Best/Favourite Kingdom (and Why?) Discussion

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Best/Favourite of the Three Kingdoms?

Wei
137
34%
Shu
162
40%
Wu
107
26%
 
Total votes : 406

Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Fri Dec 19, 2003 12:35 am

Morg wrote:Well Hitler didn't believe that he was doing a good thing AFAIK, I think he, like other Germans, was frustrated by how well Jews were doing in Germany and decided to do something about it.


But his motivation for doing what he did would have been viewed as a good thing from his perspective, though, would it not? I.e., his actions would have been beneficial to himself and his kind, just as Cao Cao's would have been beneficial to himself and his goals. However, that doesn't make them moral or right.

Again though that relies on the emperor's point of view. The emperor felt oppressed but was Cao Cao aware of that? The land was in chaos and I think it was entirely possible that Cao felt that he had to go to extremes to bring unity to the land, even if that meant treading on the emperor's toes along the way.


People who are under great pressure or oppression are not exactly in the best position to do their jobs. Cao Cao was oppressing the emperor; did he really expect the latter to focus on the affairs of the country if the court itself had an ominous cloud looming overhead? I don't think it's fair to blame the emperor for not doing his job and thus excusing Cao Cao for what he did. I apologize in advance if you meant for this to be a novel discussion only, as I am never quite sure, but historically, the emperor actually told Cao Cao not to oppress him. Cao Cao also killed off many of the emperor's officials with whom he used to discuss the country's affairs. Even in the novel, I don't think Cao Cao was that oblivious to not realize that the emperor was not happy with him.

Somehow I guessed that someone with Zhuge in their screen-name wouldn't agree with me ;)


Let's not go there. :twisted:

That can also be applied to Cao Cao. Cao never ascended the throne so you could argue that he knew that he woud be seen as a usurper or you can argue that Cao was serving the emperor. As for Liu Bei, it was a common courtesy to refuse office and it was seen as an insult to accept on the first offer. If Xuande had accepted on the first suggestion then he would have been looked down upon, therefore he would have had to be "pursuaded" even if he did actually want to be emperor. Therefore it isn't possible to decipher Xuande's true intentions from that one incident.


I would argue that Cao Cao didn't ascend because he would be seen as a usurper. After all, he had control of the emperor, so what good would it do him to have an official label of "traitor" added to his name? He was probably also saving the opportunity for his son Cao Pi. Cao Cao was certainly not serving the emperor in a way that subordinates were supposed to. As for Liu Bei, yes, there are at least two ways to interpret his actions. One can believe that he was just being courteous to refuse to accept, but that is not the view I take. After all, a person who returns someone's wallet can be said to just be looking for a reward. The nicest person in the world can be said to just be faking it.

Absolutely, but I think that Cao Cao fell prey to the power he held to a degree. As we all know, power corrupts.


I don't believe that is a good enough excuse to make him more legit than Liu Bei, though. Besides, although it's true that powerful positions have the power to corrupt, that doesn't mean everyone is doomed to fall victim. Just look at emperors Kang Xi and Yong Zheng from the Ching dynasty, or PM Zhuge Liang from the 3K era.

Green and purple compliment each other quite well I think...then again, I'm the guy with the gree and purple colourscheme in his attic...


Lol, so you must be a big fan of Barney, eh? :lol::wink:
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Unread postby Morg » Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:12 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:
Morg wrote:Well Hitler didn't believe that he was doing a good thing AFAIK, I think he, like other Germans, was frustrated by how well Jews were doing in Germany and decided to do something about it.


But his motivation for doing what he did would have been viewed as a good thing from his perspective, though, would it not? I.e., his actions would have been beneficial to himself and his kind, just as Cao Cao's would have been beneficial to himself and his goals. However, that doesn't make them moral or right.

I think everybody is guilty of acting to benefit themselves, there are very few people who act selflessly. Let's face it, Liu Bei did a lot of things which were not in line with his "restoring the Han" thing.


People who are under great pressure or oppression are not exactly in the best position to do their jobs. Cao Cao was oppressing the emperor; did he really expect the latter to focus on the affairs of the country if the court itself had an ominous cloud looming overhead? I don't think it's fair to blame the emperor for not doing his job and thus excusing Cao Cao for what he did. I apologize in advance if you meant for this to be a novel discussion only, as I am never quite sure, but historically, the emperor actually told Cao Cao not to oppress him.

My knowledge of historical events is limited, but by switching to SGZ doesn't that negate part of your own arguement? IIRC, Xuande historically had little, if any, ties to the throne and therefore wouldn't be more legitimate than Cao Cao.


Cao Cao also killed off many of the emperor's officials with whom he used to discuss the country's affairs. Even in the novel, I don't think Cao Cao was that oblivious to not realize that the emperor was not happy with him.

I'm sure that Cao Cao would have been aware that the emperor wasn't happy to some degree but let's face it, the country was in chaos and Cao needed a little more free reign. Bending the rules is occasionally necessary especially in times of chaos.



Somehow I guessed that someone with Zhuge in their screen-name wouldn't agree with me ;)


Let's not go there. :twisted:

Just saying that I know you're pro-Shu and unlikely to accept defeat just as I'm unlikely to suddenly start favouring Shu ;)


I would argue that Cao Cao didn't ascend because he would be seen as a usurper. After all, he had control of the emperor, so what good would it do him to have an official label of "traitor" added to his name?

Considering that there would have been little opposition to try and resist him, it wouldn't have mattered very much. Virtually everyone in the capital was eventually loyal to Cao Cao, there wouldn't have been the same level of resistance as there was when Dong Zhuo occupied Luoyang. Considering how Cao Cao had a knack for appeasing the people, I think he could have turned public opinion in his favour anyway.


He was probably also saving the opportunity for his son Cao Pi.

So Cao Cao didn't want to be labelled a traitor but was prepared for his son to be? This is a good example of my point here, there was little opposition to Pi's ascension so why would it be different for Mengde if he had done it late on when the opposition in the north was all gone?


Cao Cao was certainly not serving the emperor in a way that subordinates were supposed to.

And Liu Bei was by setting up his own kingdom?


As for Liu Bei, yes, there are at least two ways to interpret his actions. One can believe that he was just being courteous to refuse to accept, but that is not the view I take. After all, a person who returns someone's wallet can be said to just be looking for a reward. The nicest person in the world can be said to just be faking it.

Absolutely but I think that given his track record for disloyalty, his refusal was not out of courtesy. Just my opinon though....



Absolutely, but I think that Cao Cao fell prey to the power he held to a degree. As we all know, power corrupts.


I don't believe that is a good enough excuse to make him more legit than Liu Bei, though. Besides, although it's true that powerful positions have the power to corrupt, that doesn't mean everyone is doomed to fall victim. Just look at emperors Kang Xi and Yong Zheng from the Ching dynasty, or PM Zhuge Liang from the 3K era.

I honestly know nothing about Kang Xi and Yong Zheng, but I don't think Zhuge Liang was uncorrupted. Going by SGYY didn't he refuse to see Liu Shan until Shan had to go to him? I know the arguement will be that Kongming was overworked taking care of state affairs but he still offended Shan and broke from law and tradition. Same can be said for Cao Cao; he was busy defending the emperor and trying to reunite the land, so perhaps he felt that he was a little busy to bother with red tape.




Green and purple compliment each other quite well I think...then again, I'm the guy with the green and purple colourscheme in his attic...


Lol, so you must be a big fan of Barney, eh? :lol::wink:[/quote]
Ironically, no :D
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:37 pm

Morg wrote: I think everybody is guilty of acting to benefit themselves, there are very few people who act selflessly. Let's face it, Liu Bei did a lot of things which were not in line with his "restoring the Han" thing.


Of course most people are not selfless, but excusing Cao Cao with that reasoning really does not prove how he was more legit than Liu Bei. If I steal bread because I'm hungry and you steal bread because you're hungry, is what I did more legit than what you did?

My knowledge of historical events is limited, but by switching to SGZ doesn't that negate part of your own arguement? IIRC, Xuande historically had little, if any, ties to the throne and therefore wouldn't be more legitimate than Cao Cao.


No, it doesn't negate my argument. From Liu Bei's SGZ bio: "The First Sovereign was a descendent of Liu Zhen who was the son of Prince Jing of Zhongshan, Liu Sheng, the son of Emperor Jin(Han Jing Di) of Western Han." The point is, he did have ties whereas Cao Cao had none at all. Again, my argument here is countering your claim that Cao Cao was more legit than Liu Bei, which I have yet to see any evidence of.

I'm sure that Cao Cao would have been aware that the emperor wasn't happy to some degree but let's face it, the country was in chaos and Cao needed a little more free reign. Bending the rules is occasionally necessary especially in times of chaos.


How do you know Xian couldn't have worked with his officials to help restore peace to the country? Cao Cao didn't help by adding to the chaos and preventing the emperor from doing his job.

Just saying that I know you're pro-Shu and unlikely to accept defeat just as I'm unlikely to suddenly start favouring Shu ;)


If everyone argued like that, there would never be any debates. :wink:

Considering that there would have been little opposition to try and resist him, it wouldn't have mattered very much. Virtually everyone in the capital was eventually loyal to Cao Cao, there wouldn't have been the same level of resistance as there was when Dong Zhuo occupied Luoyang. Considering how Cao Cao had a knack for appeasing the people, I think he could have turned public opinion in his favour anyway.


Yes, but I'm sure that Cao Cao's killing of the emperor's men and family and replacing them men who were loyal to the Cao family contributed to that lack of opposition.

So Cao Cao didn't want to be labelled a traitor but was prepared for his son to be? This is a good example of my point here, there was little opposition to Pi's ascension so why would it be different for Mengde if he had done it late on when the opposition in the north was all gone?


See above. By that time, do you really think the Cao family would have kept anyone who was still loyal to the emperor alive or even around?

And Liu Bei was by setting up his own kingdom?


Liu Bei was not the one controlling the emperor. He couldn't exactly storm in and save him from Cao Cao's treachery, could he? That would have been suicide. Liu Bei only declared himself emperor after Cao Pi had deposed Xian. At that point, the Han line had ended and if Liu Bei did not do what he that, that would have meant giving into Cao Pi's new regime.

Absolutely but I think that given his track record for disloyalty, his refusal was not out of courtesy. Just my opinon though....


It would depend on what you think his ultimate motivation was. If you think it was all for himself and his own ambitions, then his track record can be considered to be disloyal. If you think he was out for the restoration of the Han, then I don't think he was. If you think it's a combination of both, then I guess it can be a half and half kind of deal.

I honestly know nothing about Kang Xi and Yong Zheng, but I don't think Zhuge Liang was uncorrupted. Going by SGYY didn't he refuse to see Liu Shan until Shan had to go to him? I know the arguement will be that Kongming was overworked taking care of state affairs but he still offended Shan and broke from law and tradition. Same can be said for Cao Cao; he was busy defending the emperor and trying to reunite the land, so perhaps he felt that he was a little busy to bother with red tape.


