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Let us consider the effect that coercion produces upon the mind of him against whom it is employed. It cannot begin with convincing; it is no argument. It begins with producing the sensation of pain, and the sentiment of distaste. It begins with violently alienating the mind from the truth with which we wish it to be impressed. It includes in it a tacit confession of imbecility. If he who employs coercion against me could mould me to his purposes by argument, no doubt he would. He pretends to punish me because his argument is important, but he really punishes me because his argument is weak.
William Godwin (more quotes by William Godwin or books by/about William Godwin)
(1756-1836) English journalist, political philosopher and novelist
William Godwin, ENQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE (1798), Book VII, Chapter ii, Paragraph 9.
Control, Oppression, Tyranny, Force, Coercion, Debate, Pain, Violence, Alienation, Deception, Incompetence, Punishment, Weakness