USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945

Nazi Autarky

Autarky means total economic self-sufficiency. This is what the Nazis wanted to achieve, a Germany that was no longer dependent on any other nation or people, a nation that could finally set beyond American or “Jewish” capitalism, that would see no limit to its war making capacity in terms of men or material. In a globalized world, however, autarky is impossible. We have seen how deeply the world has been connected in the previous chapters. Any attempt to sever oneself from the world system created an economy hopelessly deficient, as we would see by an deeper analysis of the Soviet system in the Cold War. The turn to autarky as a central regime policy meant a turn to war—and even toward the order in which war must come, first and foremost the securing of the rich resources and industrial bases of Germany’s neighbors as a state-setting to the great confrontation with Nazi Germany’s principle perceived threat, Stalin. 

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