The Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, in December 1978, will rank as one of the most significant milestones in the Party's history. Little is left of the Party's former role of defining and maintaining the direction of a process of revolutionary social transformation through the integration of theory and practice. Ideological leadership was more closely related to the Party organisational structure and was to be strengthened by an exclusively inner-Party form. The former conception of vanguard leadership rested on the basic rationale that the Party must lead the revolutionary movement because of its grasp of revolutionary direction gained through its superior understanding of revolutionary theory. The Cultural Revolution produced one of the most dramatic generational cleavages within the Party membership and among Party cadres in particular. Certainly there have been concerted attempts to strengthen the Party organisation, to enforce discipline as well as to promote discussion and criticism as the proper internal procedures.