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The king who made war illegal

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The King Who Made War Illegal! Challenging the Official History of The
Art of War and the First Emperor
There are twogreat...

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The Child Who Made War Illegal
QinShi Huang succeededinconsolidatingstatesthathadbeenengagedinabrutal war for generations....

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such as the widespreadbelief thatwarwasnatural and unavoidable.Theywere promptedtoimagine a
time where stateslivedinharmon...

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The king who made war illegal

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Qin Shi Huang - first emperor of China - ended the period of the Warring States and founded an empire based on peace.

Qin Shi Huang - first emperor of China - ended the period of the Warring States and founded an empire based on peace.

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The king who made war illegal

  1. 1. The King Who Made War Illegal! Challenging the Official History of The Art of War and the First Emperor There are twogreat mysteriesaboutthe lifeof QinShi Huang,FirstEmperorof China—andagrand conspiracy.Andthese tightlyrelatedeventsare of profoundsignificanceextendingwaybeyondthe bordersof China. The young prince whowas far removedfromthe upperreachesof royal successioninthe state of Qin probablydidn'tsee himself becomingfounderandemperorof China.Butthere were those whosawin himsuch a destiny.A meetingthatwashardlydue tochance broughttogetherthatprince anda man namedLü Pu-wei.Throughcareful nurturing,courtintrigue andagreatdeal of luck(includingthe untimelydeathof seniormembersof the royal family) the youngprince Chengassumedthe throne of the Qin Kingdomatage 13. Nowthat was remarkable enough,butwhocouldhave imaginedthatthis youngman would,ina mere twenty-six years,endthe 200-yearlong"WarringStatesperiod"andfound a nation? Ancient terra cotta statues. (Credit: BigStockPhoto)
  2. 2. The Child Who Made War Illegal QinShi Huang succeededinconsolidatingstatesthathadbeenengagedinabrutal war for generations. He establishedanewnational capital andsystemof government(still inplace today) andcancelledall militaryandreligiousprivileges.The new nation,whicheliminatedfeudalismcenturiesbeforesucha thingwas evendreamedpossible inEurope,made competence the solerequirementforemployment and advancement.Privilegesthatemanatedfrommilitarypowerorreligiousinfluencewere eliminated. In the newnationrule bylaw,equalityandmostimportantly - peace - were firmlyestablished.QinShi Huang made war illegal. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang ( Public Domain ) How didthe youngking,injusta fewshortyearsfindouthow to endwar and founda nationbuilton peace,andmake that happen?The kingwas firmlycommittedtothe bestrule ingovernance:surround yourself withthe mostcompetentadvisorsandadministratorsyoucanfind.Hiscourt identifiedthe best mindsthroughoutAsia. Theywere broughtto Qinwhere he hadestablishedaseriesof academiesdedicatedtolearningand advancement.He gave the academyscholarsanincredible challenge.He toldthemhe wantedtoend war— forever.Andhe wantedtobuildaunifiedChinathatwouldlast— forever. Persuaders of Peace The scholarsworkedlongand hard.In time,theydiscoveredafundamental principle thatwe donot recognize tothisday:"Peace,"theysaid,"cannotbe made out of war. Peace can onlybe realized throughpeaceful means." Havingachievedthatmonumental understanding,theythensetouttodetermine whatthose peaceful meansmightlooklike.Theytoldthe kingthathe neededtoengage abattalionof itinerant"persuaders" to travel throughoutthe Middle Kingdom.Theywere tochallengepeople'sperceptionsandassumptions
