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.

  • Orrin’s Latest Book

  • 7 Day Free Access to Leadership Audios!

  • Email Me

  • NY Times Bestselling Book

  • Mental Fitness Challenge

  • Email Subscription

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,445 other subscribers

  • Categories

  • Archives

William Bradford on Property and Prosperity

Posted by Orrin Woodward on June 30, 2014

Private Property and Prosperity

And Justice For All

And Justice For All

The right to private property, as I discuss in my recently released Guinness World Record breaking book And Justice For All: The Quest for Concord, is an essential part of a working civilization. Without it, injustice and apathy quickly destroy the Six Duties of Society productivity. This isn’t just my opinion, it has been proven over and over again throughout history. For instance, the Pilgrims (a Godly group of Puritan separatist) attempted a communal approach to land when they first arrived in Plymouth, The catastrophic results nearly wiped out the colony.

Why? Because people quickly discover that regardless of how much work they do, they share in the rewards equally. This causes a Gresham’s Law decline in productivity as everyone seeks to do the minimum possible. However, because few work under this plan, famine and hunger result. For the past 20 years I have studied the effects of of compensation upon results. LIFE Leadership realizes that in a Compensated Community, the rewards must follow those who do the work. In other words, private property reigns.

William Bradford, the leader of the Plymouth Colony discovered this for himself. In fact, he captured the challenge and response in his history of the settlement. Private Property is the only way that a person can reap what he has sown. If he does not work, he will not eat as Paul stated. Hunger, it seems, has historically been a great motivator for people to act. A modern equivalent is the statement that a timid salesperson has skinny kids. 🙂 If a person can eat without working, rest assured many people will follow Gresham’s Law and choose the same path.

Indeed, remember that someone always owns property. The choices are 1) private individuals with no monopoly of force or 2) the State with a monopoly of force. If feel much safer knowing private people own property, not only for the productivity gains, but also for the protection of liberty inherent within ownership. Private property tells the State to keep it hands off this private sphere. However, if the State owns everything then the peopler are merely serfs or slaves.

Leon Trotsky, the Russian communist, said as much when he cynically changed the Biblical admonition to work into “He who will not obey will not eat.” Simply put, allowing the State to own the land means the people are at the mercy of those in power. Therefore, those who hate private property inadvertently support oppression of the people and depression of the economy. Perhaps its time to learn from our Bradford’s history of the Plymouth Plantation.


Orrin Woodward

All this while no supplies were heard of, nor did they know when they might expect any. So they began to consider how to raise more corn, and obtain a better crop than they had done, so that they might not continue to endure the misery of want. At length after much debate, the Governor, with the advice of the chief among them, allowed each man to plant corn for his own household, and to trust to themselves for that; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. So every family was assigned a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number with that in view, — for present purposes only, and making no division for inheritance, — all boys and children being included under some family.

This was very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could devise, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better satisfaction. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to plant corn, while before they would allege weakness and inability; and to have compelled them would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

The failure of the experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, — that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.

For in this instance, community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit and comfort. For the young men who were most able and fit for service objected to being forced to spend their time and strength in working for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense. The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could. This was thought injustice. The aged and graver men, who were ranked and equalized in labour, food, clothes, etc., with the humbler and younger ones, thought it some indignity and disrespect to them. As for men’s wives who were obliged to do service for other men, such as cooking, washing their clothes, etc., they considered it a kind of slavery, and many husbands would not brook it.

This feature of it would have been worse still, if they had been men of an inferior class. If (it was thought) all were to share alike, and all were to do alike, then all were on an equality throughout, and one was as good as another; and so, if it did not actually abolish those very relations which God himself has set among men, it did at least greatly diminish the mutual respect that is so important should be preserved amongst them. Let none argue that this is due to human failing, rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself. I answer, seeing that all men have this failing in them, that God in His wisdom saw that another plan of life was fitter for them.

These matters premised, I will now proceed with my account of affairs here. But before I come to other things I must say a word about their planting this year. They felt the benefit of their last year’s harvest; for by planting corn on their own account they managed, with a great deal of patience, to overcome famine. This reminds me of a saying of Seneca’s (Epis. 123): that an important part of liberty is a well-governed belly, and patience in want.

The settlers now began to consider corn more precious than silver; and those that had some to spare began to trade with the others for small things, by the quart, pottle, and peck, etc.; for they had not money, and if they had, corn was preferred to it. In order that they might raise their crops to better advantage, they made suit to the Governor to have some land apportioned for permanent holdings, and not by yearly lot, whereby the plots which the more industrious had brought under good culture one year, would change hands the next, and others would reap the advantage; with the result that manuring and culture of the land were neglected. It was well considered, and their request was granted.

