TheGreatNads wrote:But how does surrendering make someone an idiot?
Let me explain this as best as I can.....
On my signature quote you will see a long text of chinese characters? Due to the 255 character limit on the signature I was forced to cut out some of the quote. Here's what the full quote should look like....
Here's what it translates into:
<i>There are five essentials laws in the military:
When able to do battle then battle,
If not able to battle then defend,
If not able to defend then flee,
If not able to flee the surrender,
If not able to surrender then die!</i>
Now if you analyze what the above states, then that should be your path of what an officer or general would do. If that general is able to go out and do battle with the enemy then he would (favorable conditions). If the conditions are against him e.g. lack of troops then he would defend and hold out until reinforcements arrive (which would even the conditions thus allowing him to do battle). If the chances of reinforcements coming in time to rescue are slim to none or there's no hope, this would cause the general to not be able to defend the city, fort, castle etc. so his next option is to flee. If while the general is in the middle of trying to flee and he is unable to flee e.g. sickness or injury (such as Pang De's case) or even if he gets captured by the enemy then his next option is to surrender, since he can't fight no more, nor defend, nor flee... so his next option is to surrender.
Upon surrender, say for instance the enemy thinks he's useless or just wants him dead, then surrendering isn't an option which leaves us to the last option available - death. Do you see how the natural progression goes from attacking (doing battle) to death on the battlefield? This a fundamental law that governs military affairs on confrontations. (There's a whole lot more fundamental military laws in Sun Tzu's: The Art of War, but that's another topic.)
Now this law is all handy and dandy for generals, officers, commanders, ministers, enuachs, peasants etc etc... down the chain. <b>BUT</b> there is one exception to that rule. And that is the Emperor himself. The Emperor himself (You can include his family as well, but not necessary) is the one person that can not surrender to the enemy. Surrendering to the enemy allows one to live when he should be dead after defeat. Perhaps to even became more prosperous, advancement in career etc. with the 'enemy' now ally side. But what about the emperor? What can he do on the other side after he surrenders? Surely the side of the victors wouldn't give him an emperor's position. So the most is to give the surrendered emperor a high position, yet low enough where he can't do any damage. Usually a duke of some post. Theoretically the highest position that the surrendered emperor can get is right below the victorious emperor. And in history do you see that happening?
So for the emperor, he went from the <b>highest</b> possible position in his kingdom to some <b>lowly</b> duke of another kingdom. For an example - The king of England surrenders to the King of France, the ex-king of England is now a noble of the French King.
Which is ultimately shame. Something an emperor can't and shouldn't bear. Which is why historically most of them commit suicide instead of surrendering. Which is why Liu Shan is a bad ruler in my opinion, based on what I've said above. I guess I was thinking about the part where Liu Bei dropped him when he was an infant. In chinese people that <b>are idiots</b> are sometimes referred to as "Ah Shan." (The first character is "ah" and the second character is Liu Shan's name.) So sorry if I was a little harsh in calling him an "idiot." But think of the bright side, Sun Hao is a bigger "idiot" because he surrendered after Liu Shan to Jin.