SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 4 - reading 7

Questions 1-11 are based on the following passage.

This passage is excerpted from William Graham Sumner, “The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over," originally published in 1894. Sumner was an outspoken economist and highly influential sociology professor at Yale University.

It will not probably be denied that the burden of proof is
on those who affirm that our social condition is utterly
diseased and in need of radical regeneration. My task at
present, therefore, is entirely negative and critical: to
5 examine the allegations of fact and the doctrines which are
put forward to prove the correctness of the diagnosis and to
warrant the use of the remedies proposed.
When anyone asserts that the class of skilled and unskilled
manual laborers of the United States is worse off now in
10 respect to diet, clothing, lodgings, furniture, fuel, and lights;
in respect to the age at which they can marry; the number of
children they can provide for; the start in life which they can
give to their children, and their chances of accumulating
capital, than they ever have been at any former time, he
15 makes a reckless assertion for which no facts have been
offered in proof. Upon an appeal to facts, the contrary of this
assertion would be clearly established. It suffices, therefore,
to challenge those who are responsible for the assertion to
make it good.
20 Nine-tenths of the socialistic and semi-socialistic, and
sentimental or ethical, suggestions by which we are
overwhelmed come from failure to understand the
phenomena of the industrial organization and its expansion. It
controls us all because we are all in it. It creates the
25 conditions of our existence, sets the limits of our social
activity, regulates the bonds of our social relations,
determines our conceptions of good and evil, suggests our
life-philosophy, molds our inherited political institutions, and
reforms the oldest and toughest customs, like marriage and
30 property. I repeat that the turmoil of heterogeneous and
antagonistic social whims and speculations in which we live
is due to the failure to understand what the industrial
organization is and its all-pervading control over human life,
while the traditions of our school of philosophy lead us
35 always to approach the industrial organization, not from the
side of objective study, but from that of philosophical
doctrine. Hence it is that we find that the method of
measuring what we see happening by what are called ethical
standards, and of proposing to attack the phenomena by
40 methods thence deduced, is so popular.
The advance of a new country from the very simplest
social coordination up to the highest organization is a most
interesting and instructive chance to study the development
of the organization. It has of course been attended all the way
45 along by stricter subordination and higher discipline. All
organization implies restriction of liberty. The gain of power
is won by narrowing individual range. The methods of
business in colonial days were loose and slack to an
inconceivable degree. The movement of industry has been all
50 the time toward promptitude, punctuality, and reliability. It
has been attended all the way by lamentations about the good
old times; about the decline of small industries; about the lost
spirit of comradeship between employer and employee; about
the narrowing of the interests of the workman; about his
55 conversion into a machine or into a "ware," and about
industrial war. These lamentations have all had reference to
unquestionable phenomena attendant on advancing
organization. In all occupations the same movement is
discernible in the learned professions, in schools, in trade,
60 commerce, and transportation. It is to go on faster than ever,
now that the continent is filled up by the first superficial layer
of population over its whole extent and the intensification of
industry has begun. The great inventions both make the
intension of the organization possible and make it inevitable,
65 with all its consequences, whatever they may be. I must
expect to be told here, according to the current fashions of
thinking, that we ought to control the development of the
organization. The first instinct of the modern man is to get a
law passed to forbid or prevent what, in his wisdom, he
70 disapproves.
Now the intensification of the social organization is what
gives us greater social power. It is to it that we owe our
increased comfort and abundance. We are none of us ready to
sacrifice this. On the contrary, we want more of it. We would
75 not return to the colonial simplicity and the colonial exiguity
if we could. If not, then we must pay the price. Our life is
bounded on every side by conditions.

 
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