China Policy Study Group

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The Red Flag of the Party

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China Policy Study Group

The China Policy Study Group (CPSG) was a group of Left academics in Britain sympathetic and supportive of the Chinese Revolution. They were sponsored by Dr. Joseph Needham, Professor Cyril Offord, Professor Joan Robinson and Professor George Thomson. They published a number of books and pamphlets (including a series of three significant books by George Thomson). They also published a monthly magazine, China Policy Study Group Broadsheet, from January 1964 until December 1981, with one final, special issue in May 1982.

The CPSG probably played a positive role in spreading the ideas of the Chinese Revolution amongst the British Left but don’t seem to have a) really understood Maoism, b) didn’t really accept the true significance of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and c) never understood the meaning and consequences of a ‘revolution is not a dinner party’.

After the death of Chairman Mao they didn’t see the coup d’etat of the ‘capitalist-roaders’ in the Communist Party of China against the revolutionaries within the Party – who were derided as the so-called ‘Gang of Four’. From 1977 to the final issue in may of 1982 they seemed to accept the moving of Chinese society from the revolutionary road to that of the full scale restoration of capitalism without any problems.

The cessation of the publication of the monthly Broadsheet was, therefore, no real loss.

Marxism In China Today, by George Thomson, 1965, 16 pages. This pre-Cultural Revolution pamphlet is a slightly expanded form of a lecture first given on March 15, 1965, under the auspices of the China Policy Study Group.

From Marx to Mao Tse-tung: A Study in Revolutionary Dialectics, by George Thomson, (London: China Policy Study Group, 1971), 96 double pages. Though written over 40 years ago, this is still a fine introduction to revolutionary Marxism. It includes a great many quotations from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and others, all arranged in a way to illustrate the overall coherence and unity of MLM theory.

Capitalism and After: The Rise and Fall of Commodity Production, by George Thomson, (London: China Policy Study Group, 1973), 162 pages. A continuation of the above volume, focusing here on the political economy of capitalism and socialism. Like the first volume, it includes many quotations from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and others.

The Human Essence: The Sources of Science and Art, by George Thomson, (London: China Policy Study Group, 1974), 132 pages. The third and final volume of Thomson’s introduction to Marxism, which together cover the political, historical and ideological aspects of the subject. This volume, however, is based to a somewhat greater degree on Thomson’s own thinking and work.

Mao’s Last Battle — The Next Stage, by Bruce Smith, China Policy Study Group (London), 1978, 36 pages. This pamphlet focuses on supporting Hua Kuo-feng (Hua Guofeng) and attacking the so-called Gang of Four, with only mild and limited criticism of Deng Xiaoping.

Index for 1964-1981, 10 pages

1969 Volume 6

7 – July 1969, 4 pages

9 – September 1969, 4 pages

10 – October 1969, 8 pages

11 – November 1969, 4 pages

12 – December 1969, 4 pages

Volume 6 Index, 1 page

1970 Volume 7

1 – January 1970, 4 pages

2 – February 1970, 4 pages

3 – March 1970, 4 pages

8 – August 1970, 4 pages

9 – September 1970, 4 pages

1971 Volume 8

No issues available for this year.

1972 Volume 9

6 – June 1972, 4 pages

7 – July 1972, 4 pages

10 – October 1972, 4 pages

1973 Volume 10

11 – November 1973, 4 pages

12 – December 1973, 4 pages

1974 Volume 11

2 – February 1974, 4 pages

3 – March 1974, 4 pages

4 – April 1974, 4 pages

5 – May 1974, 4 pages

6 – June 1974, 4 pages

7 – July 1974, 4 pages

8 – August 1974, 4 pages

9 – September 1974, 4 pages

10 – October 1974, 8 pages

11 – November 1974, 4 pages

12 – December 1974, 4 pages

1975 Volume 12

1 – January 1975, 4 pages

2 – February 1975, 4 pages

3 – March 1975, 4 pages

4 – April 1975, 4 pages

5 – May 1975, 4 pages

6 – June 1975, 4 pages

8 – August 1975, 4 pages

9 – September 1975, 4 pages

10 – October 1975, 4 pages

11 – November 1975, 4 pages

12 – December 1975, 4 pages

1976 Volume 13

1 – January 1976, 4 pages

2 – February 1976, 4 pages

3 – March 1976, 4 pages

4 – April 1976, 4 pages

5 – May 1976, 4 pages

6 – June 1976, 4 pages

8 – August 1976, 4 pages

9 – September 1976, Special Issue on Mao’s Death, 8 pages

1977 Volume 14

1 – January 1977, 4 pages

2 – February 1977, 4 pages

3 – March 1977, 4 pages

4 – April 1977, 4 pages

5 – May 1977, 4 pages

6 – June 1977, 4 pages

7 – July 1977, 4 pages

8 – August 1977, 4 pages

9 – September 1977, 4 pages

10 – October 1977, 4 pages

11 – November 1977, 4 pages

12 – December 1977, 4 pages

1978 Volume 15

1 – January 1978, 4 pages

2 – February 1978, 4 pages

1979 Volume 16

4 – April 1979, 4 pages

5 – May 1979, 4 pages

6/7 – June-July 1979, 8 pages

9 – September 1979, 4 pages

10 – October 1979, 4 pages

11 – November 1979, 4 pages

12 – December 1979, 4 pages

1980 Volume 17

1 – January 1980, 4 pages

2 – February 1980, 4 pages

3 – March 1980, 4 pages

4 – April 1980, 4 pages

5 – May 1980, 4 pages

8 – August 1980, 4 pages

10 – October 1980, 4 pages

11/12 – November-December 1980, 6 pages

1981 Volume 18

1 – January 1981, 4 pages

2 – February 1981, 4 pages

3 – March 1981, 4 pages

4 – April 1981, 4 pages

6/7 – June-July 1981, 8 pages

8 – August 1981, 4 pages

9 – September 1981, 4 pages. (The CPSG announced in this issue that regular publication of the Broadsheet would cease in December 1981.)

10 – October 1981, 4 pages

11 – November 1981, 4 pages

12 – December 1981, 8 pages

1982

Special Issue – May 1982, 8 pages

When the CPSG announced the cessation of the monthly publication from the end of 1981 they suggested that there might be an occasional publication in the future. This ‘Special’ really came out to announce that the option wasn’t feasible and so this was definitely the last of the series that had been published since 1964.

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