Others, less egocentric and more empathetic, sought only to create sharper chipped stone tools and finer pottery to make the lives of their fellow citizens easier and more pleasant.
Still others, developmentally arrested and emotionally immature, sought adolescent solace in group association through the creation of democratic organizations such as marauding bands and occult societies, which would blossom into nascent armies and religions.
One of the first requirements of the newly founded civilization was a form of governance more effective than the domination of the alpha male, which had defined social propriety in the nomadic tribes that had represented the peak of pre-agricultural human society.
The energetic and empathetic segment of society created sets of mutually accepted rules or laws to govern their collective behavior, and to provide a stable framework in which they could practice their chosen tasks of creating wealth and promoting human welfare. Such simple institutions of self-governance are known as republics, hence we call these people republicans.
The aristocratic landowners, however, who felt that the possession of wealth naturally afforded them the right to rule their fellow citizens, hated republics because the existence of laws impeded their ability to rule by fiat, in the manner of their ancestral alpha males. Still, they needed the republicans to manufacture their tools and the weapons for their armies and to build their houses and fortresses and bridges and roads. So, in order to impose an aristocratic form of government on the independent-minded republicans, they utilized the ancient democratic institutions of armies and religion.
But the use of armies and religion ultimately invoke a backlash of republican rebellion, which results in revolution, destruction of the aristocracy, and the establishment of a new republic. History is a giant pendulum, that swings slowly but inexorably from one excess to the other.
A little over a thousand years ago, a quiet resurgence of republicanism was begun in the tenuous formation of craft and merchant guilds. The guilds were in essence mini-republics that codified rules for the conduct of their members, including rules governing the quality of their products and the honesty of their dealings with the public.
The guild mark became a mark of quality and excellence, and over the next five hundred years, the guilds grew in size and importance and, thanks to republican innovation, invention, and investment, in stunning variety. Their burgeoning political power inspired Nicolo Machiavelli in 1532 to publish The Prince, a reinforcement of aristocratic right and a political blueprint for maintaining aristocratic power in the face of rising republicanism.
A hundred years after Machiavelli, Oliver Cromwell established the Commonwealth of England, a short-lived republic, following the execution of Charles I. Two years after Cromwell's death, the monarchy was restored under Charles II, but twenty-eight years later, Charles' brother James II was deposed by William of Orange, who instituted a new republic under the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
Exactly 100 years later, two momentous events occurred. In July 1789 French republicans stormed the Bastille in Paris, touching off the French revolution; and in September 1789 the former British colonists in America finalized the Constitution of the United States, the framework for the most perfect republic ever devised by man.
Vestigial aristocracy, supported by the institution of slavery, lingered on for another 75 years after the establishment of the American republic, until it finally collapsed at Appomattox Court House, Virginia in 1865.
It was not, however, General Grant that brought aristocracy's demise. The pre-eminence of republicanism in both the United States and Europe had already touched off a tsunami of wealth creation that would swamp the aristocracy for a hundred years – the Industrial Revolution.
The nineteenth century was the age of the machine – 100 years of unbridled celebration of republican ingenuity, innovation, and invention. From Fulton's steam boat in 1800 to the Wright's gasoline powered airplane in 1903, the century was a gushing cornucopia of steam tractors and sewing machines and repeating firearms and water closets and typewriters and telephones and gramophones, and gas lights. The invention of the motor carriage in 1886 and the discovery of an unlimited source of fuel in 1901 seemed destined to launch mankind into another century of heady republican advancement.
Unfortunately, the first year of the new century ushered in the beginning of an aristocratic counter-revolution with the ascension of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency following McKinley's death in 1901. Roosevelt launched an aristocratic political assault on republicanism with a deluge of anti-republican legislation and regulations under the banner of "Progressivism" and with a vicious judicial crusade against one of industrialism's major tools – capitalism – which he dubbed "trust-busting."
Wilson expanded on Roosevelt's intifada with the institution of an achievement-punishing progressive income tax and a capital restricting mechanism he called the Federal Reserve. The subsequent history of the twentieth century has been that of a steady, inexorable erosion of republicanism by the aristocracy through the political institutions of legislation, regulation, and propaganda. In Europe, this political assault was called Fascism. In America, we call it Liberalism.
As we stand at the portal of the twenty-first century and look back over the past two hundred years, we are led to wonder what the hell happened. How did we get from the audacious innovation and vigorous wealth creation of the machine age to the feckless apathy and passive consumption of the misinformation age?
Our once bright view of the future is blocked by a phalanx of aristocrats of both party stripes who, backed by a century's accumulation of alphabet soup usurpations of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights, seem poised to finish off the scourge of republicanism once and for all. Their efforts, however, are ultimately doomed to failure – because they are counterproductive.
Aristocrats are dismally ignorant of the mechanism of wealth production, and they always destroy it in their attempt to control it. The creation of wealth cannot be managed and it cannot be externally induced. It must flow unimpeded and unfettered from the brains of republicans. Any attempt to control it can only impede it, ultimately resulting in poverty for all – and causing the pendulum to swing back through revolution, destruction of the aristocracy, and the establishment of a new republic.