http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomenklatura An official in the party or government bureaucracy could not advance in the nomenklatura without the assistance of a patron. In return for this assistance in promoting his career, the client carried out the policies of the patron. Patronâ€“client relations thus help to explain the ability of party leaders to generate widespread support for their policies. The presence of patronâ€“client relations between party officials and officials in other bureaucracies also helped to account for the large-scale control the party exercised over the Soviet society. All of the 2 million members of the nomenklatura system understood that they held their positions only as a result of a favor bestowed on them by a superior official in the party, and that they could easily be replaced if they manifested disloyalty to their patron. Self-interest dictated that members of the nomenklatura submit to the control of their patrons in the party.