Cao Cao is better at employing people than Zhugeliang: those who advocate big use don’t have to be careful

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Zhugeliang (AD 181-234) in the late Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period was indeed an outstanding politician in ancient China. His political and military talents, his dedication to the great cause of the reunification of the world, and his noble morality and personality are indeed admirable. But he is not perfect, and he also has his shortcomings. Historians and politicians have made many comments on Zhugeliang himself. Unfortunately, due to historical limitations, or due to thoughts such as “taboo for sages”, or because of admiration, many people are reluctant to say their shortcomings, especially in his treatment and use of Wei Yan, the general of Shu. In the romance of the Three Kingdoms, the saying that “Wei Yan has anti bone behind his head” is familiar and accepted by many people. It is necessary to distinguish its authenticity from the original face of history. Here I will only comment on the gains and losses of Zhugeliang’s employment and the tragedy of Wei Yan.

Liu Bei, who sought survival and development in the gap between the warlords’ cutting drama and the competition for hegemony at the end of the Han Dynasty, was very ambitious and courageous. He knew the rarity of talents, courted the virtuous corporal with a thirst for talent, and did not hesitate to “look at the thatched cottage” to ask Zhugeliang to come out and be his right-hand assistant. At that time, Liu Bei was a 47 year old royal general, while Zhugeliang was a 27 year old scholar, and it was this “rural educated youth” who put forward the famous strategic decision of “Longzhong Dui” when they met. In the short 300 word “Longzhong Dui”, we analyzed and predicted the historical trend of the division of Wei, Shu and Wu, and made an incisive analysis from the aspects of politics, military affairs, internal affairs and diplomacy. It can be said that it was the cornerstone of the founding of the Shu Han Dynasty, which is worthy of the praise of the ancient wonderful strategy. The implementation of this strategic decision created a new situation in Liu Bei’s career. The problem is that Zhugeliang failed to revise some outdated plans and assumptions in time according to the subsequent changes and developments.

“Longzhong Dui” proposed that after seizing Jing and Yi, they would pursue the Central Plains, “When the world changes, he orders a general to lead the army of Jingzhou to Wan and Luo, and general (referring to Liu Beiyong leading the people of Yizhou out of Qinchuan)” That is to say, after taking possession of Jingzhou, soldiers should go all the way to Wan and Luo, all the way out of Qinchuan, and attack the Cao Cao military group with a pincer like momentum. It seems that it is understandable that this plan was put forward before Kongming came out of the mountain. The problem is that later, Qinchuan, Wan and Luo have undergone major changes in their political and economic status, and Jingzhou’s strategic position is becoming more and more important. It would be difficult to win if only relying on the troops of Yizhou to go out of Qinchuan to attack the Wei Dynasty and follow the old path of Liu Bang’s “secretly crossing the Chencang”. Moreover, 12 years after the “battle of Chibi”, the Wu Shu alliance has been seriously broken. Guan Yu, who guarded Jingzhou, was headstrong and violated the diplomatic national policy of uniting Wu against Cao; Sun Wu and Cao Cao, who were very sensitive and attached great importance to Jingzhou, sent Lu Meng and Lu Xun to follow Guan Yu’s path and “cross the river in white” to attack Jiangling and the Public Security Bureau; Cao Cao stationed in Wancheng from Luoyang and ordered Xu Huang to lead a large army to reinforce Cao Ren trapped in Xiangyang, echoing Sun Quan’s north and south to attack Guan Yu, causing Guan Yu to be defeated and fall into the city of wheat. In order to avenge Guan Yu, Liu Bei was emotional, and his military command was improper. As a result, the Shu army was defeated by “burning the barracks”, losing one-third of its troops and seriously injuring its vitality. It was difficult to achieve its ambition to compete for the Central Plains.

