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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State Power versus Social Power

Posted by Orrin Woodward on December 16, 2013

Social Power

Social Power

Here is a portion of the Six Duties of Society (SDS) chapter where I discuss State Power and Social Power. In my opinion, freeing Social Power from the chains of State Power is essential for the future health of America. In fact, until we can chain State Power into is legitimate and limited functions, the ability to turnaround America is illusory. LIFE Leadership is is a microcosm of society’s Social Power because it is thriving under liberty and free markets. It’s time for the LeaderShift.


Orrin Woodward

Human societies, as a result, are in never-ending struggle between the forces seeking to optimize State Power and those seeking to optimize Social Power. The gain for one is the loss of the other. Accordingly, the reason society finds it so difficult to rest the Power Pendulum in concord is that these two forces wage an endless war within society. Limited governments, in effect, seek to grow State Power at Social Power’s expense, while Social Power seeks to reduce State Power by resisting its oppressions. Unfortunately, State Power (government) has the upper hand in this win-lose battle against Social Power, for the State has the “monopoly of force” at its disposal while society has only the ability to persuade. Therefore, whenever a society delegates to government a “monopoly of force” within a limited sphere, it must effectively restrain government from using its power to force itself into other areas of society it does not belong. If the State Power isn’t diligently checked, rest assured, it will increase. And, every time the State increases its responsibilities within society it also expands its power. But since State Power believes it can only increase when Social Power decreases, the State expands it power through reducing the liberty of society’s members. Bastiat described the proper limits of government when he wrote:

Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property . . . If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, it then follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force (government) to protect these rights constantly. Thus, the principle of collective right – its reason for existing, its lawfulness – is based on the individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force (government) cannot legitimately be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups. . . This common force of government is to do only what individuals have a natural and lawful right to do – to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain equal rights of each person; and to cause justice to reign over us all. 

In other words, two or more persons working together have no right to do collectively what is forbidden for them to do individually. Bastiat summed up the results of justice in government when he wrote, “If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economic, just, non-oppressive, limited, and enduring government imaginable . . .” In essence, what liberty, justice, and concord produce (a productive society), tyranny, injustice, and coercion destroy. The historical record is full of examples of limited governments becoming tyrannical states. In fact, the failures appear to follow a similar pattern where society grows under the liberty of limited-government and dies under the bondage of an all-powerful state. How many more rise-and-fall historical examples are needed before society learns this valuable lesson? Furthermore, society’s leaders must learn the symbiotic relationship between the liberty and justice necessary to grow a society and the need for a delegated force  to protect it from exploiters. Once this relationship between liberty and force is understood, society can take the proper steps to chain government’s “monopoly of force” for use only in its proper role of ensuring justice, thus unleashing liberty free to grow Social Power in every other area of society.

15 Responses to “State Power versus Social Power”

  1. Don Schultz, Team VIP Phalanx said

    President Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    A major part of the problem in this great country of ours is people who seek to “lead” in government without having the moral compass and character to do what is right for “We the People”. They would rather seek self-aggandizment and personal power. As we have a society that is increasingly gullible and easily duped by high sounding platitudes of those seeking office we then wind up with what we have, on both sides of the political aisle.

    PresidentJohn Adams also had something to say about character, leadership and those being led. “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.”

    It is our duty as citizens to help educate those around us. That is one of the reasons I love the LIFE Business and our leadership. Thank you Orrin for helping to challenge us to learn, grow and share what we are learning.

  2. Scott Staley said

    I’m looking forward to having the book released. Always so much thought provoking thoughts and points being made.

    Thanks for all you do.

  3. Rob Robson said

    This is music to my ears! Government is so simple when you boil it down to these simple principles. Here is how I explain it:
    1. Every individual is conceived (as apposed to born) with the inalienable right to the protection of its life, liberty and property. Conversely, no individual has the right to molest another individuals rights unless they are protecting themselves from another persons aggression towards themselves or someone else.
    2. If someone uses aggression in an attempt to molest an individuals inalienable rights, they then have the right to use the violence, in increasing doses from threat to lethal, to stop the aggression and to force restitution when possible.
    3. In order for a society to be most effective economically, all of society is best served through utilizing the division of labor, in order to allow individuals to spend their time becoming experts in specific areas of production. It is for this cause that society organizes and hires a few of its members to become experts in the areas of making laws, enforcing laws, and adjudicating individual cases (governments).
    4. Governments are just the hired servants of the people and any power they have must be delegated to them by their masters (the individuals in the society). It seems self evident that neither an individual nor a group of individuals can delegate a power to their servants, unless they as an individual, already have that power.
    5. Governments only tool is to use violence to enforce its laws. If a member of society refuses to comply, force will be applied, up to the point of lethal, until that member chooses to comply.
    6. So, the simple test of the morality of any law is: Do I, as an individual, have the right to use my gun to apply increasing force (up to lethal) to enforce this law on my neighbor? If I do I can delegate that power to my government to exercise it in proxy for me. If I do not have that right, I can not delegate it. The moment we delegate any power to government that we as individuals don’t have, the servants (government) become our masters and we their slaves.

    • Paul Brostowitz said

      A very sad day in American history occurs when not enough “Patriots” wake up only to realize “Big Brother” was watching and listening all along!

  4. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    I love Bastiat’s description of the proper limits of government:

    “Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property . . . If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, it then follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force (government) to protect these rights constantly”

    But I appreciate greater still your assertion that “society can take the proper steps to chain government’s “monopoly of force” for use only in its proper role of ensuring justice, thus unleashing liberty free to grow Social Power in every other area of society.

