A revolutionary party learned to survive by wrapping itself in ‘stability’
A word used retrospectively to justify a bloody crackdown has become a commonsense platitude used to explain today’s China, accepted alike by American businessmen and politicians and China’s educated young people. The concept of “maintaining stability” legitimizes and even defines the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including its vast propaganda machine and the apparatus of physical repression that it has become infamous for.
But the idea is a relatively recent invention. None other than Deng Xiaoping—the Party leader who emerged to lead China out of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, opened up its economy, then ordered the Tiananmen Square massacre—came up with it.