The Limits of Autarky

10 years ago today, Seth Godin declared that autarky is dead.

He was wrong.

Autarky - economic independence or self-sufficiency - seems like a reasonable goal. But, as Seth puts it "it's impossible if you want to get anything done."

It's odd to think that a whole decade after this declaration, most of us are still digging our own trenches, running them into the ground.

The first problem with that is whenever you feel like stopping, it's all too easy to stop. Who is going to stop you from abandoning the book, the website, the business, the relationship? When you work with someone else, you stay in the game.

The second problem is that when you work alone, you can only go as far as you can go. Despite whatever brilliance you may have, despite your ability to learn any skill, and despite whatever willpower that may exist within you, you are held captive to that all-demanding master: time.

"The goal," says Seth. "Is to figure out how to become more dependent, not less."


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