By Thomas Kane

ISBN-10: 0415384796

ISBN-13: 9780415384797

Sun Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, monetary and army revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring ideas of conflict and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally progressive switch, and this makes their rules of specific relevance for today’s strategic surroundings. putting those theories in ancient context, Dr Kane explores old chinese language reactions to such concerns as advances in army expertise and insurgency and terrorism, offering attention-grabbing comparisons among glossy and historical.

The e-book explains the way in which favorite chinese language thinkers - akin to solar Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - taken care of severe strategic questions. It additionally compares their rules to these of thinkers from different occasions and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up relatively details. In concluding, the booklet addresses the query of the way historic chinese language rules could tell modern strategic debates.

Ancient China on Postmodern War may be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic experiences, chinese language philosophy and armed forces history.

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Extra resources for Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies)

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Although Cheng Yi lived more than a thousand years later than either Sun Tzu or the unknown authors of the I Ching, one may speculate that a twelfth-century Chinese moral theorist would have been more sensitive to the nuances of the I Ching and Art of War than a twenty-first century Westerner (de Bary et al. 1960: 395). Nevertheless, those with a background in military history might wonder whether the passages in question have a more prosaic interpretation. Crossing rivers in a literal sense is difficult and dangerous for any army in any historical era.

The reasons for this conservatism went beyond class interest and personal disposition. To the Shang Chinese, government policy overlapped with rituals that kept the land fertile and the mystical energies of the universe in balance. Rulers doubled as priests, and viewed their ceremonial functions as a fundamental part of their role (Rodzinski 1979: 11–12). ‘When a Prince endangers the altars of the spirits of land and grain’, Confucius noted, ‘he is changed and another is appointed in his place’ (Needham and Bray 1984: 1).

As his reign went on, he indulged himself more and more extravagantly, hosting orgies in gardens featuring lakes of wine and forests of hanging meat (Sawyer 1993: Historical background 33 25–6). Chou Hsin paid for these excesses by continually raising taxes (Sawyer 1993: 25). He treated his priestly duties with the same contempt as his earthly ones, and ‘was disrespectful to ghosts and spirits’ (Sawyer 1993: 25). One of Chou Hsin’s vassals, a nobleman named Wen, advised the tyrannical emperor to reform (Sawyer 1993: 26).

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Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies) by Thomas Kane


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