Josef Haken was bom on 20th May 1880 at Markvartice in the Jičín region. While still a student at the Teachers* Training College at Jičín, he already had conflicts with conservative professors and the clergy. As a teacher he continued having conflicts with representatives of the ruling class. In the period before World War I he already wrote several articles with a Marxist orientation in the Teachers* Newsletter, wherein he critically analysed the relationship of the teaching profession to politics.
Before the establishment of a united international party of the proletariat (in 1921) he had already taken part in drawing up the oudine of its educational policy programme. He maintained close contats with the Teachers' Socialist Association, whose members regarded him as a "liaison officer" between themselves and the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. He made every effort to unify all the socialist teachers on such issues as the work school, the anti-religious school, the uniform school. The idea of a uniform school occupied a significant place in the efforts for a reform of the conservative educational system and it was fought for mainly by staunch Socialists. Haken realized that the new school, the school of a Socialist society, presupposes the creation of a new quality in the teacher-pupil relationship. These ideas were explicidy formulated in the last years of his life in his personal correspondence.
Josef Haken earned a permanent place in the history of the revolutionary labour movement as one of the most significant founders of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and its age-long official. He exercised considerable influence on the orientation of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia's education policy in the inter-war period. He took active part in the campaign for the formation of the conception of the uniform (comprehensive) school based on the principles of Marxist- Leninist pedagogy and the use of Soviet experience.