… is from page 180 of Daniel Boorstin’s 1958 volume, The Americans: The Colonial Experience :
Where every sect lacked the power to coerce, they all wisely “chose” to persuade.
Yes. And such persuasion forms essential paving stones for civil society.
I propose a corollary to Boorstin’s observation: where some people have the power to coerce, not only do they never choose the option of persuasion, but also their coercion soon comes to be regarded by both the coercers and the coerced as the only possible means of achieving whatever desirable outcomes the coercion is believed to be used to achieve. Using coercion to achieve X crowds out not only the actual use of peaceful, persuasive means of achieving X, it also destroys any realization that X can be achieved non-coercively.