Friday, October 4, 2013


Meaning: self-sufficiency; the k is a subtle signal that this is in the economic sense, as there is also autarchy, or self-rule, which is from entirely different origins.

Logofascination: 1.  Greek origins, spiky consonants and the possibility of political or theological confusion; what's not to like? The OED citations include these gems:

  • 1635,   H. Valentine: "It may as well stand upon its bottome, and boast an Autarchie, and selfe sufficiencie."
  • 1957,   T. S. Eliot: "A general autarky in culture simply will not work: the hope of perpetuating the culture of any country lies in communication with others."

In the wild: A pretty boring post on the apparent withdrawal to nationalism (note to markets: it doesn't work). I'm interested in economics and the free market, and I still skimmed it; that chap needs an editor to send it back asking for more jokes.

Usefulness: 2. "Want a drink / dinner / lift home?" "Nah, I'm an autarky tonight, thanks." "If the various attempts at Communism - in which I include France - have taught us anything, it is that autarky does. not. work. You may have your decorative farms on rolling hillsides, but you pay the price in riots in the quais and queues in the patisseries."

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