Cao Cao (wonderful lord or dreadful monster)? [historical]

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Cao Cao (wonderful lord or dreadful monster)? [historical]

Unread postby James » Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:48 am

Over my whole entire Three Kingdoms experience I have met many people that believe the historical Cao Cao was a great leader, generally kind to his people and China, and a great model ruler of history. There are others that feel he was a monster, comparable to Dong Zhuo and not worthy of honor.

I would like to hear your thoughts on Cao Mengde. Do you think he as a man-eating tiger, or a pristine lord? Please give specific examples for your thoughts and state the sources, as I would like this thread to be educational. There is the Tao Qian issue, and I am certain we will discuss that as well. :)
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Unread postby Starscream » Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:21 am

He was an effective ruler but his rules were harsh. I heard about his mandatory agricultural policies to prevent famine was really harsh and people were forced to go to the fields and before that, the northerners were perhaps cattle-farmers, hunters, etc. But well, after this was implemented, the north really did not get that much famine I suppose...

Cao Cao ruled with an iron fist. He's definitely no angel, but just a dictator. His contributions were stability to the lands and the fluorishing of poetry and fine arts, which was made possible with peace.

Xu Zhou again???? no thanks...I've enough of it. :P
Okay, just one statement before anyone start to defame Cao Cao: He did not kill as many as what LGZ proclaimed him to do, nor did he massacre the whole city. He just finished off the Tao troops. Mebbe Great Deer would love to handle this topic... :lol:
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Unread postby Hotsuma Moritsune » Tue Oct 01, 2002 7:57 pm

I say he's not given enough credit, he was kind enough and just, just with alot of faults and harshness. He was no Liu Bei(My fav ruler), he was respected because of his decisions, they were for the benefit of both him and his people.
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Unread postby Sen » Tue Oct 01, 2002 8:03 pm

Well...my views on this is that Cao Mengde gets a rather bad rap in the RtKs because of some of the actions and measures he took to try to spread his empire. Cao Cao is not reallu viscous in sense, yet he is no saint. I know that much. But to me, Cao Mengde is inbetween that whole "good and evil" sort of sense. He is surely by far not the evilest ruler in the whole novel. That is taken by Dong Zhuo
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Unread postby Dennis » Wed Oct 02, 2002 2:09 am

Cao Cao is like... god or something.

Sure he is not the nicest guy in the world, his tactics and rules are brutal at best. Still, a leader does not need to be benevolent, it's like todays politics: are people going to vote for someone who believes in family values like Liu Bei? No, they will vote for someone who can bring stability fast, 'cause growth in the economic sector, make a good policing force, while lowering taxes, helping the economy grow and using his officers/cabinet member, to their fullest extent. We in the new millenium would be lucky to see a ruler half as good as Cao Cao rule. He was IMO the most effective man of his era.
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Re: Cao Cao (wonderful lord or dreadful monster)? [historica

Unread postby Chen Kun » Wed Oct 02, 2002 2:32 am

Zhuge Kongming wrote:Over my whole entire Three Kingdoms experience I have met many people that believe the historical Cao Cao was a great leader, generally kind to his people and China, and a great model ruler of history. There are others that feel he was a monster, comparable to Dong Zhuo and not worthy of honor.

I would like to hear your thoughts on Cao Mengde. Do you think he as a man-eating tiger, or a pristine lord? Please give specific examples for your thoughts and state the sources, as I would like this thread to be educational. There is the Tao Qian issue, and I am certain we will discuss that as well. :)

I would say that he was a wonderful monster :twisted:
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Unread postby Sen » Wed Oct 02, 2002 2:38 am

Exactly. Cao Cao did what he had to do in order to prevail. I don't think he is a monster for doing some of those horrible things for all people commit sins that can be forgiven for the greater good that can be caused by them.
Cao Mengde was a very great and inspirational man. No one can deny him that much.
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Unread postby Mega Zarak » Wed Oct 02, 2002 9:23 am

Cai Yan wrote:Mebbe Great Deer would love to handle this topic... :lol:

I don't think I've much to say at the moment. :roll: Here're two interesting writeups done by others on Cao Cao.

http://www.anu.edu.au/asianstudies/textnotes/morrison51.html

http://www.mystique-graphics.com/china/sanguo/caocao.html
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Unread postby Zhang Ren » Wed Oct 02, 2002 10:04 am

Generally, Cao Cao was an exceptional leader but he also a monsters. The massacre in XuZhou got nothing to do with his father nor to force a quick surrender of Tao Qian. From IMO, it just Cao Cao allowing his soldiers to kill 100,000 civilians just for fun.
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Unread postby Mu Shu » Thu Oct 03, 2002 3:03 am

"Ning jiao wo fu tian sha ren, --- jou tian sha ren fu wo"
"Rather I betray the world, than let the world betray me."
- Cao Cao

Cao Cao was the opposite of Liu Bei. Liu Bei believed in morality and loyalty. He was loyal to his benefactors and brothers. On the other hand, Cao Cao believed that the "ends justify the means". He was smart enough to eventually realize that he had to treat people fairly in order to get their support and loyalty. But he never trusted people the way Liu Bei did. Ironically, one of the reasons he died was he was suspicious that his doctor was trying to murder him...
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