Our basic principles inform our approach to these queries. We observe in society that:
- the primary means of government action are force and plunder;
- war is the health of the state; and
- class conflict between the ruling and the ruled undermines genuine community.
We choose, therefore, to work toward a different way - supporting one another in seeking and cultivating:
- voluntary exchange;
- peaceful resolution to conflict;
- broad parameters for moral decision-making; and
- healthy communities of faith and practice.
In other words, to the extent that Quakers participate and affirm coercion measures to control the economic behavior of others we participate in and affirm economic, political, and moral immaturity. This violates our testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship – and should violate our consciences. In contrast, we see a mature economy as one not based on violence. Part of what Quakers are called to do, then, is witness to that hoped-for reality.
Unfortunately, many Friends (and many others) see use of state coercion as a valid (even morally laudable) means of achieving their moral ends. Sadly, by yielding to the temptation to employ the violent means of the state to impose a moral vision, they also yield their very morality. The demonization of free markets and the valorization of state control makes coercion and violence palpable to those who otherwise claim the mantle of peacemaking. However noble our cause, though, if we use the state to achieve our ends we are employing the means of dominance and coercion, not relationality, not peace, not equality, and not love.
You can read more of the Quaker Libertarian take on Quakers and economics in our review of the book Quakernomics. You can also learn more about our overall vision and join the conversation by visiting our website, https://quakerlibertarians.weebly.com/, Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/QuakerLibertarians and Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/QuakerLiberty.