skilled in the military then he should consult those in court who are and not suppress it from court. You mention that a lack of ppl spoke up and yet in this case Liu Shan not only does not encourage ppl to do so or even consult them but keeps them blind.

5 If he is going to approve Jiang Wei's plans then he should at least despatch him troops speedily so they can be properly deployed in time.

6 Liu Shan only despatched reinforcements once the invasion was well under way - there was a lapse of around 6 months before he actually did something. Compare this to Zhuge Liang who had the foresight to construct two new cities for defence before Wei attacked. They lasted through 2 Wei invasions. ZL also took no chances and would summon Li Yan's troops to the frontier just in case. During ZL's first campaign Cao Rui took no chances despite Cao Zhen being on the field and having despatched Zhang He, he personally and efficiently mobilised troops to defend Changan just in case. When Sun Quan was resisting Cao Cao and Liu Bei he always had a back up plan too. Qiao Zhou criticises him for failing to do so.

Who should step into the Prime Minister Role? Only Jiang Wan would have been able to fill it and it is a rare thing for a ruler to like somebody having even more power then them.


My point is that he was shrewd enough to consolidate power by abolishing the post - he was not the only ruler to this - but in the end it is pointless since he neglects affairs anyway and lets a ennuch direct them. We can see from his policies they were the lazy half assed type eg. frequently changing reign titles - frivolous - and granting amnesties too frequently. ZL and others warned against this - he said one should govern well to win the ppl over instead of using half assed measures.
"You weaver of mats! You plaiter of straw shoes! You have been smart enough to get possession of a large region and elbow your way into the ranks of the nobles. I was just going to attack you, and now you dare to scheme against me! How I detest you!"
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Unread postby Zhilong » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:11 pm

My counterpoint is the fact that there are only a handful of examples of people stepping up and saying something was wrong. Liu Chan's own ignorance is to blame, this is true. But a portion of the blame I always gave to the cowardice of the officers who feared for their own positions. He wouldn't see the changes he'd have to make within himself, and that's why a portion of the blame falls with a court of officials afraid of a demotion.


I agree that many officers were to blame too. However, i think it was a rational decision by them after observing their sovereign's ways. Liu Bei on his death bed said "exert yourself, exert yourself". Zhuge Liang told him to ruler diligently. Qiao Zhou pretty much said stop being a lazy ass. At least 3 ppl are recorded throughout his lifetime telling him the same thing and he can ignore his real father, the man he was to regard as his father and demote a senior official who was one of the few native Shu ppl who cared to enough to even serve him.

In the case of him being lazy, those 3 ppl with their authority and positions could not effect any lasting change in him so what chance did others have? In this case i think the fault lies squarely with him.

I'm saying that his neglect should not label him as one of the worst leaders of the time, because, even while he lived, Cao Rui and Sun Hao were effectively and cruely weakening their own states. Liu Chan, on the other hand, was just not being a leader.


I'm not saying he was the worst but he ranks pretty near the bottom. This is compounded by the fact that his own state was much smaller compared to the other two and his reign is actually one of the longest amongst chinese rulers and exceeded all his peers in the TK period.

When ZL died and the threat from Shu was gone, Cao Rui did lapse a bit and start wasting money on public works. Imo his reaction to his officers disapproval was slightly better. He eventually saw the errors of his way and publicly admitted it and scaled them down a little. The change was modest but something nonetheless. Cao Rui had a much bigger state and bigger workload. He also employed able ppl and able to used them well. On at least 2 occassions he was able to personally participate in campaigns to defend his domain. There are some downsides to his rule but definitely many positives too.

Liu Shan was not a tyrant unlike Sun Hao so no argument there.

However, alot of ppl died and suffered due to Liu Shan's misrule. He approved campaign after campaign under Jiang Wei and often there was high casualties. Internally the people were toiling due to the war effort and poor governance. Eventually the ppl would band together to complain about it which was quite significant imo. So despite his poor ruling he sought to extend the suffering across the empire.

It took a revolution for the French Government to realize it was being neglectful. It took a revolution for the British government to realize they were being harsh. Even in the same time period, it took ministers who commit suicide to try to get their point across (Liu Zhang's many officials). And even THEN he didn't listen. But, because of their dedication to what was right, the fault lies completely within Liu Zhang.


