Orrin Woodward: Life Leadership

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    Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of LeaderShift, Launching a Leadership Revolution, and sold over one million books on leadership and liberty. His first solo book 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 has co-founded two multi-million dollar leadership companies and serves as the Chairman of the Board of the LIFE Business. 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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Governments: Five Laws of Decline

Posted by Orrin Woodward on November 15, 2013

I am still diligently working on my next book on State, Society, and Justice. Boy, what a project I have undertaken here. I am, at the same time, have the blast and pulling my hair out. :) There are so many subtle nuances that must be cleared up to keep the main thing the main thing. At any rate, this is what LIFE Leadership is about – learning, growing, and helping to create positive change. Here is a segment on government and the Five Laws of Decline.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward

Throughout recorded history, human beings have been shown to be capable of remarkable acts of honor and correspondingly astonishing acts of dishonor. Indeed, if a Biblical scholar were to describe this historical fact from a Judeo/Christian worldview, he would say – although mankind is made in the image of God, his rebellion led to his alienation from God and his self-centered will is capable of spectacular deeds of both good and evil. For on one hand, when people work cooperatively together in justice, the SDS thrive in a growing society. However, when mankind seeks to exploit his fellow man for his own gain, the magnitude of injustice man is incapable of of being quantified. For the history of genocides, mass murders, and total war boggles the mind. In effect, the Five Laws of Decline (FLD) describes, in a systematic fashion, mankind’s exploitive nature which results in his ongoing inhumanity to his fellow man. Dismally, the historical record is loaded with egregious examples of man reaping where he didn’t sow, exploiting the production of others rather than producing wealth for himself. Ironically, when the SDS are thriving under justice that the risk of exploitation and injustice is the greatest. For the increased wealth becomes an irresistible temptation for the exploitive potential within mankind. In other words, the more wealth a society produces by just “economic means”, the more creative the exploiters will become in seeking to plunder it by “political means”. Accordingly, wealthy societies must forever be vigilant to identify where the FLD is seeking to siphon off its wealth. For the FLD is a systematic method for describing how man’s fallen, exploitive, and anti-social behavior seeks to gain plunder at society’s expense. The Five Laws of Decline were first introduced in my book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE to describe how organizations decline. These concepts were then further expanded into the political field with the release of LeaderShift, co-authored with Oliver DeMille.

In general, when the FLD are not checked, society is split into two groups – those who produce wealth and those who plunder it. James Madison described man’s nature appropriately when he wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Men, however, are not angels; therefore, most men, when they recognize opportunities for plunder without punishment, will move in this direction. The purpose of just governments, in essence, is to check mankind’s exploitive nature to ensure justice for all. For then society’s members will choose cooperation “economic means” to create wealth since exploitation “political means” is not viable. For just as a pickpocket avoids practicing his craft in the vicinity of police officers, so too do exploiters steer clear of plunder if the government punishes it properly. However, it’s vital to remember that society’s protector (government) consist of men and women who also have good and evil within them; thus, if society isn’t diligent, plunderers will seek to redirect the government’s “monopoly of force” away from protecting against injustice into initiating injustice at the exploiters command. In fact, much of third-world poverty is a disgraceful record of government force being used as a tool of injustice rather than justice. Although Western Society governments are, of course, less overt when practicing injustice than their third-world counterparts, the same principle still holds true. All governments, in short, must be watched to ensure exploiters do not gain control of government and set up systems of exploitation. Thus, using the “monopoly of force” for unjust ends.

Indeed, the real challenge to taming the FLD within society is that any government with sufficient power to protect, is, by definition, also powerful enough to exploit. For when government receives the “monopoly of force” to restrain injustice, what is to ensure this force is not used unjustly by the rulers themselves? Regardless of governmental form society chooses, the underlying systemic issues of FLD must be specifically addressed, for the FLD is inherent within the human heart. Hence, since governmental leaders are human in every form of government, the FLD question must be addressed and answered or liberty will die as exploitation increases. Professor Issac Kramnick aptly described the challenges of government power and man’s inhumanity to man in his discussion on the French Revolution and the ideas of Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke:

French Revolution: Guillotine

French Revolution: Guillotine

Government is simply a necessary evil, useful, if not mandatory, to control ourselves when we fail one another. How we effect that control (and what additional restraints need to be governmentally supported) is for each age to decide. The important consequence for Paine was that no matter how much reverence Burke adduces to support the undeniably important wisdom of the ages, Paine asserts that those living now should not have to forfeit their right to pass judgment on choices made by those no longer alive. Both Paine and Burke decried the extremes of the French Revolution, and both were disillusioned by man’s inhumanity to man, but both saw opportunity for needed change in the events unfolding in Paris. Paine’s support of the revolution was founded in the insanity of the French monarchy. Burke’s denunciation of the revolution was rooted in the insanity of the republic. Both were right.