  3. 3. such as the widespreadbelief thatwarwasnatural and unavoidable.Theywere promptedtoimagine a time where stateslivedinharmony,landswere cultivated,andwhere average peoplehadareal chance at comfortand improvement.These persuadersweremastersof theirart,andthey practicedit insmall groups,and the courts of kings. Persuaderswere trainedatthe academies,andastheytravelledthe land,theymade continual reference toasmall manual that had guidedtheirlearning,andthatwasthe guide to theirnew profession. The little manual waspocketsized,anditwasproducedbyQin'sSchool of SunTzu. The Mysterious Manual The manual didnot have a name.It time though,itbecame knownas"The Art of War." This wasan invention.The firstsentenceinthe workbeginswith"The artof war...".In ancientChinese thatwas expressedas"ping-fa,"butthe meaningof ping-fa2,300 years ago was"the art of diplomacy."Inmy opinion,"diplomacy"aspreachedbythe Qinacademiesmeant,"How tomanage withoutthe waste of conflict."The scope of these instructionswasbothinternal andexternal conflict. A Chinese bamboo book, copy of The Art of War. The cover also reads " 乾隆御書", meaning it was either commissioned or transcribed by the Qianlong Emperor. ( CC BY 2.0 ) Had someone pickedupacopy of the persuadermanual,theywouldthinkitajumble of mixed strategiesandtacticsand odd,unintelligible stuffaboutmilitarymaneuvers.Afterall,ittalkedabout armiesandbattles,stormingcastlesandsettingfires.Havinghadthe benefitof trainingundermasters, the persuadersknewthatthe imagerywasan aidto learningandunderstandingandthe instructions largelymetaphorical. There may have beenanotherreasonforthe language andimagery:shouldapersuaderbe taken prisonerasa spy,the manual wouldgive nothingawayaboutthe methodsbeingfollowed.If ping-fahad beeninnon-metaphorical,non-militarylanguage,Qin's plansforpeaceful conquestwouldhave been visible.Andthatcouldnotbe allowedtohappen.Itisfascinatingthatthisruse hasbeenperpetuated intothe twenty-firstcentury. Today,ping-faisfoundinthe militarystrategyandhistorysectionof bookstoresandlibraries.The allegedmilitarycontexthasmigratedfromthe militaryacademiestoboardrooms,marital advice and fitnessclubs;infact,it’sfoundinjustabouteverydomainwhere stridentcommandandcontrol are
  4. 4. preached.Andoften,institutionsthatlive bythatphilosophyhave the militaristversiononrequired readinglists. Today itis noteasyto evengainconsiderationof the possibilitythat ”SunTzu”was a mythical teacher, and that the teachingswere metaphorical.Thathurdle remainsintactdespitelittle ornovalidhistorical verificationof the book'sauthorship,age,orapplication.The bookremainsinthe militarygenre even thoughthere isreallynothingmilitaryaboutit,andmilitarycommentaryusuallyfindsitboth incomprehensibleandimpractical forthe managementof war. QinShi Huang was the firstemperorof a unifiedChina.Hisremarkable successinending200 yearsof war and foundingthe empirethroughpeaceful meanshadfollowedamethodologyfullyarticulatedina manual that we knowtodayas The Art of War but whichauthorDavidJonesinsistsisreallyamanual for the managementof organizationsandrelationsbetweenorganizations. There are greatmysteriesaboutthe life of QinShi Huang,FirstEmperorof China—andagrand conspiracy.Andthese tightlyrelatedeventsare of profoundsignificanceextendingwaybeyondthe bordersof China. A greatdeal had gone intothe plansand executionthatendedtwohundredyearsof warand establishedanempire.There were remarkable achievementsinthe waythe empire wasadministered, and the changesthat had beenputinplace.Privilege andfeudalismwere eradicated.Placementand promotionwere basedoncompetence—notconnections.Butthe firstempire endedinonlyfouryears afterthe deathof QinShi Huang. What couldhave gone wrong? Not Everlasting Life, but a Swift Death for the Emperor The emperorwason dailymedicationsthatwere allegedlyintendedtomake himimmortal,butthey were lead-based,andhe diedfrompoisoning. He diedbefore he hadfullyinstitutionalizedhisregime, and he had no namedcompetentsuccessor.There were assassinationattemptsagainstthe emperor, and itis notunreasonable tosuspectthatthe poisoningmayhave beenintentional.The enemiesof