So many laws, so little time

These two great currents of social organization—prescribing rules to specify how to do things and affording individual rights to invoke a legal proceeding—now sweep us along through our day like a mighty river, causing us to cling to legal logic for ordinary daily choices. To stay afloat, we must constantly be prepared to answer this question: Can you show this was done properly? Where the rallying cry for our revolutionary forebears was “No Taxation Without Representation,” today’s cry is “No Decision Without Justification.”…

The totality of stupid rules and lawsuits does not come close, however, to describing the effects of the modern legal order. It has changed our society. In this new legalistic culture, people no longer look inside themselves to do what’s right. Instead they focus on possible legal implications. What if something happens? How will you justify your decision?

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