Autarch is the official title of supreme political leadership within the Helghan Empire, similar to the titles of Führer in Nazi Germany and Duce in Fascist Italy. Like in every totalitarian state, the Autarch has full power over Helghast society, civilian and military, and all decisions made by the Autarch are absolute and ultimate. People who disobey orders given directly by the Autarch or refuse his rulership are often considered enemies of the state and marked for summary execution, either in an event or a simple kill-on-sight order.
The title was created with the founding of the Helghast Empire, with its founder, Scolar Visari, being the first Autarch.
Different from the traditional popular voting in democratic states, the Autarch is selected by a few amongst the Helghast elite, those being from the Helghast Senate. However, it is not excluded the possibility of heirship on the appointment of Autarch. As of the Helghast resettlement it seems that the title of Autarch and possibly its role has been dissolved. It is unknown if this was voulantary or a condition of the peace terms offered by the ISA.
- The title may stem from the political philosophy of Autarchism which upholds the principal of individual liberty.