The term autarchy has two different etymological roots, both coming from the language Greek. On the one hand, autarky may derive from autarchía, a concept that translates as “Total power”. On the other hand, the notion may originate in autárkeia: “Self-sufficiency”.
The idea of autarky, in this way, alludes to have self control or be self-sufficient. By extension, we speak of autarky when a State intends to satisfy its needs with its own resources, without depending on others.
A regimen or system who seeks to achieve autarky, therefore, pursues the self-sufficiency. The objective is to generate the necessary resources so as not to have to request external help. Autarky equals independence: it does not need another or others for operation or subsistence.
Autarky is generally an ideal or a theoretical concept, since in practice it is almost impossible to achieve. A personFor example, it has autarky if it does not depend on society for the satisfaction of its essential needs. That would be the case of an individual who grows his own food, makes his clothes and procures the medicines he needs, to name one case.
A country it reaches autarky when it can satisfy the needs of its inhabitants without depending on economic exchanges with the outside and without taking external credits. For this to be possible, the nation in question must have an immense amount of natural resources and developed and sustainable industries that produce all the necessary goods.
Sometimes people talk about dictatorships as autarchies, taking the first mentioned meaning of the term (the disposition of the absolute power).
As can be seen in the previous paragraphs, the concept of autarky (which is also known by the names self-sufficient economy, self-sufficiency Y autarcía), does not focus solely on governments but serves to describe the condition of any society, mechanism, industrial system, place, nation or person that struggles to achieve a situation of self-sufficiency.
Depending on the point of view from which it is analyzed, this state can be considered positive or negative. Positive, if we understand that the refusal to receive help on the part of an external entity it has repercussions in a greater growth and use of the own resources; negative, if this leads to cultural impoverishment due to limited contact with the rest of the world.
On the other hand, it is important to point out that not every country or individual can aspire to autarky, and this brings us back to the previous dilemma. If a nation that has the natural resources enough to grow their own food and develop the raw materials necessary for the various manufacturing processes that could sustain their economy, then the decision to reject the help of others can lead to a stage of higher productivity.
Various streams of the philosophy developed in Ancient Greece, it saw autarky as an ideal way of life. The fact of being able to achieve happiness by making exclusive use of virtue was considered a synonym of wisdom by the Cyrenaic, Epicurean, Stoic and Cynical schools. The ideal traits of the wise person are ataraxia, autonomy and autarky, which promote imperturbability, freedom and independence.
In the field of administrative law, autarky is understood as a form of decentralization thanks to which self-government is possible; it is one of the main features of the autarkic entity. The constitutional right It defines it in a similar way, since it speaks of the ability to govern or self-administer, although with the difference of submitting to certain statutes that come from a higher power.