27 Responses to “Governments: Five Laws of Decline”

  1. Great article Orrin. I can’t wait for the book!

  2. Matt Mielke said

    Great post Orrin! Interesting comment by Professor Issac Kramnick regarding the disillusionment from man’s inhumanity to man. It amazes me the level of violence and injustice one man can have over another. We just had a shooting in a local hospital in Milwaukee. A man was armed in a pediatric ICU, obviously not very stable, and eventually killed by the SWAT team. When the government gives in to the FLD and the populace strays from biblical truth, all hell breaks loose. Thanks for your insight.

  3. Mark Pruitt said

    Orrin,
    Cant wait to read the book!
    The timing is so critical and I believe Providence is intertwined with this project at an crucial level. Those of us who are defending The Constitution and diligently working at restoring the Republic have to posses a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of human history and behavior in particularly in regard to the Five Laws of Decline or we could find ourselves very easily in the same bloody boat as the French following their just revolution against tyranny.
    Thank you for your tireless efforts and your seemingly endless contribution to saving and restoring America.
    God Bless You,
    Mark Pruitt

  4. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin!

    Every explanation or example of “FLD” just gives more perspective on the understanding of government. I love the Life biz and it educates us on such things as we were ignorant to before. I’ve never been so hungry to learn! Give us more! Can’t wait for the book, and can see how there would be some “sorting out” to do!
    God Bless!

  5. Dave Nelson said

    Hello Orrin,
    Angels need leadership, GOD is their king. They weren’t given self rule. One must have been influenced by the FLD and made a real mess of everything, the evil one.
    From reading and listening to LIFE training and living materials it’s difficult to associate with people who are not reading and listening. Then I think of Chris Brady and his “what if” CD, and all the times I’ve heard you and many others say if another man can do it any man can if he’s hungry. Remember a Terri Brady CD is it more honorable to be a community builder or an engineer or a burger chef?All these wonderful CD’s and more help me keep my elephant from doubting.
    Thank you for pumping us up and teaching us to be builders of people.

    Sincerely,
    David Nelson

  6. Carleton W Moten said

    There is a fatal flaw in the premise/analysis.

    Correctly, or at least I am in agreement with, you cite the “exploitive potential within mankind.”

    You then go on to make the mistake that so many commentators on the human condition/dilemma make … you then extract this potential and then deposit it wholly and isolatedly into a subset of individual called “exploiters.”

    I contend that even ‘creatives’ have some ‘exploitive’ which needs to be guarded against and ameliorated. Everyone, once advantaged seeks by political means to institutionalize their advantage. Your lobbyists do not lobby for greater competition in the market you dominate, they seek to institutionalize your domination, extract every measure of your advantage.

    Do not romanticize the virtue of ‘creatives.’ Do not project that manifesting vice is only the other’s demon. This is why we destroy one another.

    We each and all are a complex of virtues and vices, no one, not any of us is wholly either.

    Carleton W Moten.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Carleton, actually any lobbyist etc are exploitive means so we agree where, I believe, you think we disagree. We each have virtues and vices that is why none of us should have the power of coercion over one another. Lobbyist seek to gain government coercion to achieve ends and that is not creativity (in the free market sense), but exploitation. To be legitimately creative, don’t seek government at all, in fact, get government out of the free markets, so people can create goods and services other people like. Then if you are wrong, people don’t buy your goods and you fail. If you are right you win, but no one is coerced because anyone can enter any field and compete to serve customers. Only, in sum, when customers are kings and free to choose will we experience free markets and the SDS. In RESOLVED, I actually write that all of us have exploitation and virtue inside, so I really don’t see the disagreement. :) Your point on anyone seeking “political means” is an exploiter is spot on btw. thanks, Orrin

  7. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    Keith and I pray for you and Laurie and the work that you do. God has set a high calling for you and we all get to reap the benefits of your diligence and discipline. Thank you for your hard work!! Keep it coming.

  8. Scott Russell said

    Great post Orrin and looking so forward to reading and sharing the new book!!!

  9. Thanks for the great article!

  10. Olivier Jean-Baptiste said

    Hi Orrin.
    Allow me first to share a quote and second a brief comment and finaly some words of appreciation and thankfulness.

    “Yet certainly these are those principles by which
    my system of education nurtured the men who fought at
    Marathon.”

    Those are the words spoken by one of Aristophanes’s character (Just Cause) which are found in his comedy entitled The Clouds. The paly main intent is to depict the contrast between an old and a new system of education. The former resting on foundations of morality, virtue, religion and absolute principles erects the kind of men and women fitted to handle honorably, courageously and victoriously the inevitable challenges of life. The latter being corrupted and corrupting, resting on all manner of falsehood and villainous doctrines, persuades one to consider everything that is base to be honorable and what is honorable to be base.

