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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby HanXin94 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:10 am

Thanks for the welcome Nanfeng.
Tang Dynasty is the greatest part of Chinese history. Especially the reigns of Tang Taizong and Xuanzong. (in his early years)
All art forms thrived during Tang, it must have been quite special to live in probably the most tolerant time in Chinese history.
I've lived here for 3 years. I work as a football coach and an English teacher in Qingdao.
I love China and it has so many opportunities for foreigners.
I'm thinking about making a documentary about Chinese history where I travel to most of the historical cities but I don't know if it would garner enough interest.

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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby Han » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:31 am

Im a big fan of Jiuyangda. But according to RDC Imperial Warlord.

The slaughter of his kinsmen, however, brought an immediate crisis, for Cao Cao’s personal prestige and that of his family were at stake. In the autumn of 193 he attacked Tao Qian in Xu province.Even if Cao Cao had already made plans to attack Xu province, the nature of his campaign indicates that he was truly angry. Bypassing Hua and Fei, he moved directly south through the western part of Donghai into Pengcheng. He captured ten cities by storm, including Yinping, from where Zhang Kai is said to have led his band of escort/attackers. Tao Qian brought troops to make a stand at Pengcheng city,
but was heavily defeated and withdrew to his capital, Tan in Donghai, present-day Tanxian in Shandong. Cao Cao continued southeast along the Si River into Xiapi, where he captured three counties and slaugh-tered their people.
The death-toll was heavy. It is said that tens of thousands died at Pengcheng, so that bodies blocked the flow of the Si River, and that in the second attack on Xiapi he massacred civilians, many of them—like his father—refugees from the troubles at the capital. He also devas-
tated the country where he passed, so that “no-one was left alive; even the chickens and dogs were gone.”41
Liu Bei did nothing wrong.
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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:00 pm

HanXin94 wrote:I also think it was abhorrent to kill the empress and force his own daughter to be empress. Besides killing your lord, is there a more treacherous thing a man can do?


In fairness, she did try to kill him, she rolled the dice and lost. Something would have had to be done to take her off the board in practise but rare an Empress strikes out like that. Is there more treacherous thing a man can do? The gentry as a whole for decades did far more damaging things to the Han, any long last gentry controller for some time.

I do get that for some, Cao Cao and Sun Quan's dark acts put them off. For me, they are fascinating, charismatic figures who did a lot of good but they certainly had a very nasty streak in them, that very same dark side is a huge "nope, sorry" for others. With Liu Bei, I greatly respect him and think he gets underrated sometimes, he was a kind man and though he could be a jerk, he didn't have that really dark streak of his rivals. I just don't warm to him when I read his SGZ whereas I warm to his son Liu Shan
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby HanXin94 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:25 pm

I thought it was her father's plot, not hers? I know her death was supposed to be a warning to Xiandi but it's still wrong. If he wasn't such a tyrant and actually gave Xiandi power to rule, he wouldn't try to kill him in the first place.

In China, people never really think about Cao Cao as a bad person anymore. His character has been changed because Mao Zedong used to compare himself to Cao Cao.

You're right about that but that's why I like Liu Bei. Also, I think his son saw the bigger picture. He's a lot more intelligent than people give him credit for.

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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby Akirus » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:10 pm

HanXin94 wrote:If he wasn't such a tyrant and actually gave Xiandi power to rule, he wouldn't try to kill him in the first place.


As a practical matter, I don't see it as tyrannical for the most accomplished leader of his era to control the workings of state rather than surrender it to a teenage figurehead ruler who almost certainly would not have been able to handle it nearly as well. You can consider it a moral failing with respect to the era, but personally I wouldn't hold it against anyone in the past for taking a more pragmatic view instead of accepting that a kid should hold absolute authority just because he was born to some guy (and an incompetent and corrupt one at that).
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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby HanXin94 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:00 am

But that was Chinese culture. The emperor holds supreme power, not the prime minister. If the emperor is too young then he is usually supported by the empress dowager and/or trustworthy ministers.
Cao Cao abused that power and ruled over the land as its lord, He's very similar to Wang Mang but at least Wang Mang had the mandate of heaven for a short period of time before his own failings meant he lost it.


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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby Akirus » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:46 am

Something being culturally accepted doesn't mean it's right. If someone acted in accordance with the cultural standards of their time and maintained loyalty to the emperor on that basis, you can justify it with their beliefs (even if what they believe is obviously asinine with even a small measure of perspective). I don't see how it's reasonable to demonize someone for being able to look past that cloud and make much more sensible decisions that benefited the land and the people infinitely more than blind loyalty would have. If you want to demonize Cao Cao, there are plenty of other things he did that were actually tyrannical. Hereditary monarchies are one of the most stupid relics of the past. If he left governance to the emperor, the dowager and his trusted ministers (who usually ended up being corrupt more than anything), I can only imagine the farce that would have ensued.

The concept of the Mandate of Heaven was literally just rhetoric used by monarchs of the time to justify their superiority over others. Somehow, I don't blame anyone that chooses not to take it to heart. If anything, you get bonus points from me for being able to use your own head and think rationally instead of blindly accepting everything you're told.

