When an economy is closed and does not permit economic transactions with the outside world, the country in question is in a state of autarky. In other words, autarky is the quality of being completely self-sufficient – North Korea is a good example of such a nation.
The word autarky comes from the Greek; it means self-sufficiency. The term is sometimes confused with the term autocracy meaning government by single absolute ruler or autarchy. It is not the same as autarky.
Libertarian theorists have used the terms autarchy and autarchism in the sense of self-government to describe his own political philosophy and to distinguish it from anarchism.
Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic systems. Autarky exists (instead of autarchy) whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance or international trade. Autarky is not necessarily an economic phenomenon.
For example, a military autarky would be a state that could defend itself without help from another country. Autarky can be said to be the policy of a state or other entity when it seeks to be self-sufficient as a whole.