So for Liu Shan to stop being lazy the kingdom either needs to revolt or members of his court needs to die for him to make their advice heard?

Well ZL died on campaign toiling over his kingdom. Jiang Wan and Dong Yun both died on the job. Fei Yi became his scrapegoat and got assassinated since the guy could not kill Liu Shan. Zhang Yi despite his arthiritis insisted on still going into battle for him and died there.

One cannot say no one died because of their dedication for him and his cause yet none of these deaths really moved him to become more dedicated. So i think the appraisal in SGZ was right when it says he was "dark minded and not aware of his faults".
"You weaver of mats! You plaiter of straw shoes! You have been smart enough to get possession of a large region and elbow your way into the ranks of the nobles. I was just going to attack you, and now you dare to scheme against me! How I detest you!"
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:22 am

Luo Xian like many other officials had served as a diplomat but like others i don't think it was his main appointment. The appointment he was dismissed from was as Yan Yu's deputy which was a military appointment iirc.


Luo's bio seems to contradict this At the time when the General of the Right, Yan Yu, was in control of the troops at Badong, the Latter Sovereign instated Luo Xian as Yan Yu’s deputy. When Wei attacked Shu, Yan Yu was ordered to return to the west, leaving behind two thousand troops. Luo Xian was ordered to guard Yongan

If you are using Lucy's translation i believe awe would be a better word. It seems Dong Yun had a kind of air of assertiveness about him and Dong Yun would tell him off when he did inappropriate things. This is probably coupled with the fact that Dong Yun was a long serving chamberlain to Liu Shan ever since Shan a new and young emperor. It is plainly stated in SGZ that it was the slandering that made Liu Shan change his opinion about Dong Yun. If he hated him in the first place the comments & slandering about it would be redundant.


Awe can easily turned to being scared or bitterness at the constant blocking of more wives, Huang Hao would just have been making Liu Shan belive he could hate the now dead Dong Yun. Just a possible theroy

The essay was basically a culmination of the debate. I think parts are in Qiao Zhou's bio. The essay itself i don't think was included in his bio in any meaningful way. It was Sima Guang that included some excerpts of it in ZZTJ - not sure if the person posting ZZTJ on the site has reached that part yet. Otherwise the essay seems to have survived and there is an english thesis about it - Uncle Han from Frontier Palace has all the info.


I will be a happy bunny when Qiao Zhao's bio gets translated

It is noted in Zhang Yi's bio that he disputed with him at court.


While it says Jiang Wei disagreed with him, it was at Cheng Du so I'll concede and agree it was at court

I can find numerous faults with this line of reasoning:


1) He might not belive much in magic but desperate times call for measures someone might not normally take

2) See above

3) he consulted a witchdoctor, isn't that an expert on magic? As Luo Xian's bio indicates, milatry measures where taken and the reinforcments arrived . Personally, I would have done milatry preperations first and then the witchraft while making a mental note to fire Jiang Wei at later date

4) If those(well other then Qiao) at Cheng Du couldn't be bothered to provide any help normally, why would they bother now?

5) Yes he should have sent them earlier

6) and the back up plan should be what? Once Hanzhong falls, there is nothing Liu Shan can do to save the day

My point is that he was shrewd enough to consolidate power by abolishing the post - he was not the only ruler to this - but in the end it is pointless since he neglects affairs anyway and lets a ennuch direct them. We can see from his policies they were the lazy half assed type eg. frequently changing reign titles - frivolous - and granting amnesties too frequently. ZL and others warned against this - he said one should govern well to win the ppl over instead of using half assed measures.


Very true, maybe his ministers could have stopped worshipping themselves and done that

Liu Bei on his death bed said "exert yourself, exert yourself". Zhuge Liang told him to ruler diligently. Qiao Zhou pretty much said stop being a lazy ass. At least 3 ppl are recorded throughout his lifetime telling him the same thing and he can ignore his real father, the man he was to regard as his father and demote a senior official who was one of the few native Shu ppl who cared to enough to even serve him.


two of them where dead and the other only got demoted. Oh what evil compared to Ling, Huang-insert most rulers here- who executed people for advice.

