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  1. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:28pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    I know enough history to look at this from all angles, and if you've read Humphrey's book (I know you have) you'd know that there is, in the end, no difference between what people in the East vs. West want: to be left in peace. This is aligned with the honorable warrior's code, and is discordant with the code of, say, the Mongol.
    Again, wrong.

    Genghis Khan's dream of uniting the Mongol tribes seems to have been motivated in large part by his desire "to be left alone." He seems to have recognized that the endless quarrels of the Steepe tribes lead to a cycle of violence. He also seems to have recognized that the Steppes were intentionally kept off balance by the Chinese emperors by a concious policy of destabilization. Once he consolidated his empire in the East, he established trade with the central Asian kingdoms on his western frontier. He did not invade them until they attacked his trade and diplomatic missions.

    Interestingly, he followed an inclusive policy for the conquered peoples, and promised them peace, religious tolerance, and inclusion in political life if they followed a code of law not dissimilar to Hammurabi's. Basically what you are ascribing to the Romans, Greeks, English... Hmmm... I'm seeing a pattern here...

    I'm not saying he wasn't viscious along the way. He was, when he needed to be. But if he forbade pillage and rape, his vast army obeyed. If he permitted it, they were probably no more or less bloodthirsty than any other contemporary.

    One of his strategems was to promise a city would be left intact and unharmed if they surrundered. If they did not, he promised them they would be leveled. He kept those promises. As you can imagine, a city or two thought better of the deal later and rebelled. He returned and kept the promise of leveling the city. There weren't too many cities that reneged on the deal.

    As near as modern historians can figure, his plan was to conquer the whole world until everyone was one big happy family. Ambitious? Sure. No one ever accused Temujin of not dreaming big enough, darling. Realistic? Perhaps he was more idealistic than we are prone to imagine him.
    Last edited by Styygens; 8/02/2010 5:37pm at .
  2. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:36pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Respectfully...you're taking aspects of those societies not directly related to warrior code and using them as a strawmen against the warrior codes.
    Perhaps. But warrior codes do not exist in a vaccum. The warrior exists to protect the values of the community.


    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Exactly, but I'd argue the warrior codes have not changed a lot (in concept) in 4000 years: protect yourself, protect your neighbor, don't steal your neighbors ****, help him protect his ****. And it'll be best for everyone.

    When we combine codes like Bushido with social values codes like Humphrey's, everyone wins.



    Mankind and Womankind.

    "Get beyond love and grief: exist for the good of Man."
    Miyamoto Musashi
    First, I don't necessarily disagree with your distillation of warrior codes in general.

    But the problem is, you are using Humphery's ideas to define how the traditional cultures viewed the concept of "self, neighbor, property" and even "everyone."

    You're projecting modern values into the past.

    And if you do consider the values being protected, you can't ignore the fact that say, the Spartans idea of "self" was an essentially totalitarian state (true classicists would argue that I'm projecting now), that neighbor was any other Spartan, and property included the population of Helots the entire society was militarized to enslave in the first place.

    We're also arguing about broad generalities. Which creates any number of issues in forming a good coherent argument.
  3. W. Rabbit is offline
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    insight combined with intel, fuse, and dynamite

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:44pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Again, wrong.

    Genghis Khan's dream of uniting the Mongol tribes to have been motivated in large part by his desire "to be left alone." He seems to have recognized that the endless quarrels of the Steepe tribes lead to a cycle of violence. He also seems to have recognized that the Steppes were intentionally kept off balance by the Chinese emperors by a concious policy of destabilization. Once he consolidated his empire in the East, he established trade with the central Asian kingdoms on his western frontier. He did not invade them until they attacked his trade and diplomatic missions.
    I disagree...a desire to be "left alone" has little to do with empire building and you just made an association between Genghis Khan and Hitler, invoking Godwin's Law. Hitler used the same argument to invade his neighbors.

