Orrin Woodward on LIFE & Leadership

Inc Magazine Top 20 Leader shares his personal, professional, and financial secrets.

  • Orrin Woodward

    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.

    This blog is an Alltop selection and ranked in HR's Top 100 Blogs for Management & Leadership.

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Government & State

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 10, 2013

I am continuing my work on my new book. In this segment, I share what the proper role of government within society. LIFE Leadership, in essence, is a society where rule of law reigns. The role of the owners of LIFE is to ensure no special deals and justice for all. Similarly, this is the proper role of government. I truly believe the way to change society is to change individual lives and over time build a big enough community that believes in “justice for all” that we can end the exploitation of the few over the many. This is my lifetime purpose and I am honored to be working with the greatest students of leadership anywhere!


Orrin Woodward

Governments and State

However, even man’s liberty must have limits. For, unfortunately, one of the darker sides of mankind is the desire to satisfy its wants with the least amount of effort. And, since exploitation of other people’s production is easier than a person producing himself, society must check this antisocial behavior of both internal and external aggressors to plunder others production. Indeed, James Madison, describing man’s dilemma, once wrote, “If men were angels, there would be no need for government.” Needless to say, mankind is not part of the angel family; consequently, society created government and delegated it the “monopoly of force” to protect its members from potential plunderers. In other words, government is the only part of society founded upon force, not freedom. For while the rest of society secures cooperation through persuasion, the government, in contrast, secures justice through threatening violence to anyone attempting to live by plunder rather than production. For most people, the threat of violence is enough to deter plunder, but in cases where force is needed, as in defense of one’s country, government is provided the force to fulfill its purpose.

Economic Freedom

Economic Freedom

As discussed earlier, in a healthy society, the Power Pendulum is balanced between the untenable extremes of chaos and coercion. In truth, historically, chaos appears to be the least desirable state of all and the pendulum rarely stays there long. Coercion, on the other hand, although not the desired state, seems to be patiently tolerated until the coercion becomes all-consuming. Evidently, people can suffer with societal tyranny easier than they suffer with the randomness of societal chaos. For on one side, chaos occurs when government is too weak to maintain peace within society. This power vacuum quickly leads the the Power Pendulum into chaos as different groups battle for sovereignty within society. On the other side, when government has too much force, the Power Pendulum drifts into coercion as people lose their liberty as the government transforms into an all-powerful state. Ideally, society’s goal is to rest the Power Pendulum in concord, providing the government with sufficient force to ensure justice, but denying it the power to become the plunderer of society’s production. Although numerous methods have been attempted to check government’s “monopoly of force,” sadly, none have proven to be effective with the passing of time.

There is an old joke that if the only tool one has is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. Similarly, government force is like that hammer and works well when confronting internal and external aggressors in pursuit of justice. However, since government’s modus operandi is force, it hammers everything it meets in society. Consequently, the government hammers should only be pointed at the specific targets it is delegated to nail, nothing else. Unfortunately, however, few seem to remember this crucial point, and when society permits government force to flow into areas it does not belong, the productive members of society, from the government’s perspective, begin looking, not surprisingly, like nails to be hammered. Indeed, when government exceeds its assigned boundaries, it no longer functions as the defender of a free society, but becomes an all-consuming State, oppressing the citizens it was assigned to protect. If society’s method is elasticity then the State’s method is rigidity and the proper balance between the use of freedom and force, resting the pendulum in concord, is crucial.

There are four underlying questions that must be answered in order to ensure justice for all and produce concord within society. This book will review how previous Western Societies attempted to answer each of these question before closing with the author’s proposed answer to the following questions:

  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, today’s political leaders must solve the paradox inherent within “monopoly of force” and limited-power concepts. 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? Traditionally, when society delegates a “monopoly of force” to government, the initial limited government transforms itself into an all-powerful state. This is the unanswered challenge that has prohibited Western Civilization from achieving its quest for concord and justice for all.

27 Responses to “Government & State”

  1. Jim Martin said

    Orrin this is the kind of information people need to learn about. Thanks for all you do and great post! Looking forward to reading this book and promoting it to thousands of people.

  2. Alexander Swartzentruber said

    I look forward to reading more of this! I love your books.

  3. Heidi Szymanski said

    Great article, Orrin. Can’t wait for the book.

  4. Peggi Kern said

    Thank you, Orrin, for always teaching!

  5. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    I’m excited for your book! I’ve learned so much through your short blogs I can only imagine what the book will do for me/us.
    I love what you said at the beginning of the article…” I truly believe the way to change society is to change individual lives and over time build a big enough community that believes in “justice for all” that we can end the exploitation of the few over the many.”
    I love how you said that!!! LIFE changes lives!!
    Thanks Orrin for ALL you do.

