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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 autarchia, "state of self rule").



Robert LeFevre, a "self-proclaimed autarchist"[1] recognized as such by Murray Rothbard,[2] 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.[3] 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.[3] He situated the fundamental premise of autarchy within the Stoicism of philosophers such as Zeno, Epicurus and Marcus Aurelius, which he summarized in the diktat "Control yourself".[4] 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."[4].

LeFevre stated "the bridge between Spooner and modern-day autarchists was constructed primarily by persons such as H. L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, and Mark Twain"[3].

Ralph Waldo Emerson, although he did not call himself an autarchist, is considered to have espoused autarchy. Philip Jenkins has stated that "Emersonian ideas stressed individual liberation, autarchy, self-sufficiency and self-government, and strenuously opposed social conformity"[5]. Robert D. Richardson stated that the anarchy Emerson "has in mind would be 'autarchy', rule by self".[6]

George Burghope wrote the essay "Autarchy, or, the art of self government" in 1691[7].

See also


  1. ^ Grubbs Jr., K. E. (June 1989). "Book Review: Robert LeFevre: Truth Is Not a Half-way Place by Carl Watner". THE FREEMAN: Ideas on Liberty (Foundation for Economic Education) 39 (6).  
  2. ^ Rothbard, Murray N. (2007). The Betrayal of the American Right. Ludwig von Mises Institute. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-933550-13-8.  
  3. ^ a b c Autarchy vs Anarchy by Robert LeFevre - Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought Vol. 1, No. 4 (Winter, 1965): 30–49
  4. ^ a b Autarchy by Robert LeFevre - Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought Vol. 2, No. 2 (Summer, 1966): 1–18
  5. ^ Jenkins, Philip (1995). A History of the United States. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 108. ISBN 0312163614.  
  6. ^ Richardson, Jr., Robert D (1997). Emerson: The Mind on Fire. University of California Press. p. 535. ISBN 0520206894.  
  7. ^ Hopkins University Libraries Catalog

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