The earliest human remains now date to over one million years, while the Earth itself is believed to be at least four billion years old. Thus, if the Earth had lasted ten years, the human race would have but a day of that time, and recorded civilization only the last few minutes of that day. Until the Neolithic Revolution, beginning around 10,000 years ago, most humans roamed the Earth as hunters and gatherers of food. Communal property rights prevailed in land, and socio economic organization was next to nonexistent. Then, over the course of a few thousand years, people settled down to become farmers. Private and state prop erty rights developed, along with political organization and socioeconomic dif ferences. In this chapter we look at why this happened as part of an effort to sketch a broad outline of the evolution of economic systems through history down to the present.