    I am grateful to have access to Life Leadership’s education material and I thank you as well as all the PC’s for the examples being displayed which in turn influence and built the men and women who give not quarter to the allegorical Persian of life.

    thanks,
    Olivier

  11. David Fidler said

    Great article and I continue to await your book.

    I do have one question that perhaps may have some play in this issue. While reading this I couldn’t help but wonder about those who with ‘good intentions’ and yet perhaps misdirected facilitate the plunder. For example think of Saul of Tarsus as he went about persecuting the Christians. He apparently firmly believed that he was in the right and was acting justly and correctly in God’s behalf. Yet as we know he was soon informed otherwise. Thus my question is how does the issue of those who are we meaning but misinformed play into this matter?

    • Orrin Woodward said

      David, great question and you are already on the right track. Misinformed, but good intentions, play directly into the FLD. This is why education is so important and truthfully, why I am taking so much time on this book. For I am going to display, through six separate societies how the SDS and FLD played out in the rise and fall process. Keep learning! :) thanks, Orrin

  12. KellyJack Nelson said

    Another interesting article to contemplate. Once again I find the responses and replies lend hope that we are indeed a learning organization. O J-P’s comment on classical educations role pertaining to this article, is compeling from an additional perspective. All of it, inspires me to educate myself further. Thanks Orrin and everyone who shared.

  13. Chris Anderson said

    ThankYou

  14. J & P Harteis said

    Certainly appreciate the “back & forth” dialog with this post, Orrin. Your goal has always been to get us to think & not just accept, & it’s refreshing to see this happening throughout the community! Whenever any society or human condition takes our Creator & Lord out of the equation, decline, deceit, & confusion is born! God bless!

  15. Tim Miller said

    Orrin,
    Can’t wait to read the book!!

  16. Adam Gonzales said

    The FLD are currently active in all levels of government.
    It is a time such as this that a small group of commited people can be the rudder to apply the SDS and turn this ship around!!
    Life Leadership is that group!!

  17. Jason Dames said

    This book is definitely going to make me think which is really awsome!!!

  18. Don Schultz, Team VIP Phalanx said

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

    When mankind is left to his own devices, without heartfelt conviction of Biblical principles, the Five Laws of Decline rear their ugly heads in true fashion, but, like Oliver DeMille said, “it only takes 1 1/2% – 2 1/2% of committed people to a cause to effect a ‘Shift”. I think that if we as followers of Christ would be doing job properly our nation wouldn’t be in the dire straits we currently are in.

    We, as informed and involved leaders in our society can and will impact our culture.

    Orrin, your diligent study and ability to communicate, written and orally, help prepare us to educate the masses.

  19. Marcia Robinson said

    Orrin,
    Thank you for the post and thought provoking commentary. I especially appreciated the reference to Professor Kramnick’s quote regarding government’s role is “controlling ourselves when we fail one another.” His thoughts reference an innate sense of accountability that we have with one another. A media study of today’s society could easily indicate such a feeling has been forgotten or at least ignored. Such a society is in need of more grace, but demands law. I am grateful to be part of the LIFE Leadership community, where grace is ever present and our members are strengthened personally and continuously challenged to lift each other up.

    Thank you for stretching my thinking.

  20. Antonio Rosselli said

    HI …

    IN GENESIS WE LEARN OF THE ORIGINAL CREATION …

    IN THE ORIGINAL CREATION THE CONCEPT OF MONEY IS NOT PRESENT …

    MAYBE GOD HOPES THAT ONE DAY WE CAN PUT TOGETHER A SOCIETY THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE ORIGINAL CREATION …

    WE HAVE A PERFECT MODEL TO MODEL …

    TY

    • Orrin Woodward said

      As long as man is fallen, we will need money to keep proper scoreboards. After Jesus return, I agree. :) thanks, Orrin

  21. renee Oettinger said

    Thank you for working so hard to provide us with this information in a way that make learning desirable. I am learning how important Understanding history is in creating a better future

  22. CJ Calvert said

    Thanks, Orrin, for another remarkable and thought-provoking article.

  23. Very often, poverty and social exclusion coexist. People who are discriminated against on the basis of their race, religion or gender can not claim their political and economic rights. As in Indonesia, Sudan or Kosovo, conflict and insecurity grow and governments’ development policies fail to reach the socially excluded people with almost no opportunities to build a better life. This paper from the UK Department for International Development deals with social exclusion and the ways in which governments and NGOs can eliminate it.

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