Autarchism

Autarchism is a political philosophy that promotes the principles of individualism, the moral ideology of individual liberty and self-reliance. It rejects compulsory government and supports the elimination of government in favor of ruling oneself to the exclusion of rule by others.

Autarchists

Robert LeFevre (1911–1986), a "self-proclaimed autarchist"[1] recognized as such by Murray Rothbard,[2] distinguished autarchism from anarchy, 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", anarchy 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 credo "Control yourself".[4]

Fusing these influences, LeFevre 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 that "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 (1803–1882) biographer Robert D. Richardson described Emerson's anarchy as "'autarchy', rule by self".[5][6] Philip Jenkins has stated that "Emersonian ideas stressed individual liberation, autarchy, self-sufficiency and self-government, and strenuously opposed social conformity".[7]

See also

Not to be confused with

  • Autarky, a homophone meaning "to be self-sufficient"

References

  1. Grubbs Jr., K. E. (June 1989). "Book Review: Robert LeFevre: Truth Is Not a Half-way Place by Carl Watner". The Freeman. 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. "Autarchy vs Anarchy" by Robert LeFevre. Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought Vol. 1, No. 4 (Winter, 1965): 30–49
  4. "Autarchy" by Robert LeFevre. Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought Vol. 2, No. 2 (Summer 1966): 1–18
  5. Ralph Waldo Emerson (2009). The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Random House Publishing Group. p. 849. ISBN 978-0-307-41991-0.
  6. Richardson, Jr., Robert D (1997). Emerson: The Mind on Fire. University of California Press. p. 535. ISBN 0-520-20689-4.
  7. Jenkins, Philip (1995). A History of the United States. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 108. ISBN 0-312-16361-4.
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