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The Virtue of Warlords

Demonic Warrior
Right General
Joined: September 26th, 2009, 12:19 am

October 23rd, 2009, 3:13 pm #1

guys,before going furious at me,remember that liu bei claimed to be from the imperial court.and,as the writer of rotk was a descendant of a shu general,he could lie about liu bei's personality
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Ganheim
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Joined: August 18th, 2008, 7:59 am

October 23rd, 2009, 7:30 pm #2

Besides the default "he's human, no human is ever as much a pansy (er...virtuous) as those Koei characters", look at his decisions while in power: with no real threat to them from the peoples to the south, while they were [i]still at war[/i] he launched the invasion of the Nanman. That move was ambition, not virtue.

Did he have virtues? Sure, I don't think he would've attracted the following he did if he wasn't charismatic and at least overtly "virtuous". However, to try to say he was a pacifist nice guy or anything other than a [i]warlord[/i] would disagree with historical records.

By the way: proper capitalization and grammar is recommended when posting.
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Front Mission fan and supporter of the Front Mission 5: Scars of War fan translation project.

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Wenze
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Wenze
Right General
Joined: July 17th, 2006, 12:54 am

October 23rd, 2009, 10:05 pm #3

It's true, Liu Bei was far from a saint. He betrayed numerous people to get ahead, executed people for petty reasons, and used shaky ties to the Imperial Family to gain followers and get ahead. However, these acts were very much in common with what everyone else was doing. There were no virtuous warlords during the era, save Liu Yu, and we see what happened to him because of it. To get ahead, one needed to use some underhanded methods, because they could be sure that their enemies were definitely going to as well.

The only reason people see Liu Bei as completely virtuous is the novel, which absolutely destroys all of his command and leadership ability to portray him that way.
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Dai Tian
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Joined: October 7th, 2009, 9:03 am

October 24th, 2009, 8:40 am #4

You could argue the main rulers of the kingdoms (Liu Bei, Cao Cao, Sun Quan) were all as virtuous as the times allowed.

Liu Bei probably was a nice guy, and he definitely had the charisma he needed to get to where he ended up. But he was no pacifist or anything like he is in the novel. The little incident where Zhang Fei whips the government official? It was Liu Bei who actually did that. The invasion of Liu Zhang? Liu Bei didn't lament and resist the idea that badly, he just did it. And then there was the whole Jing situation with Sun Quan. He was ambitious, he did what he needed to do to "make it big".

On the flip side of things, he was also a more capable commander than the novel would have you believe. Bowang Pass for example was him and not Zhuge Liang. And if I remember right, he's the only one who took land from Cao Cao after he had established himself. (Lu Bu did it much earlier and it was when Cao Cao was away)
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Kiheiji
Commander
Joined: May 17th, 2009, 11:20 am

October 24th, 2009, 8:53 am #5

Well yes, the novel's Liu Bei is really different than the real one. In the novel, he's "dumb but virtuous and highly morally correct" while he was actually "smart but not always kind".

The novel makes him a guy who couldn't trick a plastic bag, or choosing what to eat without consulting Kongming. Since many people still thinks that the novel is all correct, that's what they imagine about Liu Bei, and that leads to hatred towards Shu (calling them "Kingdom for Whimps" or something).
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Dongzhou
Emperor's Retainer
Dongzhou
Emperor's Retainer
Joined: May 31st, 2008, 9:01 am

October 24th, 2009, 9:01 am #6

[quote=Zhuge Zhan]guys,before going furious at me,remember that liu bei claimed to be from the imperial court.and,as the writer of rotk was a descendant of a shu general,he could lie about liu bei's personality[/quote]Well the SGZ backs him up on the Han lineage despite having good reason to try and attack the claims.

Are you confusing Chen Shou, a former Shu officer and complier of the sgz, with LGZ the writer of the novel? LGZ made a novel, he changed characters personalities. Chen Shou has been widely praised as being impressively neutral and considering he was serving in Jin, would have had more reason to attack Liu Bei's personality then praise it.

The novel personality is of course fake, he was a warlord and no matter how charismatic, such a man would never have got far historically. So he looks a saint but he also comes across as an idiot so balances itself out I guess.

Historically? I don't have any particularly reason to doubt Chen Shou's comments on Liu Bei, the Shu officers knew him better then I. Being a warlord, he backstabbed, he pillaged, he lied, he made some morally dubious executions. He didn't go as far as Quan and Cao Cao for some things and for a warlord, I think there were a lot worse then him but yeah, it doesn't make him a saint.
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Spangler225
First Lieutenant
Joined: August 21st, 2009, 9:19 am

October 24th, 2009, 3:48 pm #7

I think we all forget something,Cao Cao was written to be a man of great cruelness and ambition but you could never have a ruler that was perfect(virtue)it's not in human nature to be completely kind and peace loving.But I mean sure like anyone else Liu Bei had his faults but I mean Zhao Yun was said to have joined him because he was kind and loyal to the Han.So I think history collides with the novel far to often and we have forgotten what and who these people were and we can never really know who was the great hero and the evil tyrant.Really good and evil are never fact but merely perceptions,cultures in past as some of you have said"for the times it was normal".To them and to us good and evil are not the same.So maybe he did all those deeds but to us it seems backhanded and sneaky,but to them he was this great man of virtue.

and i'm not only saying this because he is my favorite ruler :D
"The mighty warriors of Shu will never surrender to the dogs of Wu." (Fu Tong)
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Pride
Emperor's Retainer
Joined: August 24th, 2007, 6:49 pm

October 25th, 2009, 2:27 pm #8

I don't think he was the most vitrue guy in the era, surely he wasn't a tyrant but still, the entire image of him being the good guy and the others being traitors to the Han is absolutely incorrect.

He had things that show up his charisma, that's all. Charisma is a human ability, a talent, can go for both evil and good figures in history it's all a mere tool used to ulitize their ambitions. He used the fact that he's a descenant of Liu Bang as a way get people to support him, shows his charisma yes, but does it PROVE that he's a good guy? Nope.

Let's see, he lied, he backstabbed, he attacked his own family, etc.. YET, everyone in that era was pretty much the same more or less.

Oh and btw, I don't think that Zhao Yun switching sides to Liu Bei proves he was a good man, Dian Wei DIED for Cao Cao and Gan Ning joined Sun from Sun's #1 enemy.
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iluvjrpg
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Joined: October 27th, 2009, 12:14 am

October 31st, 2009, 11:54 pm #9

Shus my favorite kingdom, I honestly think after Guan yu And Zhang fei died Liu bei became very very mean and stubborn if Liu Bei had listened to Zhuge liang and Pang tong more maybe both of them would've lived and shu would've tooken over the land, but also imo I need to say something lots of people don't understand or maybe they do, but if you trick people in war it's not dirty it's war it's all fair when Lu xun used a fire attack on liu bei it wasn't dirty it was just strategy
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Demonic Warrior
Right General
Joined: September 26th, 2009, 12:19 am

November 1st, 2009, 12:41 am #10

pingas,how did your post count got so high?and pang tong was not alive before yi ling(he died during cheng du campaign).and it's not tooken.it's taken
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