Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

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    Former Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

    Orrin made the Top 20 Inc. Magazine Leadership list & has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE. He has a B.S. degree from GMI-EMI (now Kettering University) in manufacturing systems engineering. He holds four U.S. patents, and won an exclusive National Technical Benchmarking Award.

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Western Civilization & The Power Pendulum

Posted by Orrin Woodward on August 30, 2013

Here are the questions to be studied and answered in my study of Western Civilizations greatest societies. This is really fun to ask and answer these question and see how the history of ideas affected how societies attempted to answer them. LIFE Leadership applies the same ask and answer concept to one’s life. What does a person desire to do? What does he need to do in order to move in that direction? When is he going to get started? In sum, the quality of one’s questions determines the quality of one’s results.


Orrin Woodward

The Power Pendulum

John Locke's Model

John Locke’s Model

Western Civilization has, for the past 2500 years, been on a quest for concord (peace and harmony) within society. However, this quest remains unconsummated. For concord is achieved when the proper balance of force and freedom is maintained in a society and, although concord has been achieved for brief periods of time, it has never endured. Societal concord lies between the two extremes of chaos on one side and coercion on the other. In essence, the freedom and force movements within society behave similar to a pendulum’s trajectory – moving back and forth through various phases of chaos, concord, and coercion. Unfortunately, Western Society’s have been unable to rest the pendulum in the coveted concord region, thus the purpose of this book.

The author created the Power Pendulum (a visual indicator of the force/freedom ratio within any society) to track how various government policies affect the society’s level of force and freedom. A society is a community of individuals who choose to work together for personal, professional and societal gain. People in society, naturally work together to accomplish objectives without coercion. However, because of man’s willingness to exploit others, as society’s wealth increases, it must develop methods to check internal and external aggressors from plundering the production of others. In consequence, society forms a government and provides it with a “monopoly of force” to protect its members from acts of injustice, both internal and external. Where the rest of society secures cooperation through persuasion, the government, in contrast, is the watchman that secures justice by applying force to those who attempt to plunder others production. In other words, the government is the one segment in political society that is delegated a “monopoly of force” to restrain disobedient members from breaking the law and punishment to those who do.

The underlying questions that must be answered in order to produce concord within society is:

1. What areas of society prosper under freedom?
2. What areas of society need force to ensure justice?
3. How much force is needed in the proper areas to ensure justice reigns?
4. How does society check the delegated “monopoly of force” from flowing into areas of society better served by freedom than force?

Unfortunately, Western Civilization has never answered all four questions within one society. Nonetheless, the author still believes it is possible to do so. For history has recorded periods of concord within Western society and now must learn how to rest the pendulum in concord. However, in order to still the pendulum in concord, one must solved the paradox inherent within “monopoly of force” and limited-power. How, in other words, can an entity that is delegated a “monopoly of force” in specific spheres not use that monopoly to expand its power past the prescribed limits? Historically, when society delegates a “monopoly of force” to government, the initial limited government transforms itself, over time, into an all-powerful state. These are the underlying challenges that have hindered Western Civilization’s quest for concord.

13 Responses to “Western Civilization & The Power Pendulum”

  1. Orrin, this is yet another example of how well you are able to take complex and difficult ideas and simplify them for the average guy.

    I am so thankfull that I was introduced to this information through LIFE Leadership. I am enjoying this journey of learning, growing, and developing the skilks needed to do what God has called me to do.

    As a father I see that these same questions can be asked within the confines of a single household as well. The same goes for the home owners assosiation and litterally any area of life where a group of people get together for the common good of that section of society regardless of size.


  2. Derek Crawford said

    Thank you for not labeling western society as a lost cause or looking to government or an elected official to solve our problems like most others. All I have to say is you rock!

  3. See this diagram here and other places in the past, really helped me solidify my understanding of liberty. I love it! Thank you.

  4. Olivier Jean-Baptiste said

    Hi Orrin…
    Thanks for the hope that you are verbalizing regarding the faith of the western world and thanks for the train put in motion.

    Indisputably, question number four is where all of us will have to play a part. King Louis XIV of France (1643-1715) was the embodiment of absolutism. He was able to establish and consolidate centralization of power by weakening the local autonomy of the French Nobles. By early 18th century the French local nobility was practically powerless. Interestingly, the Palace of Versailles has been instrumental and handy for Louis XIV for it is there that many nobles have been invited to participate with the king in lavish feasting and countless hunting session and many snobbish festivities. As they were being distracted and entertained their local responsibilities and offices were being re-appointed and re-assigned to individual docile to the king. The lesson for us today and in the future is to not let ourselves be distracted but rather to be constantly vigilant in educating ourselves in the principles of freedom/prosperity and act like real citizens. Let us never become complaisant to the point that we fulfill John Milton prophecy when he said: “Nation grown corrupt love bondage more than liberty; Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty.”


  5. wes said

    Fascinsting thoughts. Thanks Orrin!

  6. J.J. said

    Wasn’t the 2nd amendment put in place in order to prevent a monopoly of force, shouldn’t society try to find a way to check that monopoly of force and due you think that the states having their own standing militia would be the best way accomplish that check?

  7. Steve Duba said

    Thanks Orrin.
    Just as you have said before,Until we limit their ability to tax,we will continue in this battle.
    Much like you described in one of you previous talks,we are witnessing a similar event unfolding in Syria.
    If the government is able to go into any country on the whim of a current leader.These wars are then paid for by
    an already stretched society. I could go on forever so I will stop.
    Keep up the good work Orrin and I will keep educating myself and becoming a better leader.
    Thank you and God Bless

  8. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin,

    One day maybe we will figure out tthis ballance. Until then will continue to teach people of the unbalance so they may be educated in the ffact that it exsisits. We have an up hill battle ahead of us but one that a small group will help change! Is there a finish line? I believe not but a humbel life lived helping others!

    God Bless

  9. Heidi Szymanski said

    Awesome explanation, Orrin. You and George are going to be regular reading for my high school student’s history! I’m excited that we still have the freedoms to teach real history. Thanks again! Heidi

  10. Renee Oettinger said

    Thank you for studying freedom and sharing your wisdom. When the facts of what diminishes freedom are explained using historical examples of what has worked to gain, keep or lose freedom, it is easy to see the direction we need to take to gain freedom. Thank you for the Leadershift.

  11. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Thank you for the excerpt Orrin! Can’t wait until the release of the book!!!

  12. Al Berry said

    The timing for this information and the book “Leadershift” is uncanny because of what we see happening today…compassionate progressivism, which the Framers called despotism. I strongly recommend reading Ameritopia and The Liberty Amendments for further description and a logical prescription for the resolution of the soft tyranny upon us.

  13. Steve Meixner said

    Orrin, This will be another, must read, book. It’s great to have a person you trust sharing this knowledge with so many! I would never have had all this deep thinking without your help! Thanks Again,

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