Philosophy of Wantlessness is Utopian, While Materialism is a Chimera

Essay on the Topic “Philosophy of Wantlessness is Utopian, While Materialism is a Chimera” asked in UPSC Civil Services Main Examination 2021 is explained below. Read the complete essay article.

Hello Friends, today we will explore the essay topic name “Philosophy of Wantlessness is Utopian, While Materialism is a Chimera” which had been asked in the UPSC Civil Services Main Examination 2021 (Section-A, Topic No. 3). Let’s start now.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates

“The most important things in life aren’t things.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo


In a world driven by consumerism and the constant pursuit of material possessions, there is a growing philosophical debate regarding the concepts of wantlessness and materialism. Wantlessness, often associated with utopian ideals, promotes the idea of finding contentment by detaching oneself from desires. On the other hand, materialism embraces the pursuit of wealth and material possessions as a means to happiness and fulfilment. This article explores the contrasting philosophies of wantlessness and materialism, shedding light on their merits, limitations, and the implications they have on our lives.

The Essence of Wantlessness

Wantlessness, in its purest form, refers to a state of being where desires and attachments are eliminated or transcended. It is a philosophy that emphasizes finding contentment and inner peace by freeing oneself from the constant pursuit of material goods and desires. Wantlessness encourages individuals to focus on the present moment, appreciate what they already have, and find joy in simple pleasures.

The Utopian Ideals of Wantlessness

Wantlessness is often associated with utopian ideals due to its emphasis on inner satisfaction and detachment from worldly desires. Proponents of wantlessness argue that by reducing our desires, we can free ourselves from the perpetual cycle of wanting and acquiring more possessions. This, they believe, can lead to a more balanced and harmonious society, where individuals focus on personal growth, relationships, and the pursuit of knowledge.

The Illusion of Materialism

Materialism, on the other hand, asserts that the accumulation of wealth and material possessions is the key to happiness and fulfilment. It is a philosophy deeply ingrained in modern consumer culture, where success is often measured by material wealth and social status. Materialism suggests that acquiring more possessions and satisfying desires will lead to a sense of achievement and contentment.

The Pursuit of Happiness through Materialism

Supporters of materialism argue that the desire for material possessions is a natural and inherent part of human nature. They believe that through material wealth, individuals can enhance their quality of life, experience pleasure, and gain social recognition. Materialism promotes the idea that possessions can provide security, comfort, and a sense of identity.

The Limitations of Wantlessness

While the philosophy of wantlessness may appear noble and desirable, it faces several limitations. Wantlessness may be challenging to achieve in a society that constantly bombards individuals with messages promoting consumption and material gain. Furthermore, the elimination of desires entirely can be seen as an unrealistic and impractical goal, as desires are an integral part of the human experience.

The Pitfalls of Materialism

Despite its widespread acceptance in contemporary society, materialism has its pitfalls as well. The relentless pursuit of material possessions can lead to a never-ending cycle of desire and dissatisfaction. Materialistic pursuits often prioritize external validation over internal fulfilment, leading to a constant need for more, without ever reaching a state of true contentment.

Balancing Wantlessness and Materialism

Rather than adopting an extreme stance towards either philosophy, striking a balance between wantlessness and materialism can offer a more holistic approach to living a fulfilling life. This entails embracing the benefits of material possessions and financial security while also cultivating a sense of gratitude, contentment, and detachment from excessive desires.

The Power of Perspective

Ultimately, the choice between wantlessness and materialism is deeply personal and subjective. Both philosophies offer unique perspectives on how to find happiness and fulfilment. Wantlessness encourages introspection, mindfulness, and a focus on the present, while materialism highlights the value of achievements, aspirations, and the role of material possessions in our lives.

The Influence on Society and Culture

The dominant philosophy embraced by a society can have profound implications for its culture, values, and collective well-being. Cultivating a society that strikes a balance between material pursuits and inner contentment can foster a more sustainable and harmonious way of life, where personal growth, social connections, and the pursuit of meaningful experiences take precedence over the relentless accumulation of possessions.


In conclusion, the philosophy of wantlessness and the pursuit of materialism present contrasting views on how to find happiness and fulfilment. While wantlessness offers the allure of utopian ideals, materialism promises immediate gratification through the acquisition of material possessions. Striking a balance between these two philosophies can provide a more nuanced approach to living a satisfying life—one that acknowledges the benefits of material comfort while also embracing contentment, gratitude, and personal growth. Ultimately, the path to true fulfillment lies in the hands of each individual, as they navigate the complexities of their desires and aspirations in a world influenced by both wantlessness and materialism.

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