The Sandinista revolution thirty years ago may well have been the last of its kind. The revolutions that have mattered since have been less interested in seizing and becoming the state than circumventing it to go straight to becoming other people doing other things without state permission.
Rebecca Solnit, in The Nation, says the Revolution has already occured, giving examples:
“In the United States the most obvious realm in which this has transpired is food and farming. Organic, urban, community-assisted and guerrilla agriculture are still small parts of the picture, but effective ones–a revolt against what transnational corporate food and capitalism generally produce. This revolt is taking place in the vast open space of Detroit, in the inner-city farms of West Oakland, in the victory gardens and public-housing of Alemany Farm in San Francisco, in Growing Power in Milwaukee and many other places around the country. These are blows against alienation, poor health, hunger and other woes fought with shovels and seeds, not guns. At its best, tending one’s garden leads to tending one’s community and policy, and ultimately becomes a way of entering the public sphere rather than withdrawing from it.
“Do we have a plan, people?” Ehrenreich and Fletcher ask. We have thousands of them, being carried out quite spectacularly over the past few decades, for gardens and childcare co-ops and bicycle lanes and farmers’ markets and countless ways of doing things differently and better. The underlying vision is neither state socialist nor corporate capitalist, but something humane, local and accountable–anarchist, basically, as in direct democracy.
The revolution exists in little bits everywhere, but not much has been done to connect its dots. We need to say that there are alternatives being realized all around us and theorize the underlying ideals and possibilities. But we need to start from the confidence that the revolution has been with us for a while and is succeeding in bits and pieces. Enlarged and clarified, it could answer a lot of the urgent needs the depression brings.
If anarchists and neoliberals had one thing in common, it was an interest in shrinking the state that socialists hoped would solve things. Right now nothing but that state exists on a scale to drag us back out of what the corporations and international markets dragged us into, but one of the questions for the long term is about scale. Small isn’t always beautiful, but big beyond accountability or comprehension got crazy as well as ugly.”