Anyone Interested In Cao Cao?

Aug 2015
1,888
Los Angeles
I always find it difficult to rank people because they are all good and it's hard to judge. Overall I would say due to the amount of time spent warring the 3K period are more innovated due to more opportunity and the kind of free for all madness prompted more people to step up. Like the top Han generals were like Han Xin, Wei Qing, Huo Qubing, Zhao Chongguo. Now in terms of brilliance, I would say Zhou Yu was very much like Han Xin, in terms of just a rapid movement and fighting Sun Jian is very like Huo Qubing, in terms of steadiness, Sima Yi is pretty steady like Wei Qing, and in terms of well rounded capability in governance, command, logistics, and training and drilling Cao Cao was very much like a Zhao Chongguo. So I don't think you can say the 3K period are outclassed.

It's just the people who command the 3K era armies don't really have the opportunity to command the way like Bai Qi or Han Xin did and also their opponents are much different from each other, so it's easier to say that the background for these guys allow for a better showing than 3K.
 
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Sep 2019
21
UK
Yah that doesn't make sense because how does Zhuge Liang manipulate the emperor?

And the thing about Zhuge Liang was he COULD control the entire state if he wanted to, he had legitimate authority as the Intendant, but he didn't. He delegated the power to the young emperor who by no means should interfere in the matters of state. That's standard Han policy.

Zhuge Liang's control is one of legitimacy, as the Intendant. Cao Cao's control is very much like Dong's, through martial might. Cao Cao control the court by having a military control over the court. Zhuge's control of the court is by everyone believing he had legitimate power.

To say they are following the same patterns means you are ignoring how both of them achieve their power, and also you are ignoring the political reality on the ground for the Han bureaucracy.
What I'm trying to get at is that Zhuge Liang, not being a military leader, uses more subtle forms of manipulation.
He follows the policy exactly but it's all a facade. He's trying to play Liu Shan, along with everyone else.
Everyone believing he has legitimate power (And there some like Wei Yan who believed he didn't) is exactly the impression he wants. He focuses more on deception rather than intimidation but it's manipulation all the same.

He could control it and he is, he just isn't showing it.
Everything goes through him to act upon as he pleases, not because he's set up any law but because he's made everyone so convinced that Liu Bei and his son can't succeed without his intervention into just about everything. It's all psychological. He allows Liu Shan to have his way and make a fool of himself so people will look to him for advice.
 
Sep 2019
21
UK
In general, people consider He Jin is a far more favorable view than most of the consort-kins of the time. I don't think anyone thought about Emperor Ling or Shao were corrupted by He Jin.

I don't know what you mean by local leading officials as many prominent people in the later period would all serve under He Jin. Like if you want to grab a random leader of any faction, he probably served He Jin at one point or another.

Wang Yun was serving under He Jin at the time, he was in retirement and was recruited by He Jin.
They served under him, yes, doesn't mean they liked him.
He was common-born. A lot of people weren't happy about being commanded by such a man.
Empress He did carry out some corrupt practices and it's natural that would have given He Jin a bad name whether he was involved in them or not
 
Aug 2015
1,888
Los Angeles
They served under him, yes, doesn't mean they liked him.
He was common-born. A lot of people weren't happy about being commanded by such a man.
Empress He did carry out some corrupt practices and it's natural that would have given He Jin a bad name whether he was involved in them or not
Listen, no one knows who likes who. It's hard to tell. What I said was they like him more than they like other consort-kins.

Then, about people unhappy about being commanded by him, you want to show us some reasoning or sources?

And then what you said was the EMPEROR WAS CORRUPTED BY HE JIN. OK. I reject that claim. It was ridiculous.

Then you want to talk about the actual corrupt practice and how it affected people's view of He Jin?

People generally don't consider him to be smart, wise, or capable. I don't see many complaints about his character. You are specifically addressing He Jin's character, like how you were specifically addressing Zhuge Liang's character.

It's fine if you want to do that, but the logic behind it must be coherent.
 
Aug 2015
1,888
Los Angeles
\
Everyone believing he has legitimate power (And there some like Wei Yan who believed he didn't) is exactly the impression he wants. He focuses more on deception rather than intimidation but it's manipulation all the same.

