Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the by Thomas M. Kane

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 battle and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally innovative swap, and this makes their principles of specific relevance for today’s strategic surroundings. putting those theories in old context, Dr Kane explores historic chinese language reactions to such concerns as advances in army expertise and insurgency and terrorism, offering fascinating comparisons among sleek and historical. The ebook explains the best way trendy chinese language thinkers - comparable to solar Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - handled serious strategic questions. It additionally compares their principles to these of thinkers from different instances and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up quite small print. In concluding, the booklet addresses the query of the way historic chinese language rules may possibly tell modern strategic debates. historical China on Postmodern warfare should be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic experiences, chinese language philosophy and armed forces historical past

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Although this country was to become the kernel of Sinitic civilization, it was much smaller than later Chinese states, occupying only a teardrop-shaped patch of land centred in modern Henan (Rodzinski 1979: 9). The borders of the early Chinese empire fluctuated continually. As a result, peoples whose cultural practices and level of technological development were practically identical to those of the Hsia people first appear in orthodox Chinese accounts as outsiders and barbarians. Later Hsia rulers reputedly succumbed to corruption, moving the virtuous nobleman T’ang to seize power and establish a new imperial dynasty known as the Shang (Sawyer 1993: 390, n.

In a section headed ‘contention’, the I Ching warns ‘it is not beneficial to cross great rivers’ (Zhuge 1989: 14). According to the Chinese moralist Cheng Yi, this saying indicates the importance of caution and preparation (Zhuge 1989: 11, 14). On this basis, Cleary draws connections between I Ching’s injunction and Sun Tzu’s comments on sieges, intelligence and logistics (Zhuge 1989: 14). Cleary concludes ‘the remark that “it is not beneficial to cross great rivers” in contention can also be read as a restatement of the basic principle of ethical contention that distinguishes it from invasive and aggressive action’ (Zhuge 1989: 14).

Heaven, they said, elected or commanded certain men to be rulers over the tribes of the world, and their heirs might continue to exercise the Heaven-sanctioned power for as long as they carried out their religious and administrative duties with piety, wisdom and justice. But if the worth of the ruling family declined, if the rulers turned their backs on the spirits and abandoned the virtuous ways that had originally marked them as worthy of the mandate to rule, then Heaven might discard them and elect a new family or tribe to be the destined rulers of the world.

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