Coalitions of Mutual Endeavor
Building critical mass
for critical change

Why we're doing this

COME's guiding axiom is that true justice cannot exist without sustainability, and without justice there will be no peace.  Corollaries are:
  1. No food chain, no food.
  2. Neither democracy nor an economy can exist on a dead planet.
  3. Alleviating root causes will free up time and resources currently dedicated to slapping band-aids on single issue symptoms (the wounds of empire).
  4.  There is a pragmatic, scientifically validated, spiritually meaningful alternative to business as usual, and it can improve quality of life.
The why
The main impetus behind COME is disabling the arsonist behind all the single issue fires; digging up the diseased root instead of pruning branches; addressing the underlying cause of the disease instead of remaining content (or believing it's the best we can expect) to slap band-aids on symptoms.

Pick your favorite metaphor. And realize that it makes no difference whether you consider yourself on the political left or right... or undecided.

The root cause of our personal, social, and environmental woes is systemic. It has almost innumerable tendrils. But they all emerge from a paradigm based on force-based ranking hierarchies of domination, and a disconnection from the natural world (which includes ourselves, each other, and our communities). The pathological sense of the other that has become a cultural norm is not possible otherwise. Neither would be the insane clinging to addictive substitutes for natural expectations of fulfillment.

After all, deliberately destroying one's life support system or willfully ingesting toxins—through our air, water, and food—provides a pretty good definition of insanity.

The response to our rapidly converging global crises—global warming, biospheric toxicity, energy and resource depletion, deteriorating personal health, biodiversity loss, loss of sovereignty and democratic governance to transnational corporations and central banks, increasing injustice and inequity, the break-up of family and community—must be equally systemic. The response necessarily entails both stopping the damage and providing an alternative that can be shown to improve quality of life.

Stopping the damage first requires embracing the honesty of acknowledging how and why it is occurring. The foundational importance of this is that it enable us to be as certain as possible that we're addressing the proper causes and issues instead of distractions; that we don't repeat mistakes; and that we discard faulty assumptions. As the old saying goes, if they can get you to ask the wrong question, they don't have to worry about the answer.

Improving quality of life is dependent on having a framework that mirrors the natural systems principles from which sustainability emerges. Health, vibrancy, resiliency, the very ability to reach potential comes from mutually supportive networks based on attraction relationships. This is how life works. The prime activity of living organisms is the tendency to self-organize into mutually beneficial relationships that support the web of life. This is what coalitions are all about.

An alternative exists to business as usual. Known as relocalization, it is a practical and affordable process to create a sustainable future. Major factors include steady-state economics and an Earth jurisprudence. There is evidence from a number of fields showing change can be rapid and widespread. As a species, we're wired for it. And since it works with life, it will require less energy and resources to sustain, as well as being inherently equitable.

COME has other equally important goals.

The most obvious is creating coalitions that can build the critical mass necessary to support and implement critical change. We've woven together a framework, a process, and a set of tools that can be used to transition toward and support a sustainable future. The framework and process are also tools themselves.

We've identified a set of shared values that cut across political, economic, and cultural boundaries, and distilled a common goal that supports the work of all the single issue groups whose overall mission is congruent with natural systems principles. Adoption of these is the first step in creating an effective coalition and there are a number of other concrete action items groups and communities can work on that head us down the path toward our common goal.

We're also giving people the courage to support politicians who will stand up to the status quo, advocate and introduce legislation to stop the damage and implement alternatives, and not accept the media myth these politicians are unelectable and that voting for them would be wasting your vote. The latter is a defense mechanism of the status quo. Don't fall for it.
Building the coalition network
Garnering support for COME is, in many ways, more difficult than for many organizations. We don't have a photogenic single issue or victim to tug at your heartstrings. Our number one roadblock is denial.

Pretty much everyone, from the anti-war movement to right-wing demagogues, want to pretend that life as we know it couldn't possibly come to an end just because we're destroying our life support system to protect economic growth, and that everything will turn out just fine as soon as we get the economy that's causing all the problems back on track. Or as soon as a new technology magically appears. Or as soon as the laws of physics are contravened. Whichever comes first.

The single issue fires are easy to see, and they impinge on many of our culturally recognized senses. They must be put out, and there are more excellent groups in full fire-fighting mode than can be listed here.

The arsonist is shadowy and seems almost ephemeral, but actually impacts so many more of our senses, especially the ones necessary for well-being and reaching our potential. But who is developing the organizational capacity, skills, and resources to incapacitate the arsonist and ensure he can no longer freely roam? This void is what COME plans to fill.

Policy research, analysis and development for sustainability, instituting an Earth jurisprudence, and implementing steady-state economies is time intensive and requires a staff that is fairly compensated beyond what volunteers can be expected to do. Training the trainers for coalition development and consulting with local governments requires time and travel. Your donations, membership, and grants from foundations serious about systemic change are what make our work possible.

And, ultimately, help mitigate and alleviate the aspect of change you are most passionate about.