Common Security

Common Security is a term that describes the fact that individually, a nation, or for that matter any individual or group, cannot be secure without all other nations, groups, or individuals enjoying security at the same time. An opponent who is unable to attack you may make you somewhat secure, but an opponent who does not want to attack you because it is secure in itself makes you secure in a more meaningful, deeper and reliable sense. Common security is based on the much deeper security that comes from not having enemies, as opposed to the conventional competitive concept of keeping them in check. This is of course part of the positive-sum approach to conflict so characteristic of nonviolence. Compare Emma Goldman’s observation that “the freedom of each is rooted in the freedom of all.” Along with total security and the idea of human security it constitutes the nonviolent approach to the universal need to be secure.