Why America & Western Society Needs a LeaderShift
Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 20, 2013
The following is a portion of the introduction from a book I am working on about Western Society. LeaderShift is less than a month away from release and Oliver DeMille and I are pumped about it. However, there is much more to share on this important subject than can be contained in one book. The Quest for Concord is as old as Western Societies existence and has been attempted in every society since the Greeks. The LIFE Business intends to educate people on their history so we can ensure we protect the freedoms we enjoy for our posterity. Today’s reading is not light, but I promise if you take the time to read and comprehend, it will help you understand the pressing issues going on in today’s society.
Historical Case-Studies of SDS & FLD
With this understanding of the Six Duties of Society and Five Laws of Decline, the author can now describe more fully his chronological case-studies. The Greeks, as the founders of Western Civilization, were the first case-study society. The Greeks enjoyed a higher level of freedom than any previous ancient society. Consequently, the SDS were satisfied more fully than in any other previous society up until that time. Society and wealth grew rapidly as the Greek city-states traded with one another and confederated together to defend themselves against the Persian Empire. However, with no experience or understanding of the FLD, the stronger Greek city-states began plundering the weaker ones and the pendulum moved out of concord into chaos. Greek society divided into allied city-states (Sparta and Athens) who fought a series of civil wars, destroying their liberties and productivity. Both cities, and Greek society, were destroyed in a suicidal attempt to protect themselves from the plunder of the other. The Greek civil wars terminated when Greek liberty did with the arrival of the Roman Republic’s armies.
The Roman Republic began its leadership of Western Society and experienced great growth and prestige within society. However, it too was overcome by the temptations of the FLD when the Senate began to plunder small farmers and the provincials. The Gracchi brothers attempted reforms led to their assassinations and political wars for plunder led eventually to full-scale civil war within society. Injustice always carries within it the seed of its own destruction and the political wars eventually flowed into civil war and chaos. The political purges and civil wars of Marius and Sulla moved the pendulum into chaos. This only escalated further as the Senate and Populares fought for political leadership of the Roman Republic. The FLD killed the Roman Republic when political chaos paralyzed the rulers of Rome and opposing sides resorted to war. Clausewitz said, “War is politics by other means.” In the Republic’s case, “Politics was war by other means.” The conservative elements (the Senate and Pompey) squared off against the reform-minded populist, led by Caesar. The end result was the destruction of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. Even Caesar’s assassination did not restore the republic. The chaos was rooted too deeply within Roman society and Caesar’s death resulted in another round of civil wars, culminating with Augustus Caesar’s rule.
At long last, Western Society moved the pendulum from chaos towards concord. In essence, the Roman Empire early success was due to Caesar Augustus wisdom. He limited taxation, ended the plunder of the provinces, and shared power with the Senatorial class. Accordingly, the Roman peace (Pax Romana) produced concord, prosperity, and progress within society for the duration of Augustus rule. Unfortunately, wise rulers do not live forever. Predictably, the pendulum’s inertia, originally set in motion from chaos to concord, continued it momentum from concord into coercion. Later Caesars, ignoring Augustus’s example, increased their powers by further centralization, regulations, and taxes. The government’s gain in power and money was achieved parasitically, at the expense of society’s freedoms and prosperity. Indeed, by the end of the Roman Empire, the bloated bureaucracy coerced society’s wealth to feed the rapacious civil and military branches. Interestingly, when the Roman Empire fell, many within the oppressed Roman society, viewed the Gothic barbarians, not as invaders, but as liberators.
The Roman Empire, by Augustus’s restraint, solved many of the pressing issues that hindered the Republic. Consequently, society thrived under his SDS solutions and the empire expanded. The pendulum swung from chaos into concord and Roman society enjoyed the benefits through Augustus’s long tenure. Not surprisingly, however, the FLD temptation was too much for later Caesar’s with less talent and more greed. The FLD began to work its poison with the thriving society. The parasitic state ate the bowels out of the once-healthy society and the Roman Empire fell, less from external enemies, and more from internal enervation. Neither Roman society seemed to learn the key lessons offered by its Greek predecessor. In summation, the three case-studies from the Greco/Roman past, even though they shined brightly for a period of time, terminate in societal suicide. Not an impressive ending compared to its promising beginnings. All three societies met the SDS challenge and failed miserably with the FLD. Santayana’s statement, “The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history,” regretfully, has been proven to be valid in the study of history.
The next section reviews the Anglo/Saxon societies. Beginning with England and its society formed under the Kings, Lords, and Parliament, England developed innovative ways to check any specific groups power. England’s three great liberty documents – Magna Carta, Petition of Rights, and the Bill of Rights – attempted systematic fixes to the problems inherent within mankind’s plunderous nature. England, learned through experience than Kings could not be trusted with absolute power and needed checks upon their power. Nonetheless, the Stuart Kings attempted to exercise absolute control of England without parliamentary checks. Civil war was the predictable result. After an interregnum during Oliver Cromwell’s protectorate, the Restoration brings King Charles II to the throne. Like his dad before, Charles II believed in the “divine right of kings” and the House of Lords and Parliament battled to protect the people’s rights. Finally, when his brother James proved even worse, the Lords and House joined forces and invited William and Mary to England. King William agreed to sign the Bill of Rights and England believed its liberties were secure. However, plunderers have never allowed mere words on scraps of paper hinder them in their quest for power and plunder. When King George III took the throne as the third Hanoverian king, he attempted to rule as absolutely as any of the Stuart, proving the FLD cannot be checked by contracts or constitution, but only forces capable of resisting plunder.
King George III takes us to the founding of the United States and its two intriguing case-study societies. The first society was structured under the Articles of Confederation during the American colonies civil war against its parent England. It consisted of thirteen independent colonies who confederated together for protection. Interestingly, this model is similar to the Greek model where independent city-states confederated together against the Persian Empire. Although there were strengths and weaknesses of this society, it never had the opportunity to move through the “rise and fall” cycle. George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and others desired a stronger federal government than the Articles offered. The federalist feared the potential chaos ensuing from independent states warring politically, financially, and militarily if a stronger central government were not formed.
Accordingly, in 1787, the Articles of Confederation were scrapped and replaced by the Constitution. This document attempted to limit the actions of the federal government by clearly delineating the actions permissible. However, history reveals plunderers ignore words in the quest for power; therefore, the general welfare clause was twisted into a “catch all” phrase, permitting the federal government to do whatever it felt necessary. This tenuous arrangement between “sovereign” states and a “sovereign” federal government did not last long. Not even a century had elapsed when the increasing political wars finally spilled over into the predictable civil war. History may not repeat exactly, but the ill-effects of the FLD surely do. On one side, the Greek, Roman, American societies each experienced civil wars when the pendulum moved into chaos. On the other side, Rome, modern-day England, and modern-day America are experiencing the pain and enervation of the pendulum drifting into coercion. Chaos leads to civil war while coercion leads to lethargy.