According to Prof Rana Mitter:
"So in many areas today, as in the past, party membership has been made the key to advancement. The difference is that in the past, progress in the CPC was tied to one's status as a worker or peasant. Now, it is the rising technological entrepreneur and financial executive who may reach a certain level of success, only to be told that it would be "helpful" to join the party. The one thing that almost never motivates any application to join is a belief in socialism, ideology, or that historical relic known as Maoism. Membership of the party has become almost entirely utilitarian. As long as the economy remains strong, this may be enough to prolong the party's grip on power."