I vaguely remember one part in the novel when Zhuge Liang was supposedly ill and Liu Shan had to go see him. However, Kongming still treated Liu Shan with the utmost respect. Going by SGYY again, even on one of his northern campaigns when he was so close to defeating Wei, but was called back by the stupidity of Liu Shan, he did not just ignore the edict and returned. That shows his great respect for the Sovereign.
Um...how was Cao Cao busy "defending" the emperor if he were oppressing him? I don't mean to be rude, but comparing Cao Cao's proven level of corruption to Zhuge Liang's alleged corruption is kind of absurd.

Ironically, no :D


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Unread postby Morg » Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:21 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:Of course most people are not selfless, but excusing Cao Cao with that reasoning really does not prove how he was more legit than Liu Bei. If I steal bread because I'm hungry and you steal bread because you're hungry, is what I did more legit than what you did?

No but I believe that it isn't an even comparison. If you steal one loaf because you are hungry but I steal a truck full of bread, then am I more evil than you? You betcha and that is the way I see it. Cao Cao did many deeds which cannot be justified but he is not the only one...hell I don't think I can name one person from RTK who didn't do something unpleasant. Personally I see his crimes as being less than Xuande's, but again, that is personal opinion.



No, it doesn't negate my argument. From Liu Bei's SGZ bio: "The First Sovereign was a descendent of Liu Zhen who was the son of Prince Jing of Zhongshan, Liu Sheng, the son of Emperor Jin(Han Jing Di) of Western Han."

And that is why I hate debating SGZ! PDFs crash my PC and I have no way of reading SGZ for myself.


The point is, he did have ties whereas Cao Cao had none at all. Again, my argument here is countering your claim that Cao Cao was more legit than Liu Bei, which I have yet to see any evidence of.

Cao Cao was a lord of the Han and did more to protect and restore the empire than Liu Bei did, especially in the early years. When the eunuchs and Dong Zhuo caused chaos at the capital, it was Cao Cao who rebelled while Liu Bei was governing towns. When Xian was captured by Li Jue and subsequently saved, it was Cao Cao who went to the capital and kept the emperor safe. When Lu Bu was finally beaten, Liu Bei returned to the capital and did very little to aid the "oppressed" ruler. The next few chapters feature Liu Bei running away a lot and not doing a lot to assist the emperor. Meanwhile, it is Cao Cao who is guarding the emperor and keeping the capital safe.



How do you know Xian couldn't have worked with his officials to help restore peace to the country? Cao Cao didn't help by adding to the chaos and preventing the emperor from doing his job.

Which officials are those?
SGYY wrote:The year was grievous with famine. The Luoyang people, even reduced in numbers as they were to a few hundred families, had not enough to eat and they prowled about stripping the bark off trees and grubbing up the roots of plants to satisfy their starving hunger. Officers of the government of all but the highest ranks went out into the country to gather fuel. Many people were crushed by the falling walls of burned houses. At no time during the decadence of Han did misery press harder than at this period.

That was just after the emperor had been towed around the country by various bandits...From there, who was the emperor going to employ? Yuan Shao who killed Gongsun Zan and taken his region? Sun Ce who was setting up his own empire? Liu Biao? Ma Teng?


Yes, but I'm sure that Cao Cao's killing of the emperor's men and family and replacing them men who were loyal to the Cao family contributed to that lack of opposition.

Even so, that only proves my point further that no-one would have opposed Cao Cao if he had deposed the emperor.



See above. By that time, do you really think the Cao family would have kept anyone who was still loyal to the emperor alive or even around?

Then why didn't Mengde assume the throne? If all those loyal to the emperor was gone and Cao Cao could have convinced the people through waving taxes, then why did he leave his son to take the throne?


And Liu Bei was by setting up his own kingdom?


Liu Bei was not the one controlling the emperor. He couldn't exactly storm in and save him from Cao Cao's treachery, could he? That would have been suicide.

When Cao Cao had established control of the north, then yes it would have been suicide. However there were plenty of occasions where Xuande could have assisted the emperor before that, like going to help him when Dong Zhuo seized the capital rather than waiting for Cao Cao to issue the call to arms.

Besides, suicide or not, wouldn't it have been the honourable thing to do?


Absolutely but I think that given his track record for disloyalty, his refusal was not out of courtesy. Just my opinon though....


It would depend on what you think his ultimate motivation was. If you think it was all for himself and his own ambitions, then his track record can be considered to be disloyal. If you think he was out for the restoration of the Han, then I don't think he was. If you think it's a combination of both, then I guess it can be a half and half kind of deal.

Kinda the same with Cao Cao, is it not? :wink:


I honestly know nothing about Kang Xi and Yong Zheng, but I don't think Zhuge Liang was uncorrupted. Going by SGYY didn't he refuse to see Liu Shan until Shan had to go to him? I know the arguement will be that Kongming was overworked taking care of state affairs but he still offended Shan and broke from law and tradition. Same can be said for Cao Cao; he was busy defending the emperor and trying to reunite the land, so perhaps he felt that he was a little busy to bother with red tape.


I vaguely remember one part in the novel when Zhuge Liang was supposedly ill and Liu Shan had to go see him. However, Kongming still treated Liu Shan with the utmost respect.


Chapter 85. Liu Shan is alarmed to hear that 5 armies are approaching, he summons Kongming who is "ill" and becomes more alarmed. He resends his men to get Kongming, but....
After keeping them waiting a long time, the wardens returned, saying, "The Prime Minister is rather better and will be at court in the morning." The two ministers sighed deeply as they wended their way to the Emperor's palace. Next morning a great crowd of officers assembled at the gate of the Prime Minister's residence to wait for him to appear. But he did not come out. It began to grow late, and many of them were tired of waiting, and the crowd dispersed.

Upon realising that Liu Shan had come to find him:
"I ought to be put to death ten thousand times!" said Zhuge Liang."

Zhuge Liang had bucked the proper ways and had repeatedly ignored summons to appear before the emperor, that is not treating him with respect.


Going by SGYY again, even on one of his northern campaigns when he was so close to defeating Wei, but was called back by the stupidity of Liu Shan, he did not just ignore the edict and returned. That shows his great respect for the Sovereign.

SGYY is contradictory in this, as when Cao Cao recalls Liu Bei, Xuande refuses and says that an army cannot be recalled once it has begun it's march but later Zhuge Liang says that it would be traitorous to ignore the recall.

Perhaps it is not traitorous to ignore the summons but Kongming knew that the emperor would doubt him if he did not return. In that case, that is not respect but is a selfish act as it is Kongming who wants to keep his honour intact.


Um...how was Cao Cao busy "defending" the emperor if he were oppressing him? I don't mean to be rude, but comparing Cao Cao's proven level of corruption to Zhuge Liang's alleged corruption is kind of absurd.

I was drawing a parallel that in desperate times, the defenders of the kingdoms don't always have the time or inclination to consult their ruler and do things by the book. Hell if Jiang Wei had spent less time consulting Liu Shan and more time putting his plans into action, then Shu may not have fallen so quickly.
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Sat Dec 20, 2003 3:27 am

Morg wrote:No but I believe that it isn't an even comparison. If you steal one loaf because you are hungry but I steal a truck full of bread, then am I more evil than you? You betcha and that is the way I see it. Cao Cao did many deeds which cannot be justified but he is not the only one...hell I don't think I can name one person from RTK who didn't do something unpleasant. Personally I see his crimes as being less than Xuande's, but again, that is personal opinion.


I think you just altered the analogy to one that would fit your viewpoint, and it is not exactly a more fair one than mine. In essence, you're saying that Cao Cao stole one loaf of bread while Liu Bei stole a truckload, and thus Liu Bei was more evil. That, I do not agree with, but like you said, it's a matter of personal opinion. You admit that Cao Cao did many unjustifiable evil deeds, but I have never once said that Liu Bei was Mr. Perfect Patron Saint who did absolutely nothing wrong, so I do not see the purpose in your retiterating that no one in the 3K era did not do something unpleasant. I just do not agree that Cao Cao was more legit than Xuande.

Cao Cao was a lord of the Han and did more to protect and restore the empire than Liu Bei did, especially in the early years. When the eunuchs and Dong Zhuo caused chaos at the capital, it was Cao Cao who rebelled while Liu Bei was governing towns. When Xian was captured by Li Jue and subsequently saved, it was Cao Cao who went to the capital and kept the emperor safe. When Lu Bu was finally beaten, Liu Bei returned to the capital and did very little to aid the "oppressed" ruler. The next few chapters feature Liu Bei running away a lot and not doing a lot to assist the emperor. Meanwhile, it is Cao Cao who is guarding the emperor and keeping the capital safe.


Dong Zhuo was a tyrant and Cao Cao rebelled. That's commendable. However, that does not justify his oppressing the emperor after he himself came into a powerful position.
I don't think it's fair to fault Liu Bei for not being in the same situation as Cao Cao and thus penalize him for only governing towns while Cao Cao spread his influence as PM. It would be like penalizing a person for not saving another person who was not even in the viscinity rather than giving props to the person who did do the saving.

Which officials are those?


From Empress Fu's HHS biography: "Ever since the Emperor arrived in Xuchang, he could only maintain his own position but no more. Where he resided, those who guarded him had family connections to the Cao family. Zhao Yan, the Gentleman-consultant (Yi Lang), frequently discussed with the Emperor on affairs and policies. Cao Cao was angry with this and killed him. There were also many killings of the remaining officials, inside and outside."

SGYY wrote:That was just after the emperor had been towed around the country by various bandits...From there, who was the emperor going to employ? Yuan Shao who killed Gongsun Zan and taken his region? Sun Ce who was setting up his own empire? Liu Biao? Ma Teng?


And when the Emperor was back in court, that gives Cao Cao free wield of all power and the right to oppress him?

Even so, that only proves my point further that no-one would have opposed Cao Cao if he had deposed the emperor.


But you're ignoring the means that resulted in the ends. I do not see them as moral or justifiable, but you're free to formulate your own opinion.

Then why didn't Mengde assume the throne? If all those loyal to the emperor was gone and Cao Cao could have convinced the people through waving taxes, then why did he leave his son to take the throne?


It's my speculation, but he already had the power and desired not the crown, lest the latter make him look disloyal in the eyes of the countrymen. Cao Pi, however, desired both. It's like asking why Sima Zhao did not establish a new kingdom in Jin and instead left his son to do it.

When Cao Cao had established control of the north, then yes it would have been suicide. However there were plenty of occasions where Xuande could have assisted the emperor before that, like going to help him when Dong Zhuo seized the capital rather than waiting for Cao Cao to issue the call to arms.

Besides, suicide or not, wouldn't it have been the honourable thing to do?


