In her book, Arendt discusses the American Revolution, comparing it, explicitly, and favorably, to the revolutions in France and Russia. While admitting some truly great problems with our revolution (a baked-in acceptance of slavery is certainly the number one problem), Arendt notes that what happened in 1776 was a dawning realization by ordinary people that "we the people" are perfectly capable of governing ourselves. Genuine "self-government" can only be achieved by a "revolution," and the first step has to be our realization that we, collectively, should be running our affairs the way we want to run them. Thereafter, we need to follow up on that realization by an actual implementation of that idea.
When we first realize that WE have power, and, having realized that, we then insist that the power we have be employed for OUR benefit, a "political revolution" can and will occur. That all happened back in 1776, and with the subsequent adoption of the Constitution in 1779, but the genuine "self-government" we then achieved (and it was flawed, as already noted) has lost its strength and potency. We still "think" self-government, and by now we know that this means women, people of color - everybody - but we are not, in fact, actually governing ourselves. The corporations and the "billionaire class" are running the show. We are not going to be able to transform our situation and deal with wealth inequality, the climate crisis, and the profound issues of social justice we need to confront until we actually make the government work for us, by taking it over ourselves. That's what I think Bernie Sanders means by a "political revolution."
A successful political revolution did occur in Santa Cruz County, at a time during which those with money and (apparently) power, were turning Santa Cruz County into a conquered province of the Silicon Valley. I was fortunate enough to be part of the effort by ordinary people to take back power, and to make the fundamental decisions about what our future should look like. I had read Arendt's book in college. When I showed up in Santa Cruz, in 1971, I saw it happening in real life - and with truly revolutionary consequences.
I am not afraid of that kind of "political revolution," and I have no illusions that it's easy. People actually have to believe that they can make their government do what they want, what benefits them, and not just succumb to what those with money and power say is "inevitable" or "necessary," and then, they need to spend time, and join with others, actually to participate in the political decision making process.
Making a "political revolution" is a big job, even at the local level. It is REALLY HARD at a national scale.
Nonetheless, I am here to testify that, hard as it might be, it can be done. And if we can all trust ourselves this election cycle, we can have the kind of "political revolution" that I know Bernie Sanders is talking about.
There are just a few days till the Iowa caucuses! Onward from there! If we truly want to change the realities (and we desperately need to), a political revolution is exactly what is required!