enforce absolute loyalty

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Senior Member
The quotation comes from The Lonely Crusade of China’s Human Rights Lawyers

Quotation: Life has never been easy for China’s criminal defense lawyers. Until 1979, the People’s Republic operated with virtually no criminal-justice system whatsoever: The Communist Party organized Soviet-style police and people’s courts to address petty crimes and local disputes, but their primary responsibility was to enforce absolute loyalty to the party. Even the Constitution, the ostensible basis of the law, was rudimentary at best, and served mainly to outline the means of ‘‘socialist industrialization and socialist transformation’’ in order to abolish ‘‘systems of exploitation.’’
Hi everyone! Does the bold part mean "to make people absolutely loyal to the party"?
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    You can enforce (ie ensure that people conform to) particular approved behaviours, but you can't enforce the internal attitude of loyalty. You can't make people loyal. You can only make people say or do certain things.

    I would say that means the police and people's courts were there to ensure that people conformed to the required loyal behaviour towards the party.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I agree. The primary responsibility (according to this text) was to prevent/punish/reverse any open, visible signs of disloyalty or disagreement with the Communist party. In other words, to use an idiom, their job was to "nip in the bud" any sign of that behavior, in order to discourage anyone else from doing anything similar.
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