Becoming the Quakers the World Needs
October 2, 2022, is World Quaker Day. The theme this year is Becoming the Quakers the World Needs. “Becoming” implies we are not, presently, the Quakers the World Needs, which I agree with. Quakers are too comfortable living in a capitalist system that is inherently unjust. A system whose goal is the accumulation of wealth no matter how unethical the means are to acquire it. A system that commodifies all resources, even those that should be part of the commons. A system not intended to care for those without wealth.
How can Friends achieve the 2022 theme of World Quaker Day, “Becoming the Quakers the World Needs,” while functioning in a blatantly and politically corrupt, racialized world? In engagement with this exciting theme, offered by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), the Black Quaker Project would like to remind Friends of the tools at our disposal to challenge those aspects of society which we wish to change and to see changed. Our fractured societies are further divided by enormous gaps of inequality in almost every imaginable category—psychological, social, political, cultural, economic. How might we, as Quakers, achieve justice, equity, and peace under these circumstances?
Black Quaker Project
“Quakers will only be truly prophetic when they risk a great deal of their accumulated privilege and access to wealth. Prophets cannot have a stake in maintaining the status quo. Any attempt to change a system while benefiting and protecting the benefits received from the system reinforces the system. Quakers as much as anyone not only refuse to reject their white privilege, they fail to reject the benefits they receive from institutionalized racism, trying to make an unjust economy and institutionalized racism and patriarch more fair and equitable in its ability to exploit. One can not simultaneously attack racist and patriarchal institutions and benefit from them at the same time without becoming more reliant upon the benefits and further entrenching the system. Liberalism at its laziest.” Scott Miller
How can we escape the capitalist society we live in? We build communities that care for one another. Sometimes called beloved communities. An example is Mutual Aid. I’ve been involved in Des Moines Mutual Aid for two years and have written extensively about my experiences. https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/mutual-aid/
Capitalism is so repugnant that we use other terms to refer to ourselves and the work we do, such are anarchists, communists, Black Liberationists, or accomplices.
Randomly passing an accomplice on the street and throwing up a fist at each other as we go our separate ways to destroy all that is rotten in this world will never fail to give me extra energy and a single tear of gratitude for what this city is creating.
member of Des Moines Mutual Aid
mutual aid is the new economy. mutual aid is community. it is making sure your elderly neighbor down the street has a ride to their doctor’s appointment. mutual aid is making sure the children in your neighborhood have dinner, or a warm coat for the upcoming winter. mutual aid is planting community gardens.
capitalism has violated the communities of marginalized folks. capitalism is about the value of people, property and the people who own property. those who have wealth and property control the decisions that are made. the government comes second to capitalism when it comes to power.
in the name of liberation, capitalism must be reversed and dismantled. meaning that capitalistic practices must be reprogrammed with mutual aid practices.
Des Moines Black Liberation