Libido Economics

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Responsible Wellbeing:

"the definition of libido economics as

“The study of the needs, values and aspirations of human beings; the time they devote to various activities; and the resulting satisfactions and frustrations.”

We can observe 6 key elements: needs, aspirations (wishes), values, time, activities (most of them having repercussions on Nature) and the result (a greater or lesser degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction).

Seen 50 years later, from this 2023 and with the term “poly-crisis” or “meta-crisis”, we can see how these 6 elements appear in the roots of this new construct. That is to say, and from my perspective as an anthropologist, I observe a great dissatisfaction of people (biopsychosociocultural part) evidenced in the increase of physical and mental illnesses with their consequent taking of anxiolytics or immersing themselves in activities (pseudo-satisfactory) to calm that discomfort, an increase of polarisations, clashes between different groups and the consequent cultural wars, etc. A diagnosis that indicates that these human needs are not being satisfied globally or are being partially satisfied but at a great cost in terms of time used (e.g. bullshit jobs) by the population and activities that in the short and medium term are beginning to damage us as a society (local and global). On Nature’s side (biophysical side) we observe how these Nine Planetary Boundaries proposed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre are being exceeded or how each year the Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) reaches us sooner. In other words, to achieve a minimum of satisfaction we are using, as the Spanish expression says “Matar moscas a cañonazos” (Killing flies with cannons), an enormous amount of energy, resources and time. We have to look into that “black box” of human nature where we have those two intermediate elements, aspirations and values, which lead me to these questions:

What do we aspire to? Why do we aspire to what we aspire to? What are the values that are behind our motivations and aspirations? How could we assemble those aspirations to fairly satisfy our needs without harming Nature so much?

Despite not being a psychologist, sociologist or anthropologist, Mallmann tried to answer similar questions and to go towards a “Wellbeing theory” by holistically analysing the human being and society from an “internal” perspective.


Mallmann found that lever in the “needs” and their internal ecosystem. I also came to a similar conclusion through my FMT in which I ended by saying that the approach to solving “this poly-crisis”, mainly of our western society, should be mainly internal, focusing on global ethics and responsible wellbeing which were the internal quadrants of my framework. We can see examples of this change of focus in the cultural revolutions of the 1960s, which in the face of our Western malaise brought from the East methods, ideas that focused on the internal part. There has also been a revival of methods and ideas from more Western philosophies such as Stoicism, and Aristotelianism… Recently, in the face of the 2030 development goals (mostly external), the Internal Development Goals (IDG) movement has arisen. In front of the visible and cold data, we have the invisible and internal relationships that Nora Bateson calls Warm Data. The U-theory proposed by Otto Scharmer and the focus on virtues (Positive Psychology, Jubilee Centre…) are further examples of an approach that starts with the internal, the invisible."