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You may have heard this expression before. It’s been around for many years. The earliest use of it that I could find is in a July 1924 article “Laws and Manners” by John Fletcher Moulton (a.k.a. Lord Moulton), although I am not certain whether he was the first person to use it. It’s been used in many contexts. In 1991, Independent Sector wrote an entire publication on organizational ethics in the nonprofit community based on the concept of obedience to the unenforceable.