#8 Most Impressive Dyansty: the Yuan

December 12, 2007

Loyal Readers:

I got a letter from Jiang Jieshi the other day. I opened it, and read it, it said he was a sucka. True story, thought you should know.

Last week I was giving the latest installment in my 10-part lecture series on the greatest dynasties of all time to the JPA when I had a strange thought. Now normally I keep my thoughts to myself–did not the great Han Feizi warn us that the ruler must be mysterious and unknowable?–but I like you, so I think I can let you in this one time.

Well, but first I have to tell you about the lecture, which is the whole point of this blog post, so here it goes. The lecture concerned the #8 Most Impressive Chinese Dynasty, the Yuan. Now I know what you are thinking (you see, unlike me, you are not so mysterious). You are wondering how I could consider the Yuan to be a great dynasty, when not only was it a short lived dynasty, but a foreign dynasty as well! And not just a foreign dynasty, but a dynasty created and ruled by the the most dirty and dastardly of the barbarians, the Mongols!

Of course these are all fine complaints. What good is supreme power if you cannot hold onto it long enough to make at least 10 generations of peasants truly miserable? And yes, Mongols are Mongols. I mean, sure I enjoy the dirty and dastardly company of certain shapely members of the “Golden Horde” but those are merely professional relations. I certainly would never let them place me third on a social stratification scheme, nestled between random foreigners and rice munching southerners.

That said, look at this beautiful map:

mongols map

Oh my, ain’t she a beaut? And this is why, even though the dynasty was as short-lived as a bottle of fenjiu in my liquor cabinet, we must give proper respect to the Yuan. They knew how to conquer. If it wasn’t for some dumb luck, they would have finished off Europe as well. I am actually glad that they never got around to that… I imagine this will be my legacy, and it would be rather tainted if some yurt-dwelling fool beat me too it.

A few things we can learn from the Yuan. First, killing people is good. Killing lots of people is even better. Why? Because after you kill lots of people, other people will be afraid of you and give you shit, like their homeland to rule. How sweet is that? Second, if you cannot defeat an enemy, get some of the enemy to join you so you can kill the rest of their people. Which leads me to number three, people are stupid. I mean, come on Song China! Which one of you douchebags said “Hmmm, the Mongols can never defeat us without a navy. Well, I better see about getting them a navy!”

The Mongols also showed us the wisdom in hiring laowai to do shit for us. They hired a bunch of laowai, except then they were called semuren. I got some laowai working for me. No, not just the working girls, I got a truckload of American military advisers. Does not seem fair, they got Marco Polo, I get General Bragg and his “fight Japan” bullshit.

Well, back to the strange thought I had. During my lecture, I was talking about how the Mongols, being idiots, originally wanted to convert all of north China into pastures for their horses. Luckily they were talked out of it by an intelligent (which is to say non-Mongol) official. This plan would have called for the extermination of all the residents of north China–my people would have been wiped out, my beautiful Shanxi made to look like pony heaven–and Yan Xishan never would have existed. Funny how history works sometimes.

Well, guess what Mongolia? You missed your chance, cause I am alive and kicking! You best believe I will not shed a tear for your would-be grandchildren after I turn your grasslands into the world’s biggest poppy field.

Like I said, funny how history works sometimes.