By Thomas Kane
Sun Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, financial and armed forces revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring ideas 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 setting. putting those theories in old context, Dr Kane explores historical chinese language reactions to such matters as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, supplying fascinating comparisons among sleek and old.
The ebook explains the way in which well-liked chinese language thinkers - resembling 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 relatively details. In concluding, the ebook addresses the query of ways historic chinese language rules may possibly tell modern strategic debates.
Ancient China on Postmodern War might be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic reviews, chinese language philosophy and army history.
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Additional info for Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies)
Ancient China on Postmodern War examines Sun Tzu, along with other early Chinese thinkers, in this spirit. In the process, the author finds value in passages that Handel dismisses. Translating ancient Chinese works A book like this one must rely extensively upon ancient manuscripts. Experts differ about the most accurate way to render classical Chinese military concepts into modern English. These differences lead different translators to find significantly different meanings in Chinese works. Arthur Waldron of the US Naval War College notes that one such difference: [B]rings us to one of the fundamental questions about Chinese ‘strategic culture’.
Numerous legends emphasized that rulers should not question divinatory results, or even attempt to verify them. ‘In the Classic of Documents (Shu-ching), the legendary emperor Shun declared ‘In divining, do not repeat an auspicious augury’. Rulers relied on fortune-telling when making decisions on matters including war, religious practice, appointments to official positions, construction of towns and agriculture (Gernet 1972: 46). Shang dynasty rulers also attended to more materialistic political concerns.
The Chou’s methods of achieving power gave those lords more influence than ever, and the new rulers bowed to this fact when they issued their codes of law. The Chou officially acknowledged the feudal system, formally establishing a hierarchy of noble ranks and officially stipulating the rights and obligations owed between lord and vassal (Rodzinski 1979: 20). In the early years of the dynasty, the Chou emperors manipulated this system effectively enough to retain overall control. Sinologist Ralph Sawyer describes their methods: Finally, the Western [early] Chou consolidated their rule through several political and military measures, the most important of which was the enfeoffment of powerful clan members among both allied and dissident states.
Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies) by Thomas Kane