Although there are many reasons to explore, the main reason is that the political, military and economic focus at that time was no longer in Guanzhong, but in Wan, Luo and Xuchang regions. Although it is important to occupy the Guanzhong of Qinchuan, the strategic position of Jingzhou is much more important than that of Hanzhong and Qinchuan. When Jingzhou is lost, the Shu army will be closed in the mountains within the Qinling Mountains, Daba Mountains and Wushan mountains, and will be at a strategic disadvantage. However, Guan Yu, the great general of Shu Han who occupied Jingzhou, was proud of his achievements and abused the envoys of the eastern Wu who “married” to strengthen the Wu Shu alliance. Wang Fuzhi, a thinker in the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty, criticized Guan Yu as the initiator of destroying the Wu Shu alliance and leading to the decline of Shu in his book “on reading the general mirror”. This may be too heavy, but Guan Yu should bear great responsibility for damaging the Wu Shu Alliance. However, with the wisdom of Liu Bei and Zhuge, Guan Yu’s lack of understanding of the importance of Jingzhou’s strategic position to the kingdom of Shu has left Guan Yu alone, without adding a soldier, nor bringing the army of Liu Feng and Mengda close to Guan Yu, nor having Zhang Fei in Langzhong (the middle reaches of the Jialing River) and Zhao Yun in Jiangzhou (Chongqing, Fuling area) with strong combat power reinforce Guan Yu, which should be said to be the most important mistake. No wonder Chen Shou said when commenting on Zhugeliang, “it’s not his strength to be resourceful!”

In 223 A.D., Liu Bei was critically ill, Baidi Tuogu, Zhugeliang was ordered to be in danger, stabilized the situation with his outstanding ability, and gradually recovered under the correct policies such as “strict science and education, must believe in rewards and punishments”, “reward agriculture and mulberry, and rest with people’s livelihood”. In the following two years, “crossing Lu in June” and “catching Meng Huo seven times” stabilized the rear area; Gradually, a situation of making a difference was created, that is, “the fields were opened up, the warehouses were solid, the equipment was profitable, and the savings were spared”, “officials should not be raped, and people should encourage themselves”.

In the spring of 227 A.D., Zhugeliang led 100000 troops to kick off the northern expedition of “six expeditions out of Qishan”. The war lasted for six or seven years, and ended in failure. Zhugeliang made mistakes at the beginning. At that time, although the Shu army was sharp, it was at a disadvantage in terms of the number of troops. In terms of strategic position, it was blocked by the steep Qinling Mountains, so it was advantageous to defend but unfavorable to attack. In this case, it is necessary to make a surprise victory and make a quick decision. At this point, it seems that Zhugeliang, who was so predictable, was cautious to the point of pedantry. Then, did no one put forward an excellent and feasible strategic plan at that time? no Before he first came out of the Qi Mountain, Wei Yan, a famous general who “started from the soldiers”, once raised objections to the Northern Expedition Route. According to the terrain of the enemy and ourselves Tactical principles and other factors proposed: “Hearing that there are fewer Xia Hou Mao, the Lord’s son-in-law is also timid and schemless. Today, the fake extension of 5000 elite troops and 5000 negative grain, straight out of the commendation, along the Qinling Mountains to the East, when noon and North, but in ten days to Chang’an. Hearing that the extension is coming, Mao will escape by boat. In Chang’an, only the imperial officials and Jingzhao Taishou, Hengmen Di Pavilion and the valley of scattered people have enough food to meet in the East for about 20 days, and the public will be enough to reach from the inclined valley. In this way, it will be possible to reach the west of Xianyang in one fell swoop.” It’s settled. ” This should be said to be a comprehensive strategic plan. If this plan is adopted, the elite troops will make a surprise attack with the momentum of lightning, go straight to Chang’an, and then with the cooperation of the xiegu army, the victory is very promising. Even Sima Yi, Zhugeliang’s main opponent, said afterwards: “Zhugeliang was cautious and careful all his life and refused to act inferior. But he didn’t know the geography of our territory; if I used troops, I would first take advantage of the Ziwu Valley path to take Chang’an, which would be a long time ago!” It can be seen that Wei Yan’s proposition is desirable. Unfortunately, Kongming denounced this as “rash and rash”, and neither Wei Yan nor his strategy was used. As a result, the great opportunity was lost.

