By Harold Joseph Laski

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13 With the perspective of thirty years of persecution, intellectuals naturally were critics of the Party/state even when they served it. Indeed, some of the most prominent and outspoken of the liberal intelligentsia worked for the state, often in high places, and their self-assigned mission was to change the state from within. Drawing primarily from the liberal tradition in Marxism and sometimes on Western liberalism, they sought to build a state that placed unprecedented emphasis on human beings – and that meant creating a more liberal, democratic order.

Deng was interested in defining a middle path, using “reform and opening up” to 18 One can draw distinctions between Zhao and Deng, but the similarities predominate. Overall, Zhao appears to have been closer to Deng on most issues than Hu Yaobang. Although Zhao was more open-minded than Deng in his response to the Tiananmen demonstrations, Zhao was hardly a liberal. ” The Thirteenth Party Congress, which clearly bears Zhao’s imprint, was strongly supported by Deng. On economic issues, Deng was in some sense the more radical, or at least the more impatient, as suggested by his 1988 advocacy of rapid price reform.

Certainly in the eyes of their critics, the similarities were far greater than the differences. ”19 It was a way to prevent ideological disputes from tearing the Party apart as they had in the past, and it was a political strategy that allowed Deng to build a coalition that upheld the center of the political spectrum. The adoption of the formula “one center and two basic points” in the spring of 1987 (in the course of the campaign against bourgeois liberalization that followed Hu Yaobang’s ouster) merely formalized long-standing practice.

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