So for Liu Shan to stop being lazy the kingdom either needs to revolt or members of his court needs to die for him to make their advice heard?


a far easier idea would be for the likes of Jiang Wei and Zhuge Zhan to have done their jobs or later, for a lot more men to step forward and say "this and this is wrong"

Fei Yi became his scrapegoat and got assassinated since the guy could not kill Liu Shan


scapegoat? Is this in refrence to the rule title changes?
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Re: Why do you guys hate Liu Chan?

Unread postby Omid » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:49 pm

Shadowlink wrote:I actually been finding out more about him and he doesnt seem like a bad person. He cant live up to his father dream, he doesnt know what to do, he feels depress he has a kingdom to run and his father figure zhuge liang died, he tuirns to jiang wan, fei yi as their father figure and were actually good friends and listen to them alot. he also listen to dong yun even though dong yun limited his wife. After they all died it was dong yun fault for letting huang hao there. In fact when jiang wan and them were alive huang hao never got a chance with liu shan. Liu shan needed someone support while jiang wei was campaigning. Xing Cai wasnt there for him, other girls were and SSX was never there. I think Liu Shan deserve more credit he surrender for the good of the people. Although he is unfit for a emperor he shouldnt be call a loser or a chinese saying a never standing up liu ah dou refering to someone who is very stupid. Liu shan is lose and probably scared with people reassuming him he trusts them. In fact he burial wei yan with full honors when wei yan died and found out by himsself it without officers telling him that wei yan was loyal.
Shouldnt he deserve more credit? :? about 3 months ago I hated him also.

Are you going by SGYY or SGZ? in any case, I doubt Liu Shan true loyalty to the Shu kingdom. Think about it, he never really did anything on his own.

It was always his advisors that did the trick for him. Instead of being lazy, he could actually learn a lot of Zhuge Liang. If you say ''yes but zgl didn't have the time for being some sort of tutor for Liu Shan'' then I say, he just needed to watch how Zhuge Liang gave out orders to his troops etc. internally and yes even for military affairs although that wouldn't help much since he was one of the worst when it came to military affairs. Refference: NC's, enough said. :lol:

He granted a lot of power to Huang Hao which sealed Shu's fate sooner than expected.

Also why giving Jiang Wei so little troops in the beginning and then in the end he hardly has limitation? Jiang Wei= waste of morale/troops/supplies. It would be even obvious for Liu Shan to see this, I mean, I wonder if the guy actually had a overview over the whole military affairs after the death of Dong. :o

I wonder how Wu could even hold a diplomatic relation with the Shu Kingdom with an incompetend ruler like Liu Shan. :roll:
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:57 pm

He was lazy because he was alienated as a young boy and probably didnt have much friends, he probably didnty have much friends but surely he had more friends than sun hao. Sun hao demoted lu kang, killed lu xun clan, killed zhuge ke, killed the prime minister who help him become emperor. Zhuge Liang was away he cant tutor him.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:11 am

Zhuge Ke was executed way before Sun Hao's time, I think it was Sun Xiu or Fang who killed him
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:02 pm

"According to the Eastern Wu ambassador Xue Xu (薛珝), who visited Eastern Wu's ally Shu Han in 261 at the order of Sun Xiu, the status that Shu Han was in at this point was:

The emperor is incompetent and does not know his errors; his subordinates just try to get by without causing trouble for themselves. When I was visiting them, I heard no honest words, and when I visited their countryside, the people looked hungry. I have heard of a story of swallows and sparrows making nests on top of mansions and being content, believing that it was the safest place, not realizing that the haystack and the support beams were on fire and that disaster was about to come. This might be what they are like.

However, historians largely believe that Xue was not just referring to Shu Han, but rather using Shu Han's situation to try to awaken Sun Xiu so that he would realize that Eastern Wu was in a similar situation. Sun Xiu did not appear to realize this, however."

Wu was just as bad as shu =/
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Unread postby James » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:05 pm

Shadowlink wrote:Wu was just as bad as shu =/

Wu was worse. It would be as if Liu Shan invited Dong Zhuo to join him and Huang Hao.
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:17 pm

At least they got the resource and didnt campaign alot. If someone campaign more than twice I think the Sun family would kill them and their clan
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Unread postby James » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:21 pm

Shadowlink wrote:At least they got the resource and didnt campaign alot. If someone campaign more than twice I think the Sun family would kill them and their clan

Of course they didn’t use resources in campaigning.
Sun Hao was too busy wasting them on pet projects.
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