Zhugeliang seemed to be a little biased against Wei Yan. Instead, he used his “all-round plan” to take Ma Su, who was “overstated and can’t be used much”, as the vanguard general. He simply emphasized that “an honest way can take Longyou, and ten things must be overcome without danger”. He circled from Hanzhong to the west, bypassing Yangpingguan, and then Wudu, Tianshui and Qishan, so that 100000 troops moved slowly and clumsily in the mountains, So that the physical strength and food of the soldiers are uselessly consumed in the long journey. Such an advance made Wei Fang breathe and calmly prepare for the battle. Deep trenches and high bases, waiting for work, made the Shu army lose the opportunity. Ma Su was finally defeated by Zhang Luo, and the Street Pavilion fell. After Kongming sang the “empty city plan”, he had to return to the south. In fact, Ma Su can’t be blamed for the loss of the kiosk. Zhugeliang should bear the main responsibility. From the perspective of geographical location, Jieting was not only a strategic area at that time, but also a key battle. The kiosk was lost, and there was no basis for entering, and there was no defense for retreating. They had to give up the three counties in Longxi that had been obtained and retreat to Hanzhong, resulting in the failure of the whole northern expedition. It is reasonable to say that Zhugeliang should personally supervise the front line, but he did not “Pro session kiosks”; His headquarters should be located near the Street Pavilion, but it was located far away in Qishan. Under the condition of backward communication at that time, it was inevitable that the command was ineffective. “Wei Dazi” said: “the formation of standing and sitting, coherent advance and stop, will be in it”; Sun Tzu’s art of war says: “knowing the place of war and the day of war, you can fight thousands of miles away. If you don’t know the place of war and the day of war, the left cannot save the right, the right cannot save the left, the front cannot save the rear, and the rear cannot save the front”; “Six towers” said: “general, if you don’t obey Qiu in winter, don’t operate fan in summer, and don’t cover the rain, it’s called Li Jiang. If you don’t obey Li, you can’t know the cold and heat of soldiers.”. This shows that generals should share weal and woe with soldiers in order to boost morale. When reading the annals of the Three Kingdoms, Mao Zedong criticized and said: “viewing people and observing big sections, small sections and small sections, so it is appropriate to kiss Jieting at the beginning of the war. If you lose, you will be in the army after the war.” This view is fair and profound. Although Zhu Geliang later made “self-criticism”, please demote himself as a right general, acting as the prime minister, and severely punished Ma Su, he only admitted that he “used people improperly and had the wisdom of being a good emperor”, and failed to summarize his strategic and tactical mistakes. Even I don’t seem to know much about “improper employment”, and I don’t seem to think of Wei Yan and Wei Yan’s suggestions. In the subsequent Northern Expedition, he still followed the old line of March, and dared not take the strategy of “following the Qinling Mountains to the East” and boldly going deep behind the enemy. The result could only be to make the Shu army stay under the strong city under Sima Yi’s strategy of not fighting. <! &\8211; end&\8211; >

It seems that Zhugeliang was indeed cautious in his life. Being cautious in strategy and tactics will inevitably lead to “knowing biases” and “seeking perfection and blame” in employment standards. Although he is more able to “select and appoint talents” in terms of employment, such as BA pangtong and Jiang Wan in small counties, Yang Hong and he only in county officials, his style of “being cautious all his life” seems to like those who are cautious and good at superficial Kung Fu, while those who have a little personality and great talent are often lost because of their small size. Wei Yan has the shortcomings of “refusing to leave others” and “being reserved”. He is a talent rather than a slave. He always uses people rather than believes them, just as a borrowing force. This kind of wary employment attitude will inevitably make him lose the help of “thigh and humerus”. Not only for Wei Yan, but also for other capable people who have some strengths and shortcomings, they are often used improperly and handled extremely and biased. For example, in dealing with Liu Feng’s “tough and hard to make”, Zhugeliang immediately persuaded Liu Bei to take the opportunity to cut it off because of its failure of mediocrity. In fact, Liu Feng was a trustworthy general, and Liu Bei regretted it later. For Liao Li, who is a little arrogant and claims to be “the second of Zhugeliang”, although he once praised him as a talented person who can be compared with Pang Tong, Changsha will not be reused after its loss. Later, because he complained a little, for example, Kongming “didn’t allow virtuousness and became a vulgar official”, he was exiled to Wenshan and died of old age. Ma Su first appreciated the strategy of “attacking the heart and making progress” proposed by him in the “Southern War” and believed that he was a promising talent. However, it seemed that he did not seriously consider Liu Bei Tuogu’s opinion that this person was “overstating the truth and not making great use of it”, and dealt with his lost Street Pavilion too severely.