Cao Cao was a man of rank from the beginning and Liu Bei was just a poor staw shoe weaver. Who do you think would have had a better understanding of what was going on in the courts? How about better means and an upperhand at opportunities?
If committing suicide would have actually helped the emperor, then maybe that would have been the honorable thing to do. Otherwise, it can be considered short-sighted and rather stupid.

Kinda the same with Cao Cao, is it not? :wink:


You're the one who's been arguing that Cao Cao was more legit than Liu Bei, not me. :wink:

Chapter 85. Liu Shan is alarmed to hear that 5 armies are approaching, he summons Kongming who is "ill" and becomes more alarmed. He resends his men to get Kongming, but....
After keeping them waiting a long time, the wardens returned, saying, "The Prime Minister is rather better and will be at court in the morning." The two ministers sighed deeply as they wended their way to the Emperor's palace. Next morning a great crowd of officers assembled at the gate of the Prime Minister's residence to wait for him to appear. But he did not come out. It began to grow late, and many of them were tired of waiting, and the crowd dispersed.

Upon realising that Liu Shan had come to find him:
"I ought to be put to death ten thousand times!" said Zhuge Liang."

Zhuge Liang had bucked the proper ways and had repeatedly ignored summons to appear before the emperor, that is not treating him with respect.


First of all, you put the quotes around the word ill. :P For all we know, he could have been at least a bit sick from his planning against the 5 attacks. :wink:
Unlike Cao Cao, Zhuge Liang did show respect to the emperor. When the emperor came, he prostrated himself before him. Of course you can just say that was all a fake show to retain his own honor, etc, but that would just be speculation. Besides, Zhuge Liang knew what everyone wanted to see him for and he had been planning for a way to deal with the 5 attacks to relieve the emperor's worries.
I still don't see how Kongming was a victim of corruption due to his high position, though. Even before Zhuge Liang held any rank whatsoever, Liu Bei was the one who had to go see him to request his services. From that instance, it can be seen that Zhuge Liang desires respect from those he works for, and has nothing to do with letting power go to his head. With that said, your interpretation of his supposed disrespect does not even come close to Cao Cao's proven treatment of Xian. My whole point in bringing Kongming, Kang Xi, and Yong Zheng into this was to prove that not everyone is corrupted by power. Therefore, excusing Cao Cao with this reasoning does not hold much water.

SGYY is contradictory in this, as when Cao Cao recalls Liu Bei, Xuande refuses and says that an army cannot be recalled once it has begun it's march but later Zhuge Liang says that it would be traitorous to ignore the recall.


Cao Cao wasn't an emperor though, so it's not a fair comparison.

Perhaps it is not traitorous to ignore the summons but Kongming knew that the emperor would doubt him if he did not return. In that case, that is not respect but is a selfish act as it is Kongming who wants to keep his honour intact.


Disobeying the emperor cannot be considered traitorous? It's just your speculation that the reason Konging returned was to keep his honor intact.

I was drawing a parallel that in desperate times, the defenders of the kingdoms don't always have the time or inclination to consult their ruler and do things by the book. Hell if Jiang Wei had spent less time consulting Liu Shan and more time putting his plans into action, then Shu may not have fallen so quickly.


Cao Cao didn't even care what Xian wanted. He could have at least tried to listen to the emperor, couldn't he? Did he really have to kill the empress and Xian's children despite the emperor's pleas? Since when does the emperor have to plead his subordinate? Hell, why didn't Jiang Wei take over and rule Shu himself? But then he would have been no different than the usurpers that he was trying to overtake.


Hmm...what an argument that has spawned from a few sentences. I've almost forgotten what started it. :lol:
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Unread postby Morg » Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:23 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:You admit that Cao Cao did many unjustifiable evil deeds, but I have never once said that Liu Bei was Mr. Perfect Patron Saint who did absolutely nothing wrong, so I do not see the purpose in your retiterating that no one in the 3K era did not do something unpleasant. I just do not agree that Cao Cao was more legit than Xuande.

So why are we debating this exactly? We seem to be in agreement that neither guy was a hero as such but we each favour a different side.



I don't think it's fair to fault Liu Bei for not being in the same situation as Cao Cao and thus penalize him for only governing towns while Cao Cao spread his influence as PM.

Why not? Ma Teng rebelled against Cao Cao, so did others but Liu Bei didn't ever seem to really try that hard.


It would be like penalizing a person for not saving another person who was not even in the viscinity rather than giving props to the person who did do the saving.

What like how Liu Bei ran away when Xian asked him to help get rid of Cao Cao? Xuande was at the capital when Cao Cao started to assert his authority but began to fear for his own safety and decided to leave. That is not exaclty admirable.



From Empress Fu's HHS biography: "Ever since the Emperor arrived in Xuchang, he could only maintain his own position but no more. Where he resided, those who guarded him had family connections to the Cao family. Zhao Yan, the Gentleman-consultant (Yi Lang), frequently discussed with the Emperor on affairs and policies. Cao Cao was angry with this and killed him. There were also many killings of the remaining officials, inside and outside."

Didn't Liu Bei beat a government official to death too? Once again, we can quote various sources but the fact of the matter is that neither man was a saint. Yes, Cao Cao did eliminate some of those who opposed him, to him I'm sure the end justified the means. For Liu Bei, he was aware of the emperor's distress and repeatedly did nothing about it except set up his own little kingdom and then name himself emperor when Xian was deposed. Liu Bei could muster a force of 750,000 to go and avenge his 'brother' (or just another general who was his friend, if you go by history), but he couldn't be bothered to even try and attack Wei to get the emperor reinstated?


That was just after the emperor had been towed around the country by various bandits...From there, who was the emperor going to employ? Yuan Shao who killed Gongsun Zan and taken his region? Sun Ce who was setting up his own empire? Liu Biao? Ma Teng?


And when the Emperor was back in court, that gives Cao Cao free wield of all power and the right to oppress him?

No but my point is that there was no-one but Cao Cao to help the emperor reunite the land and you haven't disproved that. My point still remains that Cao Cao was the only option for peace and Cao set out to bring that peace by any means necessary.



But you're ignoring the means that resulted in the ends. I do not see them as moral or justifiable, but you're free to formulate your own opinion.

But Zhuge Liang is a hero for massacring the Nanman (going by SGYY)? Bringing peace to a land at a cost of millions of lives is either justifiable or not.



Cao Cao was a man of rank from the beginning and Liu Bei was just a poor staw shoe weaver. Who do you think would have had a better understanding of what was going on in the courts? How about better means and an upperhand at opportunities?

Cao Cao didn't even have an army at the beginning of the novel and neither did Liu Bei, yet Cao Cao mustered more opposition than Liu Bei did. The fact that he actually tried says a lot too, as I've already pointed out Liu Bei gave very little support to the emperor even when he was in the capital.


If committing suicide would have actually helped the emperor, then maybe that would have been the honorable thing to do. Otherwise, it can be considered short-sighted and rather stupid.

What like swearing an oath to die on the same day as two guys you've just met? Like invading a well defended kingdom against all advice? As I've pointed out, Liu Bei would bend heaven and Earth for his people but he didn't do very much to help Xian.


Kinda the same with Cao Cao, is it not? :wink:


You're the one who's been arguing that Cao Cao was more legit than Liu Bei, not me. :wink:

Yes but you are essentially arguing that Cao Cao was a tyrant and I am attempting to get you to admit that Cao Cao could have been acting with the copuntry's best interests at heart ;)



First of all, you put the quotes around the word ill.

I did that because you had said "supposedly ill", which concurrs with my own opinion that Zhuge Liang was not ill. As we both agreed on this point I decided to put ill in quotes to indicate that while Luo Guanzhong says that Kongming was ill, you and I have our doubts ;)



:P For all we know, he could have been at least a bit sick from his planning against the 5 attacks. :wink:

Or he could have just been staring at the fish...


Unlike Cao Cao, Zhuge Liang did show respect to the emperor. When the emperor came, he prostrated himself before him. Of course you can just say that was all a fake show to retain his own honor, etc, but that would just be speculation.

Isn't this whole debate speculation? :lol:


Besides, Zhuge Liang knew what everyone wanted to see him for and he had been planning for a way to deal with the 5 attacks to relieve the emperor's worries.

My point is that he ignored an order to appear before the emperor and that is rebellion. Yes, he prostrated himself but only once the emperor came looking for him and accused him of not being ill and watching the fish. That displays that the emperor was not happy with Kongming's acts over the previous days, so while Zhuge may have thought that he was acting in the emperor's best interests, he really was treading on the emperor's toes by doing so.

Sound familiar?



I still don't see how Kongming was a victim of corruption due to his high position, though. Even before Zhuge Liang held any rank whatsoever, Liu Bei was the one who had to go see him to request his services. From that instance, it can be seen that Zhuge Liang desires respect from those he works for, and has nothing to do with letting power go to his head. With that said, your interpretation of his supposed disrespect does not even come close to Cao Cao's proven treatment of Xian. My whole point in bringing Kongming, Kang Xi, and Yong Zheng into this was to prove that not everyone is corrupted by power. Therefore, excusing Cao Cao with this reasoning does not hold much water.

My point was that Kongming worked in the emperor's best interests but displeased him along the way. Zhuge ingnored a summons because in his own opinion it was more important for him to settle the 5 attacks. Therefore, Zhuge's position as Prime Minister of Shu allowed him to deny seeing the emperor and keep his head and that is abuse of power. He says himself that he should be executed for his crime...



SGYY is contradictory in this, as when Cao Cao recalls Liu Bei, Xuande refuses and says that an army cannot be recalled once it has begun it's march but later Zhuge Liang says that it would be traitorous to ignore the recall.


Cao Cao wasn't an emperor though, so it's not a fair comparison.[/quote]
No but he was Prime Minister and therefore was in charge.


Disobeying the emperor cannot be considered traitorous? It's just your speculation that the reason Konging returned was to keep his honor intact.

I am trying to establish why it is okay for Liu Bei to ignore a direct order from the Prime Minister but yet Zhuge Liang cannot deny an order from the emperor...unless it is to come to court.

By your own arguement it is not traitorous to ignore the Prime Minister or disagree with him publically. By that train of thinking, Wei Yan was indeed a very loyal general....


Cao Cao didn't even care what Xian wanted. He could have at least tried to listen to the emperor, couldn't he? Did he really have to kill the empress and Xian's children despite the emperor's pleas? Since when does the emperor have to plead his subordinate?

The big picture. Cao Cao knew that he had to reunite the land and he got on with it. Yes, he did things that weren't in line with what the emperor wanted but I don't think Xian wanted Liu Bei to run off and hide from Cao Cao when he asked him for help.

Hell, why didn't Jiang Wei take over and rule Shu himself? But then he would have been no different than the usurpers that he was trying to overtake.

If he had bent the rules and acted under his own will, like if he had killed Qiao Zhou, then Shu might have survived. Can you say that by looking at that bigger picture that Jiang Wei would have been wrong?



