from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A policy of national self-sufficiency and nonreliance on imports or economic aid.
  • n. A self-sufficient region or country.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. National economic self-sufficiency.
  • n. The state of personal self-sufficiency.
  • n. An enclosed ecosystem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. economic independence as a national policy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. economic independence as a national policy


Greek autarkeia, self-sufficiency, from autarkēs, self-sufficient : auto-, auto- + arkein, to suffice.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek αὐτάρκεια (autarkia, "self sufficiency"). (Wiktionary)


  • I take "autarky" in the sense that one must be able to produce enough to pay for what one consumes, which condemns the American economy as it presently is.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • Dr. Woods describes a distributivism which advocates that “people withdraw from the division of labor of a market society and retreat instead into a kind of autarky … The emphasis here is on having as many people as possible be owners of their own land and of whatever means of production they employ”8.

    The Distributivism of Hilaire Belloc

  • This kind of economic autarky found its counterpart on the political front in the principle of "self-determination."

    The Demise of Third Worldism

  • George Will on ABC's This Week observed, All modern tyrannies have depended on intellectual autarky, being able to seal of the consciousness of their people from the outside world. . .

    Will Obama now reverse course on Iran?

  • The North Korean people are isolated from the contemporary global community, and they will not soon be rid of juche ideology and the folly of autarky.

    Bernard Rowan: North Korea's Distant Sun

  • Pursuit of autarky (which we can narrow to “energy independence”) is foolish and impoverishes anyone who tries it.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Debating Green Jobs

  • All this blather about “foreign oil” reeks of the assumption of the superiority of autarky over comparative advantage.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Debating Green Jobs

  • The point of Turning Oil in Salt is not to exit world oil markets (a ruse they deride as autarky) but to develop a dynamic market of many oil alternatives -- both alcohol fuels and electricity -- so that we may import oil for the mix if we want but stay resilient to the shocks that oil markets provide.

    Anne Butterfield: Make Oil Obsolete by Turning It into Salt

  • It was also tied to some backward protectionist ideas, including the goal of autarky and immunity to trade wars.

    The best way to understand government « Isegoria

  • Pursuit of autarky which we can narrow to “energy independence” is foolish and impoverishes anyone who tries it.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Debating Green Jobs


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  • "India was emerging at that time from a long spell of economic autarky and stagnation, in which one had to reserve long-distance telephone calls as if they were tables at a posh restaurant, days in advance." The New York Times, December 25, 2007

    December 26, 2007