Front Page Titles (by Subject) Thesis and Antithesis - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1
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Thesis and Antithesis - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Thesis and Antithesis
“Human Rights: What About China?” Foreign Policy (USA), 29 (1978): 109–127.
Since Mao's death, mainland China has been struggling to suppress political dissidents. A Chinese official boasted that its government deprived only 5% of Chinese of their rights. This means that 40 million of China's 800 million people now undergo “reeducation,” imprisonment, or supervision. However, the Carter administration has maintained a curious silence on these human rights violations in China. By exploring some recent examples of dissidence within China, we may speculate about the likely emergence of at least a small, vocal, and prominent group of dissidents within China. They will pressure the Chinese government (in much the same way as Russian dissidents have) by focusing international attention on the suppression of political and civil liberties within the country.
Several examples evidence a growing willingness by Chinese citizens to protest unpopular government actions, including the strikes by factory workers in Hangchow in Spring 1975 and the riot in Peking's Tien An Men Square in April 1976. However, the most interesting example involves the Li I-che poster entitled “Concerning Socialist Democracy and Legal System” displayed in Canton in November 1974. The poster extended over 100 yards in length and covered 67 sheets of newsprint. This poster is significant because a number of former Red Guards authored it, and because it stresses the need for democratization and guarantee of political rights. The Li I-che poster represents a sophisticated variation of the “new class” argument regarding the political consequences of authoritarian rule (reminiscent of the writings of the Yugoslav dissident Milovan Djilas). The authors of the poster contend that Chinese socialism has generated a new ruling class within the Communist Party and the state apparatus that uses political power to appropriate privileges to itself. The poster criticizes the arbitrary nature of political authority, especially since the Cultural Revolution.
Mao's passing and the subsequent factionalism within the political elite has severely weakened the moral legitimacy of central political authority in China. At the same time, while Mao failed to provide an institutionalized guarantee of political criticism and democracy, he did leave a legacy of antiauthoritarianism best epitomized by his statement that “to rebel is justified.” We may speculate that the Red Guards will be the most likely source of domestic dissidence. Disillusioned by the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, many Guards have grown stern and resentful of the lack of democratic institutions.