By Thomas M. Kane
Solar Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, monetary and army revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring rules of struggle and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally progressive switch, and this makes their principles of specific relevance for today’s strategic setting. putting those theories in historic context, Dr Kane explores historical chinese language reactions to such concerns as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, supplying fascinating comparisons among smooth and historical. The publication explains the way in which fashionable chinese language thinkers - comparable to solar Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - handled severe strategic questions. It additionally compares their rules to these of thinkers from different occasions and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up quite details. In concluding, the ebook addresses the query of ways historical chinese language rules may tell modern strategic debates. old China on Postmodern battle may be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic experiences, chinese language philosophy and armed forces historical past
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Extra resources for Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition
One notes that this ruler’s ideas echo portions of what Chapter 1 of this book described as the ancient philosophical system of thought. The lord of Liu said, ‘I have heard it said that men at their birth receive the exact principles of heaven and earth, and this is what is called their nature. From that we have the patterns for action, ceremony and deportment, so as to establish this nature. The able nurture these so as to secure good fortune, while those without ability contravene them and earn misfortune …’.
When King Wen asked what he could do to have ‘the ruler honored and the people settled’, T’ai Kung replied ‘just love the people’ (Sawyer 1993: 43). King Wen responded by asking what loving the people meant in practice. T’ai Kung answered ‘profit them’ (Sawyer 1993: 43). T’ai Kung later identified ‘[g]reat agriculture, great industry and great commerce’ as the ‘three treasuries’ of the state (Sawyer 1993: 46). Yet later, when discussing the problem of preserving the state’s territory, he advises King Wen continually to cultivate long-term prosperity as a way of dissipating potential dangers before they take shape and preparing for eventual crises before they emerge.
This will surely bring defeat: to abandon a covenant is unlucky, to cheat a great state unrighteous. ’ (Kierman 1974: 35). As Duke K’ang’s adviser noted, Chinese moralists of this period assumed that both ‘spirits’ and ‘men’ would enforce the moral order. Historical anecdotes frequently suggest that fate, if not supernatural beings, contrives to punish dishonourable behaviour. ‘He who betrays his word is sure to suffer for it’, asserted one Chou period minister, ‘You need have no concern over this’ (Kierman 1974: 39).
Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition by Thomas M. Kane