For a while there was a meme in contemporary theory about refusal. Bartleby appears frequently, even though he doesn't refuse (he notes that he would prefer not to). In some versions, refusal is akin to a consumer strike, but broader--it's not clear exactly what is refused. It could be work, participation, consumption, to give a damn. At any rate, the basic idea is withdrawal, dropping out, letting the system fall under its own weight.
Yesterday the NYT ran a cover story on Japan--disheartened, subdued, stagnant, deflated, shrinking Japan (the innuedoes of a loss of sexual vitality and potency were over the top). Two decades ago, Japan had a booming economy, we are told. Now the entire society is characterized by resignation, weariness, and fear of the future. It was a cautionary tale, a story of the risks of refusals to work over time and go into debt.
...economists are now warning of "Japanification"--of falling into the same deflationary trap of collapsed demand that occurs when consumers refuse to consume, corporations hold back on investments and banks sit on cash.
Young Japanese people no longer fly to Manhattan to shop. They save their money.
They refuse to buy big ticket items like cars or television.
and they lack
their elders' willingless to toil for endless hours at the office...
The revolution? The dismantling or undermining? It reminds me of descriptions of the last decades of the USSR (not the exciting Gorbachev years but the dreary years of Brezhnev). Of course, the rhetoric is embedded in US capitalism where anything but BUY BUY BUY is a threat. To take this seriously means to note the real threat in not buying, not working endless hours at the office. To take another path.
They aren't buying it.
And perhaps increasingly we aren't either. Maybe "can't buy" is becoming "won't buy." Or maybe can't buy now means can't buy the lie that capitalism lifts all boats.
What goes along with not buying it? Making what we need.