Commanding heights of the economy

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The Commanding heights of the economy is a Marxist–Leninist phrase first used during Vladimir Lenin's New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union.[1] It meant that the Communist Party held monopoly over political power, while retaining control of large enterprises, foreign trade, means of transportation, banks, energy, communications and heavy industry among others.[1] Private ownership was allowed everywhere else, including agriculture and trade.[1] According to Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, a Bolshevik economist, control over the "commanding heights of the economy" would ensure "primitive socialist accumulation".[2]

Deng Xiaoping, the leader who along with Chen Yun introduced the Chinese economic reforms, was inspired by this concept, and he (and the Communist Party of China) still believes to this day that the state needs to control the economy's commanding heights.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Wesson 1978, p. 111.
  2. ^ Bonner 2013, p. 86.