He could control it and he is, he just isn't showing it.
Everything goes through him to act upon as he pleases, not because he's set up any law but because he's made everyone so convinced that Liu Bei and his son can't succeed without his intervention into just about everything. It's all psychological. He allows Liu Shan to have his way and make a fool of himself so people will look to him for advice.
Jesus. You come here for advice, I told you what an Imperial Secretariat do, who controls the Imperial Secretariat, and how that is actually the agreed-upon legitimate power since the later Han period.

Then I told you Zhuge Liang was made the Intendant of the Imperial Secretariat, which means he literately has it. He literately has the legitimate authority of imperial power as the Intendant, and you are going on about because you think people perceive or was deceived into thinking he has power?

What are you even talking about?

I literately told you he control the government because that's how the Han government is set up to function with the regent.

Let me emphasis on this.

ZHUGE LIANG IS LEGALLY THE GUARDIAN OF THE EMPEROR, HE IS LEGALLY THE INTENDANT OF THE MASTER OF WRITING (OR THE CONTROL OF THE IMPERIAL SECRETARIAT) WHO HAS LEGAL POWER IN GOVERNING THE EMPIRE ON BEHALF OF THE EMPEROR. THIS IS A POWER SET UP SINCE THE TIME OF WUDI IN THE PREVIOUS HAN, AND CONTINUED ALL THE WAY UP TILL LINGDI'S TIME. THIS IS THE HAN TRADITION. THAT'S HOW THING IS SUPPOSE TO WORK. THAT'S ZHUGE LIANG'S JOB. HIS JOB IS TO RUN THE EMPIRE. THAT'S HIS GOD DAMN JOB. HE ISN'T DECEIVING ANYONE, NO ONE IS BEEN DECEIVED. THAT'S THE JOB LIU BEI GAVE HIM. THAT'S HIS JOB.

Get it through your head.
 
Feb 2018
235
US
I always find it difficult to rank people because they are all good and it's hard to judge. Overall I would say due to the amount of time spent warring the 3K period are more innovated due to more opportunity and the kind of free for all madness prompted more people to step up. Like the top Han generals were like Han Xin, Wei Qing, Huo Qubing, Zhao Chongguo. Now in terms of brilliance, I would say Zhou Yu was very much like Han Xin, in terms of just a rapid movement and fighting Sun Jian is very like Huo Qubing, in terms of steadiness, Sima Yi is pretty steady like Wei Qing, and in terms of well rounded capability in governance, command, logistics, and training and drilling Cao Cao was very much like a Zhao Chongguo. So I don't think you can say the 3K period are outclassed.

It's just the people who command the 3K era armies don't really have the opportunity to command the way like Bai Qi or Han Xin did and also their opponents are much different from each other, so it's easier to say that the background for these guys allow for a better showing than 3K.
Thanks!
 
Sep 2019
21
UK
Listen, no one knows who likes who. It's hard to tell. What I said was they like him more than they like other consort-kins.

Then, about people unhappy about being commanded by him, you want to show us some reasoning or sources?

And then what you said was the EMPEROR WAS CORRUPTED BY HE JIN. OK. I reject that claim. It was ridiculous.

Then you want to talk about the actual corrupt practice and how it affected people's view of He Jin?

People generally don't consider him to be smart, wise, or capable. I don't see many complaints about his character. You are specifically addressing He Jin's character, like how you were specifically addressing Zhuge Liang's character.

It's fine if you want to do that, but the logic behind it must be coherent.
No, I didn't say He Jin corrupted the Emperor, I said that's the sentiment the other leaders figure have. They don't trust him.
They might prefer him to other Imperial in-laws but that's not saying much.

I realise there's little reasoning or sources to what people thought about something or someone. That's why I'm here for advice.
I'm looking to see what interpretations of people's motivations and ambitions are likely or credible. I want to present a different way of looking at them but I don't want to stretch it too far.

