Below is an outline I made for chapter 1, part A, section 1 in Reisman’s Capitalism (pages 15-16). This is part of a larger project to do some of the multiple choice questions and essay questions for the book. The purpose of the outline is to help me understand the section and to improve my reading comprehension.
When making the outline, I could see how Reisman’s sentences fit together sort of like a proof. Different sentences are needed to understand or demonstrate the truth of other sentences. In my outline, an item is indented below another item if the indented item is needed to understand the outer item. So for example 1.1 through 1.6 are needed to understand 1.
Note: this is my first serious try at outlining so I may have messed it up.
Here’s the outline:
1 The survival of modern material civilization (MMC) depends on econ* being understood
1.1 econ*: "the science that studies the production of wealth under a system of division of labor (DoL)
1.2 The lives of the great majority of people now living ≤ MMC (medicine, hygiene, food) ≤ production of sufficient wealth (context)
1.3 DoL ≈ people specialize in what they produce
1.3.1 DoL date ≥ 1700s Britain
1.3.2 DoL regions: USA, former British territories, Western Europe, Japan
1.3.3 non-DoL: self-sufficient production of farm families or tribes of nomads + hunters
1.3.4 non-DoL regions: Asia, Africa, Latin America
1.4 production of wealth ≤ DoL
1.4.4 DoL is an essential component of every advanced economics system
1.4.5 There is not enough land for everyone to be self-sufficient farmers
1.5 DoL succeeds ≤ people adopt pro-DoL laws and institutions ≤ econ* is understood
1.5.1 Things people do when they don’t understand DoL: analogy: pushing computer buttons with no understanding, e.g. destruction of freedom of contract, inheritance, private ownership of means of production
126.96.36.199 (context) Roman Empire 200s-300s: feudalism replaced advanced economic system which had achieved DoL
188.8.131.52.1 (context) feudalism: self-sufficiency of small territories
1.6 econ* is a science
1.6.1 (Context) science: “organized body of knowledge that proceeds by deductive reasoning from elementary principles”
1.6.2 If something doesn’t function automatically and isn’t comprehensible by experience+observation alone, then science is required to understand it
1.6.3 DoL isn’t comprehensible by experience+observation alone
1.6.4 DoL doesn’t exist or function automatically
I think Reisman’s writing, in this section at least, is pretty complete. I think the info he gives you is, together with context, necessary and sufficient to understand what he’s trying to convey.