jeudi 23 septembre 2010

Cajo Brendel 1915 - 2007

Carel Johan Brendel was born the 26th of October 1915 in Hague in Holland.  
His family was doing rather well, but with the world crisis of the late 20's/early 30's his father lost his fortune and conditions got worse. As a young person Cajo left home to live in a workers quater trying to make his way. For some time he was lucky to be able to study and later on he established himself as journalist.
Politically he started with some trotzkyist symphathies, but from 1934 he began his contacts withe circles of the council communist Groups of International Communists in Holland  -  the GIC(H). From the mid-30's Cajo was a 'travelling' reporter on many of the major class struggles going on  -  not only in Holland but also in other countries.
After the second World War Cajo became a central figure in the council communist current in Holland. From 1952 til 1954 he was in the editorial board of the Dutch journal Spartakus. Later on  -  from 1965  -  he was one of the key figures behind Daad en Gedachte. Still later on and until his health stopped him he was also a key figure together with his long time friend Henry Simon behind Echanges et Movement. 
As a journalist and political activist Cajo wrote enormous ammounts of comments and articels on all kind of topics related to struggles of the working class. Most of this is related to Holland and in Dutch of course. But his internationalist interests also got him involved in struggles elsewhere. Whenever he could he travelled to France, Belgium, England and other places where workers were on strike in order to get informations on first hand and report about it.
Politically Cajo represented the 'second-generation' of the German/Dutch or Council Communist tradition. Taking part in activities of the GIC(H) in the 30s and participating in the Spartakus Bond after the II. World War Cajo always continued to insist on the main positions of Council Communism: The Trade Unions and the Social-Democratic Parties of the old workers movement are not only bureaucratically stiffened, but have integrated fully within Capitalism as hostile forces against workers struggles for workers own needs. The socalled Communist Parties   -  Stalinist, Trotzkyist, Maoist or what ever  -  are not any better, but only advocating another kind of Capitalism and thus against the workers. 
Beside his journalist production Cajo also made a considerable effort to generalize lessons from working class struggles in forms of analysis and accounts of important events. Examples of this are  .....  
And as to theoretical questions Cajo also made several important books and articles. Excamples in this field are ....
Until his health prevented him Cajo kept being engaged and active along his council communist positions. So he always held a steady correspondence with eveyone seriously interested and traveled to meetings around Europe. 
Cajo died on on the 25th of June 2007.

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