Cao Cao's Subordinates

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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:04 am

I'm not sure a 'brute', the word you used to describe Xu Chu, even has military intelligence. I'd expect a brute to be nothing more than a man swinging a spear.

I don't think anyone would argue that they were bright but I suspect that they had a better idea of what was going on than your average soldier. Cao Cao wouldn't promote someone that high purely on personal martial skill l.
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby ROTKobsessed » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:34 pm

I get your point, also I just realised why Cao Cao's officers could be seen as evil:

1- top generals such as Zhang Liao and Xu Huang both served under Dong Zhuo and other 'evil' men Lu Bu/ Li Jue
2- Zhang He was, after all, a traitor for submitting to Cao Cao
3- Cao Cao effectively had the emperor hostage in Xu Chang and his generals would be evil for allowing and supporting this, particularly his family who would be expected to be of the same mind
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:43 am

ROTKobsessed wrote:a lot of Cao Cao's early support was from his family, who may have supported him from loyalty or just for future wealth and power. Xu Chu and Dian Wei were brutes of very low intelligence, especially with Xu Chu which I think is mentioned that on Cao Cao's ceremony of becoming Prince that Xu Chu didn't have any opinions on the han because he was just a brute


I'm not sure why you bring up Xu Chu and Dian Wei after bringing up Cao Cao's family playing an important role in him getting started. They possessed talent, Cao Cao noticed and tried to secure their employ very early on, they said yes. I don't see how one can pass some sort of moral assessment on them based on that...

I get your point, also I just realised why Cao Cao's officers could be seen as evil:

1- top generals such as Zhang Liao and Xu Huang both served under Dong Zhuo and other 'evil' men Lu Bu/ Li Jue


These "evil" people came to power because they possessed a certain charisma that encouraged men of other talents to follow them, and it was not until they came to power that they were corrupted. In Dong Zhuo's case, it got him assassinated rather quickly. With Li Jue, the fact that pretty much everyone following him and his crew abandoned them speaks for itself.

2- Zhang He was, after all, a traitor for submitting to Cao Cao


A lot of people would come to betray a lord at some point by submitting to another, I don't think it's fair to single out Wei here.

3- Cao Cao effectively had the emperor hostage in Xu Chang and his generals would be evil for allowing and supporting this, particularly his family who would be expected to be of the same mind


This all assumes that the Han Dynasty was goodly.

I could make the opposing argument that Liu Bei and Sun Quan were evil because they prevented Cao Cao from reunifying the country. I believe that Cao Cao would have quickly wrapped things up had his luck at Chibi been better. If Sun Quan surrendered, or lost the battle, Liu Bei would not have had that chance to catch a breather and recover and resist Cao, and I doubt Liu Zhang and Zhang Lu would have put up any major resistances. Ma Chao and the other rebels out that way would still have put up a fight, but I'd say Cao Cao reunifies China before 220, the Han is saved (temporarily, anyway), good prevails. Bad Liu Bei. Bad Sun Quan. :lol:

When I think of evil people, I think of Ze/Zhai Rong. That guy was messed up haha
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby ROTKobsessed » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:25 am

I don't think the Han dynasty was good, but at the time it was widely supported and hence meant that those supporters had a dim view of Cao Cao, even some of his own supporters opposed him becoming a Prince.

Bare in mind any high profile men who surrendered to another lord or betrayed their lord were considered a traitor at some point e.g. mi fang, fu shi ren, xiahou ba, meng da etc etc

Also, just because leaders had a particular characteristic, does not mean they weren't evil too

I mentioned Xu Chu, because he's mentioned in the question...

I'm not necessarily saying they were evil, just suggesting reasons why they might be seen to be
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:53 pm

ROTKobsessed wrote:I don't think the Han dynasty was good, but at the time it was widely supported


I wouldn't say it was widely supported at the time. The love-a-thon to the Han comes afterwards

ROTKobsessed wrote:
Bare in mind any high profile men who surrendered to another lord or betrayed their lord were considered a traitor at some point e.g. mi fang, fu shi ren, xiahou ba, meng da etc etc


I thought Xiahou Ba is generally well thought of? The whole traitor thing and who was seen as what in that regard is a little complicated as there tends to be a whole lot of double standards applied throughout history over it.
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby ROTKobsessed » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:41 pm

He's popular now, but at the time he was unpopular with Wei (probably from Sima propaganda) and not trusted by the Shu officials (according to the novel)

Also there's a difference between double standards and betraying your lord for another, especially as he then participated in Jiang Wei's Northern campaigns, killing his former comrades
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby chinesecannibal » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:01 am

Lets not forget that Cao Cao ended cannibalism with his Tuntian.

Ques. Are there any politicians today similar to Cao Cao?
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:46 am

chinesecannibal wrote:Lets not forget that Cao Cao ended cannibalism with his Tuntian.

Ques. Are there any politicians today similar to Cao Cao?


Probably but with their darker side and their genius restrained by times of peace.

ROTKobsessed wrote:He's popular now, but at the time he was unpopular with Wei (probably from Sima propaganda) and not trusted by the Shu officials (according to the novel)


Not during his own time or many decades after in terms of Wei. Shu... yes they probably didn't trust him but they were enemies. That probably had little to do with the Han historically though

Also there's a difference between double standards and betraying your lord for another, especially as he then participated in Jiang Wei's Northern campaigns, killing his former comrades


He fled because he feared the Sima's, who had just killed Cao Shuang in a way that wasn't entirely honourable, would kill him. He was right given what happened to others like Xiahou Xuan, who predicted they would kill him. Plenty of officers left for different reasons and fought against their old friends: Wang Ping, Jiang Wei, Wen Qian, Zhang He, Gan Ning.
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby ROTKobsessed » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:42 am

I was using the Han and betrayal as different points

But all of them actually gained the trist of their new comrades and rose in importance, unlike Xiahou Ba
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Re: Cao Cao's Subordinates

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:31 am

Yes, I see my error.

Yeah, Xiahou Ba probably provoked mixed feelings in Wei officers and obviously would not have been a good career move to favour him. Given Liu Shan's speech, he was distrusted in Shu at least initially though that was understandable.
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