Qin Shi Huang, whoclaimedthe "Mantle of Heaven,"consideredhimausurperandheretic.Infact,hisvery existence wasanoffence tothem. But oppositionwasnoteasilymobilized.The state'sroyal familieshadall beenmovedtothe new capital.Theirsupportsandnetworkshasbeenshattered.Allweaponshadbeenconfiscatedandmelted down.But stabilityandsustainabilityall dependedona solidcore inthe empire.Itmightbe saidthat the firstempire wasbasedona personality - apersonalitythathadachievedmiracles - andall of theminthe livingmemoryof the population.Perhapsacoup wassimplyimpossible. Withthe deathof QinShi Huangthe empire wobbled.It'slikelymanythoughthimimmortal.And perhapsrecoverymighthave occurredif a strong successorhas followedhim.Butsuchwasnot to happen.A seriesof weak,unprepared,andineffectual replacementspavedthe wayforwhatcouldhave beena simple takeover.The official historystatesthatthe firstempire wasreplacedthoughanarmed revolutionledbypeasantswhodespisedQinShi Huang.Thisisalmostcertainlyfalse. Propaganda and Political Fabrication Withtheirreturnto powerinthe Han dynasty,the Confuciansandmilitaryregainedall thattheyhad lost.But popularityandcommonsupportwere noteasilygained.The new regime knew thattheyhadto discreditthe life andachievementsof the firstemperortoensure theybecame acceptedasthe
  5. 5. legitimate powerinthe newnation.Theydesignedanddeliveredacampaignof dis-information that was extraordinary,unprecedented,andutterlysuccessful.Tothisday,the second(Han) dynastyis consideredtobe the foundersof China,whileQinShi Huangandthe QinKingdomare givenshortshrift inthe official histories. The dis-informationprogramwasbrutal.Mostof itremainsenshrinedinwhatisconsideredthe history of China,eventhoughmuchof itis unverified.Itincludedallegedfactsaboutthe emperorthatI dismiss as political fabrication.Includedwereargumentsthatthe emperor: o assembledanarmyof several hundredthousandsoldierstodestroythe neighboringstatesand maintainorder; o decapitatedprisonersof warby the tensof thousands; o buriedscholarsalive; o burnedall booksthatdid notcoincide withhisviews; o usedthe bodiesof workerstoreinforce the GreatWall; o spentthe wealthof the nationonpalacesand luxuries; o establishedasystemof professional andamateurspiestoreportondissidence withsevere punishmentforreal orimaginedinfractions; o drove the people into nearslaveryandpovertytomaintainthe armedstate. QinShi Huang was lovedbythe people.He hadtravelledthroughoutthe nationmeetingthem, usinga state of the art systemof highwaysthathe had constructedto improve commerce andcommunication. He dramaticallyincreasedthe standardof livingandendedconscription.He made all citizenseligible to compete foremployment.He regulatedtrade andstandardizedthe writtenlanguage.Inshort,the people of the old"Middle Kingdom"neverhaditso good. Andsadly,itwas too goodto last. The Incredible Terra Cotta Monument Andnowwe come to anothermystery:QinShi Huang'snow-famousterracotta"army." Historiansand tourismpromotersbelieveittobe an army in the same waythat othershave declared Ping-fathe "Artof War." That declarationisbasedonappearance.Meaningandplaincommonsense have notbeen applied. The terra cotta array, while ithassoldiersandtransportvehicles,alsofeaturesahostof other"civilian" images.Guides(andthe literature) atXi'anaffirmthatitwas constructedbythe First Emperor"to protecthimin the afterlife."He apparentlyexpectedtocarryon withhisbattleseventhoughhe was dead.QinShi Huang was a brilliantleader.Hismaterial andconceptual inventionswere centuriesahead of histime,yetwe are toldthat he wantedto be protectedbyclaysoldiersafterhe died.Thisissimply nonsense.
