Zhang first became known by the public because of his article on bourgeois right, “Destroy the Ideas of Bourgeois Legal Ownership.” (In Chinese, bourgeois right and bourgeois legal ownership is the same thing.) He argued the core thought of bourgeois right is hierarchical system, which contributes to the principle “to each according to one’s work,” instead of “to each according to one’s need.” Mao noticed and praised the article, which was published soon on “People’s Daily.” Zhang became a top official in Shanghai afterwards.
But in 1975, when Zhang published the article “On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship over the Bourgeois,” Deng raised problems in the article to Mao, who later criticized the “gang of four” at a central political committee meeting. In the article, Zhang seemed to be “politically correct,” as it stuck with the struggle between proletarian and bourgeois, and the ownership of people. He tended to label all political enemies as bourgeois and exaggerate potential bourgeois elements. Looking backwards of history, the reality of China was still way far away from bourgeois and capitalism, as it shows today dramatically. Fortunately, he was not the one who grabbed the power at the end, or it would be terrible to think China with on-going class struggle and ideological fight.