Hmm...what an argument that has spawned from a few sentences. I've almost forgotten what started it. :lol:

I said that Wei was a more legitimate continuation of the Han than a bunch of guys hiding in a forest :lol:

I think that this arguement is unfair. I made it clear that I didn't have time for long debates anymore and then what happens? :lol:
"If you do not turn your back on me, I shall not on you." - Cao Cao to Pang De
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Morg
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:00 am

Morg wrote:So why are we debating this exactly? We seem to be in agreement that neither guy was a hero as such but we each favour a different side.


I'm not quite sure anymore. I was hoping that you knew the answer. :lol:

Why not? Ma Teng rebelled against Cao Cao, so did others but Liu Bei didn't ever seem to really try that hard.


Liu Bei worked hard to muster his own forces in the name of restoring the fallen Han empire, didn't he? He may not have "tried hard" by your standards, but he planned for the long term rather than the short term failures experienced by Ma Teng and others.

What like how Liu Bei ran away when Xian asked him to help get rid of Cao Cao? Xuande was at the capital when Cao Cao started to assert his authority but began to fear for his own safety and decided to leave. That is not exaclty admirable.


See above.

Didn't Liu Bei beat a government official to death too? Once again, we can quote various sources but the fact of the matter is that neither man was a saint. Yes, Cao Cao did eliminate some of those who opposed him, to him I'm sure the end justified the means. For Liu Bei, he was aware of the emperor's distress and repeatedly did nothing about it except set up his own little kingdom and then name himself emperor when Xian was deposed. Liu Bei could muster a force of 750,000 to go and avenge his 'brother' (or just another general who was his friend, if you go by history), but he couldn't be bothered to even try and attack Wei to get the emperor reinstated?


The government official that Liu Bei killed was a corrupt man who treated the people badly. What was Cao Cao's justification for killing men who were close to the emperor? Is the emperor discussing issues of the country with his advisors an immoral crime?

No but my point is that there was no-one but Cao Cao to help the emperor reunite the land and you haven't disproved that. My point still remains that Cao Cao was the only option for peace and Cao set out to bring that peace by any means necessary.



No, Cao Cao was not helping the emperor reunite the land. He just brushed the emperor aside. Why couldn't he have acted as an advisor to help the emperor? Did he even bother trying to offer advice and the emperor turned a deaf ear to good reason or something? You haven't been able to prove that the emperor was an incapable or corrupt individual who deserved to have the power ripped from him by a man using the guise of "helping the emperor".

But Zhuge Liang is a hero for massacring the Nanman (going by SGYY)? Bringing peace to a land at a cost of millions of lives is either justifiable or not.


Those two situations are not even comparable. You would be ignoring the fact that the Nanman started the whole thing, were looting the south and wrecking havoc amongst the citizens down there. Zhuge Liang did not want to kill people unnecessarily, that was obvious. He gave Meng Huo SEVEN chances for negotiation and peaceful resolve, did he not? What was he supposed to do, let the Nanman continue to destroy the south and kill more innocent people? Of course he could have just exectuted Meng Huo and his people the first time, but that would hardly have won the hearts of the south. Zhuge Liang’s goal was to prevent future rebellions and therefore minimize such occurences in the future. Now let's look at Cao Cao. Why did he kill the emperor's officials and family again?

Cao Cao didn't even have an army at the beginning of the novel and neither did Liu Bei, yet Cao Cao mustered more opposition than Liu Bei did. The fact that he actually tried says a lot too, as I've already pointed out Liu Bei gave very little support to the emperor even when he was in the capital.


Liu Bei's situation at the very beginning: "At this time the family had sunk deep in poverty, and Liu Bei gained his living by selling straw sandals and weaving grass mats."

First mention of Cao Cao: "The battle continued until dawn. Zhang Lian and Zhang Ba, with a group of flying rebels, found a way of escape. But suddenly a troop of soldiers with crimson banners appeared to oppose them. Their leader was a man of medium stature with small eyes and a long beard. He was Cao Cao, a Beijuo man, holding the rank of Cavalry Commander."

As you can see, the two obviously did not start out on equal footing.

What like swearing an oath to die on the same day as two guys you've just met? Like invading a well defended kingdom against all advice? As I've pointed out, Liu Bei would bend heaven and Earth for his people but he didn't do very much to help Xian.


I don’t see what the oath deal has anything to do with anything. Liu Bei met two guys who shared his vision, so they became oath brothers. That was not an uncommon practice back then. Liu Bei couldn't do very much to help Xian, but that doesn't mean he didn't want to. Besides, what exactly did Xian want Liu Bei to do? Even if Liu Bei managed to rescue Xian(yeah, good luck, considering all the men Cao Cao placed around the emperor), then what? The people may not know what exactly is going on in the palace and Cao Cao could easily plant the label of emperor-napper upon Liu Bei. You keep saying that Liu Bei did not try hard enough and was not selfless enough, yet I could say the same for Cao Cao in his attempt to kill Dong Zhuo. What stopped him? Fear of being killed by Lu Bu, right? What’s his life worth as opposed to doing the honorable thing and killing the traitorous and evil Dong Zhuo?

Yes but you are essentially arguing that Cao Cao was a tyrant and I am attempting to get you to admit that Cao Cao could have been acting with the copuntry's best interests at heart ;)


If I were just arguing that Cao Cao was a tyrant, I wouldn’t have held back as much as I have. ;) If you believe that it’s naïve of people to believe Liu Bei had no other ambitions except to reunite the land under the name of the Han, then I believe it’s just as naïve for one to believe that Cao Cao was just acting in the country’s best interests.

I did that because you had said "supposedly ill", which concurrs with my own opinion that Zhuge Liang was not ill. As we both agreed on this point I decided to put ill in quotes to indicate that while Luo Guanzhong says that Kongming was ill, you and I have our doubts ;)


I said supposedly because that incident was kind of vague in my mind and I wasn’t sure if I was recalling it clearly. But yes, I certainly do have my doubts about Kongming’s true state of being at the time.

Or he could have just been staring at the fish...


He told the emperor that he was thinking about the 5 attacks. Why should we not believe him? After all, he had a plan all worked out for it, didn’t he?


Isn't this whole debate speculation? :lol:


Pretty much, save for a few facts here and there. :lol:

My point is that he ignored an order to appear before the emperor and that is rebellion. Yes, he prostrated himself but only once the emperor came looking for him and accused him of not being ill and watching the fish. That displays that the emperor was not happy with Kongming's acts over the previous days, so while Zhuge may have thought that he was acting in the emperor's best interests, he really was treading on the emperor's toes by doing so.

Sound familiar?


Zhuge Liang did not just ignore the order. He responded that he was ill. The emperor never accused Kongming of not being ill and although he had been worried about the oncoming attacks, there is no indication that he was angry. If you’re going to keep claiming that Zhuge Liang was rebellious and corrupt, then I guess Zhang Zhao was as well. After all, Sun Quan was banging on his door for him to come out and yet he refused because he felt disrespected. Later, Sun Quan apologized. And that’s another difference. Sun Ce entrusted Sun Quan to Zhang Zhao, just as Liu Bei entrusted Liu Shan to Kongming. Who gave Cao Cao the right to control Xian and his affairs?
I think you’re trying to stretch that one event a bit too far in an attempt to cover for all of Cao Cao’s mistreatment of the emperor.
I know I sound like a broken record here, but did Cao Cao honestly believe that he was acting in the emperor’s best interests by oppressing the emperor, killing the empress, the emperor’s sons, and officials?


My point was that Kongming worked in the emperor's best interests but displeased him along the way. Zhuge ingnored a summons because in his own opinion it was more important for him to settle the 5 attacks. Therefore, Zhuge's position as Prime Minister of Shu allowed him to deny seeing the emperor and keep his head and that is abuse of power. He says himself that he should be executed for his crime...


Xian couldn’t kill Cao Cao even if he wanted to. Whose men were around the courts again? The emperor was powerless. Kongming said that he should be put to death ten thousand times. That’s not even possible. Thus, it can be deduced that they were words of courtesy and respect. How is that abuse of power? It’s not like Liu Shan couldn’t have put Zhuge Liang to death had he truly wanted to. Was Zhuge Liang oppressing him? Nobody forced him to “forgive” Kongming(assuming that he were even angry at all). What the emperor decides to do is law. If he forgives, that’s law. There is no must written anywhere, is there?

No but he was Prime Minister and therefore was in charge.


Who put him in charge? The emperor? Oh wait, the emperor had no power. Never mind.

I am trying to establish why it is okay for Liu Bei to ignore a direct order from the Prime Minister but yet Zhuge Liang cannot deny an order from the emperor...unless it is to come to court.


Exactly what part of the novel is this from again?

By your own arguement it is not traitorous to ignore the Prime Minister or disagree with him publically. By that train of thinking, Wei Yan was indeed a very loyal general....

You said earlier that it had something to do with recalling troops back after they had been dispatched, not disobeying orders from superiors in general and certainly not disagreeing in public. Please do not attempt to apply it to everything now. My train of thinking does not prove Wei Yan to be very loyal, unless you want to ignore the part where he and Chen Shi disobeyed Zhuge Liang’s orders at Gu Valley and got their arses kicked.

The big picture. Cao Cao knew that he had to reunite the land and he got on with it. Yes, he did things that weren't in line with what the emperor wanted but I don't think Xian wanted Liu Bei to run off and hide from Cao Cao when he asked him for help.


If you really want the big picture, Cao Cao didn’t succeed in uniting the land, so how do we know that had he not aided Xian as a vital advisor or something, what Cao Cao did achieve couldn’t have happened or perhaps even more? Liu Bei was not hiding from Cao Cao. He had to muster up troops and establish a base to be able to do anything to help restore the Han. By excusing Cao Cao’s actions with speculation about Liu Bei’s does not diminish what Cao Cao did in any way. I killed someone for their wallet, but so what? You did too!

If he had bent the rules and acted under his own will, like if he had killed Qiao Zhou, then Shu might have survived. Can you say that by looking at that bigger picture that Jiang Wei would have been wrong?


So I suppose Zhang Zhao should have been killed as well, since he supported Wu surrendering to Wei. Killing ministers for voicing opinions just because they differ from one’s own is not exactly going to gain one loyal support. Would Shu really have survived just because Qiao Zhou was dead? With an emperor like Liu Shan who was more than willing to give in anyways, I highly doubt it.
Besides, was Jiang Wei even around when Qiao Zhou suggested surrender?

I said that Wei was a more legitimate continuation of the Han than a bunch of guys hiding in a forest :lol:

I think that this arguement is unfair. I made it clear that I didn't have time for long debates anymore and then what happens? :lol:


And I made the critical error of stating that I disagreed. :lol:

I didn’t know that you made it clear about not having time anymore. If you want, we can always continue this discussion via IM at our own leisure. Just let me know with a PM or something. If not, feel free to continue responding here as we have been.
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Unread postby Morg » Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:56 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:Liu Bei worked hard to muster his own forces in the name of restoring the fallen Han empire, didn't he? He may not have "tried hard" by your standards, but he planned for the long term rather than the short term failures experienced by Ma Teng and others.

