… is from Juliette Sellgren’s new and excellent podcast with David French, available here ; near the 28-minute, 15-second mark, French says:
Conversion is more powerful than compulsion.
DBx: Of course, people can be compelled to do a great deal that is against their interest by threatening them with guns and grenades. But no great society will ever be built with such coercion. It is far better and more lasting to persuade people to your point of view. And if you cannot do so, then what basis do you have for believing that your point of view is worthwhile?
Ideas that people must be compelled to act in accordance with are almost certainly dangerous, uncivilized, and uncivilizing.