What I'm presenting is the idea that the army commanders weren't fond of He Jin due to his background, his lack of proper experience and his sister's actions, but they preferred him by miles to his enemies, the Eunuchs.
To ensure He Jin cannot take the place of the Eunuchs immediately after killing them, Yuan Shao and Wang Yun summon Dong Zhuo to the capital to match He Jin's authority. The plan is that the two regents, both related in some way to the Emperor, will find themselves in a political stalemate too late in the game to cause another schism. It'll just be them alone against each other with the other lords doing their job, advising the young emperor and governing the realm.
This backfires horribly as He Jin's killed before the Eunuchs are and Dong Zhuo takes their place. And unlike He Jin, neither they nor the new Emperor are brave enough to try to control him.

This is unrecorded, I realise. I just want to present the idea on this site to see whether it could be considered a credible way of looking at things or at least logical.
The way people might have thought is what I'm pursuing here. There are few recordings or sources to this effect but I want to see, based on what we know now, if my ideas are sensible.
 
Sep 2019
21
UK
Jesus. You come here for advice, I told you what an Imperial Secretariat do, who controls the Imperial Secretariat, and how that is actually the agreed-upon legitimate power since the later Han period.

Then I told you Zhuge Liang was made the Intendant of the Imperial Secretariat, which means he literately has it. He literately has the legitimate authority of imperial power as the Intendant, and you are going on about because you think people perceive or was deceived into thinking he has power?

What are you even talking about?

I literately told you he control the government because that's how the Han government is set up to function with the regent.

Let me emphasis on this.

ZHUGE LIANG IS LEGALLY THE GUARDIAN OF THE EMPEROR, HE IS LEGALLY THE INTENDANT OF THE MASTER OF WRITING (OR THE CONTROL OF THE IMPERIAL SECRETARIAT) WHO HAS LEGAL POWER IN GOVERNING THE EMPIRE ON BEHALF OF THE EMPEROR. THIS IS A POWER SET UP SINCE THE TIME OF WUDI IN THE PREVIOUS HAN, AND CONTINUED ALL THE WAY UP TILL LINGDI'S TIME. THIS IS THE HAN TRADITION. THAT'S HOW THING IS SUPPOSE TO WORK. THAT'S ZHUGE LIANG'S JOB. HIS JOB IS TO RUN THE EMPIRE. THAT'S HIS GOD DAMN JOB. HE ISN'T DECEIVING ANYONE, NO ONE IS BEEN DECEIVED. THAT'S THE JOB LIU BEI GAVE HIM. THAT'S HIS JOB.

Get it through your head.
Look, there's no need to get so fierce.
I realise this is the position he was given.
My idea is that, like Cao Cao, his own ambitions are what's guiding him. He doesn't want to actually rule but he wishes to be the power behind the throne by which he will be the true power behind what he hopes will be the downfall of Cao Cao. And after that, when the Han are restored, people will remember who really saved them. After that, he may either seize the throne or simply carry on as the invisible force behind it.
He never gets that far, of course.

Cao Cao had legal power over the Han. It was given to him by the Emperor. The Emperor had little to no contact with Liu Bei so the stuff about him secretly giving Liu Bei authority to challenge Cao Cao is very likely false.
Cao Cao gained more and more authority over time but, whenever he had the opportunity to seize the throne for himself (Often encouraged by his fellows such as Xiahou Dun, Chen Qun and Huan Jie) he refused.
One can't say Cao Cao refused out of fear of rebellion while Zhuge Liang refused out of loyalty to the Han without presenting the idea of bias. You said yourself, we don't know how people thought.

My aim is to essentially flip the Cao Cao VS Zhuge Liang dynamic.
One is a power-hungry schemer, the other is a heroic, charismatic visionary.
The Zhuge Liang-Good - Cao Cao-Bad theme has been done to death by now and I want to see if I can present from the other end. I want to see how Zhuge Liang could be a presented as an antagonist.
Of course, I wouldn't fit that kind of perspective for every notable point in history but for the Three Kingdoms, whose non-contemporary records are accepted to be biased, I thought I could make this work.

I realise there's no actual proof. It's all speculative. My goal is to examine how these individuals may have thought which there is little proof of.
That's why I'd like advice on whether this interpretation could be seen as credible and coherent, if fictional.
It's meant as a narrative choice and I'd like to know if it's a good one.