From my point of view, Liu Bei could have used his forces at an early point to try and stabilise the empire. Admittedly he didn't have a large force, but he could have still protected the emperor rather than letting him be constantly abused. There were plenty of opportunities for Liu Bei to go and help out before Cao Cao became Prime Minister but he didn't take any of them.

Again, it's just my perspective but Liu Bei seems to be more interested in gathering land than actually helping the emperor.



What like how Liu Bei ran away when Xian asked him to help get rid of Cao Cao? Xuande was at the capital when Cao Cao started to assert his authority but began to fear for his own safety and decided to leave. That is not exaclty admirable.


See above.

Sorry but I disagree. Liu Bei, Guan Yu or Zhang Fei could have assassinated Cao Cao very easily while they were all at the capital but none of them acted. Yes, it would have been suicide but it wasn't the only choice. They could have removed the emperor and taken him elsewhere rather than fleeing and leaving him to be oppressed by Mengde. You said that it wasn't his fault that he wasn't around, but in this instance he was in the capital but did nothing to help. By leaving, Liu Bei allowed Cao Cao to amass a huge army and establish a secure power base, so he made matters worse by planning for the long term.



The government official that Liu Bei killed was a corrupt man who treated the people badly. What was Cao Cao's justification for killing men who were close to the emperor? Is the emperor discussing issues of the country with his advisors an immoral crime?

I will consent that there is no defense here. There are some actions that cannot be defended and these fall into that catagory but I think Liu Bei has some of those too.


No, Cao Cao was not helping the emperor reunite the land. He just brushed the emperor aside. Why couldn't he have acted as an advisor to help the emperor? Did he even bother trying to offer advice and the emperor turned a deaf ear to good reason or something? You haven't been able to prove that the emperor was an incapable or corrupt individual who deserved to have the power ripped from him by a man using the guise of "helping the emperor".

The emperor was a child who was given control of the land in a time of chaos. He was clearly incapable of ruling and had no defenders, hence him being kidnapped and dragged around the country. My belief is that the capital had been corrupt for so long (it was well over 10 years) that Cao Cao felt that he needed to take total control in order to reunite the land. What could a child tell Cao Cao about the wars that Mengde was fighting? What possible advice could Xian offer? He had been in power only a short time when he needed Cao Cao's protection and had no experience whatsoever. Perhaps Cao Cao is guilty of not stepping aside when he should have but in his defence, when you are significantly older than someone, you do not always recognise them as having grown into an adult. It is all too easy to see someone as being the young naive individual that you first met....




But Zhuge Liang is a hero for massacring the Nanman (going by SGYY)? Bringing peace to a land at a cost of millions of lives is either justifiable or not.


Those two situations are not even comparable. You would be ignoring the fact that the Nanman started the whole thing, were looting the south and wrecking havoc amongst the citizens down there. Zhuge Liang did not want to kill people unnecessarily, that was obvious. He gave Meng Huo SEVEN chances for negotiation and peaceful resolve, did he not? What was he supposed to do, let the Nanman continue to destroy the south and kill more innocent people? Of course he could have just exectuted Meng Huo and his people the first time, but that would hardly have won the hearts of the south. Zhuge Liang’s goal was to prevent future rebellions and therefore minimize such occurences in the future. Now let's look at Cao Cao. Why did he kill the emperor's officials and family again?

In his quest for peace, how many millions did Kongming kill? Didn't he himself weep because he had massacred Wu Tu Gu's tribe completely and utterly? Didn't the Shu war machine completely ravage the land?:

"King Duo Si was slain in the melee that followed on this attack. The soldiers of Shu moved through the city slaying all they met. Thus was the city captured and with it great booty of jewels, which were made over to the army as a reward for their prowess."

Note there that the Shu soldiers didn't just slay soldiers.

Considering also that the Nanman rebelled again later on, Zhuge Liang's heavy handed smiting of them hardly achieved what it set out to. Zhuge Liang, just like Cao Cao, was presented with situations that called for extreme measures. You say that Kongming is justified in slaughtering millions in a quest for peace and I say that Cao Cao was equally justifed.


Cao Cao didn't even have an army at the beginning of the novel and neither did Liu Bei, yet Cao Cao mustered more opposition than Liu Bei did. The fact that he actually tried says a lot too, as I've already pointed out Liu Bei gave very little support to the emperor even when he was in the capital.


Liu Bei's situation at the very beginning: "At this time the family had sunk deep in poverty, and Liu Bei gained his living by selling straw sandals and weaving grass mats."

First mention of Cao Cao: "The battle continued until dawn. Zhang Lian and Zhang Ba, with a group of flying rebels, found a way of escape. But suddenly a troop of soldiers with crimson banners appeared to oppose them. Their leader was a man of medium stature with small eyes and a long beard. He was Cao Cao, a Beijuo man, holding the rank of Cavalry Commander."

As you can see, the two obviously did not start out on equal footing.

I could have worded my point there an awful lot better. When the rebellion breaks out, Xuande raises an army and it is at that point that Cao Cao arrives on the scene so they both have armies at that moment in time. What I was referring to (but didn't mention at all), was that when Cao Cao was at the capital he did not have a force with him (if he did, they are not mentioned) but at that time, Liu Bei still had a small force. While Cao Cao was leading a resistance effort within the capital (both against the enuchs and Dong Zhuo) without the aid of soldiers, Liu Bei could have provided assistance but didn't.



What like swearing an oath to die on the same day as two guys you've just met? Like invading a well defended kingdom against all advice? As I've pointed out, Liu Bei would bend heaven and Earth for his people but he didn't do very much to help Xian.


I don’t see what the oath deal has anything to do with anything. Liu Bei met two guys who shared his vision, so they became oath brothers. That was not an uncommon practice back then.

Allow me to quote you:
"If committing suicide would have actually helped the emperor, then maybe that would have been the honorable thing to do. Otherwise, it can be considered short-sighted and rather stupid."
My point is that it is also short-sighted and stupid to pledge to commit suicide if it did not help the emperor or bring peace to the land. Liu Bei would not give his life to at least try and aid the emperor but he would give his life for a fugitive and an alcoholic. Liu Bei's oath cemented his own fate later on and he committed many men to death in order to avenge his brothers, men he would not commit to death to save Xian.


Liu Bei couldn't do very much to help Xian, but that doesn't mean he didn't want to.


"Cao Cao rode out pushing past the Emperor and acknowledged the congratulations. They all turned pale. Guan Yu, who was behind Liu Bei, was especially angry. The silkworm eyebrows stood up fiercely, and the red phoenix eyes glared as, sword in hand, he rode hastily forth to cut down the audacious Prime Minister for his impertinence. However, Liu Bei hastily waved him back and shot at him a meaning glance so that Guan Yu stopped and made no further move."

Guan Yu could have solved the problem then and there and would have been justified in his actions because of Cao Cao's impertinence, but yet Liu Bei continued to "plan for the long term" and do nothing at all.


Besides, what exactly did Xian want Liu Bei to do? Even if Liu Bei managed to rescue Xian(yeah, good luck, considering all the men Cao Cao placed around the emperor), then what? The people may not know what exactly is going on in the palace and Cao Cao could easily plant the label of emperor-napper upon Liu Bei. You keep saying that Liu Bei did not try hard enough and was not selfless enough, yet I could say the same for Cao Cao in his attempt to kill Dong Zhuo. What stopped him? Fear of being killed by Lu Bu, right?

No it was fear of not killing Dong Zhuo outright. Zhuo was a very strong man who had held off an armed assassin with his bare hands shortly before hand and Cao Cao hesitated for that reason. In fact:
"He ought to have struck then, but Cao Cao knew Dong Zhuo was very powerful, and he was afraid to act. He wanted to make sure of his blow."

It was likely that Lu Bu would seek retribution anyway as the assassin would have obviously been Mengde, so that is a moot point. Cao Cao had no issue with giving his life, his issue was with failing to so what he had set out to.


If you believe that it’s naïve of people to believe Liu Bei had no other ambitions except to reunite the land under the name of the Han, then I believe it’s just as naïve for one to believe that Cao Cao was just acting in the country’s best interests.


I would like to point out that my original post did say "probably the closest to being legitimate" as I realise that it is subjective. I have always maintained that history isn't as simple as good and evil, SGYY also fits that too as it was 70% fact. I don't begrudge anyone believing that Liu Bei was heroic and noble as long as no-one begrudges my worship of Dong Zhuo :lol:



Zhuge Liang did not just ignore the order. He responded that he was ill.

But on the second day he agreed that we would appear in court and then failed to do so without notice.


The emperor never accused Kongming of not being ill and although he had been worried about the oncoming attacks, there is no indication that he was angry.

"This does not look like acting in the spirit of the charge laid upon him by the late Emperor. Let me go myself." is the quote that makes me wonder. It can be interpreted as Liu Shan being concerned about Kongming's health or being concerned that he is being negligent in his duties. Perhaps both. My own interpretation is that Liu Shan feels Kongming is being negligent, but as I said, it is subjective.


If you’re going to keep claiming that Zhuge Liang was rebellious and corrupt, then I guess Zhang Zhao was as well. After all, Sun Quan was banging on his door for him to come out and yet he refused because he felt disrespected. Later, Sun Quan apologized.

Yeah but didn't he apologise because he burned the guy's house down?


And that’s another difference. Sun Ce entrusted Sun Quan to Zhang Zhao, just as Liu Bei entrusted Liu Shan to Kongming. Who gave Cao Cao the right to control Xian and his affairs?


Let me just clarify: I don't see Kongming as a power mad loon or anything but I do think that he did, on a few occasions, act improperly. He was under a great strain and he knew that Liu Shan was incapable and so he bent the rules a little, nothing wrong with that.

However, my point is that I believe that Cao Cao started out the same way and eventually became corrupted. I believe that if Kongming had lived a further 30 years then he may have started to behave in a way that mirrored Cao Cao. It is speculation on my part, but I feel that very few people instantly abuse power, it all starts as little breaches of the rules.



I think you’re trying to stretch that one event a bit too far in an attempt to cover for all of Cao Cao’s mistreatment of the emperor.
I know I sound like a broken record here, but did Cao Cao honestly believe that he was acting in the emperor’s best interests by oppressing the emperor, killing the empress, the emperor’s sons, and officials?

I don't attempt to defend all of Cao Cao's actions, but I think that he at least started out with good intentions. Remember, Cao Cao was the hero of the era until the uhhhh something-or-other Dynasty (Tang maybe), where Kongming started to gain a cult following. I know that's vague but non-3K Chinese history is not my strong point.





