One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Especially during the Cultural Revolution in China: (a term for) a Party official e.g. the secretary of a provincial Party committee or the chairman of a people's commune, alleged to have capitalist tendencies.
1960s; earliest use found in The Times. From capitalist road + -er, after Chinese zŏu zībĕn zhŭyì dàolù dāngquánpài, also zŏu zībĕn zhŭyì dàolù de dāngquánpài person in authority who takes the capitalist road or its abbreviated form zŏuzīpài.
capitalist roader/ˈkapɪtəlɪst ˌrəʊdə//ˈkapɪt(ə)lɪst ˌrəʊdə/
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