By Thomas M. Kane
Solar Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, financial and army revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring ideas of conflict and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally innovative 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 matters as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, offering fascinating comparisons among smooth and historic. The e-book explains the best way well known chinese language thinkers - reminiscent of solar Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - taken care of severe 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 old chinese language principles could tell modern strategic debates. historic China on Postmodern warfare could be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic reviews, chinese language philosophy and armed forces historical past
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Additional info for Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition
Military activities required from a few days to perhaps three months; the actual battles generally were settled in a single confrontation, although engagements lasting several days have also been recorded. (Sawyer 1993: 4) Warriors in this period used bows, spears and bronze-headed halberds, relying on shields and leather armour for protection (Sawyer 1993: 4). Armies used co-ordinated tactics on the battlefield (Sawyer 1993: 4). This implies that troops practised their skills in peacetime. Traditional Chinese histories claim that Shang-era warriors fought from chariots, although twentieth-century archaeology suggests that the Chinese did not possess these vehicles until the middle of the dynastic period, and did not adapt them to warfare until nearly the end (Sawyer 1993: 4).
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). The emperor imprisoned Wen for this impertinence, but Wen’s relatives bought his freedom with lavish gifts (Sawyer 1993: 26). Wen then returned to his own fiefdom, a small frontier province known as Chou, ostensibly to defend the empire’s borders against barbarians (Sawyer 1993: 26–7).
The young man proved to be as able and virtuous as his father. Following T’ai Kung’s direction, Wu overthrew the Shang emperor and established a new imperial dynasty. Scholars differ about the date when this took place, but estimates range from 1111 BC to 1066 BC (Rodzinski 1979: 17). The Chou rulers presented themselves, not as revolutionaries, but as restorers of China’s ancient moral order. Upon declaring victory, King Wu freed his warhorses and performed other acts to demonstrate that peace had returned to the land (Wilhelm 1929: 106).
Ancient China on Postmodern War: Enduring Ideas from the Chinese Strategic Tradition by Thomas M. Kane