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The Rule of Nobody: Saving America From Dead Laws & Broken Government

Wednesday April 2014


Philip K. Howard Chair, Common Good Partner, Covington & Burling

Introduction: James R. Copland, Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Legal Policy

America has lost the authority needed to support a free society, argues Philip Howard in The Rule of Nobody. Like sediment in a harbor, the steady accretion of bureaucracy makes it hard for anyone, officials or citizens, to act sensibly. The culture has changed for the worse: instead of looking to do what is right, people are trained to ask “What does the rule require?” Democracy is increasingly vestigial, since most important choices – including budgets – are preset by laws and regulations. This jungle is too thick to be pruned, Howard concludes. It must be radically simplified and rebuilt on the solid foundation of individual responsibility and accountability. Join us to hear Howard’s ideas about how America can move forward in the 21st Century, casting off constraints that are increasingly holding our nation back. Author of the New York Times bestseller, The Death of Common Sense and Chair of the Common Good coalition, Philip Howard is a visionary who challenges his readers and audiences alike to imagine what we can do as a society, if only we had the courage to challenge the status quo.