At the request of a few of my readers, here is my complete list of the top ten Chinese philosophers, all in one handy post. Enjoy…
After my recent comments on Kongzi, many of my fans wrote in asking for guidance. If Kongzi was unworthy of emulation, who might they turn to? In this light, I have decided to countdown the 10 greatest Chinese thinkers. These are the men whose minds helped shaped generations–not just in China but across the globe. And to be fair, I do respect Kongzi–I just don’t think he is the best model for the modern age. So he will probably turn up somewhere on this list. But first, we start with my #10 selection:
Sun Zhongshan, also known as Sun Yat-sen
Some might question my choice to put old Sun at the bottom of this list. Is he not, after all, the “Father of the Chinese Revolution”? In a word, no. Now, I joined Sun’s Tongmenghui way back in the day, back when we were all in Japan pounding sake and visiting Tokyo’s red light district (FYI your boy Sun could not hold his booze and had a few fetishes that even surprised the Japanese). So I am very much qualified to pass judgment on Sun Zhongshan, or Sonny as I called him.
You see, he had the most amazing ability to repeatedly fail–he was the original “cut and runner.” Every time he tried to overthrow those stinking Manchus, he would fail. Except he would never be there to face punishment, as he would be hiding out in HK. And when we finally brought down the Qing, where was he? Colorado, just where he was needed. What a joke. You know who the real Father of Chinese Revolution is? That’s right, Yan Xishan. But Stillwell, in a conversation with Fairbank, once drunkenly called me the “Stepchild of the Chinese Revolution” and I have yet to escape this stigma. Is it fair? No, but I live with it–we all have our crosses I guess.
So, final analysis of Sun Zhongshan….
1. Married a woman young enough to be his daughter.
2. 3 Principles of the People (uninspired and never implemented, but hey it was something).
1. Best skills: Retreating and avoiding conflicts
2. Possibly married a Soviet Agent in Song Qingling
3. Created the conditions for decades of civil war
It is number 2 on the con list that really gets me. I mean, if you are going to deliver your nation to the Red Menace, at least do it via a Eastern European redhead named Natasha. That is the classy way to go about these things. So sorry Sonny, you barely make the list at #10.
Times of strife and war create great minds. Just look at me–without the chaos of the downfall of the imperial system and the emergence of the Warlord Era, would I have reached my heights of brilliance?
Our number nine Chinese thinker lived during the Warring States era, another age marked by warfare and chaos.
Mozi, aka Mo Tzu
I see much to admire in Mozi, as in some ways he reminds me a lot of a young, less successful, less attractive Yan Xishan. Our similarities go far beyond our penchant for criticizing Confucius. Like me he was a man of action–he had a philosophy of action (youwei) that believed heaven helps those who helps themselves. As someone who helped himself to all of greater Shanxi, I could not agree more.
Plus he was all about military technology, creating all sorts of wonderful gadgets that could be used to kill people. I have mad respect for that. What is strange is that he preferred to side with weak states, helping them build up their defenses. As someone currently out of power, his affinity for the underdog is endearing. As someone who plans to be in power soon, it is troubling indeed.
To sum up:
1. Military genius
2. Not afraid to call Kongzi a punk
1. Would probably attempt to stop my plans of military conquest.
2. Anti-family, promoted a concept of “universal love” (jian’ai). This was supposedly some kind of collective system enforced by strict hierarchy, but to me it sounds too much like the free love espoused by those damn Commies. Why does everyone want to take away my wives and distribute them to the peasant masses?
3. He used his military technology for defense only. He was–get this–a pacifist!
So while I respect the genius behind his technological innovations, Mozi was far too idealistic to serve as a true role model. Maybe if he cut down on whatever it was he was smoking, he would of done better, but as it is he clocks in at #9.
As the Warring States came to a close, two kingdoms faced off over who would rule a unified China. Qi or Qin–which would it be? In one of these kingdoms, a wandering statesman helped seal the fate of China. This statesman is our #8 Chinese thinker.
Xunzi, aka Hsün Tzu
First up: Xunzi is a Confucian. One huge strike against him. But what makes Xunzi special is his this–he was one of the first to see mankind as it truly is: inherently evil. Just look at his portrait, you know he is thinking evil thoughts–probably involving Han Feizi’s third and sixth wives, some baijiu, and a tub of zhimayou. Xunzi thought people were born with a love for profit and sensual desires. I know he was correct, as this very much describes me. I mean, is there a better way to spend a weekend than drinking, whoring, and gambling? If you had to choose one Chinese philosopher to plan your bachelor party, it would be Xunzi. He is the kind of guy who, if things got out of hand, would help you bury the hooker. Compare this with Mencius, who has so many mommy issues he cannot even get a lap dance without bursting into tears.