  6. 6. The Meaning Behind Ping-Fa But if thisis nonsense,thenwhatwere theyfor?WhenItookon the job of unearthing whatping-fawas reallyall about,Ifirstlookedatthe contextwithinwhichthe bookwaswritten.Then,whowrote it? What was itusedfor?What did itachieve orhelpachieve?None of these questionshave been addressedinthe SunTzu commentary. They are the critical questions.Andinexaminingthe terracotta array,we needtoask more of the same. There isa known,andundisputedfact: QinShi Huangcreateda new nationfromthe warringstates.It is alsogenerallyagreedthathe prohibitedwarinthe new empire. Butthere islessagreementhow he broughtall thisabout. The scant legitimate historyaboutthisperiodandthe nation-buildingprocess can't seemto avoiddeclaringthatQinhad a massive armyof hundredsof thousandsof soldiers,and that itcrushedthose opposedtoamalgamation. Here'sjustone example:One reportonChina'sfoundingsaidthatthe Qinarmyof 600,000 captured 450,000 inone battle.Andthe army wasso intimidatingall these captivesstoodpatientlytobe beheaded.This isclearlynonsense. Iargue thatthe evidence stronglysupportsthe ideathathe ended war and foundedthe empirethroughpeaceful means,convincingthe warringstatesthatthere were far more reasonsto come togetherintoa jointempire thantocontinue fightingamongthemselves. Peace, Not War What wouldmake sense intermsof the Terra Cotta Arrayis that he wantedtomake a profound,and visible statementtothe people of Chinaaboutthe terrible timesof the 200-yearWarring Statesperiod, and the grand newtimesof the Chinese empire.Andhe wouldwanthispeopletosee exactlywhatthe costs of war were,andhowfoolishsuchexpenditureswere.Hisadvisorsmade itcleartohimthat peace didnot come fromwar; actually,more war comesfromwar. Therefore,he wantedpeopletocome from all areas of the empire tosee an exhibit.Theycouldnothave helpedbuttobe totallydazzled.Perhaps some didgetto see it before the site wasterrorized,andalmosttotallydestroyedbythe marauding warriorsof the Han dynasty.If there were recordsof the display,itsfunction,andwhatthe people's reactionswere,theydidnotsurvive the Handynasty. Xian (China) ‘Terra Cotta Array’ Panorama. ( CC BY 2.0 )
  7. 7. As a final footnote,we have todayabookthat showsinclear,concise stepshow toensure people can live inpeace ina complex environment.We have anexhibitthatshowsjusthow dreadful the costsof war are.We are lefttoconclude thatthoughpeace takesa greatdeal of work to achieve,wartakeseven more work,and itsbenefitsare notat all evident.Bothare artifactsof QinShi Huang, the greatest peacemakerandnationbuilderever.Butboththe monumentandthe bookare knownthroughoutthe worldtoday— asinstrumentsof war. Final Notes: 1. Is thisarticle entirelyfactual? Thisis an analysisthatcombinesknown,undisputedfacts - plusmyinterpretationsof certainfacts - in deliveringacoherent,complete picture of eventsleadingupto,andfollowing,the establishmentof the Chinese empire in221 BC. I am convincedthatfurtherarchaeological discoveries,includingthe opening of QinShi Huang's tomb,will prove all thatiscontainedwithinthisarticle. 2. Couldwe applythe Sun Tzu methodologytodaytohelpachieve peace? Yes,but we mustrecognize the factthat achievingpeace isfarmore difficultthanstartingawar. Peace requiresveryhardwork,andthe workneverends. 3. Is makingpeace costly? It ishugelyexpensive inintelligence gathering,relationshipdevelopment,andmanagementand communications.Butthe sumispaltrycomparedto the costs of war. If you wantto compare the costs of peace andwar, ask— whatis a humanlife worth? David G.Jones B.A.,M.A.is a retired governmentexecutiveand university teacher. Fellow of the Universityof King'sCollege, he wasawarded theQueen'sJubilee Medal,and holdsan officer's commission in theCanadian Army.Hehasbeen studying theoriginsof the Chineseempire for two decades,and is authorof The School of SunTzu: WinningEmpireswithoutWar . References Jones,DavidG. (2012) ‘The School of SunTzu: WinningEmpireswithoutWar.’PublishedbyiUniverse Giles,Lionel (1910) ‘The Art of War’. PublishedbyAllandaleOnline Publishing[Online] Available at: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~enoch/Readings/The_Art_Of_War.pdf Huang,J.H., ed.(1993) ‘The Art of War: The New Translation’. PublishedbyHarperCollinsCanada/Non- Fiction;1 edition

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