Liu Bei: Reason for Being So “Independently Minded”

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Liu Bei: Reason for Being So “Independently Minded”

Unread postby Shi Tong » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:55 am

Hello!

I'm now re reading SGYY. Something occurred to me.

First of all, Liu Bei and his "brothers" fight against the Zhang's rebellion (the Yellow Scarves) and see many battles and beat them lots of times.

There are other officials and warriors involved in this battle who were all rewarded for their efforts with titles and soldiers to command through the Han court.

Is it possible that Liu Bei's ambition and independent mindedness came from the fact that he was pretty much passed over when he was fighting the Yellow Scarves- maybe he felt jealous and left out by the others who were "better" than him because of their backgrounds or their already cemented court positions?

This may have meant that Liu Bei thought he would never really be treated as an equal to other generals, so he needed to carve his own niche- thus his constant moving from one to another warlord in "servitude".

This meant that Liu Bei was always on the look out to give himself a position because he himself thought he was more worthy than his "leader", who he would at some time invariably leave.

Thoughts?
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Unread postby Guan Gong » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:17 am

Keep in mind his ancestry may be a partial cause. Even though he was a descendant of Emperor Jing (like Liu Yan for instance), his family was no longer closely related to the lineage. This would have provided more reason to believe he was passed over.
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Unread postby Zhilong » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:54 am

Perhaps he examined precedents in history and realised that in times of chaos there are opportunities. His moving from one warlord to another was probably due to necessity and advantage since the power balance was in constant flux and he himself was mostly weak.

His experiences may have had some influence but i think he must have had innate strong will to have perservered for so long and suffered defeat after defeat before finally making some achievements.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:44 pm

I agree actually.. these things would definitely at least ADD to his ambitious nature (look at the start of SGYY when Xuan De is found saying that he wants to be emperor when he's a man, and his uncle says he's ambitious for a start!), but I do feel like he deserved a lot of recognition for his achievements during the battles with the yellow turbans.

Do you think that if he was made cavalry commander or Da Jiang Jun for his taking part against the rebels he would have been less likely to skip from one to another? after all, he was weak because of his not being recognised- therefore this weakness led him to jump from one leader to the next in an attempt to gain power.
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Unread postby Rakoru Hiryuu » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:50 pm

Why Liu Bei didn't accept the offer from Tao Qian to govern the city? Was it because the city was too close from Cao Cao or not enough big like Luo Yang, Cheng Du Nan Pi and all or something else?
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Unread postby Antiochus » Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:51 am

In a feudal system such as the late Han dynasty, appearence is everything. Liu Bei needed to look like he was indiferrent to power. This, allowed him to gain legitimacy, in a land where it represents everything.

Every great warlords of the time thought that way. Even Cao Cao, who was arguably the most ambitious, always needed to keep his appearences as the loyal protector of the Han emperor.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:08 am

I would speculate that as well as Antiochus's reasons, he knew it was going to come to him if he played his cards right. He also had to be aware of giving anyone reason to attack him as Xu didn't seem that easy to defend
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Unread postby Shadowlink » Sat Oct 13, 2007 3:04 pm

Maybe he develop the philosophy "the weak dies and strong survives" while sometimes the weak feed on the strong to be strong.
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Unread postby Antiochus » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:24 pm

Lets look at it this way.

What would have happened Liu Bei would have openly showed his ambitions early (lets say while he was in Xu for good measure)?

Simple:

He would have suffered the same fate than Yuan Shu.

-Political isolation
-dissidence among his retainers
-weaken influence over his subjects
-lack of proper funding
-Invasion by his other ambitious (but not stupid) neighboors

So its political correctness until you have enough soldiers and influence to make the emperor hide in fear under his pretty throne...
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Unread postby Rakoru Hiryuu » Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:20 am

So he did like Cao Pi did when he refused the throne 3 times. Looks like Liu Bei wasn't ignorant.
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