Interiorizing Austerity

The supposedly pro-climate narrative of “eat fake meat, live in pods, don’t use AC, don’t enjoy life, etc” is the perfect example of how people interiorize austerity. They no longer need institutions that exist outside themselves to punish and control them. They have placed the austerity comissar inside themselves.

Obviously, none of this self-punishment helps climate. Climate is just an excuse.

6 thoughts on “Interiorizing Austerity”

  1. Austerity is built into the human condition. Scarcity is the foundation of economics. None of us have even a small fraction of the resources to satisfy our desires. Long before capitalism, people have needed to decide what was important to them and accept that they were going to have to give up on everything else.


    1. “Austerity is built into the human condition”

      A meaningless statement… so is excess, so are a billion other things. Scarcity is the foundation of economics, which is the least human of the sciences (judging from what economists say and write).


  2. Bteween 1999 and 2008, the sf writer Bruce Sterling tried to organize a design movement which would treat climate change as a problem of culture and technology, rather than politics and economics. In his final message (“The Last Viridian Note”, he wrote:

    “It pains me to see certain people still trying to live in hairshirt-green fashion ā€“ purportedly mindful, and thrifty and modest. I used to tolerate this eccentricity, but now that panicked bankers and venture capitalists are also trying to cling like leeches to every last shred of their wealth, I can finally see it as actively pernicious.

    Hairshirt-green is the simple-minded inverse of 20th-century consumerism. Like the New Age mystic echo of Judaeo-Christianity, hairshirt-green simply changes the polarity of the dominant culture, without truly challenging it in any effective way. It doesn’t do or say anything conceptually novel ā€“ nor is it practical, or a working path to a better life.”


  3. There is this frugality blogger who moved with her husband into the rural NE USA. They both quit their jobs; they spend their days homesteading and live off interest from their investment from when they did work (I consider all livelihood that comes from inherited wealth or interest and not one’s work to be inherently perverted, but especially in people who boast about how virtuous they are). The husband makes lunch for both for the whole week and it’s rice and beans. Every freakin’ day. When I saw a pic of containers upon containers of this, I thought, “Kill me now.” Then there’s feeling smug and virtuous b/c all their clothes are used hand-me-downs from family, to which I think , “You only get to have those because your family members, who are well off, actually paid full price for them.” The whole frugality movement is filled with holier-than-thou hypocrites who pretend they don’t benefit from the society they eschew.


    1. I knew a family like that back in my country. They were super mellifluous and holier-than-though on the surface but really vicious and nasty once you went a little below superficial appearances. I don’t trust this kind of people at all.


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