The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks The KISS Workbooks Anthology
Selection # 1 from 
Robert L. Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers
Directions

When men no longer work shoulder to shoulder in tasks directly 

related to survival -- indeed when more than half the population never

touches the earth, enters the mines, builds with its hands, or even 

enters a factory -- the perpetuation of the human animal becomes a 

remarkable social feat.

     So remarkable, in fact, that society's existence hangs by a hair. A

modern community is at the mercy of a thousand dangers: if its 

farmers should fail to plant enough crops; if its railroad men should 

take it into their heads to become bookkeepers or its bookkeepers 

should decide to become railroad men; if too few should offer their 

services as miners, puddlers of steel, candidates for engineering 

degrees -- in a word, if any of a thousand intertwined tasks of society 

should fail to get done -- industrial life would soon become hopelessly 

disorganized. Every day the community faces the possibility of 

breakdown -- not from the forces of nature, but from sheer human 

unpredictability.