Here is a video I made entitled "Austerity is an Affront to the Gods," which refutes austerity-mongers who are presently to be found in control of both the "right" and the so-called "left" (who are not really left) in most nations of the global west.
The term "austerity" as used here means "fiscal austerity," which seeks to limit the ability of elected governments representing the people to use fiscal policy (including sovereign spending and tax policy) to influence the economy for purposes of full employment and economic benefit.
Austerity in practice involves increasing taxes and reducing sovereign spending on infrastructure and on social welfare.
Austerity has been implemented to a greater and greater degree since the rise of "monetarist" policy beginning in the late 1970s and especially after 1980; the monetarist school wants to supplant fiscal policy (implemented by a nation's elected representatives) with monetary policy (implemented by central banks), using monetary policy almost exclusively to manage the economy and trying to encourage full employment and price stability, even though monetary policy is a very clumsy instrument for these tasks and actually admits to using increased unemployment as a counter to inflation.
Austerity reflects a vision of scarcity rather than a vision of plenty. It is enabled and sustained by a general lack of understanding of the abundance of the natural resources given to a nation by the gods (or, if you prefer, by Nature), including the most important gift of all which are the talents and abilities and ambitions of the men and women whom the gods (or Nature) allow to be born into that nation.
Advocates of austerity (whom we could legitimately label "austerity mongers") seek to limit the ability of a nation to implement fiscal policy to such a degree that spending on infrastructure and social welfare is drastically curtailed, taxes are increased (or threatened to be increased for any increased spending on infrastructure or social welfare, which we are told we "cannot afford" otherwise), underemployment and unemployment rise which means that men and women are unable to fully use their gifts (given to them by the gods, or -- if you prefer -- by Nature), and standards of living are dramatically reduced.
Ultimately, the end result of austerity policy, as explained by Professor Michael P. Hudson in a quotation included in the above video and cited from an interview he gave in February of 2014 (the entire interview is linked in this previous post), is the straitjacketing of representative government to the degree that it must sell off natural resources to private parties (corporations or hyper-wealthy individuals), a process known as privatization -- which has, not coincidentally, increased at a steady pace since the implementation of monetarist austerity regimes beginning around 1980.
Professor Hudson explains:
And stage two is when the governments have to pay by selling off the public domain: the land, the natural resources, the forests, the ports, the electrical systems, the natural monopolies, and the infrastructure -- the roads and the bridges -- and the economy's turned into a tollbooth economy, and so you're going very rapidly back to feudalism.
Austerity mongers on the right typically argue for privatization and for drastic cuts to spending on social welfare (but not cuts to spending on military arsenals and standing armies). Austerity mongers on the supposed "left" typically argue for increased spending on social welfare but for simultaneous massive increases in taxes on the people, consistent with the paradigm of austerity -- and they are usually not opposed to privatization either (in fact, many of them argue for more of it).
Ultimately, as this video attempts to demonstrate, the entire paradigm of austerity is built upon a false and even "upside-down" vision of the world, including the role of the sovereign government in the creation of money, as a small but growing group of economists in the so-called Modern Monetary Theory school have demonstrated. The MMT economists show that men and women have been basically deceived with a bunch of claptrap about how macroeconomics operates, and which actually has nothing to do with reality.
I would argue that this situation is very much illustrative of many other situations in which our "conscious mind" has accepted a false paradigm or framework which actually goes against reality and nature itself. In these cases, I would argue, we actually know deep down (in our gut, in our bones, or in our subconscious) that the vision we have accepted and under which we are operating is completely false -- and yet our conscious mind may not know it.
Our conscious mind is quite capable of accepting a false paradigm, reinforcing it, and operating as though it is true -- even to the point of filtering out evidence which challenges that false paradigm, in some cases to the point of actually not seeing something (or telling ourselves we didn't see something) which would upend the false paradigm in which our conscious mind is operating.
Meanwhile, our subconscious is not so easily fooled, and actually knows the truth -- creating an internal schism and a kind of alienation from one's own self which is extremely characteristic of the modern world.
To illustrate using the brilliant characters created for the popular television series "The Office" (united states version), without implying that these actors would in any way agree with things asserted in this blog, I have in the past compared the conscious mind and its constant chatter to Michael Scott, who often appears to "believe his own line" even when it is obviously ridiculous, with a kind of unshakeable good humor and cringe-worthy self-confidence:
Meanwhile, our subconscious mind (which is aware of much more of what is going on around us and even in the wider universe than is the conscious mind), is not so easily amused, and not so ready to accept the elaborate paradigms and constructs which the conscious mind buys into:
If we see increasing numbers of hungry, homeless men and women in the streets and yet continue to tell ourselves that the economy is just fine (and even "nearing full employment"), then I would suggest that it is very likely that we have (in our conscious mind) bought into a false construct of one sort or another (see top picture, above) but that deep down our subconscious mind knows better (see bottom picture, above) and we will then be living with a kind of "schism" within our own psyche, creating a background level of angst or anxiety which our conscious mind cannot necessarily even detect or explain, but which will influence everything we are doing and feeling as we go about our lives.
The same situation would apply to a man or woman who knows deep down (at the level of the subconscious, which detects much more than does the conscious mind) that his or her wife or husband or boyfriend or girlfriend is having an affair, but whose conscious mind refuses to see the evidence, in order to maintain a paradigm or world-view or sense of self which is not in line with reality and which eventually will likely come crashing down (but, until it does, the disconnect will create a deep sense of background anxiety and general psychic discomfort).
I would argue that much the same thing is going on with regard to massive criminal events such as the collapse of three steel-frame high-rise buildings into their own footprints on September 11, 2001, supposedly due to "fire": our conscious mind can (desperately) cling to the false narrative which is constantly repeated for our acceptance (see top picture, above) even though our subconscious mind knows deep down that this narrative cannot possibly match reality (see bottom picture, above). The threat to our paradigm and vision of the world is so great that our conscious mind will resist looking at or even refuse to see things which threaten the paradigm or structure or vision of the world which the conscious mind has constructed.
The good news is that the ancient myths given to humanity are all about showing us how to heal the schism between our conscious mind and our subconscious mind, in every way.
This fact explains why the ancient myths remain so relevant to those who are trying to fool humanity, impose austerity on men and women, and take for themselves and their cronies the gifts given by the gods (or, if you prefer, by Nature) to the people of various nations.
And it explains why going to the ancient wisdom given in the world's myths, scriptures and sacred stories points us to the solution for the schism we find within ourselves, and in the wider world around us.