Coercion and collectivism go hand in hand, because collectivism is unnatural. If left to our own devices, the vast majority of us would rather cooperate and organized each other on a voluntary basis, than threaten each other into forced universal compliance. Thus religions and governments must necessarily use lies and force in order to establish themselves. Only once lies and force become the norm in a society can religion and government establish and maintain their power. Free, happy individuals have no need for religion or government.
The first lie of collectivists is that man is corrupt by his very nature. People go along with this because they think of important examples from the past where individuals were corrupt, forgetting or ignoring the fact that the great majority of humans are not corrupt. The second lie is that collectivism can provide the restraints needed on human nature. Even if one accepts the first lie, the second lie is still unconvincing, since enforcement of thee restraints requires a ruling class of some sort, which by definition is not subject ot its own restraints.
Coercion is also fundamentally evil because it is the antithesis of rationality. To be rational is to carefully consider the evidence and the possibilities; not only that, but also to be free to consider them. In order to persist in the human mind, collectivism must impose itself as the only reasonable option, and use threats in order to keep the stray individualist minds in line. For collectivism to work, decision-making must be changed from a dynamic process to knee-jerk conditioning. This is very difficult, and turning a human being into a conditioning machine demands constant propaganda efforts. But it can be very workable, as the current sad state of some people demonstrates.
The State and religion use coercion in very different ways. The State concerns itself with subjugating bodies, material resources, and loyalty, and religion mainly concerns itself with subjugating the mind, intellect and rationality. The State aims to be a parasite upon production, while religion aims to be a parasite upon man’s impulses, in both cases channeling these resources to evil ends.
Because of this, the State uses coercion in the physical sense, while religion uses coercion in the mental sense. As part of a political unit, you must obey the law under threat of kidnapping, and you must pay your tribute (“taxes”) under extortion. As part of a religious unit, you must obey your sect’s agreements under threat of guilt, singling-out, and disconnection from one’s family and friends.
The rational person must promote non-coercion as a fundamental principle. It is not religion or government per se which destroys man’s freedom and life, but the premise that one must be coerced into accepting those things, or else. It is this premise that eliminates rationality and creates a society running on automatic, where no one questions the morality of his actions and “just follows orders.” It is in those societies that the greatest evils can be accomplished with the consent of the majority.
Acceptance of coercion begins in the family structure. The young child learns that refusal to obey his parents will be met by disapproval, guilt, confinement or violence. From this, the child learns that failure to stay in line with the group is a “sin.” His parents indoctrinate him to believe that worshipping a sky-fairy is the height of morality, and that if he fails to do so great violence will come to him in the future, and ostracism in the present. In school, if he has the misfortune of living in an oppressive regime, he is indoctrinated not only with religion but with nationalism and statism as well. Thus can a curious small child be turned into an unthinking beast.