Autarchism

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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[edit]

Robert LeFevre, 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 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 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, 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 had in mind "would be 'autarchy', rule by self".[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ 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 0-312-16361-4. 
  6. ^ Richardson, Jr., Robert D (1997). Emerson: The Mind on Fire. University of California Press. p. 535. ISBN 0-520-20689-4. 

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