    In any regard, both Hitler's and the Khan's "consolidated Empires" lasted barely a generation in each case, and both warrior codes (look at the SS and their wickedly evil "warrior code") led to the total destruction of many cultures. Sure, fruits of cultural germination were borne of that, but at the cost of what unnecessary bloodshed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Interestingly, he followed an inclusive policy for the conquered peoples, and promised them peace, religious tolerance, and inclusion in political life if they followed a code of law not dissimilar to Hammurabi's. Basically what you are ascribing to the Romans, Greeks, English... Hmmm... I'm seeing a pattern here..
    Don't look now but you're beginning to see my point, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    I'm not saying he wasn't viscious along the way. He was, when he needed to be. But if he forbade pillage and rape, his vast army obeyed. If he permitted it, they were probably no more or less bloodthirsty than any other contemporary.
    So in the end the Yasa of Ghengis Khan was kind of arbitrary depending on his whims....again...Hitleresque. I guess the best martial codes were not the ones dictated by totalitarian regime, since they are more like Machiavellian in nature...meant to protect the regime and not the culture itself.
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/02/2010 5:51pm at .
  4. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:45pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    The Jedi code says the same thing: using martial prowess for knowledge and defense, never for attack...
    LOLz.
  5. Lu Tze is offline

    BJJ might make you a better ground fighter, but Judo will make you a better dancer.

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 5:48pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKDChick View Post
    Well, given that the vast majority of "honorable and chivalrous" warrior cultures defined those things as solely male, where does that leave me?
    Hot wiring Boudicca's chariot?
  6. Lu Tze is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 6:03pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Interestingly, he followed an inclusive policy for the conquered peoples, and promised them peace, religious tolerance, and inclusion in political life if they followed a code of law not dissimilar to Hammurabi's. Basically what you are ascribing to the Romans, Greeks, English... Hmmm... I'm seeing a pattern here...
    Yes, the Mongol Empire was quite tolerant.

    On the other hand, they pre-emptively slaughtered conquered populations in order to prevent them from even thinking about uprising...

    So, swings and roundabouts really.
  7. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 6:04pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    LOLz.
    Yes I laughed as I wrote it, but consider that Lucas did draw on Bushido, Zen Buddhism, and Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress extensively to create the Jedi Knights.
    The Jedi are a futuristic, idealistic form of warrior monks that draw heavily from Buddhist and Japanese warrior philosophy. They are a "future" version of what a warrior honor code might look like. It might be fiction but it also is a mixing pot of cultural ideas...worthy of note.

    And still, they're susceptible to their own pride. That goes right back to the Arthurian legends.
  8. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 6:17pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    I disagree...a desire to be "left alone" has little to do with empire building and you just made an association between Genghis Khan and Hitler, invoking Godwin's Law. Hitler used the same argument to invade his neighbors.
    No. You are invoking Hitler. I never brought him up.

    And you are ignoring a lot of decent historical work on the reasons why the Mongols erupted out of the Steppe in the first palce. Please see Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, by Weatherford; The Devil's Horsemen, by Chambers; History of the Mongols, by Spuler; and Genghis Khan, and The March of the Barbarians, both by Lamb.

    There are some sound political, cultural, and personal reasons why Genghis built his empire in the stages he did. One of his reasons was that he and his family suffered greatly under the status quo. He saw change was necessary to the Mongol way of life, or no one would be "left alone."

    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    In any regard, his "consolidated Empire" lasted barely a generation, and his warrior code led to the total destruction of many cultures. Sure, fruits were borne of that, but at the cost of what unnecessary bloodshed?
    As I said earlier... The situation is not too different from what happened after Alexander of Macedon. Which you held up as an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Don't look now but you're beginning to see my point, I think.
    Perhaps I do agree with this point in your thesis, but I believe your reasoning is still biased. And you missed (or are ignoring) my point about your cultural bias.

    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    So in the end the Yasa of Ghengis Khan was kind of arbitrary depending on his whims....again...Hitleresque.
    [/QUOTE]

    Again with the Hitler comparisons. Look, Alexander does not automatically = good, nor Genghis automatically = evil. You're trying to impose modern moral standards on cultures that would find them irrelevant. No sane person is going to argue that Genghis Khan wasn't violent. But he lived in a violent age. The same could be said of Alexander. If you read the material I've suggested above, you'll find that Genghis was far more progressive than most people think.

