As we move into the top half of the countdown, we meet a truly great figure. But as great as he is, he is totally misunderstood. Once again, I can relate. Sometimes I just so sick of everyone–journalists, historians, Commies–calling me a “warlord.” Sure, I rely on military power to control my territory. But is that what really defines me? Did you know I also enjoy working on scrapbooks? It is true, but you won’t see Fairbank describing me as a “Scrapbooker” even though it is just as valid of a description as me as a “warlord.” But I digress. Here he is, #5:
Laozi, aka Lao Tzu
Now my boy Laozi is misunderstood because everyone thinks he was some kind of mystical hippie. This view was promoted first by Confucians, then by hippie burnouts. I cannot think of any other historical crime committed by the evil duo that is Mengzi and Alan Watts.
In actuality, Laozi was concerned with restoring the social order–just as I am focused on restoring order in Shanxi and eventually bringing all of China under my benevolent rule. Laozi also saw the folly of making ethical decisions, as morality was an illusion. Whenever I am about to execute Commie organizers or steal a young peasant wife to serve in my household only to sell her after she gets mysteriously knocked up, I just remember the words of Laozi and feel good about my personal life choices. Like, really good.
For all the good Laozi has done in justifying my murderous style of rule–and he has done even more than Sunzi–he has one big knock against him that keeps him from climbing even higher on the list. Turns out the story of his life–the whole riding off into the West on a blue ox–is fabricated. He probably never even existed, and I prefer my role models to be actual historical figures.