Xian couldn’t kill Cao Cao even if he wanted to. Whose men were around the courts again? The emperor was powerless.

Wasn't that what I said earlier about Cao Cao being the emperor's only option to reunite the country? :wink:


Kongming said that he should be put to death ten thousand times. That’s not even possible. Thus, it can be deduced that they were words of courtesy and respect.

Yes because Kongming knew that he was in the wrong.


How is that abuse of power? It’s not like Liu Shan couldn’t have put Zhuge Liang to death had he truly wanted to. Was Zhuge Liang oppressing him? Nobody forced him to “forgive” Kongming(assuming that he were even angry at all). What the emperor decides to do is law. If he forgives, that’s law. There is no must written anywhere, is there?

Liu Shan wasn't in a position to execute Zhuge Liang. From his point of view there were 5 armies approaching that he didn't know Zhuge Liang had settled, because he didn't know. That also indicates that Zhuge Liang mobilised the Shu army without memorialising the throne, which is also an abuse of power isn't it?

As I said, I'm not trying to compare Kongming and Cao Cao in terms of their mis-deeds, I'm just illustrating how even the noblest of intentions can sometimes be perceived as being not in line with the proper conduct of the time.



No but he was Prime Minister and therefore was in charge.


Who put him in charge? The emperor? Oh wait, the emperor had no power. Never mind.[/quote]
Who else was was a candidate to be the Prime Minister? Yuan Shao? If he'd been offered the position he woulsn't have been able to decide whether to accept or not :lol:



I am trying to establish why it is okay for Liu Bei to ignore a direct order from the Prime Minister but yet Zhuge Liang cannot deny an order from the emperor...unless it is to come to court.


Exactly what part of the novel is this from again?

Chapter 21 paragraph 84-108. Cao Cao sends Liu Bei against Yuan Shu but then changes his mind and sents Xu Chu to recall him. Liu Bei replies:
"When a general has once taken the field, even the royal command is of no effect. I bade farewell to the Emperor, I received the Prime Minister's commands, and there can be nothing further to talk about. You may return forthwith and take that as my reply."


If you really want the big picture, Cao Cao didn’t succeed in uniting the land, so how do we know that had he not aided Xian as a vital advisor or something, what Cao Cao did achieve couldn’t have happened or perhaps even more? Liu Bei was not hiding from Cao Cao. He had to muster up troops and establish a base to be able to do anything to help restore the Han.

Again, that is speculation and up to the reader of SGYY to establish.


By excusing Cao Cao’s actions with speculation about Liu Bei’s does not diminish what Cao Cao did in any way.

Absolutely but isn't this debate about which kingdom was more legitimate than the others? How are we to establish that without comparison? The answer is that it is all in the eye of the beholder; you favour Shu, I favour Wei, it is just personal preference.

All my point is, is that Cao Cao was Prime Minister of the Han. Wu and Shu fought against him, so in simplified form, Wei can be seen as being more legitimate than the other two kingdoms....and yes I am aware that it is not that simple.


Would Shu really have survived just because Qiao Zhou was dead? With an emperor like Liu Shan who was more than willing to give in anyways, I highly doubt it.
Besides, was Jiang Wei even around when Qiao Zhou suggested surrender?

Crap, I meant Huang Hao not Qiao Zhou. I was not referring to the act of suggesting surrendering, I was referring to Huang Hao's interception of Jiang Wei's letters to the throne and constant scheming for his own benefit. What I meant was the Shu would have been still around if Jiang Wei had acted on his own accord and slain Huang Hao.

I didn’t know that you made it clear about not having time anymore. If you want, we can always continue this discussion via IM at our own leisure. Just let me know with a PM or something. If not, feel free to continue responding here as we have been.

No it's fine :D I have more time online than I originally thought I would, so I am happy to continue debating. I just find it ironic that so soon after posting that I can't dedicate much time to the forum, specifically stating that I won't be participating in long debates, I end up in a long debate :lol:
"If you do not turn your back on me, I shall not on you." - Cao Cao to Pang De
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Sun Dec 21, 2003 9:58 pm

Morg wrote:From my point of view, Liu Bei could have used his forces at an early point to try and stabilise the empire. Admittedly he didn't have a large force, but he could have still protected the emperor rather than letting him be constantly abused. There were plenty of opportunities for Liu Bei to go and help out before Cao Cao became Prime Minister but he didn't take any of them.

Again, it's just my perspective but Liu Bei seems to be more interested in gathering land than actually helping the emperor.


I think Liu Bei was mostly interested in restoring the fallen state of Han. I feel that he was not in any position to really save Xian from Cao Cao. If it was so easy, why didn't Xian just escape with his family himself? Just look at how difficult it was for Xian to even be able to communicate with Liu Bei. He had to have a secret message sewn into clothing and even that Cao Cao very thoroughly checked himself and almost discovered it! Now why was Cao Cao so suspicious in the first place? Because he knew that he was in the wrong in his treatment of the emperor and didn't want to take the fall!

Sorry but I disagree. Liu Bei, Guan Yu or Zhang Fei could have assassinated Cao Cao very easily while they were all at the capital but none of them acted. Yes, it would have been suicide but it wasn't the only choice. They could have removed the emperor and taken him elsewhere rather than fleeing and leaving him to be oppressed by Mengde. You said that it wasn't his fault that he wasn't around, but in this instance he was in the capital but did nothing to help. By leaving, Liu Bei allowed Cao Cao to amass a huge army and establish a secure power base, so he made matters worse by planning for the long term.


Could have acted very easily is a very subjective interpretation. I can just as well say that they were in no position to do so. Like I said above, how could they have just removed the emperor? You make it sound so simple, but it was not. He was surrounded by Cao Cao's men and what's to say that a failed attempt wouldn't have cost both Xian's life AND the lives of the three brothers and their men? Then what would have happened to any hope of the Han? By staying, Xuande could do nothing because he had no power. Leaving to gather a more powerful base was his only viable option.

I will consent that there is no defense here. There are some actions that cannot be defended and these fall into that catagory but I think Liu Bei has some of those too.


Speculation about Liu Bei maybe performing such actions does not in any way negate Cao Cao's proven misdeeds.

The emperor was a child who was given control of the land in a time of chaos. He was clearly incapable of ruling and had no defenders, hence him being kidnapped and dragged around the country. My belief is that the capital had been corrupt for so long (it was well over 10 years) that Cao Cao felt that he needed to take total control in order to reunite the land. What could a child tell Cao Cao about the wars that Mengde was fighting? What possible advice could Xian offer? He had been in power only a short time when he needed Cao Cao's protection and had no experience whatsoever. Perhaps Cao Cao is guilty of not stepping aside when he should have but in his defence, when you are significantly older than someone, you do not always recognise them as having grown into an adult. It is all too easy to see someone as being the young naive individual that you first met....


Being a child does not mean that one is incapable of ruling. Kangxi was around 8 years of age when he became emperor. Does that make it justified for people in the court to just take over and take advantage of the situation? If that were the case, then I guess Kangxi should have just let Ao Bai take over and make all the decisions for him??? NO. And it's a good thing that didn't happen, because Kangxi became one of the best emperors in Chinese history, with the guidance of Xiao Zhuang Tai Hou and loyal advisors. There is no reason why Cao Cao could not have advised the young emperor(who was older than 8, given that he was married and had kids) rather than oppressing him and basically taking over himself.

In his quest for peace, how many millions did Kongming kill? Didn't he himself weep because he had massacred Wu Tu Gu's tribe completely and utterly? Didn't the Shu war machine completely ravage the land?

"King Duo Si was slain in the melee that followed on this attack. The soldiers of Shu moved through the city slaying all they met. Thus was the city captured and with it great booty of jewels, which were made over to the army as a reward for their prowess."

Note there that the Shu soldiers didn't just slay soldiers.

Considering also that the Nanman rebelled again later on, Zhuge Liang's heavy handed smiting of them hardly achieved what it set out to. Zhuge Liang, just like Cao Cao, was presented with situations that called for extreme measures. You say that Kongming is justified in slaughtering millions in a quest for peace and I say that Cao Cao was equally justifed.


You're the one who claimed that Zhuge Liang slew millions. Where does it say that he did or is that just a convenient exaggeration? I remember that the member Dian_Wei made a very similar(if not THE same) claim in another thread and I'm curious as to where the two of you came up with such a figure. Zhuge Liang weeped because he had to resort to the fire attack, which killed many people. Again, he never wanted to use that method, but after SEVEN chances, he was justified. How many chances did Cao Cao give the emperor? Who started what or provoked whom? You can't just ignore those very significant factors when comparing the two.
The quote you used was from the novel, and in the novel, the Nanman never rebelled again. Thus, goal achieved. In history, there was another Man rebellion(although not by Meng Huo), but Zhuge Liang never used the fire attack, nor was there any indication that his soldiers took advantage. It's not exactly fair to use directly contradictory parts in presenting the same event, is it?

I could have worded my point there an awful lot better. When the rebellion breaks out, Xuande raises an army and it is at that point that Cao Cao arrives on the scene so they both have armies at that moment in time. What I was referring to (but didn't mention at all), was that when Cao Cao was at the capital he did not have a force with him (if he did, they are not mentioned) but at that time, Liu Bei still had a small force. While Cao Cao was leading a resistance effort within the capital (both against the enuchs and Dong Zhuo) without the aid of soldiers, Liu Bei could have provided assistance but didn't.


My point was to show that Xuande never started out with the same advantage as Cao Cao, so he would not have been as familiar with what was going on in the capital as Cao Cao was. I.e., he wasn't on the "inside track". Liu Bei "could have provided assistance" is very subjective. And just because Cao Cao resisted Dong Zhuo and the eunuchs does not make it okay for him to basically take over when Dong Zhuo was eliminated.

"If committing suicide would have actually helped the emperor, then maybe that would have been the honorable thing to do. Otherwise, it can be considered short-sighted and rather stupid."
My point is that it is also short-sighted and stupid to pledge to commit suicide if it did not help the emperor or bring peace to the land. Liu Bei would not give his life to at least try and aid the emperor but he would give his life for a fugitive and an alcoholic. Liu Bei's oath cemented his own fate later on and he committed many men to death in order to avenge his brothers, men he would not commit to death to save Xian.


I think you misunderstand the pledge. That oath does not mean to commit suicide. I don't know if you've ever heard of Tian Long Ba Bu/Demi Gods Semi Gods by Jin Yong, but there are three heroes who swear brotherhood with the exact oath(like I said, it was quite common) in the story. One of them eventually commit suicide, but the other two don't kill themselves as well, just because of the oath. You can't just take it literally word for word...well, actually, even if you do, "qiu" means "to beg or ask for", so the the three heroes were saying that even if they weren't born at the same time, they asked the heavens to die at the same time. You don't always get what you ask for. :wink: It is an oath of good faith, profound friendship, and loyalty.

