What Is “Common Security”? You Tell Us

Posted March 2, 2011 in Blog. Tagged: , ,

Use the comments section below to tell us what you think about these new options, the words “security” or “club,” or other thoughts on our re-naming process.

The results of the Resilience Circle naming survey are in!  And one thing is certain:  the word “security” has been co-opted by nefarious forces.  Overwhelmingly, respondents pointed out that this word conjures up images which are totally contrary to our work – security cameras, locked doors, repression, paranoia, even violence and weapons.  The word “club” didn’t fare much better.  Of three options (club, group, circle), club was by far the least popular.  Some thought that clubs sound elitist, closed, and, well, “clubby.”  “Circle” was the most popular by a thin margin over “groups.”

While there was no one clear favorite name, a few possibilities emerged.  Which of these do you like best?  Click here to vote.

Updated!  Here are our new name options, as of 4/4/11:

  • Connection Circles
  • Mutual Aid Circles
  • Common Security Circles
  • Resiliency Circles


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    • C Kingman

      I think they should be called “Resiliency Circles” as one group I know has titled theirs. It says it all, in my opinion.

    • Bud Murphy

      The name should represent the function and lend itself to abbreviation. If our association or connection is intended to make us more resiliant and less vulnerable econimically and socially, consider “Network for Economc and Social Support” (NESS).

    • CEOlsen

      How about ‘Economic Connection Groups’? We must identify and effectively address all of the various connections between economic viability and such major threats as continuing to fund the war-for-profits establishment, and the ‘one dollar one vote’ corporate take over of the Faux News’-style mass media and all three branches of the USA government.

    • Beth Deuble

      Mutual Aid will be branded as welfare-like by the right-wingers; Economic whatever is too political sounding; and the Tea Partyists reject anything that smacks of collectivism; i would like to see the words Community Connection Resources or something to that effect; i want to start one of these community outreach groups in San Diego County and need help and resources and connections;

    • Beth in SoCal

      I also like the word OUTREACH

    • Mr Fire

      I like CKingman’s suggestion “Resiliency Circles” None of the choices provided in the survey are attracting me.

    • Stevelewsf

      Connection circle to me suggest a new age therapeutic group

    • Tatwood2005

      Resiliancy Circles resonates for me. I also recognize the need for three words or less. How about “New Economy Circles?” (NEC is an overworked acronym, but mostly applies to companies and engineering standards.) “New Economy Circles” would underscore our alliance with Yes! Magazine and the ideas of David Korten, and our natural affinity with the Transition Town movement.

      I agree with many of the other posts about problems with the proposed names on the survey:

      “Mutual aid” is too easily attacked, and implies to some that our purpose is to get the “haves” to write checks;
      “Club” sounds exclusive;
      “Connection” restricts the domain to socializing or pastoral care;
      “Economic Connection Group” is an ECG acronym, and conjures up electrocardiogram;

    • Anonymous

      It is too bad we got bogged down in naming issues. Common Security Club seemed to say just what was intended. Yes, Club could have been replaced by Group with little loss. But now we lose what momentum we had as people relink everything attached to Common Security Clubs to new words.

    • Nancy Brigham

      My problem with the world “economic” is that I hope the focus wouldn’t be solely economic. If the phrase “mutual aid” works for people, it might be a step toward getting that phrase into common usage, which I think would be a significant plus.

    • Anonymous

      The word “aid” bothers me. I think you could use “support” in place of “security”- Common Support Circles or Common Support Networks, perhaps.

    • Wordshavepower

      I like “Connection” why not just People Connecting for Mutual Support or something? both “circles” and “groups” sounds awkward with Connection I think… I like the idea of “resiliency” too… “networks” is good too, I like the NESS below. I choose “connection circle” as my top choice but only because it was better than the rest, not because I like it as a final choice. Words have power, I think addressing the label/name of a group to accurately reflect what the group does and one that members feel good about is very important.

    • K. Rreece

      I like Resilience Circles

    • Bill Scarvie

      I think sticking with Common Security Club is best. “Common” suggests mutual interest. “Security” is a concept in need of a change of narrative: The top-of-mind answer to the question “What makes you feel secure?” needs to change, from global military and economic dominance, to vibrant communities, living wage jobs that are stable over the long run, and freedom to make informed decisions. “Club” may suggest exclusivity, but not necessarily so. It also suggests stability and commitment from its members.

    • Roxanne_peterson

      None of the name options listed above are as descriptive of what this is about as “common security club.” Economic security circle would probably come the closeset but it sounds vague to me.

    • Debbie Mytels

      Naming things IS really difficult and I applaud your efforts to work on this and help our collective movement work on this together. Having a “fresh” and “new” name is very important, since it provides a label for the emerging phenomenon that is happening here with CSC and the Transition Town groups. I liken both these efforts to what happened when the women’s movement began in the early ’70’s — people getting together to discuss in small groups their emerging understanding of what’s happening in their lives in relation to what’s going on in the larger society.
      Like the other commentators below, I do not really care much for any of the three choices. The best choice presented below, to my mind, is “New Economy Circles” — largely because that’s what we need to do: create a NEW economic system, based on ecological principles and human values.

