Commanding heights of the economy

"Commanding Heights of The Economy" refers to existing private industry critical to the economy like large banks, insurances and mines. This phrase emerged from a branch of modern political philosophy concerned with organizing society, and can be traced back to Karl Marx's idea on socialism, which stresses the commanding heights and advocates for government control of it. This should not be confused with social democracy or complete socialism.

According to Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, a Bolshevik economist, control over the "commanding heights of the economy" would ensure "primitive socialist accumulation".[1] Deng Xiaoping, the leader who along with Chen Yun introduced the Chinese economic reforms, was inspired by this concept. The Communist Party of China still believes to this day that the state needs to control the economy's commanding heights.


  1. Bonner 2013, p. 86.


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