Hmm, no danger of anything approaching an academic view from this monkey, Dai. LOL. I just remember reading somewhere once that in hunter-gatherer times, we only spent on average 9 hours a week actually ahunting and agathering (sounds not unlike some traveller sites I've known..). It wasn't until some silly sod (sic) decided to 'cultivate' the Earth (as if Goddess wasn't doing a good enough job already) that suddenly some of us were able to accumulate surpluses big enough to be regarded as 'capital' - which to me is a surplus of a product such that it acquires a utility for its owner which transcends its functional value as simply a useful store of product; ie lots of wheat becomes more than simply lots to eat.
As soon as product surplus buys power, there's a vested interest in accumulating bigger and bigger surpluses; which in turn provides the motivation to find ways of diverting other people's productivity into your own coffers. And hence, IMO, leading to slavery, wars, manipulative belief systems, usury, hierarchy, consumerism, pollution, and, ultimately, lousy TV....
I mean, if I was a nascent capitalist lookin for a good way of brainwashing people into working for me for little or no reward, without complaint - let me see... OK, I'd invent a god, who only spoke through me, and a heaven which was practically impossible to get into if you were rich (you, not me, obviously), and um, let me see, o yeah, invent an antigod who found evil work for idle hands. And, obviously, a system of everlasting torment for those who didn't agree with me. Then I'd stick 'em for a tenth of everything they earned, and buy as much land and as many assets as I could with the proceeds. Then I'd set up an inner circle of like-minded people to pass my franchise on to. I reckon after a coupla thousand years or so, my organisation would be pretty rich, if not the richest ever in the history of mankind.
Well, I did warn you it wasn't going to be particularly academic - eat your surplus out, Adam Smith!