Dreams and Realities: Do-It-Yourself (Autonomic) Reincorporation by Ex-Insurgents in Colombia

Cortes Urquijo, F.J.; Verschoor, G.M.


This chapter describes and analyses an effort by ex-insurgents to put into practice an autonomous collective project beyond the State. This “Do-It-Yourself” reincorporation project, which plays out in the La Fortuna cooperative (henceforth La Fortuna), in the Department of Antioquia, is based on an alternative vision of Nation in which both the practices and discourses of the former peasant guerrilla and the perceived betrayal of the peace accords by the State figure centrally. To describe the case, we use three concepts developed by the Educational Committee of Social Economies of the Common (ECOMUN) to provide meaning to the process of reincorporation: ‘awakening’, ‘learning’, and ‘producing’; theoretically, we draw on Scott’s (1990, 2008) ‘everyday forms of peasant resistance’ and ‘infra-politics’, Rancière’s (1999) ‘disagreement politics’, Zibechi’s (2010a, 2010b) concept of ‘autonomy’ and Escobar’s (2018a) notion of ‘autonomic design’. We posit that the search for autonomy cannot be seen as ‘just’ a local strategy to “resolve the problems” of the economic reincorporation of ex-insurgents; rather, this collective search is effectively a means for peasants and ex-rebels to resist neoliberal forces on the basis of FARC-EP’s alternative model of society , —but now, without pursuing the control of managerial state apparatuses— and their own, contingent, experiences of the post-agreement.