At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Zhugeliang was a wise politician in selecting and using talents, but he was inferior to Cao Cao, Sun Quan and Liu Bei of the same era. In his lifetime, Zhugeliang failed to select and cultivate brilliant civil and military talents like stars to assist and inherit his career. Although there are many reasons, his perfection and impartiality in selecting talents are an important reason. As a result, most of the small and medium-sized officials in Western Sichuan are cautious “honest heads”, that is, Jiang Wan, Fei Wei and others are also more disciplined, less talented and less enterprising. What is particularly interesting is that Liu Bei selected two people most prominently in his life, one is Zhugeliang, the other is Wei Yan, and Zhu Geliang did not trust Wei Yan very much, which seemed to suppress him a little. But even in this case, Wei Yan still endured humiliation and endured heavy losses. He fought in life and death in the decades of northern and southern wars, defeated Guo Huai in Qiang, entered Sichuan to capture western Shu, fought seven times in the Southern War to capture Meng Huo, served as the pioneer in the Northern Expedition, received Jiang Wei in Tianshui, shot Cao Cao, beheaded Wang Shuang, died Zhang Luo, fought Sima Yi, retreated xiahouba, turned the tide after the fall of Jieting, and so on. He is strict in military management. “He is good at raising soldiers and is brave enough to surpass others”. There are almost no bad battles, and he will overcome them in every battle. In particular, his strategic proposal of raiding Chang’an was a good plan, but it was a pity that it was not adopted by Zhugeliang. If we follow Wei Yan’s strategy of “following the Qinling Mountains to the East”, the prospect is immeasurable. No wonder Wei Yanchang sighed, “bright is timid, sigh that you can’t use it all.”