"Cao Cao rode out pushing past the Emperor and acknowledged the congratulations. They all turned pale. Guan Yu, who was behind Liu Bei, was especially angry. The silkworm eyebrows stood up fiercely, and the red phoenix eyes glared as, sword in hand, he rode hastily forth to cut down the audacious Prime Minister for his impertinence. However, Liu Bei hastily waved him back and shot at him a meaning glance so that Guan Yu stopped and made no further move."

Guan Yu could have solved the problem then and there and would have been justified in his actions because of Cao Cao's impertinence, but yet Liu Bei continued to "plan for the long term" and do nothing at all.


Sure it's easy to say that Guan Yu could have "solved the problem", but what's to say that Cao Cao wouldn't have taken the emperor hostage or something? What if the emperor was killed as well? Cao Cao's people could easily have blamed it upon Guan Yu, Liu Bei, etc. After all, most of the folk watching the hunt were not close enough to see Cao Cao's disrespect towards the emperor and could easily have blamed the wrong guy. Archers would have been justified in shooting Yunchang because imagine him charging at Cao Cao...how easily could it have been misinterpreted by onlookers as charging at the emperor instead?

No it was fear of not killing Dong Zhuo outright. Zhuo was a very strong man who had held off an armed assassin with his bare hands shortly before hand and Cao Cao hesitated for that reason. In fact:
"He ought to have struck then, but Cao Cao knew Dong Zhuo was very powerful, and he was afraid to act. He wanted to make sure of his blow."

It was likely that Lu Bu would seek retribution anyway as the assassin would have obviously been Mengde, so that is a moot point. Cao Cao had no issue with giving his life, his issue was with failing to so what he had set out to.


Dong Zhuo was asleep. Using the very quote that you provided, it says that Cao Cao "ought to have struck then..." What stopped him, but his own doubts and fears? I don't think you can say that Cao Cao had no issue with giving his own life; he obviously did. He did fail in what he had set out to do, yet he tolerated that issue just fine. With Lu Bu's character, Cao Cao could have easily won him over by offering him rank and riches after his escape. It didn't take Dong Zhuo much to get Lu Bu to kill his former "father" Ding Yuan, now did it?

I would like to point out that my original post did say "probably the closest to being legitimate" as I realise that it is subjective. I have always maintained that history isn't as simple as good and evil, SGYY also fits that too as it was 70% fact. I don't begrudge anyone believing that Liu Bei was heroic and noble as long as no-one begrudges my worship of Dong Zhuo :lol:


It's a very subjective issue. There's a reason why historians have debated it for years(I think). :lol:
Dong Zhuo's deeds are not in question here, so by all means, worship him as you please. :lol:

But on the second day he agreed that we would appear in court and then failed to do so without notice.


"It began to grow late, and many of them were tired of waiting, and the crowd dispersed." What's to say he wouldn't have come out later? :wink:

"This does not look like acting in the spirit of the charge laid upon him by the late Emperor. Let me go myself." is the quote that makes me wonder. It can be interpreted as Liu Shan being concerned about Kongming's health or being concerned that he is being negligent in his duties. Perhaps both. My own interpretation is that Liu Shan feels Kongming is being negligent, but as I said, it is subjective.


Please reread the passage carefully. Liu Shan never said that.

Yeah but didn't he apologise because he burned the guy's house down?


No, Sun Quan did not burn his house down. Sun Quan did set fire to his door because Zhang Zhao refused to come out and was feigning illness, though. :P He was angry that Zhongmou did not heed his advice. Sun Quan did later admit his guilt and apologize profusely. How you want to interpret that is your choice. However, I do not believe that Zhang Zhao was corrupt.

Let me just clarify: I don't see Kongming as a power mad loon or anything but I do think that he did, on a few occasions, act improperly. He was under a great strain and he knew that Liu Shan was incapable and so he bent the rules a little, nothing wrong with that.


Cao Cao did more than just "bend the rules", and much of it had nothing to do with helping the country.

However, my point is that I believe that Cao Cao started out the same way and eventually became corrupted. I believe that if Kongming had lived a further 30 years then he may have started to behave in a way that mirrored Cao Cao. It is speculation on my part, but I feel that very few people instantly abuse power, it all starts as little breaches of the rules.


I have to strongly disagree here. Zhuge Liang served the Liu family for 27 years and Liu Shan specifically for 12. He in no way was corrupt or behaved like Cao Cao and I deeply resent your even suggesting that he would have eventually sunk to that level given another 30 years. :wink:


I don't attempt to defend all of Cao Cao's actions, but I think that he at least started out with good intentions. Remember, Cao Cao was the hero of the era until the uhhhh something-or-other Dynasty (Tang maybe), where Kongming started to gain a cult following. I know that's vague but non-3K Chinese history is not my strong point.


I remember Mao Zedong started out with good intentions as well. :lol: Cao Cao was the hero of the era? I guess that explains why the people wanted to have shrines built for Zhuge Liang immediately after his death. LGZ's novel had nothing to do with it. <------- note that I'm not saying that you said it, but I'm just saying. :P


Wasn't that what I said earlier about Cao Cao being the emperor's only option to reunite the country? :wink:


Cao Cao forced that option onto the emperor.

Yes because Kongming knew that he was in the wrong.


Wrong or not, he repented. That doesn't show how he was corrupt.

Liu Shan wasn't in a position to execute Zhuge Liang. From his point of view there were 5 armies approaching that he didn't know Zhuge Liang had settled, because he didn't know. That also indicates that Zhuge Liang mobilised the Shu army without memorialising the throne, which is also an abuse of power isn't it?


You're assuming that Liu Shan wanted Zhuge Liang dead in the first place. Xian obviously was oppressed enough that he wanted Cao Cao dead, but was made too powerless to do anything. I don't think what Zhuge Liang did was abuse of power. Liu Bei told him to take the throne himself if necessary, did he not? Zhuge Liang settled the attacks that he knew the emperor wanted him to deal with anyways. That is very different from controlling the armies to do whatever the hell he wanted to do, or controlling the emperor and not caring at all about what the latter wanted.

As I said, I'm not trying to compare Kongming and Cao Cao in terms of their mis-deeds, I'm just illustrating how even the noblest of intentions can sometimes be perceived as being not in line with the proper conduct of the time.


Yes, I know, but degree of misconduct must be taken into account here. Otherwise, scratching someone, stabbing someone, and killing someone could all be excused with the same reasoning.

Who else was was a candidate to be the Prime Minister? Yuan Shao? If he'd been offered the position he woulsn't have been able to decide whether to accept or not :lol:


Does the emperor get any say in this? :lol:

Chapter 21 paragraph 84-108. Cao Cao sends Liu Bei against Yuan Shu but then changes his mind and sents Xu Chu to recall him. Liu Bei replies:
"When a general has once taken the field, even the royal command is of no effect. I bade farewell to the Emperor, I received the Prime Minister's commands, and there can be nothing further to talk about. You may return forthwith and take that as my reply."


Did Cao Cao ask the emperor if he could call Liu Bei back? The difference here is that Cao Cao had his own reasons to call Liu Bei back and Liu Bei knew it. Cao Cao had taken the advice of Guo Jia and Cheng Yu, who wanted to keep Liu Bei "caged". The emperor wanted Liu Bei to be a free bird and build a powerful base in order to restore the Han. This in fact further proves that Liu Bei, through no fault of his own, could do very little while at the capital. Cheng Yu later says: "This refusal to return means enmity". Now if Liu Bei's reply was truly law, then Cheng Yu's statement cannot really be substantiated.

Absolutely but isn't this debate about which kingdom was more legitimate than the others? How are we to establish that without comparison? The answer is that it is all in the eye of the beholder; you favour Shu, I favour Wei, it is just personal preference.


Right, but to just keep saying that Liu Bei was not perfect either or whatever is not exactly using any real substance to compare him to Cao Cao. It's like saying um, name, name...Tommy killed ten men, then saying well, Jimmy's not a saint either. Jill backstabbed her friend, but um...Janet's not perfect either! What exactly do such reasonings prove? Do they justify Tommy's and Jill's actions?

All my point is, is that Cao Cao was Prime Minister of the Han. Wu and Shu fought against him, so in simplified form, Wei can be seen as being more legitimate than the other two kingdoms....and yes I am aware that it is not that simple.


Liu Bei was the Imperial Uncle and a descendent of the royal line. In that form, he was much more legit than Cao Cao.

Crap, I meant Huang Hao not Qiao Zhou. I was not referring to the act of suggesting surrendering, I was referring to Huang Hao's interception of Jiang Wei's letters to the throne and constant scheming for his own benefit. What I meant was the Shu would have been still around if Jiang Wei had acted on his own accord and slain Huang Hao.


If Jiang Wei had killed Huang Hao, that would have been great. However, let's look at the possible repercussions. Liu Shan loved Huang Hao; he believed that Huang Hao was just an innocent little eunuch, so what do you think he would have thought of Jiang Wei had Jiang Wei killed him? The emperor would have developed deep distrust towards Jiang Wei. Jiang Wei was not exactly the most popular guy in Shu, so what's to say that other people wouldn't have taken this opportunity to slander Jiang Wei and further corrupt Liu Shan's trains of thought?

No it's fine :D I have more time online than I originally thought I would, so I am happy to continue debating. I just find it ironic that so soon after posting that I can't dedicate much time to the forum, specifically stating that I won't be participating in long debates, I end up in a long debate :lol:


Suit yourself! :P
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Lady Zhuge
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Unread postby Morg » Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:52 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote: Now why was Cao Cao so suspicious in the first place? Because he knew that he was in the wrong in his treatment of the emperor and didn't want to take the fall!


Cao Cao became suspicious that there was a plot to assassinate him and so he investigated it, I don't think that indicates that he knew he was in the wrong.


Could have acted very easily is a very subjective interpretation. I can just as well say that they were in no position to do so. Like I said above, how could they have just removed the emperor? You make it sound so simple, but it was not. He was surrounded by Cao Cao's men and what's to say that a failed attempt wouldn't have cost both Xian's life AND the lives of the three brothers and their men? Then what would have happened to any hope of the Han? By staying, Xuande could do nothing because he had no power. Leaving to gather a more powerful base was his only viable option.

I still don't buy it, I'm afraid. I don't see how anyone can see Cao Cao amassing power and defeating warlord after warlord and think "Gee, I know, I'll leave him alone for ages until he's even more powerful and then I'll try and beat him!" unless they are chronically short-sighted. Liu Bei was probably in the best position possible when he was at the capital, leaving Cao Cao to his own devices only made Xian and Xuande's position so much worse. Admittedly, Liu Bei was not able to see the future but it was fairly obvious that Cao Cao would obtain even more power and land.



Speculation about Liu Bei maybe performing such actions does not in any way negate Cao Cao's proven misdeeds.

