10 September 2009

Local Government and Revolution

Local government in the United States has relatively less power than State government, which has relatively less power than the federal government. This is not a groundbreaking statement. As such, the creme de la creme of bourgeois politicians inhabit the federal government. These are usually people who come from great privilege, who have well established families, and lots of money.

As we get down to local levels, the people in government are both in better touch with the needs of their constituents and also less likely to be out of touch with "the common man". They also have far less vested in the system they are currently serving (as a sweeping generalization)

It seems logical to me then that the area to direct our revolutionary activities is towards local governments. In the long run we will need to control the national state, however the current national state is institutionally stuck in its role as protector of processes that perpetuate the conditions of existence of the the current system. This state most likely cannot be changed from within, but rather needs to be removed.
Legitimization of the removal process (or at very least its beginnings) can start with a bottom up revolution. Just as Gramsci wrote that revolutionary activity has to start with individuals within the party, it also has to start at small levels of government.

Top down reforms will be just that, changes to the system of bourgeois exploitation, without removing bourgeois exploitation, not revolution. "Bottom up" can apply to the state just as much as it does to individuals.