Defining necessities in the post-Covid-19 era

Zsolt Hermann
2 min readApr 23, 2020

Since we have been brought up, educated in a society that is built on excessive overproduction, overconsumption and as we are constantly brainwashed by the media, marketing, and entertainment industry to want more, that we deserve more, that we should not settle for what we have but increase our consumption way beyond our means, taking loans to pay off our debts…we have no idea about true, modern, natural, Human necessities.

Of course, those unfortunate people who live in impoverished places, who already fell through the increasingly inadequate social net can feel in a very tangible way what it means when one does not have the basic necessities, but fortunately, at this stage, most of Humanity lives beyond their means.

Now, as a result of the pandemic the excessive, artificial consumerist machinery stopped for a while. Although we all went through withdrawal symptoms, after a few weeks I dare to say most of us got used to life without the usual, incessant brainwashing and “retail therapy”.

It is highly likely that even when the lockdown ends, the ensuing economic, financial crisis will continue to remove all the excesses, obsolete production, consumption, services. We could say that the lifestyle we are getting used to now — without remaining hungry, having a reasonable shelter over our heads (after all our material assets were untouched by the virus), having proper clothing, accessible health services, the right education for all — can be defined as our necessities we should rebuild our societies on.

Then the only “extra” people need is a simple work, professions so everybody can feel useful in Human society — which does not need to be 8 hours, it does not need to be judged by productivity, efficiency as we used to define it according to constantly increasing profits, aggregate demand -for the appropriate salary that can secure the above-mentioned necessities for all.

And the rest of energy, focus — instead of the usual mindless, cheap “circus and bread entertainment” — should be invested into the most important Human necessity: building, restoring, sustaining and constantly strengthening our mutually responsible, mutually complementing Human interconnections, especially now when we have evolved into a single, global, integral and interdependent world.

And this can be achieved by the right, purposeful, and practical educational method that can help us connect above our inherently individualistic, egocentric and subjective reflexes, attitude.

Such an education can also explain to us in a clear, scientific manner that such an arrangement is necessary not according to political ideology, religion, mysticism or philosophy, but according to Nature’s laws governing closed, integral, living system — as Humanity is also one of such systems.

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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.