AskDefine | Define autarchy

Dictionary Definition



1 economic independence as a national policy [syn: autarky]
2 a political system governed by a single individual [syn: autocracy] [ant: democracy]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


Greek autarcheia (αὐταρχία) absolute governing


  1. A condition of absolute power.
  2. An autocratic government; an autocracy.
  3. Self-government; a condition of economic self-sufficiency or national independence.

Extensive Definition

Autarchism (from Greek, "belief in self rule") is a political philosophy that upholds the principle of individual liberty, rejects compulsory government, and supports the elimination of government in favor of ruling yourself and no other. Advocates of the philosophy are autarchist (from Greek, "one who believes in self rule"), while the state in which everyone rules themselves and no one else is autarchy (from Greek, "state of self rule").


Robert LeFevre, a "self-proclaimed autarchist" recognized as such by Murray Rothbard, distinguished autarchism from anarchism, whose economics he felt entailed interventions contrary to freedom, in contrast to his own laissez faire economics of the Austrian School. In professing "a sparkling and shining individualism" while "it advocates some kind of procedure to interfere with the processes of a free market", anarchism seemed to LeFevre to be self-contradictory. Fusing these influences together, he arrived at the autarchist philosophy: "The Stoics provide the moral framework; the Epicureans, the motivation; the praxeologists, the methodology. I propose to call this package of ideological systems autarchy, because autarchy means self-rule.". Robert D. Richardson stated that the anarchy Emerson "has in mind would be 'autarchy', rule by self".
George Burghope wrote the essay "Autarchy, or, the art of self government" in 1691.

See also


External links

autarchy in Czech: Autarchie
autarchy in French: Autarchisme
autarchy in Polish: Autarchia
autarchy in Swedish: Autarki

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Caesarism, Declaration of Independence, Stalinism, absolute monarchy, absolutism, aristocracy, autarky, authoritarianism, autocracy, autonomy, benevolent despotism, coalition government, colonialism, commonwealth, constitutional government, constitutional monarchy, czarism, democracy, despotism, dictatorship, dominion rule, duarchy, duumvirate, dyarchy, federal government, federation, feudal system, garrison state, gerontocracy, heteronomy, hierarchy, hierocracy, home rule, independence, individualism, inner-direction, kaiserism, limited monarchy, martial law, meritocracy, militarism, military government, mob rule, mobocracy, monarchy, neocolonialism, ochlocracy, oligarchy, one-man rule, one-party rule, pantisocracy, paternalism, patriarchate, patriarchy, police state, pure democracy, regency, representative democracy, representative government, republic, rugged individualism, self-containment, self-determination, self-direction, self-government, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, social democracy, stratocracy, technocracy, thearchy, theocracy, totalitarian government, totalitarian regime, totalitarianism, triarchy, triumvirate, tyranny, welfare state
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