Cao Cao’s higher employment than Zhugeliang lies in his proposition that “let the intelligence of the world fight for the return of the world”, “those who use it do not have to do it carefully”, “I let the intelligence of the world resist it with Tao, and nothing can be done”; He was well aware of “the chicken that lost the morning, thought about mending and then chirping”, “knowing people and being good at observing, difficult to dazzle and fake, pulling out of the ban, happy to advance between the lines of Chen, and taking Zhang Liao and Xu Huang among the dead prisoners, all of them served their lives and were listed as famous generals”; He put the overall situation first, and was able to “act in a pretentious way, regardless of the old and evil”. Zhang Xiu mutinied after surrender, and then surrendered again. Cao Cao treated him favorably and made him a marquis. Bi Chen, Wei Zhong and others had deceived Cao Cao, and were still put in important position after being captured. Therefore, the Cao Wei camp produced a large number of Chinese ministers and military generals, thus creating a larger situation. Sun Quan knew people well and was good at their duties. He was well aware of the principle that “the Duke of Zhou did not ask for preparation in one person”. He could not only see his shortcomings, but also use his strengths. He boldly appointed young generals and entrusted important tasks to Zhou Yu, LV Meng and Lu Xun; He said that Lu Su had two advantages (it was suggested that he should establish an emperor and unite with Liu kangcao) and one short (lend Jingzhou to Liu Bei), and he could not lose his two advantages because of one short. Liu Bei is also better than Zhugeliang in knowing people and performing good duties. When he promoted Wei Yan, he boldly trusted and used him. Although there are many good generals under his command, he always regarded Wei Yan as an outstanding general and talent commission to be the only one. In 219 ad (the 24th year of Jian’an), Liu Bei captured Hanzhong and was called the king of Hanzhong. At that time, when he planned to move to Chengdu, he had to pull out a general to guard Hanzhong. He knew that Hanzhong was the barrier of Yizhou and the base for competing for the Central Plains in the future, and his position was crucial. At that time, Guan Yu, the first general under his command, had stayed in Jingzhou. “The public thought that Zhang Fei must be there, and Fei also promised himself with his heart”. However, he knew people with his eyes. “It was pulling Wei Yan as the general of Zhenyuan in Hanzhong, leading the Prefecture in Hanzhong, and everyone was surprised.” It seems that Liu Bei not only knows Wei Yan, but also trusts and boldly uses Wei Yan. Wei Yan also did not live up to Liu Bei’s expectations. He sat down in Hanzhong and took charge of the country alone. The territory was even stronger than Wei, and the enemy dared not commit it. Liu Bei’s worries about the north were gone. However, Zhugeliang was not only “biased”, but also too meticulous and dead, “hands-on” and “pay a fine of more than 20 people personally”, which made talents rare and was not conducive to the growth of talents. When commenting on Zhugeliang, Wang Fuzhi said, “everyone is in the position of observing the rules of officials”, “although there are talented people, they will destroy their anger, so that they can rely on Xi!” From the late period of Western Shu to the late period, “there were no generals in Shu, and Liao Hua was the pioneer”, which may have a lot to do with Zhugeliang’s shortcomings in employing people. Moreover, Zhugeliang did not understand the importance of training local talents. Looking at the important ministers in the late Western Shu, there were not many local people. The subsequent Jiang Wan, Fei Wei and Jiang Wei did nothing, but were restrained by Huang Hao, Qiao Zhou and others. It seems that the training and use of local talents cannot be another defect of Zhugeliang.

Although Wei Yan had the shortcoming of “refusing to leave”, he sincerely obeyed Zhugeliang. When he had major differences with Zhugeliang on the strategy of the northern expedition, he still took the overall situation into consideration and did not do anything to damage the kingdom of Shu. Even when Kongming died in the army and the situation was very urgent and complex, there was no evidence that Wei Yan defected from Shu to Cao Wei. The discord between Yang Yi and Wei Yan has been deep. Once Zhugeliang died, their conflict became more superficial. “Zhugeliang’s disease is called Yan et al. ‘after my death, I will guard myself and be careful not to come back.’ I ordered Yan to take care of my own affairs and secretly hold the funeral. Yan then hid it and went to the mouth of praise, but was in mourning. Yang Yisu, the long history of Liang, had a disagreement with Wei Yan. Seeing that Yan was taking care of military affairs and was afraid of being harmed, Zhang Yanyan wanted to raise all the troops to the north, so he led them to attack Yan. Yan had no such intention and did not fight. He chased and killed them.” Peisongzhi believed that “the words that cover the rumors of the enemy country should not be contested with this biography”, but even if it is one-sided, we can see Yang Yi’s bad behavior of fabricating rumors and framing to eliminate his political enemies. Even according to the records in this biography, it cannot be explained that Wei Yan rebelled and fell to the north, but only when Zhugeliang was ill, “he secretly spent his time with long Shi Yang Yi, Sima Feiwei, and the guard Jiang Wei after his death. After the delay, Jiang Wei followed, and if he delayed or did not comply with the order, the army would be spontaneous”. Kongming just estimated that Wei Yan might not follow Yang Yi’s order, and made a little distrust of Wei Yan’s arrangement. Of course, it may also be Yang Yifei’s “decree of the prime minister”. Sure enough, Wei Yan didn’t want to be made by Yang Yi. Instead, he destroyed the plank road before retreating and killed Yang Yi’s return. The last battle was commanded by Jiang Wei, which does not mean that Wei Yan surrendered to the north and rebelled against Shu. It seems that Zhugeliang was also very incomplete in dealing with the serious disagreement between Yang Yi and Wei Yan. Although he subjectively “couldn’t bear to be biased”, Wei Yan fought in the front line against the enemy, and Yang Yi has been working around Zhugeliang. His reliance on and feelings for the two are different. If Zhugeliang summoned the two of them to his bedside before his death to treat each other wholeheartedly, knew the great righteousness and entrusted the important task, at least the contradiction between Wei and Yang could be temporarily eased. However, he excluded Wei Yan and left him only a posthumous order, which was an act of complete mistrust.

