Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict: the Basic Documents

By Michel Oksenberg; Lawrence R. Sullivan et al. | Go to book overview

neo-authoritarianism has been quietly circulated among intellectuals in Beijing but it has not been officially confirmed. People here hold that the debate in mainland theoretical circles on neo-authoritarianism will not stop due to Deng Xiaoping expressing his attitude. The debate will continue in depth in connection with China's political realities.


8
Concerning Controversial Views on Neo-Authoritarianism

DENG ZIQIANG

Source: Originally published in Shenzhen tequ bao (Shenzhen Special Economic Zone news); reprinted in Ta Kung Pao ( Hong Kong) ( April 17, 1989): 2; FBIS, April 19, pp. 26-28.


I

The debate on neo-authoritarianism first began among some young and middle- aged scholars in Beijing and Shanghai, and recently spread to ideological and theoretical circles. Here, I would like to summarize the latest developments in the debate and the main viewpoints on this controversial issue.


What Is Neo-Authoritarianism

At present, there is not yet a commonly accepted definition of this term. People who uphold neo-authoritarianism say that neo-authoritarianism, being different from the old authoritarianism, is oriented toward modernization. In political terms, it is not autocracy, but only semi-autocracy; in economic terms, its target is market-oriented restructuring. Wu Jiaxiang, a young scholar, holds that human history inevitably undergoes three stages of development, namely, the stage of old authority, the stage of new authority, and the stage of liberal democracy. Neo-authoritarianism is a transitional stage between traditional society and modern society. Economically, it is characterized by the semi-market economy, which is a transitional form between the natural economy (or product economy) under the rule of the old authority and the free economy (or market economy), and politically, it is characterized by

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