  6. Clint Fix said

    Awesome post! I can’t wait to get my hands on the finished book.

  7. Great blog we can not deny truth in the facts and figures any more. I like how you said we have no special deals in the LIFE business this is true even to the level of me as a 2nd generation community builder . I am so grateful that my father and mother haven’t taken the struggle away from me whether it be by force, bail out or hand out. They let me learn. Thank you for leading the charge in teaching people how to define learn and DO again in this country!

  8. Keep spreading the word Orrin. This is great stuff! Thank you!

  9. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin,

    Great blog! Can’t wait for the book to come out. There is balance in those 4 questions to be found and determined and constantly apply the PDCA process to them.

    I love the hammer and nail anology as it makes a choleric in recovery laugh every time!

    Have a great day Orrin and God Bless!

  10. Steve Leurquin said

    Great information Orrin. Your why or lifetime purpose will benefit millions! Thank you for your leadership.

  11. Wendi Witkowski said

    I am so excited for your next book! Orrin, Thanks for all the research, time and effort you are putting in to make a difference. I love learning in the life community. God bless!

  12. Anna Walsh said

    I appreciate your tenacious effort in getting to the bottom of what ails our, still great, country. I am excited that your book will surely open ever more eyes! Contrary to the popular saying, ignorance is not bliss.

  13. I was in Madison when you explained this and it was amazing then! Now it’s going into a new book? Awesome, can’t wait to read it. Thanks Orrin, for all you do.

  14. Stacey Arroyo said

    Looking forward to your new book! So many people complain and think the country’s problems are ‘too big’ to make a difference. I love that you break it down to one person at a time. I have learned so much since joining this Life community and continue to grow everyday. I’m proud to say that I will be part of the solution. Thanks Orrin!

  15. Wow. Lots to consider. The graph tells the tale of how I feel about the loss of freedom I feel daily. Thanks for your relentless pursuit to tell the TRUTH!. Questions with answers- that is awesome.


  16. Robert Quance said

    It is so great to read this bit of your current work. What you have here is the reason our country is failing but we can stop the fall if we all get a LIFE! Hope it makes it to LIFE really quick so I can grab it and promote it TOO!!!!

  17. Steve Duba said

    Thanks Orrin, This is only getting better by the minute. The Andrew Jackson cd from last month was phenomenal. This post is going to every one of my contacts. You keep bringing it and we will be your messengers of truth and your apprentices for the education of America…. Thank you and God Bless Steve

  18. Ryan Lopez said

    Awesome article! Excited for the release of the book, empowering We the People!!!

  19. KellyJack Nelson said

    I love hanging out and learning from people living in the solutions. This blog is a constant in that regard. Thanks for the insight on more answers to come

  20. Bobby Roopchand said

    We need to get this info out to more and quicker! I can’t wait for the new book!
    Keep charging forward!

  21. Kevin Hamm said


    Great article. I’m excited to be involved and looking forward to the book.

  22. Steve Meixner said

    Orrin, Amazing stuff, terrible to see how we’ve slipped as a Country. It is great how you are getting this information out to the masses. As always I can’t wait to read your books. Thanks for all you do!

  23. Those are some great questions to answer. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on them!

  24. wes said

    I can’t wait for this book to hit the shelves. This is exciting material!

  25. Jonathan Brandenberger said

    The Power Pendulum. Its kinda like an implication that time is marching on. Thru-out history you can see a story unfold. The story of a kingdom in the making. Mortal men. Trying to get it right. One generation of Freedom Fighters learning from the last. They have the owners manuel. The Guidebook. They study it and apply and learn. They work to inspire the rest of their people do the same. They teach their children these ways the best they can. The ways of Concord. Generation after generation. Swinging. To and fro. Chaos. Coercion. Chaos. Coercion. Time marching on. The point? When the pendulum stops swinging. Time has stopped. The Kingdom established. Finally. Concord. 😉

    * Its a fantastic article Orrin! I love this Freedom stuff! God Bless!

  26. Steve Casey said

    Wow – this article and all the ones in the series that follow are must-reads / incredible info, and understandable for all of us in the masses out there. This sure isn’t taught in school…. I was fortunate to have a good “education” through college, but in my 40s I am learning more through your writings here and books, and through all of the Policy Council Leaders, than I ever did in all the years leading up to now. Thank you for teaching so well and pursuing this calling that we and our nation need.

  27. Alex MacDonald said


    I am very excited about the new book you’re writing. Is it a part 2 to “And Justice For All”? It seemed like the described the problem and this book will be the description of the solutions. I am very excited to learn more!!

    Thank you,

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