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Division Among Intellectuals (1985–1988)—Socialist Modernization And The Reforms

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Chapter Summary

Although the increasing diversification of views among intellectuals in the early 1980s can partly be attributed to changing ways of representing views in the press, growing differences in the background of intellectuals were largely responsible for clashes of views in the academic community. Leaders born after 1935, who lived their adult life under the PRC and often enjoyed a technical education, inclined toward pragmatic support for modernization and a revision of Marxism, and seemed to be more eager to accept loosely defined versions of Marxist national ideology. The Party in 1987 singled out only three intellectuals as the instigators of the December demonstrations: liberal writer Wang Ruowang, journalist Liu Binyan, and astrophysicist Fang Lizhi. All three had suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution and had built up high hopes for the post-1978 reforms.

Keywords: diversification; intellectuals; Marxism; reforms; socialist modernization



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