In the beginning ruling classes had a problem. Rulers could not know what they needed to know to do the job they wanted to do. Societies, even seemingly primitive ones, are complex networks held together by unarticulated—and largely inarticulable—know-how. That presents a formidable obstacle to centralized rule, which requires minimum resistance from the ruled if it is to endure. As Sheldon Richman explains, if we're going to effectively understand the origins of government power, it's necessary to first start thinking like the state.