Council Communism

The Council Communists came from the Dutch and German left, rejecting the role of the Party in the class struggle and the revolutionary process, and in many cases considering the Bolshevik party and the Russian revolution as bourgeois.
Council Communism should be distinguished from its degenerated descendant, "Councilism", which developed after World War II and is heavily influenced by anarchist ideology.

CPGB: a dedicated follower of Lenin?

We publish here an article written by a sympathiser, in response to a debate going on within the CPGB ("Communist Party of Great Britain") which has found expression in a series of articles about the formation of the Communist Party of Great Britain on the 80th anniversary of its founding.

A contribution to the history of the revolutionary movement: “Communistenbond Spartacus” and the councilist current (1942-1948)

The Communistenbond Spartacus (‘Spartacus' Communist League) began in 1942 as a split from the Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg Front, itself a split from the RSAP.

Cajo Brendel (1915-2007)

Cajo Brendel died at the age of 91 years on the 25th of June, 2007. He was the last of the Dutch "council communists". Cajo was a dear friend and a companion in struggle, who defended his positions fiercely but who was at the same time jovial, warm and cordial in companionship... Here we want to enter at some more length into his life and our ties with him.

Letter to Daad en Gedachte

The article we are publishing below was written in July 1998, following the decision of the Dutch councilist group Daad en Gedachte to cease regular publication of its press. Since then, several meetings have taken place with the participation of Cajo Brendel, one of the group's leading members (we will give a full account of these later in the ICC's international press). Nonetheless, to date our fears as to the future of the group's publication have proven justified, since it has not reappeared.

German/Dutch left is not a branch of anarchism

At the end of 1998 a pamphlet was brought out by an anarchist publishing house, entitled Council Communism and Autonomous Workers' Struggles. It was dedicated to Cajo Brendel, the last living representative of the German-Dutch left (1). As well as an interview, a bibliography, and several extracts from texts written by Brendel, the collection also contains a number of short extracts from 'basic texts of council communism' by Anton Pannekoek, Otto Ruhle, Hank Canne Meijer and Paul Mattick, as well as a short historical introduction on the origins of this curron on the origins of this current. Furthermore, this pamphlet is in continuity with a previous one published in 1990 by the same publishers, containing 'libertarian texts' by Rosa Luxemburg, Anton Pannekoek and Henriette Roland Holst.

Cajo Brendel Meetings in Germany

Through his exposes and his contributions to the discussions, Cajo Brendel proved, in our opinion, that the 'classic' positions of the German-Dutch left have lost none of their relevance even if, as Brendel asserted, along with Marx, "our theory is not a dogma but a guide to action". As has long been the case with, what can be called "the Dutch can be called "the Dutch school of marxism", which was animated by, among others, Anton Pannekoek and Hermann Gorter, comrade Brendel denounced the bourgeois character of parliamentarism, the trade unions, and social democracy, and the state capitalist nature of the former eastern bloc. And while the state capitalist currents like Stalinism and Trotskyism have welcomed the new "Red-Green" government in Germany as a step forward for the working class, Brendel showed the profoundly anti-working class nature of this government.

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