Every person was given one acre of land, for them and theirs, and they were to have no more till the seven years had expired; it was all as near the town as possible, so that they might be kept close together, for greater safety and better attention to the general employments.

An excerpt from Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement; 1608-1650, by William Bradford, rendered into modern English by Harold Paget and published in 1909, originally titled Of Plymouth Plantation, reprint by Mantle Ministries: San Antonio, TX, 1988, pp. 115-116, 141-142.

13 Responses to “William Bradford on Property and Prosperity”

  1. Ed Fancon said

    Great excerpt Orrin. And as always thank you for sharing! You are officially my human cliff notes on where to get great information! 😉
    PS. And Justice for All is awesome, cannot wait for the next volume!

  2. John hatchell said

    Excellent article that makes Americans think about what equality would truly mean in a society. In true American reality it is those who wish to have that fight and work to have. Currently our Govt has shifted and predicate “those that wish to have just take it, by using sympathy or even force from governing authorities. And on a side note the frustration I feel as a Code enforcement officer of regulating private property through law enforcement. Orrin you are a powerful American citizen bringing truth through our history, You are the leading dynamo and nitro to cause change in thinking… Keep Rocking on!!!

  3. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin!

    Great book and always lots to learn! You sharing your knowledge and helping others understand will educate the world.
    God Bless

  4. Titi said

    Thank you Orrin for taking the complex and making it simple for all to understand! Having been raised in a place where socialism was widely accepted and practiced (E Africa) I am now able to clearly see the ailment that has so long afflicted most of the world, Africa being chief among the patients. Though it is purported to be the great escape for mankind from the tyranny of free enterprise, communism & socialism has proven too many times that it is a system that does not allow for the individual to prosper at all – in fact, the individual suffers and the the state grows in every aspect. -And Justice for all – is such a delight to read because it lays the facts bear for all to see! I am thoroughly enjoying my copy! Thanks Orrin!

  5. Steve Duba said

    Just finished the book last night Orrin. Wow do we have some work to do. Very impressed with your research. Years of learning in that book. Thanks again. Now back to work learning more about SDS and FLD. God Bless.

  6. Steve Meixner said

    Orrin, I just finished your book “And Justice for all” I will need another copy though because I was not going to Mark up this one “signed Copy” 🙂 That will just give me a Second time to read it! There is so much in there to Learn that I need to read it Twice or more!! Thanks,

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Thank you Steve. Glad you enjoyed it. If enough people understand the SDS and FLD, society can regain its liberty! 🙂

  7. Joel Avila said

    It was an honor to be a part of this event, Orrin! It was my very first major function since joining in April 2014. It was an amazingly great feeling being a part of that HUUUUUGE community with a common goal of making a positive difference in the lives of many people and with a goal of taking our Nation back.. We will go to a million without a doubt!! And we will save the Republic!!

    PS – Just a gold nugget I’d like to share with others when showing the plan: I’ve been showing my signed book to prospects with the little “Guinness World Record Attempt” sticker.. 🙂

  8. Renee Oettinger said

    This needs to be kept in the foundation of our economic and history teaching.

  9. Olivier Jean-Baptiste said

    Thanks Orrin for that wonderful blog post.

    This the paragraph that strikes my attention:

    “The failure of the experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, — that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”

    It is sad to realize that so many good men are sincerly wrong. Thier lack of understanding of human nature and the natural laws that govern the various form of interaction among men (in generic term) cause them to support perilous political and economic system. Many are those whose views is that the state is run or can be run or will on day be run by men wiser than God. They find justification for their views by subscribing to philosophies and theories proven wrong by countless historical fact. Yet, while those very idea that they sponsor cause calamity and destruction (genocide , famine etc.), very rarely do they bare the responsabily of the consequences of thier implemented idea.

    Certainly, it is a good thing that a group of men have decided to spread the truth and lead by example and results. Thanky God for Life Leadership!!


  10. Shaun Bushey said

    As I was reading, what was going through my head was the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” This not from a evolutionary standpoint but from a cultural one. They who have the most fit culture will survive and thrive, those whose culture is decaying into complacency will ultimately go extinct if not corrected. Historically:

    more freedom under rule of law > more bondage under force of the state

    The big question for the staying power of the culture is: How much freedom under whose law makes the greatest concord?
    The more I read of you works Orrin, the more thoughts and question stir in my soul! Thank you!

  11. Chris Olson said


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.