    • Roxanne_peterson

      Me again: how about common security network or common security circle if people don’t like club. The words “common security” taken together create a powerful, easy to remember phrase. Resiliency is good, but is often thought of as a personal trait. Community resiliency or common resiliency doesn’t quite do it, kind of sounds like a research study,.

    • Sarah Byrnes

      Thanks everyone for the insightful thoughts. I am really seeing “Resilience Circles” rise to the top. I also really like “New Economy Groups.” And it’s also great to see that people want to re-appropriate and redefine the word ‘security.’ Is that too distant a goal?

    • Tatwood2005

      I like the way we share ideas here, and I think that the effort we put into choosing an effective name will pay off in the long run.

      Yes, ‘Resiliancy Circles’ is a strong candidate in my opinion. I suggested “New Economy Circles” (NEC), not “New Economy Groups” I think our preference for ‘circle’ terminology is based on the positive progressive frames it activates in our minds:

      “Circle” evokes collaborative and egalitarian imagery. The circle suggests something without a beginning or end, repudiates hierarchy, and evokes the primal imagery of the “faces around the fire,” the “wisdom circle” if you will. We deliberately chose “circle” in Redwood City for these reasons.

      The way we seat ourselves in a room speaks volumes about who we are and what we are doing. Our program goes beyond a lecture format. Our first act when we meet in the sanctuary is to reconfigure the straight rows of chairs into a circle.

    • Suly

      SOLIDARITY CIRCLES should be the name because lack of cross-income, cross-educational level, cross-racial, cross-sectarian solidarity is what has allowed the true American Left (to the left of the neo-liberal “free trade” Democratic Council Leadership Democrats who’ve helped Republicans ruin the country and too much of the planet) to be so easily divided and conquered. Roughly 75 million to 80 million mostly poor and minority eligible voters routinely do not vote in federal elections in this country because both dominant political Parties abandoned them 3 decades ago. They don’t even mention the lower-class, let alone the permanent “under-class” anymore. We’ve got to reach out, find common ground with, and organize a new, baggage free populist progressive movement and/or Third Party to drag the Democratic Party leftwards back to the side of the working-class or consign it to the historical dustbin if it refuses to get out of the way. Time is short. Don’t mourn–ORGANIZE.

    • eli

      I agree with Bill that keeping the name seems the best option to me. Unless you hit upon the perfect way to communicate deeply what this is about, it doesn’t seem worth the re-write. What I like about “common security club” is that it gives a sense of “we’re all in this together.” My security depends on yours. Some other use of community, or some other way of saying “collective” might work. I like Suly’s “solidarity circles”

      Also, the link to the surveymonkey is messed up… (should be http://surveymonkey.com/cscname2)

    • Sarah Byrnes

      Hi Beth – It’s great to hear you’re interested in starting a Common Security Club (or whatever the new name is!) in San Diego. Shoot me an email and Im happy to help with resources and connections. info@commonsecurityclub.orh

    • http://tbmw.org/ Tony Budak

      I suggest that there be more weight to process and action words. How about Local Action Network (LAN) or Local Transaction Network (LTN) or Community Action Network (CAN) or Community Exchange Network (CEN) or Local Exchange Network (LEN)

      Tony Budak

    • http://twitter.com/katzjudith judith katz

      I am part of a group in the SF East Bay called the “Connection Project.” We have been meeting over the last three years and we consist of 5-7 people. We are all informed by the theory and practice of Nonviolent Communication. Our activities range from internal communication and connection practices of empathy and mutual support, to deployments in the world in an effort to be of service to others. See http://www.baynvc.org/new_announcement_details.php?announcement_id=261 for more information.

    • Victoria

      Mutual and Shared Reliable Beneficial Trust Communities or Resiliency Circles is good too…

    • Roy

      I think circle is dominate because it includes all of us. I believe community circles are more powerful and does not ID people by their economic status or groupings. It is the power of the soul that is important and the ability of each of us to love and include all community members. Each of us is a part of a greater community circle and each of us brings a special strength to the circle.

    • Maggie S.

      I proposed starting up a local ‘common security club’ last fall to a small group in this remote rural community in which I live. One vocal, influential person reacted strongly to the negative, and I believe it was because of a misunderstanding surrounding the word ‘security’. Her reaction was refusal to accept a ‘bunker’ mentality about the near future. Nothing I could say about what was truly intended could change her perception. It didn’t get off the ground. I am still hopeful, I just think the idea is ahead of it’s time in this area. People are still pretty resourceful and accustomed to living within their means. We are pretty resilient, so times may have to get pretty tough before folks recognize a need for greater interdependence.

    • SO

      I like the connotations of “circle”, and “resiliency” feels hopeful and flexible.

    • David H.

      How about “Wisdom Council” or “Wisdom Circle”?

    • gene

      Common security club. Hmm. Common is good. Security suggest scarcity, exclusion.

      I like two words: “our” and “abundance”. Something like “Our Common Security” or MY FAVORITE, just “COMMON ABUNDANCE”. Maybe something like “Sharing Our Common Abundance”, or “Common Shares”, or “Shared Abundance”.

      Just brainstorming.