Cao Cao committed a lot of heinous acts in his time and I'm not trying to defend him for those. However, with the benefit of 2000 years of hindsight, I'd like to think we can assess historical figures by the consequences of their actions rather than their adherence to imperial doctrine designed to elevate a tiny minority over others for entirely selfish reasons.
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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby HanXin94 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:07 am

I actually admire Cao Cao greatly, however he was a tyrant who didn't care for the opinions of his lord.
The emperor is supposed to have all of the power. Whether you agree with hereditary monarchies or not isn't important. That was the way things were back then.
Sometimes it worked very well, most times it didn't.
We can easily look back on anything with modern day glasses on and scrutinize it, but we also should take into account a different culture and a different way of life for the time.

I would have liked to have seen the emperor supported, who knows if he was good or bad. He could have been a Tang Taizong, a Sui Yangdi or somewhere in between.

I completely disagree, the Mandate of Heaven wasn't for superiority purposes, it justified their rule over the land. If the people were with them then, in turn, the Mandate of Heaven was with them.

He did, and while I understand your viewpoint I also think it's important to look at the way it was back then and not just look at it in hindsight.
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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby Akirus » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:21 am

HanXin94 wrote:I actually admire Cao Cao greatly, however he was a tyrant who didn't care for the opinions of his lord.
The emperor is supposed to have all of the power. Whether you agree with hereditary monarchies or not isn't important. That was the way things were back then.
Sometimes it worked very well, most times it didn't.
We can easily look back on anything with modern day glasses on and scrutinize it, but we also should take into account a different culture and a different way of life for the time.

I would have liked to have seen the emperor supported, who knows if he was good or bad. He could have been a Tang Taizong, a Sui Yangdi or somewhere in between.

I completely disagree, the Mandate of Heaven wasn't for superiority purposes, it justified their rule over the land. If the people were with them then, in turn, the Mandate of Heaven was with them.

He did, and while I understand your viewpoint I also think it's important to look at the way it was back then and not just look at it in hindsight.


The Mandate of Heaven literally proclaimed them as Tianzi, the Son of Heaven and thus superior to all others. "Wasn't for superiority purposes" and "justified their rule over the land" is inherently contradictory since their right to rule is predicated on the divine superiority of the imperial family. It was essentially legal fiction designed to keep the people in line. The same thing happened almost everywhere (see the divine right of kings, for example). Alternatively, we can believe that deities actually spoke through these monarchs. Reason would suggest otherwise.

When you say the emperor is supposed to have all of the power, it would be more accurate to say 'the emperor said he's supposed to have all of the power.' Just because people believed it back then doesn't mean I have to believe it, and it doesn't mean if outliers rejected that doctrine at the time they were wrong just because the majority disagreed with them. People believed all sorts of stupid things - the major difference being that imperialism is romanticized much more than other historical inequities.

To be clear, I'm not saying that imperial loyalists were all idiots; I understand the cultural atmosphere of the era fostered that mentality (by design, of course). However, I also don't need modern-day glasses to say blind adherence isn't necessarily a virtue - just that there's absolutely no excuse if you're looking back from 2018.
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Re: Is this forum still active?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:31 pm

HanXin94 wrote:I thought it was her father's plot, not hers? I know her death was supposed to be a warning to Xiandi but it's still wrong. If he wasn't such a tyrant and actually gave Xiandi power to rule, he wouldn't try to kill him in the first place.


Hers but Fu Wan didn't do anything with it and then when he died, Cao Cao found out. Glad to hear views on Cao Cao have changed in China

Doing Xian/Cao Cao below

You're right about that but that's why I like Liu Bei. Also, I think his son saw the bigger picture. He's a lot more intelligent than people give him credit for.


It depends what we meant by more intelligent. From the novel? A dodo is more intelligent then the novel Liu Shan :P So in that sense, it is true. However the historical records do indicate Liu Shan wasn't very bright and that officers like Zhuge Liang and Qiao Zhou were aware of it so they kept their memorials with simple, easy to understand concepts for example. He wasn't considered a bad emperor and was considered to be a kind man until far far later his reputation got given a kicking

I have heard there is a theory in China that argues he was really intelligent and foresaw doom?

=====

As I understand it, the mandate of heaven was the way scholars combined their need to be loyal+a meritocratic system clashes with the hard reality of empires go from father to son for various reasons and sometimes dynasties collapse.

I don't blame Xian and co for striking out, he had got a taste of being able to run things during his flight from Li Jue, his father had ruled, his head would have been filled with that mandate of heaven, not wanting to be last Emperor so on and so forth. Xian had potential as a ruler but being bright and kind, being able to handle a tiny court on flight is a lot different from winning a civil war and potential is different from reality.

Cao Cao didn't give Xian power becuase (in no particular order), 1) it wasn't practical for him, 2) wasn't practical for the land, 3) recent history showed Cao Cao didn't have to. HanXin94 says Cao Cao was acting like Wang Mang but wouldn't the better comparisons be with those nearer his time? Cao Cao was ruling like every gentry controller for some time (Li Jue and co, Wang Yun can be excused as child ruler regency and very short time, Dong Zhuo, He Jin, Liang Ji), the only guys to give the Emperor power to rule had been the eunuchs and Xian's brief moment during his flight. The Emperor may have been meant to have power but the gentry had ignored this and Cao Cao, in the midst of a civil war, was not about to restore to the older ways of Emperor rule. Bar Liu Yu, I'm sceptical about any of the major (which probably outs Liu Yu) warlords would have handed Xian power once they took the court

One can argue the gentry attitude was wrong but Cao Cao shouldn't be singled out for controlling an Emperor.
“You, are a rebellious son who abandoned his father. You are a cruel brigand who murdered his lord. How can Heaven and Earth put up with you for long? And unless you die soon, how can you face the sight of men?”
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