The introduction introduces the theoretical framework and problems to be addressed in the rest of the manuscript. Primarily, this introduction argues that the Chilean social explosion should be understood in terms of the politics of autonomy, which refers to the capacity of communities and collectives to self-govern and self-administer their shared lives through horizontalist and cooperativist decision making processes outside the bounds of the institutional space of the State. In other words, the politics of autonomy refers to the capacity to coordinate social relations in a manner otherwise than that of the State. This introduction argues that there are two considerable problems with regard to the politics of autonomy that need to be addressed: (1) the right for an autonomous political body to defend itself, and (2) the relationship between culture and politics. The introduction concludes by outlining how the rest of the manuscript will resolve these issues.