So what is not to like? Well, Xunzi served at the court of Qi. And if you know your Chinese history (Spoiler Alert!) it was the state of Qin that unified China. So not only did Xunzi back a loser, in failing to stop Qinshi Huangdi he gave hope to countless other losers who get off on the idea of being the “Great Unifier.” I must say I find this damn annoying–you cannot imagine how many people are interfering with my goal of bringing China under Yan Xishan rule.
1. Saw people for what they were–low down, nasty, perverted, egomaniacs.
2. Go-to-guy for bachelor parties
1. A follower, content to muddle along behind Confucius
2. In the geopolitical world of the Waring States, a loser
Xunzi, if you had only reversed the tide of history and helped create a unified Qi dynasty, you might be higher on the list, but as it stands be happy at #8. Or, be true to your nature and be angry and jealous, then work off that anger through sex and/or violence.
Time to get back to business–the top ten Chinese thinkers list continues. Been getting a lot of feedback on the list, although not all of my readers have been contributing to the discussion. Many of you are loyal readers, but others stumble upon my site after Googling “Mongolian teenage hookers.” I encourage both groups to bring something to the table–you are all my soldiers, and a good warlord takes care of his men.
Speaking of which, taking care of his men is something that the #7 all-time Chinese thinker also does, although we go about it in different ways. I ensure my soldiers have plenty of booze and loot, while he gives his men plenty of reading material and 5% ownership of a communal wife. That is right, I am talking about this highly airbrushed guy:
Given the choice, you would think that any peasant with half of a brain would choose the loot and booze over an extended study session and a night with a communal wife every twenty days, but here is where Mao shows his genius: he offers his men the “wife lottery,” in that if the so-called “revolution” succeeds, there is a chance they could be sharing one of my many wives! Brilliant!
Throughout his career Mao has shown a capability for “outside the box” thinking. Take his idea of class warfare–Mao is a rich peasant! I could never have conjured the idea of turning on my own class, subjecting them to humiliating struggle and taking away their property. I guess that is why some have dubbed Mao “the dreamer.”
I am also a fan of Mao’s leadership style. Much like myself, he is not afraid of putting a subordinate in line or taking a few extra perks. Although what is up with the endless sleeping pills Mao? Ever even heard of fenjiu? And then there are the ladies. Here Mao cracks me up–he keeps on telling me that having nine wives is feudal, but what am I supposed to do? I guess I lack his ability to get my wives executed in a timely manner so I can get remarried. And don’t get me started on his new wife, Jiang Qing. The last I heard she was organizing an all-peasant stage production of Gone With the Wind. If he is smart he will accidentally “leave her behind” during my next mopping up campaign so that I can give her the patented “Shanxi Hay Chopper Chop.” If it was good enough for Liu Hulan, I am sure it is good enough for her.
1. Outside the box thinking in biting the hand that fed him
2. Genius in promoting the hope of sleeping with my wives
3. Ahead of his time in treating his VD by sleeping with more peasants
1. Good chance he is stealing his ideas from Chen Boda
2. Latest choice of wives is “problematic”
3. Gave VD to four of my six favorite Changsha sex workers
To be honest it is the last con that really burns me. Well, the burning has stopped, but you get the idea.
Despite various threats received as a result of previous posts, the countdown continues. Sorry MZD, but I will not publish an apology just so your wife will let you move back into your cave.
Number Six on my list of Top Ten Chinese Thinkers will probably surprise some of my readers. Here he is, another product of the Warring States era:
Sunzi, aka Sun Tzu
That I include the great Sunzi on my list should not surprise anyone. Author of Sunzi Bingfa, which somehow got the hippie translation of Sunzi’s Art of War, Sunzi was one of the first to really get philosophical on the proper method of killing large numbers of peasants. As a ruthless warlord, I must admit that I could not have killed so many peasants without his sagacious wisdom. Take this pearl of genius:
“For them to perceive the advantage of defeating the enemy, they must also have their rewards.”
Hence my insistence that my soldiers be aware of the drunken looting that follows victory. But I mainly appreciate Sunzi for how he argues for not fighting unless the peasant army you want to destroy is totally helpless. This has allowed myself (and all of my peers) to avoid war unless it is to our obvious and immediate benefit. BTW I promise I will get around to fighting those Japanese invaders when the time is right.
Some of my readers, however, must be surprised that Sunzi is not higher on this list. I know–to rank this great peasant murderer only slightly ahead of a man who lives in a cave with a hack actress–it is somewhat of an insult. But I must find great fault with Sunzi for one tragic mistake. He never made it clear that his methods were only to be used in killing peasants. The result of this tragic mistake has been a flood of texts using his bingfa for the most bizarre ends. By means of example, I once found my personal servant reading The Art of Germ War: Using Sunzi’s Philosophy to Clean Toilets. What is next? Using peasant killing philosophy to succeed in business? Don’t make me laugh.
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