From the key words of many historical books, there is no mention of Wei Yan’s rebellion and surrender to the enemy. The best evidence is that he didn’t take the opportunity to go north after the break, but he was still the first to return to the south. Even though he was defeated by He Ping (He Ping is Wang Ping) without intending to kill his own people, he still didn’t go north. On the contrary, a few people were helped back to Shu and wanted to announce the deployment of the northern expedition in the name of Fei Wei. Unfortunately, he died after being sold by Fei Wei. From many historical materials, Wei Yan’s intention is very clear. Wei Yan believes that although the prime minister died, the great cause of the Northern Expedition cannot be interrupted. We should continue to “lead the troops to attack the thieves. Why is it that one person dies and destroys the world?” If Wei Yan really wanted to betray Han and join Cao, he might have three choices: first, he led the army to turn over at the front line, which was as easy as a palm of his hand; The second is to hold on, wait until Yang Yi leads the army to retreat, and then pull out the army to be stationed in Hanzhong. It is not difficult to observe the situation, follow the example of Zhang Lu in those days, and become unique with the prestige of guarding Hanzhong; The third is to learn from Liu Bei’s act of seizing Liu Zhang’s territory in the past, kill back to Chengdu and seize the Shuhan regime with the momentum of lightning, and then cut off Yang Yi’s army, which is not extremely difficult. However, Wei Yan did not choose any of them. On the contrary, he clearly stated that he should not “abolish the world with one person’s death” and should lead the army to inherit the will of the prime minister to continue the northern expedition, which was not related to the surrender of Cao Cao to Shu in any case.

Most historical tragedies have tragic characters. When Ma Dai took Wei Yan’s head to repay the meritorious service, the “narrow” malevolent Yang Yi actually “stepped on it and said, ‘Yong slave! Can you do evil again?’ so he Yiyan three families”. Wei Yan sacrificed his life and death for the existence and development of Shu. He did not die in the battlefield against the enemy, but the hidden arrow lost in his own camp was killed for his great achievements, harming the three ethnic groups, and his reputation for half of his life was destroyed. In fact, Yang Yi, who spread rumors and framed Wei Yan, wanted to betray Shu and surrender to the north. Yang Yi’s nature is “narrow-minded”, capricious, and a power traitor with lust for profit; He is narrow-minded and has always been at odds with Wen Chen and Wu Jiang. However, such a sycophant minister was valued by Zhugeliang Su and was granted the military power of the governor on his deathbed. After Yang Yi got rid of Wei Yan’s “victory” and returned to Chengdu, she boasted that she had made great achievements and was invincible; After failing to achieve the high position of “shangshuling”, he harboured resentment and said to Fei Wei, “when the Prime Minister of the past died, if I raised my army to serve the Wei family, I would rather live in such a bad life! It is beyond regret.” This confession secretly reported to the court for Fei Wei, so he “abandoned the instrument for the people and moved to Hanjia county”. However, Yang Yi was vicious and hard to change, so he wrote a slander to the resettlement office. The court later wanted to investigate and deal with him, and he committed suicide. Jiang Wan and Fei Wei first connived at Yang Yi’s removal of Wei Yan, and then removed Yang Yi. Zhugeliang’s bones were not cold, but he killed each other internally. The death of Zhugeliang, Wei Yan and Yang Yi followed. After this toss, the vitality of Shu Han was greatly damaged, causing the state of Shu to deteriorate. Zhugeliang was also responsible for this.

Qianqiu meritorious crimes have their own descendants’ comments. More than a thousand years ago, the parties should give a clear judgment. Studying and aftertaste it can provide us with valuable reference.

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