    Only a LeaderShift can create that concord that needs to exist!

  5. Josiah Kath said

    Government is so simple to run if they would just read the bible and what God told us how to manage things. Also some good material on this and having a biblical worldview instead of a carnal worldview is the Truth Project put out by Focus on the Family.

  6. David Fidler said

    I have a brother who while is big with organizations such as the Tea Party movement is resistant to the LIFE business. It recently occurred to me (must be from the CDs and books I’ve been reading) that those organizations are doomed to failure. Part because they are not effectively organized (one of their redeeming factors), part because they are being co-opted by the GOP, and partly due to the fact they are being demonized by both the Democrats and the GOP. I have come to realize that while they have a notion that something is wrong and that something must be done, they fall short in that they don’t have the right foundation. They are addressing the symptoms and not the root disease.

    Orrin, I have discovered in your writings (as well as those of Oliver DeMille and a few others) the basis of the true foundation we must build upon, that of a true education and proper organization. I am amazed the more I learn of the LIFE business to see that it is the optimal grass roots movement that can restore our once great nation. It is currently riding under the radar for those who would recognize it as a threat to their visions of a bigger “state power” and I foresee it staying there until it is far too late for them to stop it. I see this particular post as being very poignant in discussing some of the key issues we must address and I eagerly look forward to seeing your book. Keep up the good work and I look forward to being on your Club 180 call again next month.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      David, I am pulling for all organizations that are for more Social Power and less State Power. I agree with you, however, that leadership as an organization is tougher the bigger it get and few maintain the vision and discipline that the core group starts with. Our goal is to build leader after leader so the millionth person gets the same core teachings as the first person! 🙂 Keep leading David! thanks, Orrin

      • David Fidler said

        I agree that any good and noble organization that pushes for social power versus state power is to be encouraged. The problem I see in most of these organizations is the inherent risks they fall prey to.

        First is the risk of disorganization. The advantage of being a true grass roots movement is that they can really stand up for real social power over state power, however the inherent weakness in this is that they have a real difficult time fending off any concerted attacks by the establishment to discredit them and destroy them. This is unfortunately far too evident in the Tea Party organizations.

        Second is the risk of becoming “co-opted” by the establishment. Again due to their disorganization and weaknesses these organizations can be easily co-opted into the existing establishment. I have seen this happen with the Tea Party groups as many are pulled into the GOP and thus the message gets diluted down and drowned out over time.

        The biggest weakness that I have found with the Tea Party organizations (yes, I’ve visited a couple to see what they were) is the lack of education of the true principles of freedom. Some have a limited understanding, but far too few have any real understanding. I tried to advocate this to those I met at the meeting but few seemed to really understand what I was saying, and unfortunately (this was before I found the LIFE Business) I wasn’t as well prepared as I needed to be.

        I love the LIFE Business because it gives the foundational concepts and principles needed. It is awakening and pushing me to go beyond and to do the right things to push for real Social Power and arms me with the right tools I need to fend off the assaults of the State Power establishment. That is why I see it succeeding where the Tea Party movement won’t. I see the LIFE Business floating under the radar screens of the State Power establishment as they’ll only see it as a weak business and not any real threat to their political organizations, until it is far to late as when you have over a million members properly educated in true principles of entrepreneurship and liberty and well organized you will have a virtually unstoppable force for good.

        Keep up the good work and I look forward to meeting you in person someday soon.

  7. Kirk Birtles said

    Orrin… Thanks for another great explanation of the truth. Explaining the proverbial ‘fine print’ of what is happening in America in a way that we can understand and build on is always helpful! Thanks for continually being a leader worth following!! Kb

  8. Paul Brostowitz said

    Life-Leadership the “under the radar” organization we “Patriots” have sorely awaited. Thank you Orrin and your fellow leaders for your dedication. “Give me Liberty,……..or give me Death!” thank you Patrick Henry.

  9. Gary S. said

    It’s ironic that you posted John Stuart Mill’s quote in this article, Orrin. My son’s football coach is teaching his players how to be great, off the field as well as on and has them reading some great material. The first book my son was handed, one of the first statements in it read; “One person with a passion is equal to 100 people with an interest”. (point taken!)

  10. James Deming said

    Excellent article, makes you ponder and start to understand how quickly societies can get out of hand. I see that the state relieves the responsibility of the society completely thereby the first few generations don’t completely relinquish their power but as the younger generations are brought up to be used to this decrease in responsibility it is easier for the state to claim more personal power. As history has shown so many times the collapse from the inside out as different societies have given their states all the personal responsibilities in the form of state power. Thank you Orrin for putting such energy and thought into a business model and society together to incorporate personal change and thereby increasing societal change.

  11. Eric Coughlin said

    Looking to get in touch with Mr.Orrin Woodward by e-mail.
    Topic, the Life Business and how great it is


  12. Herbert Branch said

    All of the remarks on this page have wisdom worth pondering. Thank you Orrin for this refreshing look at the fundamentals of liberty from a universal perspective. And the reply comments seem sound as well. I found this opinion piece and page through a sidebar link within David Barton’s “WallBuilders” website.

    Is it OK to copy this page (as it appears) to bring to the attention of others (local newspaper, friends at church, TEA Party Patriots, etc.)?

    All the best to you, as well as the other commentators who made their thoughts known here.

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