Except for those who admire the Chinese government’s authoritarian ways (paging Thomas Friedman), it’s hard to see the likelihood of any positive developments emerging from these changes depicted in the latest Bloomberg Businessweek.

Three weeks before Xi’s speech, the party had issued new recruitment rules, the first major revision in 24 years, that aim to further slow the growth of the world’s largest political organization. Only people likely to be so dedicated to party doctrine that they won’t succumb to the temptations of graft will be welcomed.

Ding Xueliang, professor of social science at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, says Xi and other top leaders became convinced China needed a smaller, purer party after close study of the collapse of Communist rule in the former Soviet Union. “The major problem they identified about the Soviet Communist Party was: No.?1, the senior cadres didn’t believe in party principles, didn’t believe in communism or socialism, and only believed in their own self-interest,” Ding says. “No.?2, within the cadre system—amongst the higher- and middle-level officials—there were extensive networks of corruption.”

The emphasis on finding solid recruits may also place less importance on former President Jiang Zemin’s push to sign up more entrepreneurs. Instead there will be stepped-up recruitment of migrant workers, whom the party hopes can be more easily molded, according to Willy Lam, an expert on the CPC and the Chinese leadership at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The failure of Soviet communism stemmed from a lack of adherence to communism? Jon Sanders might want to enlist Capt. Picard for a response.