    But arguing about Mongol history is really a digression that I brought up to counter your romanticism of Chivalry and Bushido. Since YOU brought up Hitler, I'll be happy to invoke Godwin's Law and quit arguing this digression. It is a dead end. We were talking about the modern relevancy of warrior codes, e.g. chivalry.

    This would be a good time to return to my original point: old fashioned warrior codes need to be considered in context. We need to consider if that context applies to us.

    A warrior code is supposed to subordinate the warrior to the service of the community institutions. Again, I ask: What community institution is the martial artist qua martial artist serving?

    Can you offer an answer to this question?
  9. Styygens is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 6:26pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lu Tze View Post
    Yes, the Mongol Empire was quite tolerant.

    On the other hand, they pre-emptively slaughtered conquered populations in order to prevent them from even thinking about uprising...

    So, swings and roundabouts really.
    You are correct. But it wasn't until he started fighting the Khwarizm that this became part of his policy. And there are some interesting circumstances surrounding that, but I'm finished arguing about Genghis Khan for now.

    I am going to training. I'll let you all argue about chivalry and it's relevance to Martial Arts without me. Have a good evening.
  10. W. Rabbit is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/02/2010 6:37pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    No. You are invoking Hitler. I never brought him up.

    There are some sound political, cultural, and personal reasons why Genghis built his empire in the stages he did. One of his reasons was that he and his family suffered greatly under the status quo. He saw change was necessary to the Mongol way of life, or no one would be "left alone."

    As I said earlier... The situation is not too different from what happened after Alexander of Macedon. Which you held up as an example.
    I like where we've gone, I don't consider it a REAL digression since it all comes back to warrior codes. The OP was "is chivalry BS" and that is a very deep topic... but I am glad you're here.

    You still made the association without realizing it, between Ghenghis's and Hitler's shared "personal struggle" and the bloody history that followed. The parallels between "Mein Kampf" and Ghenghis' bio are clear. And certainly neither justified the genocide that followed, caused by warrior codes that were executions of authoritarian policy.

    Their responses were both to systematically annihilate people and subjugate people who didn't want to be conquered and that is morally wrong, and would not fit in most modern martial arts "codes". I was probably wrong if I suggested Alexander = good, Ghengis = bad I will admit that is a fallacy on my part.

    But Alexander and Ghenghis did NOT share the same background and that showed in their campaigns...Alexander was thoroughly versed in the classics, was tutored by Aristotle of all people...I'll still argue his grasp on universal values was greater than the mighty Khan's, whose warrior code did appear to be more like Hitler's (kill them if they resist, or kill them all anyway if they're "dirtier" than we are or useless in combat) than, say, an idealization like the Jedi or the Arthurian Knights (who certainly had character flaws, but it didn't lead them to having policies of merely murdering their neighbors when necessary to advance their causes).

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Perhaps I do agree with this point in your thesis, but I believe your reasoning is still biased. And you missed (or are ignoring) my point about your cultural bias.
    Well I could charge you with your own cultural bias (maybe you are Mongolian?). At least being honest about our biases we can get around them constructively. I admit a Westerner's cultural bias but I have also have a great love of Eastern history and philosophy, particularly Asian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    Again with the Hitler comparisons. Look, Alexander does not automatically = good, nor Genghis automatically = evil.
    I didn't intend that, sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    If you read the material I've suggested above, you'll find that Genghis was far more progressive than most people think.
    Maybe you're right but now you're being a Mongolian Horde apologist, trying to make the brutal Khan look more friendly to modern eyes. It's funny that history is written by the victor, but Mongolian history is still considered pretty un-gentlemanly compared to Western forms of warfare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Styygens View Post
    This would be a good time to return to my original point: old fashioned warrior codes need to be considered in context. We need to consider if that context applies to us.

    A warrior code is supposed to subordinate the warrior to the service of the community institutions. Again, I ask: What community institution is the martial artist qua martial artist serving?

    Can you offer an answer to this question?
    I answered that question in a previous post: honorable martial artists are supposed to serve their fellow man/woman. Knowledge and defense...
    Last edited by W. Rabbit; 8/02/2010 7:04pm at .
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