I didn't say it did, I was simply pointing out that your hero is also flawed :P Your arguement revolves around Wei not being a legitimate continuation of the Han because Cao Cao oppressed the emperor and did some horrible things. I am pointing out that Liu Bei did horrible things too, but mis-deeds do not make a kingdom illigitimate.



There is no reason why Cao Cao could not have advised the young emperor(who was older than 8, given that he was married and had kids) rather than oppressing him and basically taking over himself.

Have you not read what happened to Shu? :wink: As I have said before, I think that Cao Cao initially worked with the emperor's interests at heart and then got carried away. You obviously disagree and you are welcome to, but I really think that it would have been disastrous for Xian to have final say.


You're the one who claimed that Zhuge Liang slew millions. Where does it say that he did or is that just a convenient exaggeration?I remember that the member Dian_Wei made a very similar(if not THE same) claim in another thread and I'm curious as to where the two of you came up with such a figure.

It is admittedly guesswork on my part. Meng Huo's initial force is recorded in SGYY as one hundred thousand, so if each force he led against Shu featured that many warriors then you're looking at 700,000 warriors who were defeated by Shu. Add to that, civilian casualties (as previously quoted) and you get a pretty high number. Admittedly, millions was probably overstating (I thought the inital force was 200,000 and worked it out from there) but the number is probably around one million.


Zhuge Liang weeped because he had to resort to the fire attack, which killed many people. Again, he never wanted to use that method, but after SEVEN chances, he was justified.

You seriously think that he was justified in that attack?



The quote you used was from the novel, and in the novel, the Nanman never rebelled again. Thus, goal achieved. In history, there was another Man rebellion(although not by Meng Huo), but Zhuge Liang never used the fire attack, nor was there any indication that his soldiers took advantage. It's not exactly fair to use directly contradictory parts in presenting the same event, is it?

Yeah but my knowledge isn't as good as yours and you keep quoting stuff I don't know, so how am I supposed to defend myself without a little cheating? ;) To be fair, I thought the Nanman had revolted in the novel afterwards, but in fact it was before Zhuge "settled" the south and I didn't realise that until after my post. I know that historically they rebelled twice, but as you said that isn't fair to use.


Cao Cao resisted Dong Zhuo and the eunuchs does not make it okay for him to basically take over when Dong Zhuo was eliminated.

Once Dong Zhuo and his followers were out of the way, there wasn't anyone else to help Xian out. Cao Cao could have left him to it, but he didn't. Cao stayed with Xian and helped with affairs. Yes, he went too far, but who else could have helped Xian at the time? With the capital in pieces, someone had to take charge...



I think you misunderstand the pledge. That oath does not mean to commit suicide. I don't know if you've ever heard of Tian Long Ba Bu/Demi Gods Semi Gods by Jin Yong, but there are three heroes who swear brotherhood with the exact oath(like I said, it was quite common) in the story. One of them eventually commit suicide, but the other two don't kill themselves as well, just because of the oath. You can't just take it literally word for word...well, actually, even if you do, "qiu" means "to beg or ask for", so the the three heroes were saying that even if they weren't born at the same time, they asked the heavens to die at the same time. You don't always get what you ask for. :wink: It is an oath of good faith, profound friendship, and loyalty.

I know that the oath isn't supposed to be literal, but on many occasions after Guan Yu and Zhang Fei's deaths, Xuande talks about not being able to go on because of his oath. He seems to feel that he is breaking the oath by still living but can justify his existence until he gets revenge for his brothers.


Sure it's easy to say that Guan Yu could have "solved the problem", but what's to say that Cao Cao wouldn't have taken the emperor hostage or something? What if the emperor was killed as well?

I don't see it as being likely (although obviously, I wasn't there). Guan Yu would have surprised Cao Cao so I don't see how Mengde could have taken a hostage in that timeframe.


Cao Cao's people could easily have blamed it upon Guan Yu, Liu Bei, etc. After all, most of the folk watching the hunt were not close enough to see Cao Cao's disrespect towards the emperor and could easily have blamed the wrong guy. Archers would have been justified in shooting Yunchang because imagine him charging at Cao Cao...how easily could it have been misinterpreted by onlookers as charging at the emperor instead?

Again, it's subjective. The novel stated that all gathered turned pale at Cao Cao's impertinence so presumably there were a great number of witnesses to Cao Cao's error....



Dong Zhuo was asleep.

No he wasn't:
"Now Dong Zhuo's corpulence was such that he could not remain long sitting, so he rolled over couch and lay face inwards. "Now is the time," thought the assassin, and he gripped the good sword firmly. But just as Cao Cao was going to strike, Dong Zhuo happened to look up and in a mirror he saw the reflection of Cao Cao behind him with a sword in the hand."

Dong Zhuo was awake and Cao Cao knew his strike had to be fatal.



Using the very quote that you provided, it says that Cao Cao "ought to have struck then..." What stopped him, but his own doubts and fears? I don't think you can say that Cao Cao had no issue with giving his own life; he obviously did. He did fail in what he had set out to do, yet he tolerated that issue just fine. With Lu Bu's character, Cao Cao could have easily won him over by offering him rank and riches after his escape. It didn't take Dong Zhuo much to get Lu Bu to kill his former "father" Ding Yuan, now did it?

You're missing the point. As you have said previously, it is stupid to give your life for no reason, and that is exactly what Cao Cao would have been doing if his blow had not killed Dong Zhuo outright. Let's look at the two outcomes here:

1. Cao Cao strikes Dong Zhuo down, Lu Bu seeks revenge on Mengde, Cao Cao is either killed or bribes Lu Bu and lives.

2. Cao Cao fails to kill Dong Zhuo and a struggle ensues. Lu Bu returns to find Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao fighting, Lu Bu kills Cao Cao. Dong Zhuo continues to rule the capital with only one difference: No Cao Cao.

Seriously, if you were Cao Cao, which option would you take?


Dong Zhuo's deeds are not in question here, so by all means, worship him as you please. :lol:

Hooray! :D


But on the second day he agreed that we would appear in court and then failed to do so without notice.


"It began to grow late, and many of them were tired of waiting, and the crowd dispersed." What's to say he wouldn't have come out later? :wink:

Ah come on, you know as well as I do that isn't the case ;)



"This does not look like acting in the spirit of the charge laid upon him by the late Emperor. Let me go myself." is the quote that makes me wonder. It can be interpreted as Liu Shan being concerned about Kongming's health or being concerned that he is being negligent in his duties. Perhaps both. My own interpretation is that Liu Shan feels Kongming is being negligent, but as I said, it is subjective.


Please reread the passage carefully. Liu Shan never said that.

I copied and pasted that from threekingdoms, so I think Liu Shan did (in their translation at least).


No, Sun Quan did not burn his house down. Sun Quan did set fire to his door because Zhang Zhao refused to come out and was feigning illness, though. :P

I knew that Quan had committed arson, I just didn't remember the exact details :D


I deeply resent your even suggesting that he would have eventually sunk to that level given another 30 years. :wink:

I wonder why you resent that.... ;)




Cao Cao was the hero of the era? I guess that explains why the people wanted to have shrines built for Zhuge Liang immediately after his death. LGZ's novel had nothing to do with it. <------- note that I'm not saying that you said it, but I'm just saying. :P

Now I am sure that I've read an essay by someone (Jon Wu, Sean Williams, Rafe or someone) about how Shu were not considered to be the heroes of the Three Kingdoms until much later (late Jin or early...uh the next dynasty)....


Yes because Kongming knew that he was in the wrong.


Wrong or not, he repented. That doesn't show how he was corrupt.

Or because he wanted to keep his head...


As I said, I'm not trying to compare Kongming and Cao Cao in terms of their mis-deeds, I'm just illustrating how even the noblest of intentions can sometimes be perceived as being not in line with the proper conduct of the time.


Yes, I know, but degree of misconduct must be taken into account here. Otherwise, scratching someone, stabbing someone, and killing someone could all be excused with the same reasoning.

Absolutely, but I think that in Kongming we saw the first cracks that we never got to see in Cao Cao.

Who else was was a candidate to be the Prime Minister? Yuan Shao? If he'd been offered the position he wouldn't have been able to decide whether to accept or not :lol:


Does the emperor get any say in this? :lol:

He didn't but who could he have picked? Cao Cao, Yuan Shao, Liu Bang or...uh a rock? :lol: Cao Cao was the only option and gave himself the title, which may not be the honourable thing to do, but let's face it, he would have gotten the title anyway.


The difference here is that Cao Cao had his own reasons to call Liu Bei back and Liu Bei knew it.

So that makes it okay for him to disobey the Prime Minister of the Han?


Cao Cao had taken the advice of Guo Jia and Cheng Yu, who wanted to keep Liu Bei "caged". The emperor wanted Liu Bei to be a free bird and build a powerful base in order to restore the Han. This in fact further proves that Liu Bei, through no fault of his own, could do very little while at the capital.

I'm sorry but I don't see how. Where in SGYY does it say that the emperor wanted Liu Bei to leave? I know Liu Bei got scared by Cao Cao's talk of heroes, then got worried about Zhao Yun and finally asked Cao Cao if he could attack Yuan Shu. The emperor didn't order Xuande to attack Yuan Shu, Xuande suggested it to Cao Cao.


Cheng Yu later says: "This refusal to return means enmity". Now if Liu Bei's reply was truly law, then Cheng Yu's statement cannot really be substantiated.[/quote ]
I disagree. I think that Cheng Yu knew that ordinarily the army would return despite the law but Liu Bei used the law as a reason to escape. It wasn't a literal thing but an observation by Cheng Yu.


All my point is, is that Cao Cao was Prime Minister of the Han. Wu and Shu fought against him, so in simplified form, Wei can be seen as being more legitimate than the other two kingdoms....and yes I am aware that it is not that simple.


Liu Bei was the Imperial Uncle and a descendent of the royal line. In that form, he was much more legit than Cao Cao.

I still question Liu Bei's ancestry. I've re-read the SGZ quote and there is no mention of how he is related to Liu Sheng, it just says that he was descended from Liu Shengs son. That could mean that he was directly related or a 3rd cousin four times removed :lol: Even the notes in his bio (which I've finally managed to access) don't explain the connection.



If Jiang Wei had killed Huang Hao, that would have been great. However, let's look at the possible repercussions. Liu Shan loved Huang Hao; he believed that Huang Hao was just an innocent little eunuch, so what do you think he would have thought of Jiang Wei had Jiang Wei killed him? The emperor would have developed deep distrust towards Jiang Wei. Jiang Wei was not exactly the most popular guy in Shu, so what's to say that other people wouldn't have taken this opportunity to slander Jiang Wei and further corrupt Liu Shan's trains of thought?

What if Jiang Wei had taken a page out of Cao Cao's book and orchestrated it properly so that Liu Shan would have seen reason?
"If you do not turn your back on me, I shall not on you." - Cao Cao to Pang De
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