A Communist party is not a mass party. It is rather, by its own definition, a party of elites, the most advanced members of a single class. The Communist Party in China is proportionally the smallest of all ruling Communist parties, never having comprised as much as three per cent. of the population. Such a small leadership group, lacking the direct involvement of the masses in its membership, must rely on other organs to engage the bulk of the population on its behalf. These are the mass organizations. Operating through these mass organizations, the Party maintains leadership and control over the various sectors of society; at the same time, the organizations, staffed by Party members, educate the masses in communism and provide grass roots listening posts which help the Party to maintain its legitimacy.