The actual function of the theory is two-fold. It legitimizes the inclusion of capitalists and private entrepreneurs within the Communist Party, and as a result has been the subject of quiet but heated opposition within the party. Second, it also serves to legitimize Jiang Zemin's historical legacy as a Marxist theorist on the level of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
>Much of the difficulty here lies in the depth of the translation problem. Here's a way to approach the english translations of China's presentation of "Three Represents" = The Sign of Three.
"advanced social productive forces" = businessmen
"the progressive course of... advanced culture" = national utilities
"the fundamental interests of the majority" = democrats
Although open criticism of the theory of the three represents is taboo, there have been reports of private unease at this theory from within the Communist Party of China for a number of reasons. First, many dislike the focus of the theory on the advanced social productive forces, meaning businessmen, since it ignores the widening social gap between the rich and poor. Second, many feel that Jiang Zemin's promotion of the theory was similar to the creation of a cult of personality.