The 5 Laws of Decline – (#5) The Law of Inertia

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Economics, Freedom, Leadership
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

inertiaWe have seen how the previous 4 laws of decline can bring an organization or a country down. The 5th and final law, of Orrin Woodward‘s Five Laws of Decline, plays a different role in my opinion. This law won’t bring about a decline, but it does keep the current decline from the previous laws in place, which includes the momentum of that decline. If only 10% of leaders are good leaders, as per Sturgeon’s Law, this law will make it difficult to make things better. If everyone has ways to get something for nothing as per Bastiat’s Law, this law makes it extremely difficult to stop the beneficiaries from getting their special deals. If people are being rewarded for doing things that wrong, as per Gresham’s Law, this law will make it very difficult to stop the behavior. And if you have a growing bureaucracy and getting fewer things done due to the law of Diminishing Returns, this law will stop you from reversing that trend, if not decreasing the returns at the same momentum.

The Law of Inertia

This law comes from Newton’s first law, which as Orrin Woodward explains in Resolved ‘Every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion, unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force. In layman’s terms, an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by another force.’ The Law of Inertia: An object at rest stays at rest, while an object in motion stays in motion. You’ll probably notice that this is a law of physics, to which you are probably asking ‘what does this have to do with human action?’ Although a physical object has the laws of physics working against it, humans have psychology; which in this case I think refers mostly to the concept of belief.

Consider the fact that no one is going to put any effort into doing something they don’t believe can be done. Take lotto tickets as an example. For those that believe the chances of winning are so astronomically against them, and that believe lotto tickets are taxes on people who can’t do math, won’t buy one; they will find things more important to them to spend money on. Other people who do buy the tickets believe that it is the best investment of their money because they have enough belief in the possibility of winning, and believe that just the chance of winning is a better use of their money than wherever else it might go.

If you believe you can’t change the direction a company, or your country, is going in, you won’t put in the effort to do anything; no matter how wrong you think it is. When you take Gresham’s Law into account, where you end up with fewer and fewer people in power who would actually want to change things, you are much less likely to try changing things for the better.

When you have most of the good politicians leaving (or not evening running) because of the broken system they are working in, it causes more like minded individuals to leave since they will have even less belief that they can change things as they have fewer supporters around them, to vote with them.

The Law of Inertia works in the other direction as well, causing things to get worse and worse faster; just as an object with no air resistance will plummet towards the ground at 9.81 m/s² until it reaches terminal velocity. I believe this happens because the belief aspect we just talked about.

When you take the first 3 laws of decline into account, they are constantly working with each other, making the effects worse. If you have more of the public coming to the government for handouts, they will become dependent and need the handouts more and more. As you become dependent on someone else, unless you are getting good leadership or personal development information, you will have more disbelief that you can improve your status, and more belief that you need even more just to get by. As more people become dependent, the effect spread; just think of the growing number of people on food stamps in the United States, regardless of much they may need them.

When you have very few, if any, good politicians left due to Gresham’s Law as we stated above, or Bastiat’s Law, the more harm will be done by those left in power. Why would they stop doing what they are doing if they are having less and less opposition?

In a company, If all the good executives, the real leaders, decide to leave for better companies, It gets harder and harder to make a change with all the obstacles in the way, and the bad situation will get worse faster and faster as their is even less good leadership to stem the tide.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel

I don’t have a solution to directly combat the law of inertia. Maybe there is none, as it is more a law of physics; or maybe someone like Orrin Woodward or Oliver DeMille knows something. I know Orrin is working on a new book that will go into detail on the laws of decline, and also go into the duties of society; we’ll have to read that one to find out. 🙂

I do believe that it is a simple law that follows whichever direction we are already headed in, and that means we can combat first 3 laws and stem the speed of decline, even breaking the decline overall.

Can this be done? I believe there is a possibility, even if I believe the chances are low of it happening before the next big crash. If there is enough people who start getting good information and growing their leadership, we can turn the tide. Even if a big crash or government crackdown happens first, if enough people know the truth about these laws of decline, we can rebuild things in a better way.

Don’t lose hope. There is a light at the end of tunnel, even if we don’t yet know where that end is. Let’s do what we can to make that light brighter, and make the trek through the tunnel the least harmful as possible.

  1. Kayla says:

    Thank you for your post.Really thank you!

  2. Nicolas says:

    Very well said! There definitely is hope, even if every one of us needs to push against the decline ten times harder than anyone in order to gradually reverse it, I’m sure that as long as we don’t give up, there is still hope!

  3. Gary Manning says:

    I posted all 5 laws of decline on my Facebook page to encourage others to read and try to understand but my efforts were not very successful. I thought it was awesome. Thank you.

  4. Gary Manning says:

    Very well said and interesting. I couldn’t agree more with the 5 laws of decline especially how it relates to our Country and government. I liked them so much I posted each one on my FB page and encouraged my friends to read them..unfortunately I doubt many of them did because that would require them to think and try to understand but at least I tried. Thank you.

    • Lee Weishar says:

      You’re absolutely right Gary. This stuff is very important, especially in a world where everyone is screaming for change because they don’t like what is happening around them. But if don’t understand these laws, we aren’t going to be asking for the change we really need.

      Thanks for sharing!

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