Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Coercion

"Love has to spring spontaneously from within. It is no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but though Love cannot be forced on anyone, It can be awakened in him through Love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative. Those who do not have It catch It from those who have It. True love is unconquerable and irresistible; and It goes on gathering power and spreading Itself, until eventually It transforms everyone whom It touches." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"God has so framed us as to make freedom of choice and action the very basis of all moral improvement, and all our faculties, mental and moral, resent and revolt against the idea of coercion." -

"Coercion, after all merely captures man. Freedom captivates him." -

"No attack on democracy can hide the fact that it can be replaced only by a system that substitutes coercion for persuasion; one that replaces the individual's choice with the choice of some ruler." -

"It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curious of inquiry. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty." - Albert Einstein

"Schools exploit you because they tap your power and use it to perpetuate society’s trip, while they teach you not to respect your own... Schools petrify society because their method, characterized by coercion from the top down, works against any substantial social change... Schools petrify society because students, through them, learn to adjust unquestioningly to institutions." - Jerry Farber

"I had a "near death experience" and remember thinking, "If only people knew what it was like to die, they wouldn't be afraid." I reached a point at which a voice began to ask me if I thought I'd completed what I'd come to do. was I going to leave my son, then age three, behind? There was no sense of threat or coercion. An absolute acceptance that whatever I did was all right, but pointing out that the moment of choice was now. The relief and release from the fear of dying changed my life. The reminder that "I am not my body" freed me to live my life in a different way. The understanding that no matter what is going on in our bodies, the essence of who we are is unaffected; this wisdom has enabled me to help other see their bodies in a different way. To see the body in illness not as an enemy, but as a faithful fried, programmed by; the soul to react in that exact way. To see illness as a confrontation in the physical of what one is reluctant to confront on the mental or emotional levels. In other words, a message, a communication, a time to listen and therefore a unique and powerful opportunity for transformation." - Soozi Holbeche

"What has been the effect of religious coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites." - Thomas Jefferson

"Coercion created slavery, the cowardice of the slaves perpetuated it." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"In the image of God there is no coercion, but rather free, eager service of love, just as a limb of the body or a branch of the tree gladly serves the other members." -

"The history of mankind is crowded with evidences proving that physical coercion is not adapted to moral regeneration; that the sinful dispositions of men can be subdued only by love; that evil can be exterminated from the earth only by goodness… that there is great security in being gentle, harmless, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy; that it is only the meek who shall inherit the earth, for the violent, who resort to the sword, are destined to perish with the sword." - William Lloyd Garrison

"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites." - Thomas Jefferson

"It is easy to substitute our will for that of a child by means of suggestion or coercion; but when we have done this we have robbed him of his greatest right, the right to construct his own personality." - Maria Montessori

"A true leader does not seek followers, he wants to teach others how to be leaders. He does not want control, he wants the truth. He does not impose his leadership on others, nor does he take away anyone's autonomy. He inspires by love, not coercion. When it comes time to take credit, he makes himself invisible; but he is the first to arrive at the time of need, and he will never shrink away in fear. He is so passionate about your welfare that when you consult him for guidance, it is like coming face to face with yourself for the first time." - Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Religious liberty includes freedom to change one’ religion or belief without consequent social, economic and political disabilities. Implicit in this right is the right freely to maintain one’s belief or disbelief without external coercion or disability." - World Council of Churches NULL

"You have to turn might into duty and right into obligation. In effect, societies are ruled either by coercion or manipulation, by deceit, cheating, ideology, or by power. How do you get to normative order that avoids the excesses of things? That is the basic problem." - Daniel Bell

"There is in man a power of self-determination, independent of any coercion through sensuous impulses." - Immanuel Kant

"Coercion is the very basis of every law in the universe, human or divine. A law is not law without coercion behind it." - James A. Garfield

"Leadership is not manifested by coercion, even against the resented." - Margaret Chase Smith

"Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion – the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals – the technique of the market place." -

"Convictions following the admission into evidence of confessions which are involuntary, i.e., the product of coercion, either physical or psychological, cannot stand. This is so not because such confessions are unlikely to be true but because the methods used to extract them offend an underlying principle in the enforcement of our criminal law: that ours is an accusatorial and not an inquisitorial system — a system in which the State must establish guilt by evidence independently and freely secured and may not by coercion prove its charges against an accused out of his own mouth." - Felix Frankfurter

"The idea of painless, non-threatening coercion is an illusion. Fear is the inseparable companion of coercion, and its inescapable consequence." - John Holt, fully John Caldwell Holt

"We who believe that children want to learn about the world, are good at it, and can be trusted to do it with very little adult coercion or interference, are probably no more than one percent of the population, if that. And we are not likely to become the majority in my lifetime. This doesn't trouble me much anymore, as long as this minority keeps on growing. My work is to help it grow. " - John Holt, fully John Caldwell Holt

"A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. " - John Steinbeck, fully John Ernst Steinbeck

"The only way to settle questions of an ideological nature or controversial issues among the people is by the democratic method, the method of discussion, of criticism, of persuasion and education, and not by the method of coercion or repression. To be able to carry on their production and studies effectively and to arrange their lives properly, the people want their government and those in charge of production and of cultural and educational organizations to issue appropriate orders of an obligatory nature. It is common sense that the maintenance of public order would be impossible without such administrative regulations. Administrative orders and the method of persuasion and education complement each other in resolving contradictions among the people. Even administrative regulations for the maintenance of public order must be accompanied by persuasion and education, for in many cases regulations alone will not work." - Mao Tse-tung, alternatively Zedong, Ze dong, aka Chairman Mao

"Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion – the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals – the technique of the market place." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"Political freedom means the absence of coercion of a man by his fellow men." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion - the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals - the technique of the marketplace." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"As to the impotence of repression — it is sufficiently demonstrated by the disorder of present society and by the necessity of a revolution that we all desire or feel inevitable. In the domain of economy, coercion has led us to industrial servitude; in the domain of politics — to the State, that is to say, to the destruction of all ties that formerly existed among citizens, and to the nation becoming nothing but an incoherent mass of obedient subjects of a central authority." - Peter Kropotkin, fully Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin

"He made an elaborate plan of his treatise, and, with much erudition, discussed both coercive factors which are used to maintain society: wagedom and the different forms of coercion which are sanctioned by law. At the end of his work he reserved two paragraphs only to mention the two non-coercive factors — the feeling of duty and the feeling of mutual sympathy — to which he attached little importance, as might be expected from a writer in law." - Peter Kropotkin, fully Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin

"In an age when immense technological advances have created lethal weapons which could be, and are, used by the powerful and the unprincipled to dominate the weak and the helpless, there is a compelling need for a closer relationship between politics and ethics at both the national and international levels. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations proclaims that 'every individual and every organ of society' should strive to promote the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings regardless of race, nationality or religion are entitled. But as long as there are governments whose authority is founded on coercion rather than on the mandate of the people, and interest groups which place short-term profits above long-term peace and prosperity, concerted international action to protect and promote human rights will remain at best a partially realized struggle." - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

"Children who become too aware of things are punished for it and internalize the coercion to such an extent that as adults they give up the search for awareness. But because some people cannot renounce this search in spite of coercion, there is justifiable hope that regardless of the ever-increasing application of technology to the field of psychological knowledge, Kafka's vision of the penal colony with its efficient, scientifically minded persecutors and their passive victims is valid only for certain areas of our live and perhaps not forever. For the human soul is virtually indestructible, and its ability to rise from the ashes remains as long as the body draws breath." - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"Mother Teresa had just delivered a speech against abortion, and she wanted to talk to me. Mother Teresa was unerringly direct. She disagreed with my views on a woman's right to choose and told me so. Over the years, she sent me dozens of notes and messages with the same gentle entreaty. Mother Teresa never lectured or scolded me; her admonitions were always loving and heartfelt. I had the greatest respect for her opposition to abortion, but I believe that it is dangerous to give any state the power to enforce criminal penalties against women and doctors. I consider that a slippery slope to state control in China and Communist Romania. I also disagreed with her opposition--and that of the Catholic Church--to birth control. However, I support the right of people of faith to speak out against abortion and try to dissuade women, without coercion or criminalization, from choosing abortion instead of adoption. Mother Teresa and I found much common ground in many other areas including the importance of adoption." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry. " - Albert Einstein

"One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful." - Albert Einstein

"The freedom fighters of Nicaragua ... are the moral equal of our Founding Fathers and the brave men and women of the French Resistance." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"Dominant children serve other functions in addition to orientation. In a Munich study of four-year-old children, the child that commanded the most attention was also the one who most often initiated and organized games, interceded as a third party to break up disputes, and represented the group when interacting with another group. Children of lower rank tended to obey, imitate, smile, and offer presents to the high-ranking child. In a study of first-graders playing dodgeball, the child who appeared most skillful emerged in time as the dominant individual to whom the rest of the players look for organization. By first and second grade, most children agreed on the individuals with two dominant characteristics: Who is the smartest? Who is the toughest? Yet few agreed on the identity of the least smart and least tough among them. Attention, again, focused upward in the hierarchy." - Ronald A. Heifetz

"There are lots of things in life that are worth the pain… Being a leader is one of them." - Ronald A. Heifetz

"True joy is not a thing of moods, not a capricious emotion, tied to fluctuating experiences. It is a state and condition of the soul. It survives through pain and sorrow and, like a subterranean spring, waters the whole life. It is intimately allied and bound up with love and goodness, and so is deeply rooted in the life of God." - Rufus Jones, fully Rufus Matthew Jones

"Dissonance is the truth about harmony." - Theodor W. Adorno, born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund

"In the environment, every victory is temporary, every defeat permanent." - Thomas Jefferson

"The evidence of [the] natural right [of expatriation], like that of our right to life, liberty, the use of our faculties, the pursuit of happiness, is not left to the feeble and sophistical investigations of reason, but is impressed on the sense of every man. We do not claim these under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of Kings." - Thomas Jefferson

"What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian Senate." - Thomas Jefferson

"Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." - Thomas Jefferson

"Happiness is so nonsynonymous with joy or pleasure that it is not infrequently sought and felt in grief and deprivation." - Wilhelm von Humboldt, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt

"The proletariat aimed at those machine that bears the name of the state and that people stand on them to respect the unblemished Balkhcua and believe upon ancient myths view it the authority of the whole people, and declare the proletariat: the bourgeois lie. We have Antzaana this machine from the hands of the capitalists and we took it for ourselves. In this machine, or stick. We invest forms, and when lacking in minimum investment potential, when lawless Mlako land, Mlako factories, when relieved of this situation, which affects the other Baltkhmh and starves others, when disappear possibilities that, then just let this machine to break down. State then go away and disappear investment." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"Virtuous men alone possess friends." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"If there be any truth more unquestionable than the rest, it is that every man is bound to the exertion of his faculties in the discovery of right, and to the carrying into effect all the right with which he is acquainted. It may be granted that an infallible standard, if it could be discovered, would be considerably beneficial. But this infallible standard itself would be of little use in human affairs, unless it had the property of reasoning as well as deciding, of enlightening the mind as well as constraining the body." - William Godwin

"Woman, essentially a purist, is naturally bigoted and relentless in her effort to make others as good as she thinks they ought to be." - Emma Goldman

"Substance is not enough, accident is also required." -