Pronoun Problem

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Senior Member
South Korea, Han-gul
The passage below is from a book, “Justice” by Michael Sandel.
I’m not sure what the underlined it represents specifically. In one way it seems to stand for ‘the moral force,’ in another, ‘the virture argument.’

Can you help me?
(Right now, I think ‘the virtue argument’ is more likely answer.)

Price-gouging laws cannot banish greed, but they can at least restrain its most brazen expression, and signal society’s disapproval of it. By punishing greedy behavior rather than rewarding it, society affirms the civic virtue of shared sacrifice for the common good. To acknowledge the moral force of the virtue argument is not to insist that it must always prevail over competing considerations.
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