MAOIST ideologues led by Mr Deng Liqun have made a daring critique of patriarch Mr Deng Xiaoping's radical market reforms. Chinese sources said yesterday Mr Deng Liqun, popularly known as Little Deng, had organised a series of theoretical essays on the phenomenon of ''exploitation'' by the ''neo-capitalistic'' classes. The articles have coincided with a revival of leftist, or Maoist, thinking in the media, which became obvious soon after the patriarch called off his anti-leftist campaign earlier this year. The sources said Little Deng had also exploited Mr Deng's on-going concern with preserving political stability through snuffing out the seeds of ''bourgeois liberalisation''. The gist of Little Deng's argument is that many of China's new businesses are ''profiteering'' ventures that exploit the less privileged sectors of society. The ideologist invokes the Marxist doctrine that capitalists or neo-capitalists are building up empires through reaping the ''surplus values'' of their productions. ''Little Deng is implying that Deng Xiaoping is reviving capitalism,'' said a source who had read the articles. In recent months, leftist commissars have printed orthodox commentaries in journals under their control. One such commentary revived the leftist argument that ''before one implements a reform policy, one must ascertain whether it is surnamed socialist or capitalist''. Recently, the People's Daily raised eyebrows when it published an editorial on ''strengthening ideological and political education'', a euphemism for Marxist values. Sources in the Chinese capital said that in spite of radical reshuffles, leftist cadres still controlled many ideological and propaganda departments. Liberal officials in the People's Daily applauded the recent transfer to the party mouthpiece of Mr Zhou Ruijin, a former editor of the radical Liberation Daily of Shanghai. However, they were puzzled that an open-minded deputy director of the paper, Mr Li Junyou, had been transferred. Meanwhile, the Propaganda Department and the Press and Publications Administration yesterday called a meeting in Beijing to promote regulation over the nation's mushrooming journals. The official New China News Agency quoted the executive vice-chief of propaganda, Mr Xu Weicheng, as asking the editors to ''make propaganda on patriotism, socialism and collectivism, or in general, Deng Xiaoping's theory on building Chinese-style socialism''. Analysts said it was noteworthy that Mr Xu, a disciple of Little Deng, had equated Mr Deng's reform theories with the three orthodox ''isms''.